Discover a mistake fare and enjoy the view.

Finding Mistake Fares: Where to Look and How to Buy

What Is a Mistake Fare?

Do you need help with finding mistake fares? Have you seen any of these incredible deals online? Better yet, have you been able to take advantage of one? Learn how you can find and where to buy your own. A mistake fare is just that, the wrong fare at the incorrect price. An error fare or price glitch are other familiar names.

Pricing errors occur for many different reasons; the simplest and easiest to understand is user error. Humans! No matter what we like to think, we are imperfect, which works out in our favor. So long as there is a human element involved, there is a chance that something will go wrong.

Finding Mistake Fares: You Have to Act Fast

You certainly have to act quickly. Mistake fares aren’t available for extended periods. You do not have long to consider the destination or how you will piece your itinerary altogether. Strangely, I like this challenge and am always up for the task. Am I alone on this? Pretty much, you are flying by the seat of your pants. (See what I did there?)

I get rather excited when I stumble across an error fare. Especially at a time when I am free to travel or have the funds ready. Being flexible and somewhat spontaneous does help in these situations. However, if you overthink it or try to plan too much, chances are you will miss out.

In the United States, if you are booking directly with the airline, you can buy that ticket. You will have time to think your purchase over. Then, you’ll have 24 hours from clicking “Buy” to cancel and get a full refund. Not a flight credit or voucher. A full refund to your payment method.

The excerpt below is from the US Department of Transportation website

  • Airline tickets that are purchased at least seven days before a flight’s scheduled departure date and time, airlines are required to either:
    • allow passengers to cancel their reservation and receive a full refund without a penalty for 24 hours, or
    • allow passengers to reserve a ticket (place it on hold) at the quoted price without paying for the ticket for 24 hours
  • Take note that this does NOT ALWAYS APPLY to third-party booking sites (online travel agencies) or travel agents. In that scenario, it is best to contact them directly. For customer service matters one would hope that they would follow suit.

Scoring That Lucky Deal: Jackpot!

The best mistake fare that I have ever found happened just after Christmas in 2013. Something went haywire with Delta’s pricing, leading to an error fare bookable via their website and others such as Priceline (which I used).

In the photo below, you can see how much my ticket was. The fare portion was only $4.88. The other $60.00 was for taxes and fees. I booked this ticket from Las Vegas to Honolulu ROUNDTRIP for under $70.

How amazing is that? I ended up booking five tickets for a total cost of $329.30. Instant family vacation! Thankfully I have family in Hawaii, so I did not have to worry about accommodation. 🙂

Luck of finding mistake fares. A screenshot of a trip to Hawaii I booked.

Finding Mistake Fares: Where to Look and How to Buy

I mostly use and rely on Twitter. News travels fast there and is updated continuously. Other websites and blogs may post information, but you will see it quicker by following tweets. Timing is everything when a deal is out. I suggest that you follow some reputable travel bloggers, deal sites and check out their tweets.

On Twitter, I would check out two accounts that I have followed for years. The Flight Deal and Secret Flying. You can find reasonable airfare prices and also mistake fares listed here. Generally, they show deals from the bigger airports in whichever country.

The above sites usually provide you with links to where you can purchase the deals. However, if the dates don’t work for you and you are curious, you could also run searches with the given information (airports, airline, time frames) on Google Flights and see what you uncover.

You can sign up for and get email alerts from companies like Scott’s Cheap Flights. These notifications let you know when a good fare is available. They do all the hard work and research for you. Then, all you have to do is buy it if you have an interest.

Don’t Ruin It for Others: Do NOT Call the Airline!

Do not call up an airline or mention anything to them while a deal is live! It happens. I have watched people in forums and on Twitter say they would call up the airline or message them and inquire about some aspect of the unknown deal.

Make your booking and wait to see if you get a confirmation and ticket number. Within a week or so, you will know if the fare is honored. During this time, don’t make other plans like connecting flights, hotel rooms, etc., until you know that the airline has accepted the ticket. Most sites will put up a disclaimer such as



So pay attention to the warning. Sit tight and don’t ruin the deal for others. Shhhh, it’s a secret!

Would You Take Part in Getting a Deal from an Error Fare?

Sometimes you win, and sometimes you will lose. But it is still exciting nonetheless and always has the potential to give you tremendous savings on your trip. I wrote a post about an excellent mistake fare that I was hoping to get and was eventually canceled and refunded. I really would have liked to have gone to Kenya for $272 round trip. Who wouldn’t?

What is the best deal you have ever found? How do you get alerted to a good deal? Here is a news article that described what happened on that day with the Delta Error Fare

Make Sure You Protect Yourself with Travel Insurance

While most trips are safe, I love the peace of mind travel insurance gives me in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, trip cancellation, or disruption. For a few dollars a day and with coverage for many types of adventure activities, I’m all in.

Get Ready to Book Your Trip: Helpful Links and Resources

Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find and research your airfare needs and to find the best flight deals. It searches worldwide on multiple airlines to help you find the best options.

Book Your Stay is my go-to for finding a place to stay anywhere globally. An outstanding company that I trust and have used for many years. Find accommodation from budget to luxury in cities and countries around the world. If you happen to be backpacking and staying in hostels, I recommend Hostelworld to help you find a place to stay.

Get Travel Insurance
Travel is unpredictable. Anything could happen. A trip interruption, flight delay, lost or stolen items, or personal injury, having comprehensive trip insurance will protect you if anything goes wrong. SafetyWing is a solid choice for most travelers.

Tours, Activities, and Things to Do
Viator (a TripAdvisor company) offers many excellent options to keep you busy wherever you may be, from walking and food tours to sunset cruises and more. Make sure to give them a look and add some fun-filled activities to your itinerary.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend companies and products that I use myself and believe in.