Mistake Airfares ★ How They Work and How to Score One

Updated on August 3, 2015


Did you get in on these recent mistake airfares:

If not, don’t worry – we can’t win them all.  The United Website Glitch was not honored anyway and I don’t know a single person that booked the $9 North Korea Fare.  Mistake fares are generally IT glitches of some sort, whether its logic miscoded by 1 digit, logic that omitted fuel surcharges, or logic flaws that allowed manipulation of the final fare, such as the United Website Glitch.

Delta Mistake Fare

The US Department of Transportation requires that airlines honor prices, even when the prices are mistakes.  However, as Gary pointed out, this may soon change as proposals have mention of consumers who purchase mistake fares in bad faith.

So how can you score the next mistake fare?  You can continuously refresh this page on FlyerTalk, BoardingArea, Prior2Boarding, TheFlightDeal, or you can subscribe to receive email updates from TheRewardBoss on the top left corner (or bottom of the page if using on a mobile device) – I will alert subscribers as soon as I spot mistake fares.

I will be refreshing the aforementioned sites throughout each day.  I cannot guarantee that subscribers will be informed of every single mistake fare but I can guarantee that as soon as I spot one, a post will be blasted to all subscribers, providing a 1 liner on the mistake fare and a link with details on how to score one.  I will update the post as time permits, but hey I need to book it too, right?

There are many frequent flyers who criticize bloggers for killing deals.  You will notice that many on BoardingArea have now withheld from posting mistake fares.  Points, Miles & Martinis seems to be one of the few brave souls.  Regardless of what others will think, I will be joining the band-wagon of deal-killers.


Preview of the Next Mistake Airfare:

Avianca LifeMiles    ChainSAW


GIVEAWAY Reminder: TheRewardBoss is giving away one (1) $200 American Airlines e-Certificate and two (2) United Club lounge passes.  Click here to enter until 8/10/14 at 11:59pm EST.


Want to see how I earn enough points and miles to travel for free? Read this first.  Be one of the 10s of 10s of subscribers who receive email updates whenever I post a new article. Enter your email address in the top left corner of the site (mobile users scroll down) and that’s it.  Cancel anytime.  Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, or RSS feed.

About The Reward Boss

Want to see how I earn enough points and miles to travel for free? Read this first. Be one of the 10s of 10s of people who subscribe to receive email updates whenever I post a new article. Enter your email address in the top left corner of the site and that’s it. Cancel anytime. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or RSS feed. Take a Free Lyft.

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  1. ‘Regardless of what others will think, I will be joining the band-wagon of deal-killers.’

    Great, then I’ll never use your cc affiliate links or read your blog. To openly brag about ruining deals shows you have little to no credibility.

    And 10 bucks says you moderate this post.

    • Tyler – very selfish of you to suggest keeping mistake fares to yourself / in secrecy. It’s obvious Jeff’s intent is not to kill deals but to share with the frequent flyer comunity.

      “Regardless of what others will think, I will be joining the band-wagon of deal-killers”

      Regardless of how he spins it in a positive light, there will be Negative Nancies out there (like you) who overlook the benefits and view him as a dealkiller.

  2. So let me understand, you will not try to find mistake fares. You are just a remora that is going to give away what others found, so you can get more suscribers?

    • @Nic, I will continue to look for and share mistake fares and tricks that I discover. One way I find mistakes is by helping people find flights and plan trips. I have already shared some self discovered tricks which have then been shared by other bloggers and forums. If someone else discovers it, I will share it with my readers (I know that many of them will not be searching and reading all the same sources).

  3. Here’s a crazy thought- how about bloggers actually finding their own mistake fares, and then posting about them? Not leeching off of MR deals at FT.

    I learned this game via FT and have respect for people posting deals with the idea that others will reciprocate. Now with an ever increasing number of bloggers trying to steal anything they can, less deals are being posted. I myself have found some great deals that I don’t post but rather share with friends now, as I know they would quickly be ruined by bloggers before other FT members could utilize them.

    I’ll read your blog when you create Unique content- stealing from other sites is already overdone and brings nothing to the table.

    • how’s sharing a deal on FT materially different from sharing via BA or blogs? airlines have social media specialists monitoring FT – any mistakes leaked would be shut down relatively quickly anyway.

      sending a 1 liner pointing to the mistake fare will increase the number of people who would be able to utilize the mistake before it’s shut down.

      you don’t win bets often do you, tyler? stay away from casinos!

      • @Linda
        The deal that he is going to give away has been open for a long time and it has been that way because it has been more or less protected. So people that put an effort will find it, but the problem is that he is spoonfeeding it to people that don’t contribute to find more mistakes so that he will get more suscribers.
        The problem is that people are not posting as much to FT, because bloggers don’t contribute they just “suck” the information out of FT.

        • are you referring to the lifemiles gum trick? http://milevalue.com/hidden-city-ticketing-lifemiles-awards/

          this was all over FT and many bloggers have written about it and the deal remained active for almost a year. i guess lifemiles doesnt invest in social media specialists? anyway, from what i have read, it was canadian kilometers that killed the deal by filing a complaint to DOT. serves to show any sucking done by bloggers had no real impact on the killing of the deal, at least for lifemiles.

          sorry if i am slow, but how does writing about an expired deal continue to do harm?

          • No. It is not that one. I know because he already gave clues. See, that is perfect example, my argument still holds.

          • i overlooked the 2nd pic till now. chainsaw has also been well publicized. this is nothing new and applies to such a small audience, those who have over 25k lifemiles, which i have none

            anyway, i am in it for the juicy ones. next time there is a $230 rd trip coach fare to Europe / Hawaii, i want in on it. must have been over 5 years now since those 2 mistake fares.

            i think if we all follow the almighty rule of DO NOT CALL, deals will last longer.

      • “I wouldn’t call it stealing if you give proper credit.”
        Are you sharing the revenue from your site, with the person that finds the mistake fare? LOL

  4. “$9 North Korea Fare”… I wouldn’t book that, considering that it’s the state-run airline… You might just become the next North Korean hostage.

  5. I see it from both sides. On one hand, no one wants a mistake fare killed before others can take advantage. On the other hand, mistake fares posted on flyertalk, boardingarea, or any other blogs are short lived, primarily because of airline reps that monitor these sites. Those who want to keep it secret wouldn’t be posting on flyertalk anyway.

    So if subscribing will increase the number of people who can take advantage of the mistake fare before it gets killed, why wouldn’t one sign up. Am I missing something here?

  6. Ugh…haters will always hate…If he enjoys writing a blog and others can benefit from it – just let him! Jeff – great job. I discovered you through BA and enjoy every post so far. keep it coming!

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