DUBLIN – Irish airline Aer Lingus is refusing to honour an online offer which mistakenly sold business class transatlantic flights for five euros (eight dollars, four pounds), a spokesman said Thursday.
The flights would normally sell for 1,775 euros one way, said Enda Corneille, Aer Lingus director of corporate affairs who apologised to the customers concerned.
“It is a genuine mistake, a fundamental mistake on our part. We rectified it as quickly as we could. We have contacted the customers and given them the opportunity to re-book,” he told RTE state radio.
“To sell a business class flight for a fiver… that is a genuine mistake, people are going to know that there is something up.
“It is really a case of ‘if it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true’,” he added.
Corneille said a “little over 100” customers had booked on Wednesday morning before the offer was withdrawn from the website after less than two hours.
In messages to the customers, the airline said: “Due to a technical error in our reservation system for a brief period a small number of bookings were priced incorrectly.
“Unfortunately yours was one of the bookings affected and this email is to notify you of cancellation of your booking and to advise no funds will be deducted from your account.”
However, Irish Consumers’ Association spokesman Dermot Jewell said the purchasers had a binding contract
“The offer was made, it was accepted by Aer Lingus. Consumers booked and paid to bind the contract.
“Realistically I think Aer Lingus is going to have to do something to abide by it (the booking) and to help them,’ he said.