Will Emirates honor the Maldives mistake fare?

Last night, we posted an incredible mistake fare from the Maldives to New York for just $101 one-way or $142 round trip. You could fly with stopovers for a bit more or to many European destinations for about $65. The catch was whether or not Emirates would honor this incredible fare.

At the time, we urged readers to wait before making any additional bookings as this seemed unlikely to be honored. This morning, a reader tweeted the following, which gave me some hope for the folks who had booked it:

I had been closely eyeing Flyertalk and Twitter for news today. Unfortunately, the word is in: Emirates is cancelling these mistake fare tickets. Several readers have commented on last night’s post to share that news and there are many similar reports in the Flyertalk thread. They aren’t pulling any punches — one Flyertalk user confirms that the reason given for cancellation was that the fare was an error:

Is there any chance to fight this?

While some will surely attempt to file DOT complaints, recent precedent has held that the DOT will rule in favor of the airlines in these cases where the price is obviously lower than normal. Personally, I don’t find it to be worth pursuing these for the infinitesimally small chance that you receive some sort of compensation. I view mistake fares like refundable lottery tickets: if I lose, I get my money back. If I win, I get the jackpot. I know that there is another lottery around the corner and I’m likely to win on these tickets more often than the ones at the gas station. And so I’d play on for a win on another day if I had one of these bookings.

It’s disappointing, but we figured this had a relatively low chance of being honored from the get-go. At least they handled this one promptly — they could have waited a month and just quietly cancelled tickets (note: Matthew has posted several updates on that situation, but I believe to no avail). We will continue to bring you the best deals we find — and hopefully we’ll all win the jackpot on the next one.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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  1. I’m sorry but this is armature hour.

    1) Do not, under any circumstances, call the airline. If you can’t play by this rule, don’t play at all.
    2) Stop calling it an error fare. If this ever gets challenged with DOT or other claims, the airline can simply point at blogs specifically labeling it an “error fare” as evidence to it being, an error fare.

    These types of actions are not helping.

  2. Just got the cancellation email from Orbitz now. Of course, I didn’t get my hopes up considering Emirates usually never honors fares like this. Etihad always has been and always will be better than Emirates.

  3. No cancellation e-mail yet, but Orbitz cancelled the Emirates segments. The remaining JetBlue segment (from NYC to final destination) remains intact. So, if you haven’t received a cancellation e-mail, check your reservation anyway!

  4. No news from Priceline. Lookup on Alaska and the flights show active (except the first leg, oddly). DXB-SEA-DEN is alive, and shows as an operated/marketed Emirates flight. Oddly, MLE-DXB doesn’t show up .. and the Emirates PNR is generating an error.

    Fingers crossed indeed!

    • When an airline or OTA cancels the first leg or legs, the rest of the itinerary will eventually die off.. so don’t get your hopes up

  5. Booked it with Emirates online as a Flex fare. No e-mail, but tried to log in tonight and it showed canceled.

  6. Booked on emirates.com. Got a confirmation email. Was able to access booking to select seat. Now unable to access booking. If I try to do online checkin it tells me I have to wait until 48hrs before flight, so it’s still in the system (sort of). Confused.

    • You’re unable to access the booking because the ticket was canceled. What is it saying when you try to Manage Your Flight?

      • “Sorry, the booking reference you provided doesn`t have an itinerary. Please call your local Emirates office for assistance.”

    • Bummer!!!
      I’m having exactly the same as Steve.
      Last week I was able to select seats and stuff but today I can’t even access it.
      I booked directly from emirates.com MLE-FLL

  7. i booked directly with them and for a while got the “doesn’t have an itinerary” message, but now i checked and my EK flights are back, but my AS SEA-LAS segment is waitlisted. i called (because what’s the worst they could do, re-cancel? best to know beforehand before i make more plans) and he said i’m def back on the EK flights but have to wait until AS clears me from the waitlist. i’m wondering if something is weird and i never get off that AS waitlist, if i can just have them remove that segment and leave me on the EK flights…

      • you and me both. i can pull my itinerary up on the website again, same ticket number as before (=what i got in my email confirmation). agent on the phone put me on hold for maybe 3-4 minutes and came back and said i was on the Emirates flights MLE-DXB-SEA but would have to wait and see about the Alaska one to LAS.

        • what’s odd is on their site the AS flight is listed as w/l but if i pull up the ticket (also on their site) it says that flight is confirmed. so who knows. i’ll check back with them tomorrow.

        • I just called emirates they said they sent a message to my travel agent to reissue the ticket. Not sure what that means. Though I did book this through a link dansdeals shared which was a Norwegian site so this will be fun…

  8. Jonathan that’s good news.
    Whay u guys reckon? Should I call and harass EK or wait for the itinerary to reappear.
    BTW I haven’t received any refund though the ticket seems cancelled at keast in their website.

    • yeah i have been checking for a refund too (almost daily) but didn’t get one, and i was gonna file a dispute but decided to check one…last…time. maybe they’re reinstating them manually? hopefully it’s just a matter of time (maybe call if nothing happens by the weekend? i dunno)

    • They do not issue automatic refunds just because the flight was canceled. You have to request a refund through filling out a form on the website. However, if you did not request a refund, you can have the tickets reissued or apply the money to another reservation.

  9. My booking is back in the system. What’s going on? I didn’t call yet, assumed it was cancelled. Now it’s confirmed. This is bizarre

    • Very strange thing just happened. I booked these flights through amex travel and noticed today that the charges were not refunded on my credit card and when I login to the amex portal they are are no where to be found. Called amex travel and she confirmed the flights and told me to check on emirates using the record locator. (She mentioned they were having some issues with the travel portal showing upcoming reservations). Just checked on Emirates and its showing confirmed, ticketed etc (something that 24 hours after the initial purchase was showing as an error, which I assumed bc it was cancelled.) I decided to call emirates and they confirmed the entire booking in detail.

      Btw I never got a cancellation email from amex or emirates themselves.

  10. Same thing happened to me — I checked and got the “doesn’t have an itinerary” message. Saw I hadn’t received a refund and my card was charged and went to check again today and my itinerary is back in place. I can select seats and everything.

    • Are you entering your confirmation # into the emirates website? I am but still getting an error. But I did not book direct

      • I booked direct. I can enter my reservation number into Emirates website, it shows confirmed now. Damn strange.

    • I just spoke to a rep who said that it was cancelled but i asked her to check with her supervisor and she came back saying that indeed, they just received a circulation this morning informing them to honor the fare but that she had to reissue it which is why I was still getting the error msg online. I had her reissue while on the phone and I’ve already received a confirmation msg and Voila!, it’s back on their website once again. The seats appear to be closed for reservation however when earlier it was possible to choose your seats as well. Anyways, I’m not complaining!!!

    • Oops, pulled up the wrong one.

      My mistake. I pulled up my other reservation and it is BACK! The last segment (on Alaska) is listed as “Waitlist”. Weird.

  11. Emirates is honoring this fare! Just got an email explaining the mistake and saying the ticket has been reinstated. WOOOOO!!!!!

    • This is crazy, I gave up on these tickets! Now they are confirmed. Mark, where did you book your tickets? Just curious if there is something in common between the tickets that are confirmed.

      • I booked directly on Emirates.com. I had also given up on them but had been too busy to call emirates to demand a refund.

  12. Got some great news as well! I booked directly with Emirates. For those that booked, it’s a win/win. If we ever decide to cancel prior to the trip, they will offer us the full refund! Here is my chat log with Emirates.

    Transcript:
    00:00:01 J : EMIRATES.COM Error code : [Live Chat – On Load] Custom Message : [ – Emirates ]

    00:00:17 Katsiaryna : Hi J

    00:00:22 Katsiaryna : How can I help?

    00:00:49 J : Hello. My booking was cancelled due to a mistake fare by Emirates.

    00:01:22 J : Please look into this.

    00:01:40 Katsiaryna : Sorry about that.

    00:02:07 Katsiaryna : I’m working on it

    00:02:14 J : thanks.

    00:05:04 Katsiaryna : I’m working on it

    00:05:30 J : sure. Thank you.

    00:17:44 Katsiaryna : J, thanks for waiting

    00:17:56 Katsiaryna : Can I send you tickets to your email?

    00:18:14 J : yes. so will the tickets be issued?

    00:18:26 Katsiaryna : I just reissued tickets

    00:18:47 J : wow great! so they are for two tickets correct?

    00:19:05 Katsiaryna : Sure for 2 passengers

    00:20:46 Katsiaryna : I have just sent 2 tickets to your email

    00:21:27 J : wow. Thank you so much!

    00:21:39 J : so can you tell me what happened initially?

    00:22:34 Katsiaryna : It was a technical error on the website

    00:22:44 Katsiaryna : Is there anything else I can help?

    00:23:52 J : ah I see… I wish I was notified because I had to make additional changes regarding my trip. If I need to cancel in the future, am I eligible for a full refund?

    00:29:00 Katsiaryna : If your decide not to continue with flight and have already paid for the booking you can available of full refund of the
    fare and taxes paid

    00:29:36 J : That’s good news. If I do decide to cancel, can I do it through this chat?

    00:30:30 Katsiaryna : Yes,You can do it via the chat

    00:30:44 J : thank you. you have been very helpful today. I hope you have a great day.

    00:31:08 Katsiaryna : You’re most welcome. Thanks for contacting Emirates chat. Have a nice day!

  13. BREAKING NEWS FOR ME BOYS AND GIRLS!!!!!!!
    sorry for the capitals I’m screaming in joy 😀 😀

    My bookings are back and furthermore I received a new ticket from EK and an email stating that THEY WILL HONOUR THE FARE!!!!

    So Miami… el papi chulo is in da’house!!!! Travel plans begins in 3..2..1..

    Here is the email I received:
    ———————————————-
    Dear Mr. el papi chulo,

    On 17 May 2017, a number of tickets for Emirates flights originating in Male, Maldives were shown as available for purchase online with a wrong value fare. This was due to an error in the uploading of fares into the online reservation system, whereby the fare was incorrectly filed in the wrong currency. Tickets issued in error during this time were suspended, and corresponding bookings automatically cancelled.

    Your booking was one of those affected.

    Acting in the best interest of our customers, Emirates has made the decision to honour the fare. Therefore your booking has been reinstated. We will send you the new e-ticket receipt shortly.

    If you wish to change the original booking, the original ticket will be refunded and a new ticket at the applicable fare will have to be issued.

    If you have decided not to continue with your flight and have already paid for the booking, you can avail of a full refund of the fare and taxes paid. You can live chat with us if you have any query via http://www.emirates.com/livechat

    We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused, and would like to assure you that Emirates remains committed to providing our customers with excellent service and a strong value-for-money proposition.

    Thank you for choosing Emirates.

    Kind regards

    The Emirates Team
    ——————————————————–

    Thanks everyone in this post for the support. I have really gave up on these tickets and decided to do my final google-fu and found this blog.
    Hopes up everyone… you’re going to the US!!!!

  14. I got another confirmation email from Emirates this morning, with the same PNR.
    I guess Emirates decided to honor this error.
    Time to book hotels and positioning flights.

  15. Got the call from Emirates this morning. They are reinstating all the tickets they cancelled. Call their reservations to have them reinstated. Unfortunately, relying on their cancellation, we had purchased tickets on Qatar instead and spent MUCH more. I called and complained on the Emirates website, but knowing them, they will do absolutely nothing. Reinstating these tickets put them into an unprecedented position because those who relied on their actions and booked more expensive alternatives are out of a significant amount of money while the company, by reinstating the tickets, is accepting that they’re entitled to the flights booked. In short, if they don’t compensate the passengers, it’s a breach of contract and possibly fraud. I await their response and added the US DOT to my favorites on the browser. I suggest all those who are in a similar situation, complain as well. At least demand vouchers for future flights.

  16. I can view my itinerary againbut no e-mail from Emirates. Can anyone confirm if e-tix are RE-issued or do we just stick to original ones?

    Also, I get the following error when trying to pick seats (I had them picked before it was cancelled)
    “Preseating has been closed for this flight. You will be able to select seats using the online check-in facility 48 hours before the flight.”

    Has anyone been able to successfully pick seats?

    • Why don’t you just call reservations and have them assign seats and send you another email? From what I understand, the original tickets with original ticket numbers and original PNR code have been re-established, but call the to confirm.

      • Just did that. Figured they would be overwhelmed but there was no wait. She confirmed and picked my seats. Cant believe EK came through, given their history of not honoring!

  17. Booked on Priceline .. received a note of cancellation a few days ago, with no refund. After seeing the posts above (and still receiving the error when attempting to Manage Booking/etc.), I reached out via chat to Emirates service. Within a minute the itinerary was ‘re-activated’. No mention of erroneous issue/cancellation/etc. Incredible.

  18. Zozeppelin is spot on. Bloggers who use the words “error” and “mistake” make a rod for their readers’ backs. It’s naive and shows a total lack of understanding of more receny DOT decisions in such cases.

  19. The DOT ruling doesn’t care about the wording in bloggers’ posts. T says if the fare is reasonably too low, then it doesn’t have to be honored.

    The real question is… if a company chooses to evoque that right and cancel the ticket, but then reinstate it, are they then admitting it wasn’t a mistake or that it wasn’t a burden on them? If they are, then it takes away their initial right to cancel the tickets and puts the premise of the DOT rule into question.

      • I read what’s under “Mitigation” and it’s American Airlines’ claims. Did you read the findings right below that? The DOT dismissed American’s claims and ordered them to honor the mistake fares.

        It pays to read things through before arguing.

        • I was wrong in stating the DOT ruled in American’s favor in that case. I apologise for that. I do, however, wholeheartedly stand by my statement that bloggers’ posts (being “social media sites”) are taken into consideration by the DOT. If that were not the case the DOT would surely not have dedicated an entire page to that aspect of American’s argument in their ruling in this case.

  20. I just got the below email:

    On 17 May 2017, a number of tickets for Emirates flights originating in Male, Maldives were shown as available for purchase online with a wrong value fare. This was due to an error in the uploading of fares into the online reservation system, whereby the fare was incorrectly filed in the wrong currency. Tickets issued in error during this time were suspended, and corresponding bookings automatically cancelled.

    Your booking was one of those affected.

    Acting in the best interest of our customers, Emirates has made the decision to honour the fare. Therefore your booking has been reinstated. We will send you the new e-ticket receipt shortly.

    If you wish to change the original booking, the original ticket will be refunded and a new ticket at the applicable fare will have to be issued.

    If you have decided not to continue with your flight and have already paid for the booking, you can avail of a full refund of the fare and taxes paid. You can live chat with us if you have any query via http://www.emirates.com/livechat

    We apologise for the inconvenience this may have caused, and would like to assure you that Emirates remains committed to providing our customers with excellent service and a strong value-for-money proposition.

    Thank you for choosing Emirates.

    Kind regards

    The Emirates Team

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