Not Receiving A Mistake Fare Is Not Blog Worthy


Disclosure: The following is not legal advice. Contact an attorney (not me) if you have an issue with an airline. I don’t handle those cases. 

By now, you’ve read or found out that your Air France mistake fare was not honored. And everyone is up in arms about the predictable occurrence. Only I can’t figure out why. The DOT rules are very clear: mistake fares aren’t honored when the airline acts promptly. Instead of threatening fake lawsuits and complaining about how unfair it is that you can’t fly first class for next to nothing, I suggest the following: move on. Don’t blog about it like it is surprising.

To be clear, breaking the news that an airline is not honoring the mistake fare is newsworthy. Going on and on about how it is a travesty or how it happened to you too is not. We all have been lucky enough to fly around the world for free by taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities. So when one does not go our way, let’s have an ‘onto the next one policy’. If I, a consumer protection attorney (blogger by day, attorney at night), can’t find fault in an event such as this then it is more likely than not that you won’t either.

The real crime is flying this coach seat on Air France from DTW to CDG.


  1. Gotta get the clicks, man. And they have nothing else to write about with substance.

    I’d argue bloggers killed mistake fares in the first place. It used to be an unwritten rule that one didn’t blog about mistake fares. This kept the volume of mistake bookings minimal, and airlines often honored them. Once bloggers started writing about mistake fares, the masses booked them, causing real pain for airlines. DoT saw this and relaxed enforcement, allowing airlines to not honor them.

    Fun times.

  2. Well this is true however it beats blogging about the next great thing on Amazon, etc. to get affiliate money 🙂
    I do agree that we should not be shocked when a mistake fare is cancelled like the AF deal however I booked AF Business return IAH-CDG-IST in 2016 that I flew in 2017 for about $1k per person and that wasn’t cancelled. It’s not like the AF first deal was $50 or something obvious.

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more. Threatening legal action on a blog (especially in the case of the Aeroplan incident) isn’t proper. Good luck suing a foreign mileage plan for restricting space or canceling award tickets – that “action” is going no where.

  4. What Air France was OK, What Virgin Australia did and cancel 10 days after was not OK. Fortunately they paid for out of pocket expenses.

  5. Bravo TPOL. It’s nice to hear this perspective especially since it’s coming from someone who has actually passed a bar exam unlike Matty Klint….

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