Too good to be true: $0 fares not for real

Part of me thinks: They should’ve known better.

Then another part thinks: But it was in writing. It’s fair game.

Free fares on Northwest Airlines posted last Thursday were snatched up by happy travelers, then reneged a few days later. The spokesman from Delta Airlines (who bought out Northwest back in October) confirmed that it was an error and said that the only people he would honor would be those customers already in flight. The tickets for everyone else–who started planning their trips around these tickets–would be cancelled.

The fare wasn’t posted on or–just on a few other sites like Travelocity. Most flights affected departed from the Twin Cities.

Does it come as a surprise that something like is already covered in legal print? Northwest’s fare tariff states that it reserves the right to cancel a ticket if it was bought at an erroneous fare. No doubt the airline could use the money and isn’t eager to give away free tickets willy-nilly.

But I still think that as a token of good faith, a customer service-based airline would honor the tickets. It’s easier to keep the good standing of current customers and the friends that they tell, than to gain new customers after these folks have been put off, right?

[Via Today in the Sky]