El Al Error Allows Customers To Book Heavily Discounted Fares; Airline Decides To Honor Tickets

Earlier this week, a glitch in the El Al ticketing system allowed around 5,000 U.S. travelers to snap up heavily discounted airfares to Israel. And after a couple days of mulling over its options, the airline has just decided to honor those tickets.

According to reports, during a brief window on Monday, El Al tickets that normally go from between $1,000 to $1,600 were suddenly and inexplicably available for less than $400 each.

Not surprisingly, lots of people snapped up the tickets before the error was fixed. Surely, some of them had to have known the low-low airfares might be too good to be true but figured it was worth a shot.

For those travelers, the bet paid off this morning when El Al announced it would honor the tickets. Additionally, the airline says that the discounted tickets — which currently require a stopover in Europe heading in both directions — could be changed to non-stop from JFK International or Newark Liberty Airport for an up-charge of $75.

And if, for reasons that evade us at the moment, someone actually wants to cancel their discounted ticket (maybe you were expecting the airline wouldn’t honor the fare?), El Al is offering free refunds without penalty.

“Although a review of this occurrence has not been finalized, a decision was made to accommodate EL AL passengers who purchased these low fares because we value our reputation of offering excellent customer service,” explained EL AL Vice President/General Manager Danny Saadon in a statement. “Hopefully, we have provided an opportunity to many first timers to visit Israel as well as reconnect family and friends.”

Thanks to Dov for the tip!