Air Transat advertises cheap tickets from Canada to Europe, cancels some due to price glitch

Over the weekend, Air Transat advertised cheap tickets from some Canadian cities to Europe. But it turned out to be a price glitch. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley

If you recently bought a cheap ticket to Europe through Air Transat, you may have to say goodbye to the deal that seemed too good to be true.

Over the weekend the airline was selling low-priced air fare from Canada to Europe.

Flights from Montreal to Paris were advertised at $150, Toronto to Venice were costing $260 and airfare from Vancouver to Amsterdam sold for $169 (all of these flights were round trip and in Canadian dollars). The cheapest ticket advertised was from Toronto to Dublin, which was showing for $108 round trip.

Air Transat ticket prices round trip from Toronto to Dublin advertised at $109 CAD. Air Transat

Airfare websites, such as YYZ Deals and Next Departure, gave details on when to book the cheap flights and how much they were.

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However, they also stated “this looks like a possible mistake deal, there is a chance the booking site may cancel and refund your order. Do not confirm any further flight, hotel or other arrangements until you received confirmation and an e-ticket. Even then, wait for an addition 72-96 hours.”

The deal was indeed a mistake.

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According to Air Transat, it was a fare error in their system. Some customers will be able to keep cheap flights, while others will receive cancellations.

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“Some tickets booked on Friday afternoon were not issued. We are presently working with customers who experienced this problem in order to assist them with their travel plans,” Debbie Cabana with Air Transat said.

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“Bookings that have been completed will be honored. We are working to re-establish reservations that have not been completed for customers who have a file number.”

So, if you received an official confirmation from Air Transat on the booking, you may be able to keep the flight.

Annie Picard, who lives in Montreal, was not so lucky. On Friday she booked an Air Transat ticket from Toronto and Paris for $267.

“I found the flight on Next Departure. Then, I booked with Momondo and received a confirmation (with an order number) via FareBoom. However, this stated that it wasn’t a final confirmation nor a travel document and that I should wait for the ticket from Air Transat,” she said.

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And that’s when Picard received the cancellation. FareBoom then suggested she buy the same trip for $713.

Picard cancelled her trip but said she wasn’t upset with Air Transat. “It’s really common with fare error and it’s not only Air Transat who cancels flights when there are such mistakes.”

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Others weren’t as forgiving.

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Can airlines cancel a ticket?

When a ticketed itinerary is cancelled due to a mistake fare, the carrier should notify the passenger of the cancellation no later than 72 hours after the airline becomes aware of the mistake, according to the CTA. The carrier should then refund the amount paid.

Class action suit against Air Canada

There is currently a national class action lawsuit against Air Canada over a glitch in ticket prices that occurred in August 2015.

At the time, the airline’s website offered a package of 10 flights within Western Canada for a total cost of $800 before taxes. Two Calgary men quickly snapped up the promotion and received confirmation numbers and receipts. But when they tried to book a trip, they couldn’t find their purchases on their Air Canada accounts.

When they called the airline to inquire, they were told the package deal was supposed to be priced at $8,000.

Air Canada later issued a statement saying a “computer loading error” resulted in a temporary mispricing that offered the 10-flight package at $800 instead of the correct price of $8,000.

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The airline said it had apologized to affected travellers and would provide a refund and honour any bookings made before the error was caught.

Burnaby, B.C.-based Evolink Law Group said the class action seeks compensatory damages and-or punitive damages from Air Canada.

With files from the Canadian Press

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