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Entries in Errors (1)

Tuesday
Nov302010

Booking Errors Lead to Massive Discounts for Savvy Travelers  

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Next month, Matthew Klint, his brother and his uncle are all flying to Las Vegas and staying in two rooms at a five-star hotel. The total cost: $44. Throw in a $200 food and drink credit and they are actually making $156 off the trip.

How did Klint score such a deal? The 24-year-old Philadelphia law student saw a promotion -- possibly an error -- on Expedia's Canadian website and snagged it quickly.

Then he started booking other trips for friends and family. Ultimately, Klint purchased 15 tickets, most of them for free.

"I always recommend to people: book now and ask questions later," said Klint, who also has a blog about flying called Live and Let's Fly.

A few hours after Klint booked the tickets, Expedia caught the error and changed its promotion requiring all trips to start in Canada.

Expedia declined several requests for an interview and would only say that it is honoring all bookings.

Gary Leff, who runs the blog View From the Wing and reposted the Expedia offer, said such deals come around from time to time but travelers need to act fast.

"They're usually human glitches, working with computers," Leff said. "They seem to happen every so often. But not as often as they used to."

While they might not be as frequent, thanks to social media and the Internet the number of travelers taking advantage of such deals seems to have grown.

Airlines also make mistakes and tend to honor such errors.

"Hotels are more iffy," Leff said. "Sometimes, you win, sometimes you lose."

Most often, these deals come when something gets entered into a computer incorrectly, said Rick Seaney, CEO of airfare-search site FareCompare.com and an ABC News columnist.

One New Year's Eve, Air Canada was switching over its website and for a brief time was offering tickets for zero dollars.

"In order to take advantage of mistakes," Seaney said, "it has to be in real time because they are fleeting."

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