Really Cheap “Mistake” Fares

Over the years our members have proved to be an eagle eyed bunch, with many mistake fares soon coming to light on the forum for others to take advantage. Who can forget the Qantas east coast to Port Headland fares for $35 or the Nadi special in Business for just over a $1,300 that saw members earning a bucket load of Status Credits?

A little over a year ago one of our members was keen to share the news on what they saw as tremendous value

Asia on sale at Qantas. $698 to Singapore return or around $510 if booked on European sites like, etc

Qantas had been charging around $1,000 for such a trip in the past. Depending on the departure city, Platinum Qantas Frequent Flyers could also earn close to 20,000 points on that sort of fare. That’s around $100 worth of gift cards as a return, keeping in mind gift cards are not the best use of points.

However it was not long though before another of our members found better value

if you go to the price comes down even lower, close to $400 return.

Soon the thread was populated with tips on extracting the best value from the fare. Ways to book accommodation that removed agents booking fees, what browser to use to get the search in English & even how to save the booking for a few hours to see the agents fee disappear. Needless to say the Singapore Qantas Club was a popular place for our members to run into each other on weekends.

So why was this a mistake fare, why was it so cheap?

Most airlines start with a base fare that includes their margin and government taxes etc. From time to time, a fuel surcharge is added to this fare to cover variable fuel costs. These fuel surcharges vary over time depending on what the price of fuel does, as a result fares change with them. However, fuel surcharges have long been the subject of angst amongst consumers, and some governments have taken steps to outlaw their use. One of those was Brazil, which bans the sale of tickets that have fuel surcharges included – Voila! It seems Qantas forgot to exclude these tickets from sale in Brazil, where they could be ticketed without the fuel surcharge.

As you can imagine, any good organisation looks at what is working for them and what is not. No doubt eventually the success of Brazilian sales came up on the radar, and was acted on by Qantas

You can’t purchase it because the fare rules have changed… MAY NOT BE SOLD IN BRAZIL

Time will tell if the mistake has been fixed, maybe you have found another way to get the fares at a cheaper price, join the conversation HERE.


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