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Jonathan Gacek

Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

Jonathan Gacek's invoice for his round trip to Hawaii.

Provided to the Star Tribune,

Jonathan Gacek: When he checked later, the same seats were selling for $1,980 each.

Star Tribune,

Jonathan Gacek of White Bear Lake is using the savings he scored on tickets to a family wedding in Hawaii to pay for two more family members to go. Gacek said his brother was able to get four more tickets on the same flight to Kauai for $66 each through a third-party booking website.

KYNDELL HARKNESS • kharkness@startribune.com,

$86.25 round trip from MSP to Hawaii? 1st Class? Yep, thanks to brief online glitch

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH
  • Star Tribune
  • December 27, 2013 - 9:29 AM

First it was Obamacare, then Target, and now it's Delta Air Lines' turn to be bitten by the complications of a modern technology bug.

Savvy travelers took advantage of a glitch on the Delta website Thursday to score bargain-basement getaways.

“Four tickets, confirmed, and seats already selected,” said Jonathan Gacek, of White Bear Lake, who paid $86.25 each for four round-trip tickets to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, all in first class.

When he checked delta.com later in the day, Gacek said, he saw the same seats selling for $1,980 each.

The bulk of what Gacek paid for the trip to a springtime family wedding in Hawaii went toward taxes and fees, he said.

Delta, the dominant commercial airline out of the Twin Cities, released a statement explaining that “for a portion of the morning [Thursday], some prices on delta.com and other booking channels were incorrectly displayed, resulting in lower than usual fares for customers. The situation has been resolved, and the correct prices are being displayed.

"Delta will honor any fares purchased at the incorrect price.”

New Department of Transportation regulations, aimed at truth in advertising, require airlines to honor any mistake fares offered.

In September, United ran into errors in filing fares to its computer system. Many travelers got tickets for $5 or $10, paying only a security fee.

The Delta deals only lasted from about 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. CST. Other bargains that popped up were a round-trip flight between Cincinnati and the Twin Cities in February for $25.05 and a round trip between Cincinnati and Salt Lake City for $48.41. The correct price for both of those itineraries tops $400.

Gacek said his brother was able to get four more tickets on the same flight to Kauai for $66 each through a third-party booking website. Those seats, however, are merely in economy class.

The bargain fares also allowed Gacek to pay for two of his great grand nieces to make the trip for the wedding.

"Our trip was so under budget due to the glitch, it was the least I could do to get as much of my family there as possible," he said. 

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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