Air New Zealand admits airfare mistake with flights from Auckland to Honolulu

Last updated 16:07 03/04/2017

Flights to Hawaii were wrongly advertised on Grabaseat for $499 return on Monday morning, but Air New Zealand quickly amended the price.

Screenshot of email from Air New Zealand about flights to Honolulu on grabaseat.

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A flight to Hawaii for less than $500 return has to be a mistake, right?

Unfortunately, it seems it was.

Air New Zealand admits it was "our bad" and not a late April Fools joke, when it advertised the wrong price for flights from Auckland to Hawaii.

Early on Monday morning, flights to Honolulu were advertised on Grabaseat for $499 return, or $159 one-way.

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However, when people clicked on the flights to try to book them, the prices were restated as $499 one-way, rather than $499 return.

The airline sent an email apologising to customers soon after it realised its mistake.

"You may or may not have spotted a $499 return fare (or $159 one way) to Honolulu this morning in our daily alerts email and thought it was so cheap it must be a late April Fools' joke," the email said.

"I guess we look the fool this time because it was a genuine mistake on our part and has now been corrected."

The correct fare to Honolulu departing from around New Zealand started from $499 one-way and about $992 return.

Annoyed customers have taken to Facebook to express their views. One woman said: "False advertising. $499 return to Hawaii but click the link and it's $499 one way. Not impressed".

Another said: "Hey Air NZ, a grabaseat email this morning has AKL to Honolulu return for $499, but when you go onto the website it says that $499 is one way? Super misleading — not happy".

The Commerce Commission said companies weren't bound to honour prices in advertisements if they were a "genuine mistake".

However, advertising incorrect prices is technically a breach of the Fair Trading Act, for which the commission can bring prosecutions. 

A Commerce Commission spokeswoman said it was not aware of any complaints about Air New Zealand's error, though it had received one "query" via Facebook.

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- Stuff


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