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So is this a "fat finger" fare? And should I worry about it?

Apr 6, 2017
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So I was looking at a trip to London from Los Angeles. Google flights showed this quite low summer fare of 367 roundtrip (which is hundreds under usual). I couldnt resist the fare and tried to book it. Taken to american airlines and got the not uncommon "not found but here are some alternatives" which were around 700 dollars. I noticed on google flights that iberia was listed as a code share so I went to the iberia website--found that fare and booked it (actual ticket cost one dollar rount trip--rest is fees and taxes). So I booked it directly on the iberia website yesterday. No flights on iberia interestingly enough--code share only. I got confirm of booking. Fare is gone today. So, would you call this a "fat finger fare" and should I worry someone will try to cancel it?--its a non refundable, no seats, no checked bags etc. Thanks (I am not a "fat finger fare" searcher--I dont go to flyer type forums and look for them etc--I just use google flights)
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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So I was looking at a trip to London from Los Angeles. Google flights showed this quite low summer fare of 367 roundtrip (which is hundreds under usual). I couldnt resist the fare and tried to book it. Taken to american airlines and got the not uncommon "not found but here are some alternatives" which were around 700 dollars. I noticed on google flights that Iberia was listed as a code share so I went to the iberia website--found that fare and booked it (actual ticket cost one dollar round trip--rest is fees and taxes). So I booked it directly on the Iberia website yesterday. No flights on Iberia interestingly enough--code share only. I got confirm of booking. Fare is gone today. So, would you call this a "fat finger fare" and should I worry someone will try to cancel it?--its a non refundable, no seats, no checked bags etc. Thanks (I am not a "fat finger fare" searcher--I dont go to flyer type forums and look for them etc--I just use google flights)
If the actual fare was $1 and the rest taxes/fees you can assume it will not be honored. Iberia's web site does not work well with other airline web sites.

You said you got a confirmation. Is there a ticket # as opposed to a PNR. If there is no ticket #, you do not have an actual ticket. You will get the taxes refunded though.

Do not make any prepaid or non-refundable reservations to go with the ticket, unless you are prepared to pay the regular quoted fare you found on other sites.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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If the actual fare was $1 and the rest taxes/fees you can assume it will not be honored. Iberia's web site does not work well with other airline web sites.

You said you got a confirmation. Is there a ticket # as opposed to a PNR. If there is no ticket #, you do not have an actual ticket. You will get the taxes refunded though.
I'd hope they would also get the $1 fare refunded!

That said -- I am not sure this is fat finger. This is likely a basic economy fare, so everything else is going to have fees. They can add up, and the tax laws encourage this by not taxing these expenses the same way, so this could be a loss leader fare.
 
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Apr 6, 2017
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I got emails for both me and my wife with ticket numbers (came separately) so it appears to have been ticketed. Two sequential ticket numbers for the two tickets for the wife and I. Good idea--I will ck the credit card before making further reservations. (again I wasnt searching for a "fat finger fare" I was just trying to get the fare that google flights posted). Thanks.

ps isnt BA "famous" for this?--having very high taxes and fees etc--so ticket is cheap but the taxes and fees are high (its BA who is doing the flight)

https://thepointsguy.com/2014/12/why-are-british-airways-fuel-surcharges-still-so-high/
 
Nov 22, 2019
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In the past I have bought some flights in regular economy $450 California to Paris, that costs $900 on AA but only $400 on BA or Iberia (by calling). It always went well. But I never got a $1 flight+tax/fees. You booked from the Iberia website, right? Can you get a receipt from them?

Also check your fare code, sometimes some flights are regular economy but if you look at the details and fare codes of each airlines in the trip, you will notice that the US part (if one domestic connection) is main cabin and the transatlantic part is basic economy...
 
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Jan 23, 2015
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I recently booked a cheap BA RT fare SFO/LHR - the ticket part was only $125 and everything else was taxes.
A friend booked similar and hers was even cheaper.
My fingers are crossed for you (we have now both completed our travel!)
 
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Neil Maley

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I got emails for both me and my wife with ticket numbers (came separately) so it appears to have been ticketed. Two sequential ticket numbers for the two tickets for the wife and I. Good idea--I will ck the credit card before making further reservations. (again I wasnt searching for a "fat finger fare" I was just trying to get the fare that google flights posted). Thanks.

ps isnt BA "famous" for this?--having very high taxes and fees etc--so ticket is cheap but the taxes and fees are high (its BA who is doing the flight)

https://thepointsguy.com/2014/12/why-are-british-airways-fuel-surcharges-still-so-high/
BA does have high taxes but in 18 years of doing this I have never seen a $1 fare. What ticket class did you book?
 
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Dec 13, 2019
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Carriers over the last two weeks have been wildly fluctuating their "carrier fees."

Airline search systems on the web work on cached availability, so sometimes the result you are expired maybe only minutes ago and when you go to confirm it, the price changes. This is particularly bad with code shares (as you are looking at), where the availability has probably changed on the operating partner's side (BA) but Iberia hasn't updated their rates yet. I see this all the time and Iberia is probably the worst offender, along with the occasional Finnair coded itinerary with 0 Finnair operated flights.

And that's likely not a "fat finger" fare, or a misfile. BA has reduced their carrier fee to $130 on the LAX-LHR route -- it used to be $300 in coach. This is the Norwegian Air effect where carriers have had to drop their fees to appear competitive for online searches.
 
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Barry Graham

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Jan 7, 2015
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I also some some deals like this recently so I too don't think it was a mistake.
 
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Dec 13, 2019
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I got emails for both me and my wife with ticket numbers (came separately) so it appears to have been ticketed. Two sequential ticket numbers for the two tickets for the wife and I. Good idea--I will ck the credit card before making further reservations. (again I wasnt searching for a "fat finger fare" I was just trying to get the fare that google flights posted). Thanks.

ps isnt BA "famous" for this?--having very high taxes and fees etc--so ticket is cheap but the taxes and fees are high (its BA who is doing the flight)

https://thepointsguy.com/2014/12/why-are-british-airways-fuel-surcharges-still-so-high/
It's not really true anymore. Carriers almost universally have the same carrier fees. It's an entirely automated system done by computers. If United drops their fee to $180, then American Airlines' pricing system will almost instantly drop to the same amount. It then sends an email to their revenue management team who can reverse the change if it's a mistake but it almost never is.
 
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Nov 22, 2019
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What was the total you paid? I just did a mock booking on Iberia, London to LAX and the total was $404 including taxes. I was surprised myself but it was for basic economy.
Yes, I just checked on AA, one fligjt is $16 fare, rest is tax fees for total of $360 in basic, so I guess the $1 fare is correct as well. There are many many dates at this price.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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What fun! IF you like a challenge. Just keep checking and hope for the best. What would be your plan if your tix disappear?
 
Apr 6, 2017
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If the tickets dissappear I will have to rebook at 300 dollars higher--or chg to fly not on the weekends...and pay 200 dollars higher...

Here is the detail on the flight--and now I see it--there is a "carrier fee" here so BA is presumably getting at least some money--Iberia is I guess getting the one dollar? (see the taxes and duty is 366.65. Fare is 367.65)

Tasas e Impuestos / Taxes and duty:

USD 366.65 (USD 130.00 YQ; 3.96 XA; 7.00 XY; 5.89 YC; 18.90 US; 18.90 US; 11.20 AY; 104.11 GB; 53.19 UB; 13.50 XF)

Tour Code / Tour Code Endoso y Restricciones / Endorsement NONREF/CHGFEE/BELH/COBG -BG AA
USD 367.65


I see in the listing above for USD 130 listed as YQ but elsewhere in the page its listed at carrier charge USD 130.

All of this very confusing. At least I booked with an airline as opposed to expedia etc...
 
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Dec 13, 2019
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If the tickets dissappear I will have to rebook at 300 dollars higher--or chg to fly not on the weekends...and pay 200 dollars higher...

Here is the detail on the flight--and now I see it--there is a "carrier fee" here so BA is presumably getting at least some money--Iberia is I guess getting the one dollar? (see the taxes and duty is 366.65. Fare is 367.65)

Tasas e Impuestos / Taxes and duty:

USD 366.65 (USD 130.00 YQ; 3.96 XA; 7.00 XY; 5.89 YC; 18.90 US; 18.90 US; 11.20 AY; 104.11 GB; 53.19 UB; 13.50 XF)

Tour Code / Tour Code Endoso y Restricciones / Endorsement NONREF/CHGFEE/BELH/COBG -BG AA
USD 367.65


I see in the listing above for USD 130 listed as YQ but elsewhere in the page its listed at carrier charge USD 130.

All of this very confusing. At least I booked with an airline as opposed to expedia etc...
YQ is the carrier fee for most airlines. Some call it a YR, like American or Virgin Atlantic.
 
Apr 6, 2017
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I think in the end this type of fare is the "worst case scenario" where everything is fees and taxes...kind of like when I made a reservation at the Luxor and the resort fee was way more than that room rate...ie there is some reason that its better for the airline to have a low fare (and it cant go lower than 1 dollar...) and the rest in fees?. Clearly using FF miles if you still had to pay the taxes and fees would be nuts. And there other fares in this price range LAX to LON as already pointed out--right now there are some "terrible" flights thru Canada for less than 400 dollars, so likely not a "fat finger fare" although I still cant figure out what this does for Iberia--they are getting one dollar on this?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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Those of us that tried to book directly through Iberia are getting very similar prices- mine shows a $247 fare and apparently less taxes to get to a similar price, so somehow the fare may have been hidden within the taxes. If I went to the Iberia website and verified the tickets are there and my credit card was charged, I wouldn’t be concerned but would keep an eye on it. And maybe sure you review the terms for the basic ticket because it doesn’t offer any checked bags or seat assignments.
 
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