Etihad has refused to honour tickets from Sydney to Berlin Brandenburg Airport that were sold by accident for just $300.
The airline told affected customers the mix-up was caused by a “glitch” in Skyscanner’s system, which saw passengers at the online check-out charged only for taxes rather than the initially displayed cost of around $3,000.
Consumer law in Australia states that if a product is sold at a lower cost “by accident”, the business can simply offer a refund, as Etihad later chose to do.
An email to customers said, “We located all bookings that were made as a result, and your booking is associated with this.
“Whilst the correct price was shown in the initial booking process at the time of payment, you were only asked to pay the taxes which was (sic) charged to your credit card.
“Our Conditions of Carriage set out the steps which are followed in such situations.”
It later said in a statement that it was “not sustainable” for the business to operate flights on the basis of those prices.
“A number of tickets on Etihad flights have been sold incorrectly due to a glitch in a third-party data supplier system,” said Etihad.
“Etihad filed the original fares correctly, and they were displayed properly in the search on Skyscanner. However, because of the glitch, consumers were only asked to pay the taxes for the fares when they clicked through to buy them.”
Last week, Etihad ranked 12th in the Skytrax World Airline Awards, with Qatar coming out on top for the 7th year in a row.
Qantas arguably made the biggest jump in rank from 8th to 5th. America’s Delta also moved from 30th to 24th place, and British Airways remained a consistent 11th place.
Air New Zealand, however, fell 10 places, landing in the 30th position, while Air Canada fell from 33rd to 50th.