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Man buys $250,000 worth of flight tickets for $17,000 as he takes advantage of airline mistake

Ali Condon

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Man buys $250,000 worth of flight tickets for $17,000 as he takes advantage of airline mistake

Featured Image Credit: Herman Yip/Tim Jones / Alamy Stock Photo

When Japanese airline, All Nippon Airways, mistakenly started offering business class tickets worth thousands for just $300, one quick-thinking traveller took advantage.

Due to a currency conversion error on their website this week, the airline was offering typically pricey tickets for a fraction of the cost.

Spotting an opportunity, Herman Yip invested in 25 different plane tickets, saving himself thousands of dollars.

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One man spent $17,000 on airline tickets that should have cost him a quarter of a million. Credit: Pexels/ Marlina Hinic
One man spent $17,000 on airline tickets that should have cost him a quarter of a million. Credit: Pexels/ Marlina Hinic

When the 32-year-old, who runs a travel website in Hong Kong, heard about the currency conversion error on the airline's website, he decided to splash out on some lavish trips, including a first class round-trip from Jakarta to Aruba, via both Tokyo and New York.

You'd imagine a journey like that would cost a couple thousand at least, but Mr Yip told Bloomberg that he only spent $890 on the ticket.

Meanwhile, some of the business-class flights he invested in set him back just $300.

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All in all, Yip says he spent $17,000 on $250,000 worth of airline tickets.

Now, that's a bargain.

Since he didn't know how long the glitch was going to last for, Yip took it upon himself to book some tickets for his family and friends as well.

"I didn’t even bother to ask them whether they were able to make it or not, as I needed to book really quickly," he shared.

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The airline's website made a currency conversion error. Credit: Pexels/@Ahmed Muntasir
The airline's website made a currency conversion error. Credit: Pexels/@Ahmed Muntasir

Plus, when he discovered he'd be able to change his flight for free after the booking was confirmed, he went all in on his luxury trip, adjusting his first-class round trip so that it'd begin in Bangkok, which is closer to his home in Hong Kong.

All Nippon Airlines hasn't yet confirmed whether they're going to honour the tickets purchased during the glitch, but has said that they plan to make a decision by the end of the month.

However, anyone who is planning to fly with their discounted tickets before that decision is made will be unaffected.

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"I guess ANA hasn’t made clear if they’re going to honour the tickets or not, because the impact from the incident seems so huge as the bug lasted for so long,” said Yip.

"I know 20 people who knew about the incident, and that of course just multiplies the impact."

All Nippon Airlines hasn't confirmed how many people managed to secure discounted tickets before the bug was fixed, but did say it was 'investigating the cause of the bug and the size of its damage.'

Herman also bought flights for his friends and family when he spotted the glitch. Credit: Pexels/Maria Tyutina
Herman also bought flights for his friends and family when he spotted the glitch. Credit: Pexels/Maria Tyutina
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For those who missed out on this week's accidental sale, Mr Yip had some advice for the next time something like this happens.

"If you see something that’s probably a 10th of the original price, just book it,” he suggested.

Even if you're not sure whether you'll be able to make that trip when the time comes, or whether you'll be able to afford it later on, Yip insists its still worthwhile.

"It’s very likely you’ll able to change or cancel, because the airline will always want to you to cancel."

Topics: News, Travel, Money

Ali Condon
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