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Air NZ admits it goofed on flight prices to Hawaii

April 5, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

When can a seller get out of having to honour a super-cheap price in an advertisement? Answer: When it’s an honest mistake.

At least, that’s the answer in New Zealand. The NZ Commerce Commission (the equivalent of Australia’s ACCC) spoke after Air New Zealand accidentally advertised flights from Auckland to Honolulu at unreal prices on its Grabaseat discount website on Monday morning.

The deals were advertised for NZD 499 (AUD 460) return or NZD 159 (AUD 147) one-way.

Air New Zealand quickly changed the price to NZD 499 one way, which is what it was meant to say in the first place. Presumably the return flight was double that.

NZ’s Commerce Commission told Wellington’s Dominion Post that companies weren’t bound to honour prices in advertisements if they were a “genuine mistake”.

However companies could still be prosecuted over advertising incorrect prices, as it was technically a breach of NZ’s Fair Trading Act.

The airline sent its customers an email of apology as soon as 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.”

Written by Peter Needham

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