United Airlines (UAL) announced that it will honor the airline tickets it accidentally sold online Thursday to customers for free or for between $5 and $10.
United Airlines did not release information on the number of tickets that were sold for the wildly cheap prices. The sale was the result of human error, and not a technical glitch.
“We’ve reviewed the error that occurred yesterday and based on these specific circumstances, we will honor the tickets,” the company tweeted Friday.
The news spread like wildfire on social media sites before the airline quickly shut down the online reservation site. Sales were up for a reported two hours.
Andy Farrimond, a software consultant from the Washington, D.C. area, discovered the zero dollar fares when he was booking a business trip to Minneapolis. He told a number of co-workers what he had found, and then he and his co-workers spent the next hour booking personal trips to the West Coast and Hawaii.
Farrimond booked four trips for him and his wife — to Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose. Others in his office were booking flights to Las Vegas and other vacation destinations.
Farrimond said the mood in the office resembled one where co-workers discovered they shared a winning lottery ticket.
The fares were for domestic flights, as many customers reported that they were unable to find flights for international trips for the free price.