Alitalia to honor some of the JPY25000 coupon tickets


Alitalia has shifted position on their most recent mistake: some tickets will actually be honored. The carrier initially indicated they would cancel all flights issued after a JPY 25,000 discount for flights departing from Japan was found to be available on all tickets worldwide. The company indicated that the execution on the coupon code was a "malfunction" and that the code working on flights other than those from Japan was erroneous. But they also have agreed to let some customers fly on the mistakenly issued tickets. From their Facebook page:

However, since Alitalia intends to protect clients who have committed a, albeit minimal,amount with their credit card, we confirm the validity of the transactions requested on the Japanese site with a value greater than 1 euro cent. Those clients will soon receive an e-mail with their ticket.

In other words, customers who booked anything more than JPY 25,000 and then applied the coupon will actually get to fly while those on cheaper flights will not. In some ways this makes no sense. Why would you choose to honor only the more expensive fares? In many other ways, however, it makes a lot of sense.

For starters, when there is actually an exchange of money rather than a zero-dollar transaction the contract rules change a bit. On top of that, it is quite likely that the number of zero-fare tickets issued was far higher than the number of discounted fares issued such that the net impact to the carrier financially might actually be much more reasonable this way.

In the end I’d say that the decision is a reasonable one. Customers willing to pay something for their flights get to fly and the company doesn’t get completely screwed for the mistake.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

3 Comments

  1. At a guess — those customers with credit card transactions were issuing disputes through their card issuers.

  2. I know you can dispute a credit card charge and the remedy may be the removal of the charge. Can you file a credit card dispute to actually force getting what you made payment for at orignal price?

    Maybe now moot in this case, but I am curious.

  3. Don’t think the credit card companies would ever get into the business of enforcing contracts. You claim you didn’t get what you paid for, the best you can hope for is that the credit card company sides with you and gives you the money back. They aren’t going to send someone to Amazon (for example) to confiscate the item that you claim wasn’t delivered.

    I suspect a lot of people (some admitted so on MP) “bought” dozens or more free tickets, not to fly them but for the flexibility it gives them. If the cost is $0 and you don’t know exactly when you want to fly, why not buy one for every day and cancel/let expire the ones you end up not using. Those are probably the ones Alitalia is eliminating by this compromise. They’d otherwise waste a ton of inventory.

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