Computer glitch leads to free tickets

2012-10-26 10:05

Alitalia stands to lose tens of thousands of pounds after a computer error allowed internet users to purchase flights for next to nothing.

The Telegraph reports that the airline launched a promotion on its Japanese website last weekend, offering JPY25,000 (R 2754) off selected flights to and from Tokyo and Osaka. However, a technical oversight meant that thousands of customers were able to use the discount on other routes. Some were even able to use it on tickets valued at less than R2754, allowing hundreds of people to secure free flights.

News of the generous glitch spread on social media sites and led to a surge in bookings, prompting Alitalia to scrap the promotion and cancel thousands of tickets bought using the offer.

This caused major uproar among passengers who pointed out that the original terms and conditions did not state that the promotion was limited to flights to and from Japan. 

The airline bowed to the pressure and agreed to return some tickets, stating "Alitalia intends to protect clients who have committed an, albeit minimal, amount with their credit card. We confirm the validity of the transactions requested on the Japanese site with a value greater than one euro . Those clients will soon receive an email with their ticket."

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