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Can I keep those Crazy Cheap Tickets to Israel? [By: Male; Age 13; New Jersey]

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September, 2012

cheap tickets to Israel EL AL 757 4X-EBV

EL AL 757 4X-EBV (Photo credit: caribb)

This past summer, ELAL, Israel’s main airline, suffered an unfortunate mistake. An outside ticketing company that does their online marketing priced tickets on a website for approximately $350. Around 5,000 were sold at this price, causing ELAL to lose a tremendous amount of money. Once the mistake was discovered, all the tickets had already been sold. ELAL decided to honor all the ticket purchases, despite their loss (or by law they may have been required to honor them). The question is…

IS IT RIGHT TO KEEP THESE CHEAP TICKETS TO ISRAEL, OR SHOULD YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT BACK?

In a perfect world, all 5,000 cheap tickets to Israel would realize that ELAL was not even at fault for this mistake, and therefore, they would return the cheap tickets and pay full price. But do you have to (or should you) give them back, even if ELAL honored the purchase?

In my opinion, you do not have to return the cheap tickets to Israel, because life is about mistakes, so ELAL has to deal with this situation. Another reason is because you might have already made various plans in regard to your upcoming trip, such as a tour guide, hotel reservations, etc., so it would be unfair to you to have to cancel all your plans and excitement about your trip.

HOWEVER, if you have the money to pay full price, and didn’t already make plans, I think it be the right thing to do to pay full price.

I am only defending the buyer of the ticket in this case, IF at the time that they bought the tickets, they had no clue that it was a mistake on the pricing, and thought it was just a sale. If in another case where ELAL caught their mistake immediately, and requested that no one buy the tickets, until they fix the pricing, but many people did buy them I would be on ELAL’s side of the debate.

Another question…

SAY THIS HAPPENED TO YOUR BUSINESS. WOULD YOU WANT THE CUSTOMERS TO DO THE RIGHT THING, AND WOULD YOU EXPECT THEM TO DO THE RIGHT THING?

If this happened to me, I would hope that the customers would return the mistake offer, and pay the correct price. However I would not expect them to. If it was a small amount of money that I lost from the mistake, I probably wouldn’t even make a big deal and bother the customers to pay the correct price. But if my loss was substantial, I would really push my customers to pay the correct price.

Nowadays though, there are so many dishonest and greedy people, that I’m not sure if you can ever hope to get your money back. Maybe some people would realize what’s right, and pay you back, but the majority probably won’t.

If you are ever in this situation, just think what you would want if this happened to you, and base your decision on that.