Heartbreak Over Hong Kong

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By now you may have heard of United’s mistake fare over the weekend — first class award tickets routed through Hong Kong were pricing at 4 miles + taxes. (A mistake fare is when a ticket is unintentionally priced far below the intended price, usually due to leaving off a few zeros or inputting the wrong currency)

I grabbed two sets of tickets, including one at the end of the year for Jeanne and I to actually SEE the harbor and grab some great Portugese food in Macau.
Foggy Hong Kong Harbor in February

(Foggy Hong Kong in February)

There was only a slight chance it woould be honored but I was hoping, and as Monday went on and nothing was heard, I allowed myself to get excited. Almost harking back to the days when I was 10 and would submit my entries into the Publisher’s Clearinghouse and dream about how I would spend that $333,000 a year in winnings. Only to come crashing down a few hours later when they issued this statement on the travel forums. United not honoring 4 mile tickets to Hong Kong

United doesn’t owe anyone the fabulous 4 mile tickets they might have booked. It was showing the right number of miles under the itemized list of charges, it was a purchased ticket (tax doesn’t count), etc, etc. But I long for the good ole days when mistake deals happened more frequently and were honored.

Some of my favorites I’ve taken advantage of…

Alitalia biz class $33 fare Toronto to Cyprus

2006 $33 + tax biz class fare on Alitalia from Toronto to Cyprus with unlimted stopovers in Italy.

 North Island New Zealand United $1100 biz class mistake fare

2007 $1,100 + tax business class fare on United from Los Angeles to New Zealand,
the #1 place I most wanted to see.

Hilton Moorea Overwater Bunaglow mistake rate cpf

2009 Hilton Moorea overwater bungalow that went for 1/10th of the intended rate
— $140 a night including breakfast and dinner.


I would love to add Hong Kong to my list of favorites. Here’s hoping my itinerary somehow falls through the cracks for follow up 🙂


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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.


  1. Frequent Flyer University

    July 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Wow, that is awesome. I started getting into these mistake fares in 2009, but I had no idea about some of the old ones. All 3 of your trips sound awesome. The best ones I did was the Expedia Canada free trip in November 2010 and the Delta $287 trip to Spain in March 2011. I was really hoping that this Hong Kong one would come through.

  2. rick anderson

    July 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    You guys are terrific. Great “heartbreak” article.

  3. Pingback: Heartbreak & Now Indignation Over Hong Kong

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