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#TBT: The Emotional Stages of a Mistake Fare

#TBT: The Emotional Stages of a Mistake Fare

Happy Throwback Thursday! This week, we’re featuring this FlyerTalk forum gem from 2005 (when paper tickets were still a thing) by Mileage Addict: The Emotional Stages of a Mistake Fare:

1. Discovery

The mistake fare is posted on FlyerTalk. Novices frantically checks how much vacation time they have and if the dates of availability mesh with their schedules. Experienced FlyerTalkers just book it and worry about contacting their spouses or their boss later. Word spreads like wildfire.


2. Excitement

Tickets purchased, confirmation emails received and dates of travel shared with other FlyerTalkers. Discussions of what to see and do and where to stay crop up in other threads. Novices contact the source to change seats or inquire about upgrades. Seasoned FlyerTalkers sit back and enjoy reading the discussion threads.


3. Stress Stage 1

Concern over paper ticket delivery – Novices Frantically check the FedEx website every few hours, constant monitoring of driveway for FedEx truck. Seasoned FlyerTalk veterans sit back and relax.


4. Glee and Happiness

Paper tickets in hand, vacation request submitted, spouses finally informed, hotel reservations made and bragging to friends and co-workers begins. Both novices and experts get very excited.


5. Stress Stage 2

Rumors of fare not being honored crop up like crabgrass at this stage. Discussion threads about the airline and ticketing agency ensue. Many FlyerTalkers begin to worry excessively about whether or not the trip will happen. Novices make non-refundable and financial commitments to their trip. Seasoned FlyerTalkers make mixed drinks (and maybe a sandwich) and are patient.


6. Reality Check

Accurate information is obtained (usually takes place a week to 10 days after mistake fare is published). Confirmed information from the source as to whether or not tickets will be honored.


7a. Pure Joy (Icelandair Style: Fare is Honored)

Lots of happy people. FlyerTalk threads on shared information regarding hotels, restaurants, tours, etc. Jealousy from others sets in. First “FlyerTalk guinea pigs” embark, post confirmation threads that all is OK.


7b Hostile Feelings (Copa Airlines Style: Fare Is Not Honored)

Many angry and disappointed FlyerTalkers. Refunds are issued. Novices have multiple discussion threads of lawsuits and hostile correspondence, FlyerTalk pros mutter “c’est la vie” and look for the next fare mistake.


8a Success (Honored)

The Trip Report thread becomes very active.

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