On Wednesday November 8th, over a timespan of just two hours, travellers were able to find some very good deals through China Southern Airlines’ app and several ticket booking websites. When looking for a flight departing from the southwest metropolis of Chengdu, consumers were able to find tickets at prices as low as 10, 20 or 30 yuan (about 1.37 to 4.12 dollars).
Reports from Wednesday evening revealed that ticket prices for multiple Chengdu inbound and outbound flights with China Southern Airlines were unusually low, ranging from 10 to 30 yuan (excluding airport construction fees and fuel surcharges). pic.twitter.com/stfzvXL4Fh— Brian yang (@Baiyang102) November 9, 2023
In comparison, a flight from Chengdu to Beijing would normally cost you 400 to 500 yuan (about 55 to 69 dollars), whereas last Wednesday, screenshots from eager travellers which CNN had access to show how they bought tickets for only 10 yuan (1.37 dollars). However, there are still some airport fees and fuel surcharges which have to been taken into account, meaning at least 15 dollars have to be added to the final charge.
The glitch comes at a critical moment, as China Southern Airlines has been implementing cost-reducing measures for a while, thereby receiving a lot of critics from the public. Only just earlier this year, in June, the airline introduced a ‘seat selection payment’, representing up to 50% of the ticket fare, while only about 6% of seats on international flights are totally exempt of the fee and free to select.
It is not clear how many passengers were able to book their ticket during the glitch, nor how much money China Southern Airlines lost due to the error. No matter the final outcome, the airline made a clear statement about the error fares.
“Passengers can use them as normal”, China Southern Airlines said in a public statement. They also stated that the error fares were due to “a system bug”.