You know the old saying, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Just such a deal — resulting from a computer error — actually worked out for some Hawaiian Airlines travelers over the last couple days.  

Now, though, the mistakenly cheap fares are over.

A computer coding error at Hawaiian Airlines led to an online flood of ticket sales Monday.

It looked like flights could be purchased for zero HawaiianMiles, with customers paying only the taxes on the fares.

Word spread like wildfire through families, friends and social media.

Over a two-hour period — some 1,300 tickets were issued by the airline — and Mike Wong of Windward Oahu was among the buyers.

“And then we received the confirmation, confirmation email, the credit cards were everybody’s credit cards were charged.”

Some who got glitchy tickets did get their flights — and a spokesman says tickets for travel through tomorrow are being honored.
Wong says, “That being said, I think the people who did make more reservations, well if you honored theirs, shouldn’t you honor everyone’s already?”

The U.S. Department of Transportation used to require airlines to honor mistaken fares, but now — as long as the airline shows that the posted fare was a mistake and refunds customers’ money, airlines don’t have to honor such tickets.

Hawaiian Airlines reserves the right to cancel tickets issued with an incorrect fare due to a failure or mistake. Other airlines have their own policies. 

In addition to refunds — Hawaiian Airlines issued an apology and offered each account holder 10,000 HawaiianMiles to compensate for inconvenience and disappointment.

If the disappointment remains, Roseann Freitas, marketplace manager of the Better Business Bureau in Hawaii, says there is something else they can do.

“What they can do, is they could file a complaint with BBB and that would open a dialog between them and Hawaiian Airlines. So that, to help to resolve the issue.”

Consumer complaints can be taken to mediation or arbitration through the bureau, which you can contact online, here.