So Close and Yet So Far: A Currently-Available Mistake Fare I Can’t Quite Buy

Hipmunk is mispricing tickets on Emirates. As reader David H and another reader who asked to be anonymous mentioned to me today, you can pull up all sorts of itineraries using Hipmunk – in business and first class, all over the world – that look like the best deal you’ve ever seen.

Search for New York JFK – Nairobi (via Dubai) and you come up with $115 roundtrip itineraries.

Change to business class and it promises prices of just $831. That’s cheaper than even a good deal in coach.

Unfortunately when you click through from Hipmunk to the Emirates website to make the booking, you’re presented with the ‘real’ price.

So when you ask for an itinerary like:

And you’re presented with all options running just $3.68 roundtrip (!)…

.. it turns out to be a mirage.

Something is happening strangely here. My first thought was a currency conversion error on the Hipmunk side of things, though it would have to be pretty widespread since it’s happening with a bunch of different origins that entail different currencies and only seems to be when pulling in data from Emirates. Strange.

So close, so tempting, and just out of reach as these things sometimes are.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I tried JFK to NB may 20 -28 through Hipmunk and it came up as $159.66, but when booting and it directing through Emirates, the price came to >$1129.

  2. I’m not sure if it means anything but hipmunk is pushing to the EK UK site.

    Hipmink isn’t as reliable as it used to be. it either finds fares that don’t exist or if you find something on ITA it will push yu into a higher fare bucket than what is truly available. It was a great website when it first came .

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