Aer Lingus staff booked €5 US flights

Friday 18 April 2008 19.53
Aer Lingus - €5 flights to the US to be honoured
Aer Lingus - €5 flights to the US to be honoured

RTÉ News has learned that a number of Aer Lingus staff availed of the €5 deal offered in error on the airline's website.

The number is thought to be few, but it is understood that friends and family of Aer Lingus staff also bought tickets as word spread.

Aer Lingus Commercial Director Enda Corneille told RTÉ News that any staff who availed of the offer would not be the subject of disciplinary moves.

He said a full investigation into the sequence of events associated with the debacle, including how the company handled itself in the media, will begin next week.

Today Aer Lingus said it would offer economy class seats to all customers who booked €5 flights to the US.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's News at One, Mr Corneille said all customers would now be offered the option of travelling in economy class but not on business class.

He accepted that the airline handled the situation badly.

Aer Lingus blamed a technical fault for Wednesday's error, which saw up to 300 people book business class flights to the US for €5.

Aer Lingus said yesterday it would not compensate customers, only stating that no funds would be deducted from their accounts.

However, the airline now says it believes that some customers genuinely believed that they were making a booking in economy class.

It is contacting passengers that have been affected in order to rebook their travel arrangements.

Aer Lingus says it accepts that its customers were upset and inconvenienced by the error and apologises unreservedly.

The glitch affected customers between 7.30am and 9am on Wednesday, when promotional fares on its transatlantic route were loaded onto the website accidentally.