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Chinese airline to honour US$1.30 flight tickets sold during glitch

A China Southern Airlines Airbus A380-800 takes off from Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, in October 2020. (Loren Elliott/Reuters/FILE)

 A China Southern Airlines Airbus A380-800 takes off from Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, in October 2020. (Loren Elliott/Reuters/FILE)
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Chinese carrier China Southern Airlines said on Thursday it would honour the sale of tickets priced as cheaply as US$1.30 during a two-hour technical glitch on its mobile phone app and some ticket-booking platforms late on Wednesday.

Consumers began reporting on Chinese social media at around 8 p.m. on Wednesday that many flights to and from the southwest metropolis of Chengdu were available at 10, 20 or 30 yuan (US$1.37-US$4.12) on China Southern’s app.

One screenshot circulating online showed a ticket from Chengdu to Beijing priced at only 10 yuan (US$1.37), compared to the normal minimum price of 400 to 500 yuan (about $55 to $69). Other online screenshots indicated the cheap prices were offered for about two hours on the carrier’s app as well as across several ticket-booking platforms, including market leader Trip.com.

On top of that price, buyers were required to pay at least an additional 110 yuan (US$15) in airport fees and fuel surcharges.

"Passengers can use them as normal," Guangzhou-based China Southern said, on the proviso that tickets were already paid for and issued.

Reporting by Sophie Yu and Casey Hall; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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