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Glitch causes United to sell tickets for as little as $2.50

September 12, 2013|By Hugo Martin
  • A computer glitch led to sales of United Airlines tickets for as little as $2.50.
A computer glitch led to sales of United Airlines tickets for as little as… (Los Angeles Times )

A round-trip ticket from New York to Houston sold Thursday for $5 on the United Airlines booking system.

The sale was one of an unknown number of ticket sold after a computer glitch at one of the nation's largest airlines began to spit out ultra-low fares for about two hours.

How low? How about $2.50 for a flight from Washington, D.C., to Austin, Texas?

United Airlines officials briefly shut down the online reservation system before announcing that the problem had been fixed by early afternoon.

An airline spokeswoman said the carrier had yet to decide whether it would honor the super-low fares. But fliers who bought the ultra-cheap tickets already were pressing United through its Twitter page to make good on the deals.

"Not sure why so cheap but I hope u honor price," Craig Bean wrote in a tweet to United after buying two tickets from Washington to Austin for $7.50.

Computer problems last August and November temporarily grounded hundreds of United flights across the country.

The problems may have started when United merged its reservation system with that of Continental Airlines starting in 2010, according to industry experts.

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