New website seeks out 'mistake' bargain airfares

A new search engine promises to reveal those cheap fares that airlines have published in error and you've been longing to stumble across.

CheapFlightsFinder will scour 1200 sources to find those criminally low-priced airfares - typically resulting from a human error at the back end of an airline's website, such as a misplaced decimal point or a currency conversion error.

The site claims it has the potential to shave a further 20 per cent off the cost of a flight as it scans for the fare over a multitude of search engines such as Google Flights and Skyscanner.

It also claims to be able to sniff out time-sensitive travel deals.

For example, the British-based company claims to have found return flights from New York to Paris costing $US346 ($454).

A quick search for flights based from Australia found a cheap flight from Melbourne to JFK, New York, departing in March and returning April priced at $962 with Air China.

As the fare findings can be up to 15 days old, this is plenty of time for the airline to rectify the erroneous price.

So by the time we checked the prices on Air China's website, the price of the return ticket had bounced back to $1447. It was also a 30-hour flight with an overnight stop in Beijing, which is not the fastest or cheapest way to get to New York from Australia.

Further to this, you cannot book flights directly from the website itself. You must go to a third-party booking site or the airline's website to pay for the ticket - provided you find the same cheap ticket first.

CheapFlightsFinder does offer some tips to secure a cheap seat, and although it's still time-consuming to search, your best bet is to not be too fussy about where you're headed, at what dates you want to go.

In fact, it suggests that you choose any destination, and any dates within the next 12 months to find that golden ticket.

Add your email to the search to be updated on any new discounted fares the engine discovers.

Should you find a fare at rock-bottom price, the key is to lock that flight in before the airline twigs a mistake has been made.

And before you splash the cash on hotels for your trip, make sure your seat is secured as some airlines may not honour the fare (in which case they are obliged to refund the money).

See also: Why do mistake fares happen?

See also: The 10 best ways to book a cheap flight