Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 12:09 UK

Glitch sells flights to US for 4

Aircraft cabin
Seats were being sold for 4

A glitch on the website of Irish airline Aer Lingus has enabled passengers to buy business class seats to the United States for 4.

About 100 people snapped up the tickets which normally cost 1,433 each way before the error was spotted.

The airline said it will not honour the tickets, but consumer groups have said passengers should be compensated.

Aer Lingus said the problem was linked to an offer where customers buying a premier class seat got one free.

"The problem was the free seats actually leaked on to the website," an airline spokesman said.

He said that "anyone would have known it was a mistake when they made the bookings".

The airline has written to customers notifying them of the cancellation.

Aer Lingus said money was not deducted from customers' bank accounts.

Dermott Jewell, chief executive of the Consumers' Association of Ireland, told Irish broadcaster RTE that customers should be compensated.

"Customers had a binding contract with Aer Lingus," he said.

"They booked and paid to bind the contract. Realistically Aer Lingus is going to have to do something to abide by the bookings and to help the customers."

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