Want to find cheap flights to Europe? Look no further than United Airlines. That’s right, that United Airlines.
The carrier is offering what one travel expert is dubbing “apology fares” after coming under fire in recent weeks for several scandals that include forcibly removing and injuring a passenger on an overbooked flight.
“Since the incident on United 3411, there’s been a noticeable drop in United’s fares,” Scott Keyes told Travel + Leisure. Keyes, who called the cheap flights "apology fares" in the interview, is the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights.
In the past two weeks, Keyes has seen round-trip flights to Trinidad and Tobago for $274, a flight that usually costs $550, while fares to Paris were slashed to $433 from $800. Flights to Sweden dropped to $364 round-trip from Boston and $381 from New York. Trips to Mexico City can be found for under $200, more than half of its $500 typical fare, he said.
“I’m not privy to United’s internal numbers, but whatever drop in bookings they were seeing must have scared them enough to slash prices,” Keyes said.
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Here’s a quick rundown of what United Airlines has been making headlines for as of late:
• forcibly removing passenger David Dao from an overbooked flight, causing him to lose two teeth and suffer a concussion and broken nose.
• barring a 10-year-old girl and two young teen girls from a flight because they were wearing leggings while using special tickets for employees and friends and family, which are subject to strict dress codes.
• having a 3-foot giant rabbit named Simon, who was destined to become one of the world’s largest rabbits, die on a flight from London to, of all U.S. airports, Chicago’s O’Hare. Prior to the flight, 10-month-old Simon was “fit as a fiddle,” his breeder said. A United spokesman later said that Simon arrived in Chicago alive, but died in a holding facility for pets while waiting for a connecting flight to his new, Iowa-based owners, who hoped he’d win big at the Iowa State Fair.