‘The Ethicist’ weighs in on the El Al ticket incident

While eagle-eyed ticket passengers await a response from El Al as to whether the airline will renege on its pledge to honor their under-$500 roundtrip tickets, Moment Magazine’s Sarah Breger had the rather brilliant idea of asking Randy Cohen, former author of The New York Times’ "The Ethicist" column, for advice:
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El Al should offer to honor all those tickets, and the customers should decline the offer.

El Al, like other companies, has a duty to honor the advertised price. If it is a third party mistake, then El Al should seek compensation from that third party that actually made the error…

However, even if El Al offers to make good on the tickets, we are not supposed to exploit someone.

If it sounds like a long shot, I’ve actually encountered one such ‘conscientious decliner.’ An anonymous friend who works in the Israel travel industry posted to Facebook on Tuesday, "I am cancelling my ticket so as not to feel like I am traveling on someone else’s unwilling dime. Those of you who go, please bring me back a mekkupelet bar!"

Readers: How should El Al — and consumers who paid for underpriced tickets — play this? Would you forfeit your ticket?

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‘Fair’ disclosure: I managed to book a ticket during the three or so hours that the mistake fare was posted. No word yet on how I’ll respond …

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