El Al has found an innovative way to minimize the damages created by last week's ticket sales glitch.
Israel's national airline decided to offer lucky reduced rate ticket holders the chance of upgrading their tickets to non-stop tickets for a fee of 75$ each way.
This means that all income from the reduced rate ticket sales will go directly to El Al and it will not have to be shared with El Al's codeshare partners such as American Airlines and Iberia.
Moreover, since the tickets were sold for the winter low-season when the company's planes fly out with empty seats, the mistake may even bring the company additional profits.
Last week a three-hour glitch drastically lowered round-trip airfare between New York and Israel on El Al Airlines created a run on tickets.
At least 5,000 tickets were purchased Monday after El Al posted fares for less than $400, down from an average of $1,600.
The New York Post said news of the bargain fare quickly spread through New York's ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities after an online bargain fare site sent out an alert. Many purchased tickets for members of their large families.
El Al blamed the glitch on a contractor responsible for posting fares and said it would have to decide his whether to honor the tickets.
"Up until the moment the company announced that it would allow customers to upgrade their tickets to direct flights for a fee, all tickets sold (through the glitch) were causing the company heavy losses," said a senior official in the aviation industry.
If El Al honors the tickets and upgrades them to a direct flight, all proceeds go directly to (El Al) with an additional $150 per ticket."