Online travel agency Expedia.com said a glitch last week allowed some travelers to book hotel stays in Japan at stunningly low prices and that only some of these reservations would be honored. Expedia.com posted incorrect prices for two Hilton International hotels in Japan. Some customers reported prices as low as US$2 a night.

The agency blamed the mix-up on an "isolated processing incident" at Hilton. A hotel spokeswoman described it as a "technical glitch" on Hilton's side. Expedia said Friday that Hilton would honor some of these bookings and that other customers would get a US$250 coupon for a package trip to Japan.

The company also said it notified some customers offering to confirm the original booking at the correct price or cancel the booking with a full refund.

Randall Besta, who booked stays for 11 nights in Tokyo and Osaka next year, said that option was unacceptable. The Toronto marketing consultant had already booked flights for himself and a friend to Tokyo. He said he has received confirmation from Hilton saying the rate would be honored but that Expedia told him the rate was incorrect. Besta booked his rooms for US$3.48 a night.

Expedia said that bookings for this month would be honored at the quoted price. But later bookings would be canceled at Hilton's request.

Bill Scannell, who plans to fly with his family to Osaka next year, said Expedia agreed to honor his booking after he called several times to complain. He booked a room for a total of US$46.57. Expedia later told him the correct figure was US$2,079.57.

Source: Reuters