New York flight rush after bargain fare glitch

A three-hour glitch that drastically lowered round-trip airfares between New York and Israel on El Al Airlines has created a run on tickets.

At least 5000 tickets were purchased on Tuesday after El Al posted fares for less than $US400 ($A380), down from an average of $1600.

The New York Post says news of the bargain fare quickly spread through New York's Orthodox Jewish communities after an online bargain fare site sent out an alert.

Many purchased tickets for members of their large families.

El Al blames the glitch on a contractor responsible for posting fares.

It says it will decide this week whether to honour the tickets.