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Old Jul 22, 12, 6:48 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Programs: US Airways Gold Preferred, National Executive, Hilton Gold
Posts: 2,612
Fares higher for Preferreds?

Seems like flights can cost more if you've logged into your Dividend Miles account before searching.

I was just booking a trip on usairways.com, and I originally started to book it without logging into my Dividend Miles account. The price for one flight that I was looking at was $152. Then I started over, logged into my Dividend Miles account and the price for that flight was $203.

Irked, I logged out of Dividend Miles, started over (again), without closing out of the web browser, and the price for the flight was still $203. So then I just started over (again) with a different web browser, picked the flights (and the flight in question was now $152 again), and then after selecting flights, I logged into my Dividend Miles account and was able to keep the $152 price.

What gives?
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Old Jul 22, 12, 7:54 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCommuter View Post
Seems like flights can cost more if you've logged into your Dividend Miles account before searching.

I was just booking a trip on usairways.com, and I originally started to book it without logging into my Dividend Miles account. The price for one flight that I was looking at was $152. Then I started over, logged into my Dividend Miles account and the price for that flight was $203.

Irked, I logged out of Dividend Miles, started over (again), without closing out of the web browser, and the price for the flight was still $203. So then I just started over (again) with a different web browser, picked the flights (and the flight in question was now $152 again), and then after selecting flights, I logged into my Dividend Miles account and was able to keep the $152 price.

What gives?
Quoting Binghamton native Rod Serling:

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you've just crossed over into US Airways IT"
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Old Jul 22, 12, 2:55 pm   #3
 
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I try to let things roll, but almost being charged over $50 more for a flight because I logged into my Dividend Miles account is not cool. How many times have I been overcharged before, I wonder?
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Old Jul 22, 12, 3:47 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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There have been reports like this for Delta and documented as well. The response was that it was an unintended IT glitch. Funny that it is never the other way around: being a loyal customer gets you a discount.
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Old Jul 22, 12, 5:30 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomwithanh View Post
Quoting Binghamton native Rod Serling:

"You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas; you've just crossed over into US Airways IT"
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Old Jul 24, 12, 7:00 am   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I don't think this is a glitch, but rather an intentional move by US Airways and their competitors. If they know you are going to be buying from them then why not raise the price if the decision has already pretty much been made. Not saying I agree, but that seems to be the idea.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 7:57 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by thphilly View Post
I don't think this is a glitch, but rather an intentional move by US Airways and their competitors. If they know you are going to be buying from them then why not raise the price if the decision has already pretty much been made. Not saying I agree, but that seems to be the idea.
Because if they do that, i can simply book my tickets through an OTA and then they will have to pay commission..
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Old Jul 24, 12, 10:33 am   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Has anyone else been able to reproduce this since OP's original posting?

I am used to seeing prices bounce around, and had attributed this to, well, ... prices bouncing around. It had not occurred to me that it might be tied to whether I was logged in or not, and I really appreciate the OP's effort in nailing down what was going on in this instance.

So far, in some fairly unsystematic efforts for some familiar routes, I have not seen this happen, thus my question. I'm curious as to how prevalent this glitch (or policy) is on US's part ....
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Old Jul 24, 12, 11:46 am   #9
 
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That's true. Airlines always think elite members are less price-sensitive than GM.
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Old Jul 25, 12, 3:03 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Nikolaos View Post
Because if they do that, i can simply book my tickets through an OTA and then they will have to pay commission..
Or what would stop you from just logging out, booking the flight at the lower price without your DM number and then readding it after the reservation is ticketed?
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Old Jul 25, 12, 5:42 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomwithanh:19001416

Or what would stop you from just logging out, booking the flight at the lower price without your DM number and then readding it after the reservation is ticketed?
Trust me, if I notice something like this (which I have NOT), I will certainly not use their booking engine again!!
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Old Jul 25, 12, 7:26 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by thomwithanh View Post
Or what would stop you from just logging out, booking the flight at the lower price without your DM number and then readding it after the reservation is ticketed?
True. Please note that I started over with a different browser, did NOT log in to Dividend Miles, searched for flights, clicked on the flights that I wanted (at the lower price) and then logged into Dividend Miles, and was able to keep the lower price- then I paid for the ticket, so my DM number went straight into the reservation when I booked it.
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Old Jul 26, 12, 10:47 am   #13
 
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Maybe I'm naive, but I find it hard to believe that this is happening, for a variety of reasons. First, the "scheme" would probably be uncovered very quickly, and when that happened, it's safe to say that there would be a lot of angry customers, all of whom happen to be the airline's biggest revenue generators. Second, for all the bad publicity and anger this would cause, it would be very easy for the preferred customer to work around this and puchase the lower-priced ticket. And what would the airline do at that point - say, "Whoops, when we gave you that price, we didn't realize you were one of our most FF's. Now that we know, we are tacking on the $10/$25/$50/whatever preferred customer surcharge." Third, in our lawsuit-happy country, would the airline be opening itself to charges of discrimination? Let's just pick one one possible case and say, for instance, an elderly person in a wheelchair (let's make him/her a minority and a veteran, too) needs to fly around the country frequently for medical treatment. How many lawyers would jump to sue on behalf of the poor old guy/gal who is being viciously targeted by the big, bad airline? And then the airline would have to say, "We're sorry. We only intended to target rich 50 year-old men in business suits."
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Old Jul 26, 12, 11:40 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by ksl11 View Post
Maybe I'm naive, but I find it hard to believe that this is happening...Third, in our lawsuit-happy country, would the airline be opening itself to charges of discrimination? Let's just pick one one possible case and say, for instance, an elderly person in a wheelchair (let's make him/her a minority and a veteran, too) needs to fly around the country frequently for medical treatment. How many lawyers would jump to sue on behalf of the poor old guy/gal who is being viciously targeted by the big, bad airline? And then the airline would have to say, "We're sorry. We only intended to target rich 50 year-old men in business suits."
Well, it happened to me for flight 1182, the 2:30pm CLT-LGA flight on July 29.

I'm a lawyer and there is no basis for a lawsuit over this.
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Old Jul 26, 12, 12:02 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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I'm not questioning whether you saw it. I'm just wondering if it can be explained as anything other than a company policy to charge higher fares based on FF status.

To my layman's eyes, it seems like a lot of risk. Granted, I have no way to quantify the reward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCommuter View Post
I'm a lawyer and there is no basis for a lawsuit over this.
When has that ever prevented a lawsuit from being filed?
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