Cancelled ticket... "mistake fare"

Old Dec 20, 17, 8:07 am
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Cancelled ticket... "mistake fare"

I'm not sure if this is the correct area to post this.

I purchased 4 tickets LAX-LHR for approximately $1500 rt in Le' Premiere. I thought I purchased a promo or flash fare. Now I've read that this was a mistake fare.

After receiving ticket #'s I cancelled flights on BA that I purchased with points. These awards seats are no longer available for the dates I had. There are no seats available for the entire month(s) for either trip.

Now my AF reservations went from "current" to "archived". They still have ticket #'s. I haven't received any communication from AF since my initial purchase m

If these tickets are indeed cancelled I've lost out on my BA award tickets that were First Class. I'm 6'4" and only travel in economy on international flights.

Am I entitled to any compensation if my AF tickets are cancelled?
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Old Dec 20, 17, 8:12 am
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No you are not entitled to any compensation.
It was clearly a mistake fare and (almost) all tickets purchased at that price have rightly been cancelled.

There is a lengthy thread on this fare in the Premium Deals forum.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 8:55 am
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Just as a general reminder, a couple of rules of mistake fare finding and buying:

1. Try not to talk to any person regarding your ticket while status is uncertain and especially before fare is pulled [not your case, just a general rule]
2. Don't make any other arrangements that cannot be cancelled with full refund, i.e. hotels, positioning flights, car rentals
3. Don't change your other plans for the dates in question until you are sure the tickets are good and will stay good - don't book vacation time you won't be able to change, don't cancel other flights or hotels you have for those dates, etc.

In general - never assume your ticket is good, if it seems as a very good deal, even if you didn't knowingly buy a mistake fare. Generally wait until at least a week or two in, then see if any other people manage to succesfully travel. Don't base your expectations on people who manage to travel in the immediately following days, as the airline could simply not have been fast enough to cancel them.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 9:06 am
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Lesson learned... Do not cancel previous purchases or award travel for weeks after purchasing a great fare!

I always book with points for international travel in first class. Now I'm stuck without tickets for previous purchased trips. One trip includes 10 other family members that are flying to Europe from around the world.

Ugh!
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Old Dec 20, 17, 9:24 am
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Not so fast. This was a departure from the US. Those tickets are covered by the DOT post-purchase rule which provides that once tickets are issued, no add/collect may be required in order for them to be honored. However, DOT has issued enforcement Guidance providing that in the case of mistake or error fares, no action will be taken against a carrier so long as it makes the passenger whole for any other arrangements he has made and which cannot be dealt with without penalty.

While OP has not suffered any losses such as non-refundable rooms or tour packages, he has lost the ability ---- because he relied on AF ---- to reinstate his BA tickets. This is a stretch, but it is an argument worth making to AF in aid of an argument that AF ought to reinstate his AF tickets, and to DOT when it most likely does not. This is because the post-purchase rule remains in effect and the decision not to enforce against carriers for mistake fares is merely Guidance.

If communicating with AF, keep it short and sweet, explain exactly what you want, and further than you report it to DOT as a violation of the post-purchase rule if it does not do so within some reasonable time period.

Do not bother with any of this unless you are fully prepared to file the DOT complaint.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by dqdude View Post
I'm not sure if this is the correct area to post this.

I purchased 4 tickets LAX-LHR for approximately $1500 rt in Le' Premiere. I thought I purchased a promo or flash fare. Now I've read that this was a mistake fare.

After receiving ticket #'s I cancelled flights on BA that I purchased with points. These awards seats are no longer available for the dates I had. There are no seats available for the entire month(s) for either trip.

Now my AF reservations went from "current" to "archived". They still have ticket #'s. I haven't received any communication from AF since my initial purchase m

If these tickets are indeed cancelled I've lost out on my BA award tickets that were First Class. I'm 6'4" and only travel in economy on international flights.

Am I entitled to any compensation if my AF tickets are cancelled?
not to sound rude, but why on earth would you cancel award tickets so quickly?? I can understand that maybe a few weeks down the road if these "mistake" fares took, but these tickets have pretty much all been cancelled in less than 24hrs. Is your trip on BA happening within 72 hrs?

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Old Dec 20, 17, 10:32 am
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is there a number of weeks that -if gone by after the purchase of an error fare -
could be considered as „now I am safe“?
(just an estimate???)
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Old Dec 20, 17, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by plucasana View Post
is there a number of weeks that -if gone by after the purchase of an error fare -
could be considered as „now I am safe“?
(just an estimate???)
Absolutely not.

It can happen weeks or months afterwards, or even at check-in if they find one has slipped through the cracks. Or, as Swiss did notoriously a few years ago, downgrade you to Economy from First Class at the gate.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by plucasana View Post
is there a number of weeks that -if gone by after the purchase of an error fare -
could be considered as „now I am safe“?
(just an estimate???)
i doubt there is a definitive answer to that question. To be honest, I told my wife I would be worried up until we were in the seats. What stops AF from just waiting until you are checking in and then they tell you, sorry FC is full we have to put you in economy and we will refund the difference which would be $0. Luckily( or not so luckily) they seem to have cancelled these very quickly.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 1:10 pm
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This is the relevant Guidance issued by DOT. It applies here because this was a departure from the US. While there is no time limit on when a mistake becomes not a mistake, the more time that goes by, the more expenses a passenger is likely to have incurred:

[The carrier] reimburses all consumers who purchased a mistaken fare ticket for any reasonable, actual, and verifiable out-of-pocket expenses that were made in reliance upon the ticket purchase, in addition to refunding the purchase price of the ticket. These expenses include, but are not limited to, non-refundable hotel reservations, destination tour packages or activities, cancellation fees for non-refundable connecting air travel and visa or other international travel fees. The airline may ask the consumer requesting out-of-pocket expenses to provide evidence (i.e. receipts or proof of cancellations) of actual costs incurred by the consumer. In essence, the airline or seller of air transportation is required to make the consumer “whole” by restoring the consumer to the position he or she was in prior to the purchase of the mistaken fare.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 1:55 pm
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Wow. Haven't followed this one, but it looks amazingly stupid on behalf of AF/KL/DL
Instead of cancelling the error-fare tickets and getting into troubles with those DOT regulations, they could have simply downgraded the PAX to Y and just paid a minuscule compensation compared to potential legal responsibility.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by flying_donkeys12 View Post

not to sound rude, but why on earth would you cancel award tickets so quickly?? I can understand that maybe a few weeks down the road if these "mistake" fares took, but these tickets have pretty much all been cancelled in less than 24hrs. Is your trip on BA happening within 72 hrs?

I didn't realize that this was a mistake fare. I have purchased tickets in First for similar prices for international trips. I usually book with miles or points but I often search for cheap fares from my home airport or other airports that easy to fly to from my home. I certainly didn't expect these tickets to get cancelled. I received seat assignments, ordered special meals and received ticket #'s. Why would I expect my tickets to be cancelled when I was able to complete all of these steps? You ask this question as if I am the one that did something wrong. I don't frequent these boards often so I don't know what the protocol is for believing a ticket is really a ticket.

Both trips are far out. One is in May and the other is in August. I suppose I may find award seats in First for the dates selected but that is highly unlikely as this is peak travel season to Europe.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by dqdude View Post
I didn't realize that this was a mistake fare. I have purchased tickets in First for similar prices for international trips. I usually book with miles or points but I often search for cheap fares from my home airport or other airports that easy to fly to from my home. I certainly didn't expect these tickets to get cancelled. I received seat assignments, ordered special meals and received ticket #'s. Why would I expect my tickets to be cancelled when I was able to complete all of these steps? You ask this question as if I am the one that did something wrong. I don't frequent these boards often so I don't know what the protocol is for believing a ticket is really a ticket.

Both trips are far out. One is in May and the other is in August. I suppose I may find award seats in First for the dates selected but that is highly unlikely as this is peak travel season to Europe.

Really, you didn't know that a $1300.00 rt in "La Premier" from LAX to LHR, in a cabin with 4 seats, impossible to upgrading into, was a mistake fare? I find that hard to believe. Just curious, what "similar" RT international prices have you got for that price in F? Did you just happen to stumble on this fare? Sorry you cancelled your other tickets, but you have learned a important lesson regarding the wait and see approach.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by dqdude View Post
I didn't realize that this was a mistake fare. I have purchased tickets in First for similar prices for international trips.
Give me a break. To London or anywhere else in Europe? LOL, sure you have. Taxes and YQ on your BA award tickets are nearly $1,000 per person.

And if we are going to write about Air France's First Class product, can we at least spell it properly? It is La Premiere or more precisely La Première.
It is not La Premier or as you originally wrote Le' Premiere. That typo alone should be grounds for AF to cancel your ticket.
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Old Dec 20, 17, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by chil View Post
Wow. Haven't followed this one, but it looks amazingly stupid on behalf of AF/KL/DL
Instead of cancelling the error-fare tickets and getting into troubles with those DOT regulations, they could have simply downgraded the PAX to Y and just paid a minuscule compensation compared to potential legal responsibility.
No. You have not read the two posts about the DOT rule and its enforcement Guidance.

AF is not going to "get in trouble" in the least. OP may ---- repeat, may ---- have a claim for money if he can't get the award he cancelled in reliance on the AF e-ticket. But, if there is anything crystal clear, there is no violation of the DOT post-purchase rule in cancelling what is self-evidently a mistake fare.

Back before people started writing about error fares, carriers generally honored them. A few people would find a great fare and purchase. The carrier would quickly correct the error and those few people were lucky. Now, with people plastering social media with information about these fares, when carriers find them, there are hundreds if not thousands of "mistakes" and those get cancelled.
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