Canada - Europe OW 13,500 miles

Old Dec 18, 2023, 2:23 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by GVA
Here's an example for you.
From what I can see, SWISS appealed that decision in court and won.

Originally Posted by GVA
Dear Comrade C,

You are a brand new member on Flyertalk, all your posts are limited to this thread and each response is to argue with posters who are less appreciative of Ben's reply.

Are you representing Flying Blue?
I have mostly been a lurker for sometime but my first post was asking if one of the mistake fares to LIL was still available, since even I was considering it at one point, knowing the risks since 1.5k miles is a trivial amount. However I decided to comment on this discussion much more because I have been blown away by the level of entitlement I am seeing that has been going unchallenged. It's sad that you are so delusional that you are going to assume that me calling such behavior out must make me a FB shill (and that you went out of your way to send me a PM accusing of such before saying so in this thread).

So I'll just end my discussion here by once again pointing out that no, of course I am not a shill. I am just someone who is much newer to the hobby who has no elite status with any airlines nor the ability to fund frequent travel, so I see any opportunities to travel in a premium cabin at all as an incredible privilege. At this point I have some trips coming that I got with incredible redemptions using techniques that I learned through reading posts on this forum. I am quite grateful for that, and my thinking is that some of you might have gotten so used to premium travel that you are just taking it for granted. If I was on the receiving end for this, the most I would ever try to ask for would for perhaps to see if FB would refund my miles back as Chase or Amex points, (assuming that was how I obtained the miles to begin with), but would otherwise just move on with my life because deep down I know I have lost absolutely nothing in this exchange but a little bit of my time. So if you guys really want to take this court and think you have any real chance of winning, be my guest. But it doesn't make you all look any less entitled regardless of the outcome, and I think it reflects very badly of this hobby when I see programs like FB frequently offer saver space at substantially lower rates to begin with.
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 2:37 pm
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by Comrade C
I am certainly no legal expert but please enlighten me and provide a single example of someone challenging an airline for cancelling their mistake fare in court and winning. Can you tell me with a straight face of there being any real precedent to what you are saying? What I do know is that for Americans at least the law is now definitely on the side of the airlines for mistake fares, and as you say it's the law of the consumer's country that applies, no? And I am willing to bet that most of the people trying to redeem these tickets (and making a stink about this) are probably Americans.

Though regardless, even if by some miracle this was actually successfully challenged in court, I still can't say I feel sorry for any of you. You and I both know that you and everyone else who is complaining about the outcome most likely suffered practically no financial damages from this. That's why regardless of whatever the laws are I think you are all acting quite entitled if you think you deserve having your bookings reinstated (and therefore a very cheap J seat). Maybe my perspective is different because I am new to this hobby and haven't had the fortune to fly in a premium cabin nearly as many times as you have, but I always try to be grateful for what I can get.


I keep seeing the dynamic pricing card being pulled, and I certainly do think it's a frustrating practice, this is a very poor justification for expecting AF to honor these fares. 1.5k, 5k, or even 13.5k is an absolutely insanely low price for J (or even Y for that matter) from NA to EU. In a time where inflation and devaluations are rampant and demand for travel is high, especially in premium cabins, I don't know how anyone could possibly believe that AF/KLM would consciously release seats at those prices. I am sure deep down most of us knew these were the result of a technical glitch and were trying to exploit that. That's another reason why I am not going to feel sorry for any of you and probably why AF doesn't either.
I did: https://www.canlii.org/en/qc/qccq/do...&resultIndex=1

for passengers resident in QC or who booked their tickets to/from YUL, there is precedent
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 2:40 pm
  #93  
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A short note to remind FT members contributing to this thread to please focus on the issue, not the poster, and to refrain from snide comments.

Kind regards,

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Air France/KLM co-moderator
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 2:40 pm
  #94  
 
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Originally Posted by pascalgr
Did you see that : https://wwws.airfrance.us/informatio...o-cg-airfrance ?
look at article 4.5
the correct tariff is this one - https://image.email.afkl.biz/lib/fe9...ons-tarifs.pdf - not the link provided. Page 25 does talk about “erroneous fares” — but by treating customer classes differently, they fall into very challenging arguments to support.

regardless, clause may well be void per Quebec C.P.A. if purchaser was resident of the province or ticket was to/from YUL.
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 3:00 pm
  #95  
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Originally Posted by Comrade C
From what I can see, SWISS appealed that decision in court and won.


I have mostly been a lurker for sometime but my first post was asking if one of the mistake fares to LIL was still available, since even I was considering it at one point, knowing the risks since 1.5k miles is a trivial amount. However I decided to comment on this discussion much more because I have been blown away by the level of entitlement I am seeing that has been going unchallenged. It's sad that you are so delusional that you are going to assume that me calling such behavior out must make me a FB shill (and that you went out of your way to send me a PM accusing of such before saying so in this thread).

So I'll just end my discussion here by once again pointing out that no, of course I am not a shill. I am just someone who is much newer to the hobby who has no elite status with any airlines nor the ability to fund frequent travel, so I see any opportunities to travel in a premium cabin at all as an incredible privilege. At this point I have some trips coming that I got with incredible redemptions using techniques that I learned through reading posts on this forum. I am quite grateful for that, and my thinking is that some of you might have gotten so used to premium travel that you are just taking it for granted. If I was on the receiving end for this, the most I would ever try to ask for would for perhaps to see if FB would refund my miles back as Chase or Amex points, (assuming that was how I obtained the miles to begin with), but would otherwise just move on with my life because deep down I know I have lost absolutely nothing in this exchange but a little bit of my time. So if you guys really want to take this court and think you have any real chance of winning, be my guest. But it doesn't make you all look any less entitled regardless of the outcome, and I think it reflects very badly of this hobby when I see programs like FB frequently offer saver space at substantially lower rates to begin with.
There was no accusation in a PM sent, I suggest you re-read it. I just said that your posts had a weird pattern but that I hoped you were a legitimate new member and welcomed you to the forum. You chose not to reply to the message in private, so I legitimately believed that you were possibly disguising some affiliation. Your posts seem, whether or not they really are, very much in favour of FB whilst exhibiting pretty good knowledge that a newbie typically doesn't have. I've seen this pattern in previous fare errors also (20 years of them gives you some experience), some new members are often too "engaged" in the discussion.

I don't believe there's been much entitlement that has been shown on this thread compared to others. People threatening lawsuits is part of the typical lifecycle of errors. Airlines often flip-flop back and forth between honouring or voiding tickets. I believe that FB is not being entirely equitable in how they are cancelling these tickets.

Bloggers have also changed the narrative of fare errors for the worse. I don't believe "the community" is at all comparable to 10-15 years ago. That ship has sailed a long time ago.

0 of my FB miles have ever come from Chase/Amex, etc. points, they have all been organic flying or FB credit card spend. I really don't have anything to lose here in terms of asking FB to send points back. Ultimately not flying AF/KL transatlantic is not going to change my life. I will move away from the program based on the reply, it's my own choice based on Ben's reply but not at all based on entitlement like you might suggest.

FB is of course free to do whatever they want, people can challenge them in court or not (though there may be consequences in doing so, which is a shame). Contrary to what you seem to insinuate in your last post, FB is not some sort of charity who is offering promo awards to please members. Other than the "price error" aspect, there's probably a missed PR opportunity here by FB to show-case the program, how AF/KL's products has changed since Ben Smith took over.

Heck, I'm sure even if FB had said sorry, our systems screwed up, here's 50 euros, or 50% of 1 one-way ticket you booked (so say 750 miles to roughly 8/9000 miles), more miles for those with status, which would have cost them very little, people would have said, oh well, at least they did something better luck next time.
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 3:00 pm
  #96  
 
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I'm somewhat indifferent to the cancellation, but this being a points booking brings up an interesting question. What is stopping FlyingBlue or another airline from offering "mistaken" award fares that induce people to transfer what is probably millions of cumulative points into their currency (which Amex has paid FB for), and then cancel those bookings? That leaves a significant number of orphaned miles, a lot of which will probably go unused, and FB benefits significantly from the breakage. Or maybe it now induces people to search for paid AF/KLM flights to add to their miles balance to reach enough points to redeem for a "non-mistake" award - also a benefit to the airlines. Seems there are multiple potential benefits to the airline from this situation, while the customer has zero recourse for their miles which cannot be transferred back to the issuer.

I understand if a cancellation makes all parties whole. But in this situation simply cancelling makes the customer who transferred miles less than whole, and the airline more than whole.
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Last edited by hotelmotel; Dec 18, 2023 at 3:38 pm
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 3:06 pm
  #97  
 
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Originally Posted by pascalgr
Did you see that : https://wwws.airfrance.us/informatio...o-cg-airfrance ?
look at article 4.5
Law is above and terms and conditions of a company and it renders it null an void if not in line with law. And unilateral termination right is violating the consumer protection from Directive 2005/29/EC. You can write anything down, but it does not mean that it is valid. You have to know what applies as law and what are just wet dreams of a corporation - the Article 4.5 definitely is in most cases.

Last edited by MitjaPod; Dec 18, 2023 at 3:14 pm
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 3:06 pm
  #98  
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Originally Posted by pascalgr
Did you see that : https://wwws.airfrance.us/informatio...o-cg-airfrance ?
look at article 4.5
In accordance with the applicable law, the Carrier may cancel any Reservation in case of error of display or technical error which makes the price of the Reservation obviously erroneous or ridiculous.

emphasized is what’s relevant ; contract of carriage is not above the law of the land. In this case, distant contract law (for QC residents) or equivalent contract law for others.

Further, the following admittance says that the ticket issuer / airline had admitted its readiness / willingness to honor the fare in question for a subset of the class (class being all pax who bought the fare in question)

However, we are making an exception for FB Gold, Platinum, and Ultimate members who booked the 13.5k mile fares - in recognition of their loyalty, we will honour the mistake fares for these members.
Law / contract cannot be applied differentially; that’s discrimination. I am fairly sure, by above admittance ; there’s enough grounds for jurisprudence to rule against any argument citing “it’s a mistake and we didn’t knew anything about it”
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 3:23 pm
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey
Hi all,

Unfortunately this deal was too good to be true. Due to a technical glitch affecting some city pairs (primarily French train stations), some of you were able to book fares for as low as 1,500 miles in J. This was an error fare; the true price should have been 37.5k miles which matches what is published for this month's promo rewards and can be found on FB.com.

All the 1,500 mile bookings have already been cancelled, and the 13.5k mile bookings will also soon be cancelled. Your miles and taxes will be refunded, and we will be sending out an email to those affected this week.

However, we are making an exception for FB Gold, Platinum, and Ultimate members who booked the 13.5k mile fares - in recognition of their loyalty, we will honour the mistake fares for these members.

Thanks for your understanding, and of course apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Originally Posted by irishguy28
It seems pretty obvious that this is a commercial gesture - and quite a generous one at that - and a case of sour grapes (you led with the "I'm Silver" declaration).

And no, I have no skin in the game, but it's a very nice gesture for those who benefit from it.

👍
Originally Posted by jugaadkabaap
I think you are missing the point ; FB is escaping from its obligation to honor the ticket by claiming the fare was incorrect / mistake & thereby a valid contract is not established between the pax and the ticketing agency / airline. This argument alone is a stretch for 13500-17K fares as proportionate discount is in proportion to increased pricing (700k+ compared to regular inventory pricing).

Also when they say they will honor the tickets for FB gold / plat etc - they are negating above reasoning.

An entity cannot argue that a contract is “mistake” for certain parties, and the same contract is valid for another subsection.

Either it’s mistake fare for everyone and thereby contract is null and void OR it’s honored for the entire class (everyone who booked tickets). Can’t just pick and choose after contract is established.
Originally Posted by durberville
Treating classes of customers differently when attempting to void a contract for unilateral mistake is risky business!!
FlyingBlue is possibly safe here legally because what it in essence has done is said, "We made a mistake, but will honor it for certain customers because their business is so important to us." If a merchant were to say, "We will honor the mistake for the first 50 customers" or "We'll honor the mistake for any orders placed before 12:00," people probably would not be upset. But as a FB Silver member (I did not book the fare), this definitely leaves a bad taste.

FlyingBlue is opening itself up to legal challenge here and a compelling case could be made against it. EU courts have always given merchants wide leeway to renege on contracts where a clear mistake has been made, but there is no legal challenge I am aware of where the merchant selectively chose to honor the contract. Businesses in these cases generally say, "This price is so clearly incorrect we would never honor it." Courts must weigh the interests of consumers with the interests of businesses. If a price mistake is not so far off from what is normal that a company decides it can honor it with certain customers, then I could see a court agreeing that there is no reason it cannot be honored with everyone else.

I can see both sides of the coin but am mostly surprised that FB is willing to open itself up to this sort of legal challenge. "We decided to honor this fare for the single group of customers most likely to recognize the mistake," does not sound like a great opening argument.
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 3:31 pm
  #100  
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Originally Posted by danielflyer
FlyingBlue is possibly safe here legally because what it in essence has done is said, "We made a mistake, but will honor it for certain customers because their business is so important to us." If a merchant were to say, "We will honor the mistake for the first 50 customers" or "We'll honor the mistake for any orders placed before 12:00," people probably would not be upset.
That would have been completely true if the "mistake" was something like didn't award promotional miles or credited too many miles and reverted it or something like that. Unlike those involving pure reward currencies for which there's limited legalese and precedence, this one involves a commercial carrier ticketing contract,which is governed by a plethora of legalese, rules, consumer protection rights, yada yada. Since it's a ticketing mistake, it's no longer just an internal flying blue loyalty program mistake but a pax vs. airline (AF/KLM) issue.

AF/KLM offered a contract, pax entered into the contract and paid the airline (in miles + cash). Both parties have duty to fulfil the contract and cannot unilaterally exit the contract until and unless either party can prove before the court of law that the contract was invalid to begin with and thereby should be null and void maintaining status quo.

Last edited by jugaadkabaap; Dec 18, 2023 at 3:38 pm
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 3:35 pm
  #101  
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Originally Posted by danielflyer
I can see both sides of the coin but am mostly surprised that FB is willing to open itself up to this sort of legal challenge.
I think, from previous communication, Ben is a good guy and the people around him also. Even though I disagree with what was decided here.

The idea comes from a good place and trying to please a subsection of members. Unfortunately, it is poorly executed and no thought was given to the consequences of discrimination and/or some laws that may be applicable (QC in particular).

I don't think FB would stand a chance in many courts of law based on either discrimination and/or unilateral contract termination based on a "wrong" price (although the "right" price remains difficult to determine) and/or negligence in not having enough safeguards to prevent "erroneous fares" and/or the terms of FB's program not being clear enough about FB reserving the right to cancel the tickets.

As Ben represents Flying Blue, it seems as if Flying Blue's conditions are applicable here and similarly the carrier did not notify us that they were voiding the ticket. The issue is that, unless I'm mistaken, FB's conditions alone do not allow FB to cancel award tickets based on "erroneous" fares.
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 8:03 pm
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by hotelmotel
I'm somewhat indifferent to the cancellation, but this being a points booking brings up an interesting question. What is stopping FlyingBlue or another airline from offering "mistaken" award fares that induce people to transfer what is probably millions of cumulative points into their currency (which Amex has paid FB for), and then cancel those bookings? That leaves a significant number of orphaned miles, a lot of which will probably go unused, and FB benefits significantly from the breakage. Or maybe it now induces people to search for paid AF/KLM flights to add to their miles balance to reach enough points to redeem for a "non-mistake" award - also a benefit to the airlines. Seems there are multiple potential benefits to the airline from this situation, while the customer has zero recourse for their miles which cannot be transferred back to the issuer.

I understand if a cancellation makes all parties whole. But in this situation simply cancelling makes the customer who transferred miles less than whole, and the airline more than whole.
It sounds like salami slicing scheme in Superman III.
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 8:32 pm
  #103  
 
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Ben Lipsey When rules are heavily favored towards an industry, it's hard to give them any sympathy. I'm sure if anyone of us made a error on our booking, customer service would kindly tell us to fluff off.

The amount of people on here praising AF for their generosity is just sad.
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 10:34 pm
  #104  
 
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Reading this is hilarious. Y'all are just salty because you didn't stop to think "hey 13.5k miles in business class is way too good to be trued" and now you think you're owed recourse because of your dumb decision. If you were formerly a Flying Blue member for 20+ years and Platinum, and you still failed to realize how unlikely this is, you deserve to have it cancelled on you.

Both AF/KLM and you can be wrong, they made a mistake with pricing, and you had poor judgement. Always look out for yourself and the bottom line. Yes, it sucks when these things happen, but you're totally delusional if you think they'll honor it somehow because you're crying about taking legal action online.
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Old Dec 18, 2023, 10:44 pm
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Ben Lipsey
Hi all,

Unfortunately this deal was too good to be true. Due to a technical glitch affecting some city pairs (primarily French train stations), some of you were able to book fares for as low as 1,500 miles in J. This was an error fare; the true price should have been 37.5k miles which matches what is published for this month's promo rewards and can be found on FB.com.

All the 1,500 mile bookings have already been cancelled, and the 13.5k mile bookings will also soon be cancelled. Your miles and taxes will be refunded, and we will be sending out an email to those affected this week.

However, we are making an exception for FB Gold, Platinum, and Ultimate members who booked the 13.5k mile fares - in recognition of their loyalty, we will honour the mistake fares for these members.

Thanks for your understanding, and of course apologies for any inconvenience caused.
While I understand and accept that AF would cancel those tickets based on an error fare, I am shocked by the discrimination for FB Gold and above.
I did not buy those awards. For many years I was Gold, until I moved to Asia.
But I find that discrimination unacceptable.
It also opens a pandora box for any litigation.
Either it is an error fare or it is not. Cancelling tickets selectively based on some factor that is irrelevant to the error seems a weird discrimination.
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