Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums >
Reload this Page >

Miles&Points

Airlines and Mileage Programs

British Airways | Executive Club

Misleading and Deceptive Redemption Price Quotes

Misleading and Deceptive Redemption Price Quotes

Old Jan 30, 22, 9:13 am
  #31  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Outside of the Asylum
Programs: 1K, *G for "life", Global Entry, Hertz PC, and my wallet
Posts: 19,448
In this day and age it is quite medieval to have this sort of situation.
David_Doyle and HMPS like this.
Silver Fox is offline  
Old Jan 30, 22, 9:43 am
  #32  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 25,402
Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
This will not work. Once you have paid you have accepted the revised price/offer.
It would be risky, but it's worked at least once before.

If you click on the link provided by cauchy in Post #13, and then further click on the PDF of the full order issued in the Edelman case, you'll see that BA actually asserted that it had refunded the difference between an initial quote and a final quote in a prior, unrelated case.
​​​​​​

Last edited by guv1976; Jan 30, 22 at 10:41 am
guv1976 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 22, 12:34 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: US Air, UA BA LH AI DELTA MARRIOTT CHOICE SGP
Posts: 9,869
Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
Why is this so hard for them to get right? Is the pricing that dynamic, or subject to change? I've never had any sort of variations like this with any other airline I have booked with so why is this a "well-known" peculiarity that they seem unable to fix?
+1
In these "pro consumer" days indeed this is a mystery. This can be stopped easily with US pax if they write to their State Consumer Watchdog and or Secretary of State? In time to come BA will see lesser & lesser of people who are free to choose the airline they want to fly. Let's hope the new CEO will get this fixed and people like us with a stash of avios start spending them.
HMPS is offline  
Old Jan 30, 22, 12:48 pm
  #34  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 25,402
Originally Posted by HMPS View Post
+1
In these "pro consumer" days indeed this is a mystery. This can be stopped easily with US pax if they write to their State Consumer Watchdog and or Secretary of State?
In the U.S., aviation consumer protection is handled primarily through the Federal government's Department of Transportation, which has already fined BA once for this type of online conduct. See Post #13, upthread.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 22, 1:21 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: US Air, UA BA LH AI DELTA MARRIOTT CHOICE SGP
Posts: 9,869
Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
In the U.S., aviation consumer protection is handled primarily through the Federal government's Department of Transportation, which has already fined BA once for this type of online conduct. See Post #13, upthread.
Thank you.
However you would be surprised how many agencies and City Councils / staff would like to get involved when it comes to advertising and pricing. I have seen the Business Licensing Dept of a small ( pop 38000) town get involved. Smart money says not to fight with City Hall. So a CC would always help. YMMV.

Last edited by HMPS; Jan 30, 22 at 3:47 pm Reason: MISSPELLED
HMPS is offline  
Old Jan 30, 22, 1:41 pm
  #36  
1P
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: LAX and LHR. UA lifetime Gold 1.9MM 1K , HHonors Gold, Avis Preferred
Posts: 3,425
Originally Posted by fluffymitten View Post
It does have the feel of a bait and switch type tactic.

If the price on the first page is the base fare without taxes, etc. what information are they missing at that point which prevents them from supplying a more accurate figure?
+1. Any airline that says "You will see exact cost after you click 'Continue'" needs its a*se kicking. Hard.
1P is offline  
Old Jan 30, 22, 3:52 pm
  #37  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 25,402
Originally Posted by HMPS View Post
Thank you.
However you would be surprised how many agencies and City Councils / staff would like to get involved when it comes to advertising and pricing. I have seen the Business Licensing Dept of a small ( pop 3800) town get involved. Smart money says not to fight with City Hall. So a CC would always help. YMMV.
There is no doubt that bad press/pressure from local officials might have some effect on bad actors engaged in commerce. But in the U.S., state and local authorities are pre-empted by Federal law from regulating airfares. And a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled 30 years ago that that also precludes a state or local government from enforcing regulations regarding advertising of airfares. So for legal enforcement of airfare advertising regulations, one must look to the Federal government. For public shaming, local governments -- and consumer-protection watchdogs in the media -- can certainly be useful.

Here's a link to a Justice Scalia's majority opinion in the Supreme Court case, Morales vs. Trans World Airlines:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-1604.ZO.html
guv1976 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 22, 4:19 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: US Air, UA BA LH AI DELTA MARRIOTT CHOICE SGP
Posts: 9,869
Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
There is no doubt that bad press/pressure from local officials might have some effect on bad actors engaged in commerce. But in the U.S., state and local authorities are pre-empted by Federal law from regulating airfares. And a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled 30 years ago that that also precludes a state or local government from enforcing regulations regarding advertising of airfares. So for legal enforcement of airfare advertising regulations, one must look to the Federal government. For public shaming, local governments -- and consumer-protection watchdogs in the media -- can certainly be useful.

Here's a link to a Justice Scalia's majority opinion in the Supreme Court case, Morales vs. Trans World Airlines:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-1604.ZO.html
I will defer to your legal knowledge.
But I have seen parallels of a small municipality squeeze a business . We know the business can win the battle but lose the war in the long run. Here if one writes to the City of Chicago Govt. about such practices by an airline out of O'Hare or Midway airports, it will in all probability come back & bite the airline. Best be above legal/ ethical standards at all times.
HMPS is offline  
Old Jan 31, 22, 1:16 am
  #39  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Programs: BAEC Gold / OWE, Volare Executive / Skyteam Elite+
Posts: 612
Originally Posted by 1P View Post
+1. Any airline that says "You will see exact cost after you click 'Continue'" needs its a*se kicking. Hard.
without suggesting in any way this is ok or right, I do presume this would be one line of defence that BA could deploy - "it clearly states click continue for accurate pricing, ergo is evidently an initial/rough estimate". Not sure if that language was added after the case mentioned above?
bafan likes this.
drwook is offline  
Old Jan 31, 22, 2:04 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 592
I dont understand what the problem is? You have neither been misled or deceived. The website clearly tells you the price showing may not be the final price and the actual final price is clearly displayed on the next page.
bafan likes this.
Newly Wed is offline  
Old Jan 31, 22, 2:15 am
  #41  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Manchester
Programs: VA (Plat), QR (OWE), BAEC (Blue), HH (Diamond)
Posts: 157
Originally Posted by Newly Wed View Post
I don’t understand what the problem is? You have neither been misled or deceived. The website clearly tells you the price showing may not be the final price and the actual final price is clearly displayed on the next page.
I don't know how you can contest it doesn't mislead someone.

Imagine walking into car dealership, and enquiring the price of a shiny new model. The dealer quotes you a figure of $30,000 inc all taxes and fees, but says he just has to check in the back to make sure the price is exact. When he returns he says the price is $60,000. For a period of time - how ever long it takes that person to get the exact price, they're being misled and deceived. Within that period of time people may make decisions they otherwise would not have made if offered a precise price, or no price at all at the first stage.

I'm not learned enough to comment too much on the use of the word "exact" but it's not one I can recall seeing an abundance of use of in contracts etc. As such I'm not sure if there's parameters of what should define exact vs inexact.

I also don't think it's reasonable to expect the difference between an inexact price and an exact price to be 100%.. Why define the inexact price to the penny/cent if it's out by as much as 100%
Colesmore is offline  
Old Jan 31, 22, 2:34 am
  #42  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 56,658
Originally Posted by drwook View Post
without suggesting in any way this is ok or right, I do presume this would be one line of defence that BA could deploy - "it clearly states click continue for accurate pricing, ergo is evidently an initial/rough estimate". Not sure if that language was added after the case mentioned above?
My recollection was that the statement was added after the DOT ruling mentioned above. The format previously was slightly different but in essence there was a flight selection screen with "indicative" pricing and then a further screen which gave the precise quote. BA's argument with this case was that there was some local data processing issue specific to the case, which was fixed 6 days after the incident referred to in the complaint. However it still remains the case that the first quote shown should be accurate under the DOT's rules otherwise it may be deemed unfair and deceptive. I giess BA would say the second screen is in fact the first quote, and the message on the first screen indicates the need to pass to that second screen.
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Old Jan 31, 22, 2:47 am
  #43  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: London
Programs: Mucci (Scirocco Sash), BAEC Gold plus various other pleb level air and hotel programmes
Posts: 804
This is really quite poor isn't it - and sure, while the customer is not committed to completing a purchase until the "second final" screen as noted above, that such a basic failure in process is tolerated really speaks volumes for the airline's ability and desire to get things right (and as an aside, as someone who works in a large, old business in another sector I know that fixing the ancient IT that modern consumer websites sit on is mind-bogglingly complex and expensive - but still)

BA is my main airline and I find more positives than negatives, but stuff like this really has me rolling my eyes
daftboy is offline  
Old Jan 31, 22, 4:46 am
  #44  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club, Marriott Bonvoy
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Englandshire
Programs: SPG LT Plat, BA G, BD*LG, MG Blue+ ...
Posts: 14,875
Originally Posted by Newly Wed View Post
I don’t understand what the problem is? You have neither been misled or deceived. The website clearly tells you the price showing may not be the final price and the actual final price is clearly displayed on the next page.
The website is not clear and unambiguous. The wording "You will see exact cost after you click 'Continue'" implies, by common convention, that the price displayed is approximately right, but may be refined later on. If the price is subsequently changed to something else that is materially different (and higher), then there is a good case to say this is misleading.
Silver Fox, HMPS and cauchy like this.
Oxon Flyer is offline  
Old Jan 31, 22, 8:17 am
  #45  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Argentina
Posts: 39,368
Yes it's all a bit sloppy. Wouldn't be so bad if the final cost always worked out cheaper than the previous one shown right enough.
EDIwanderer likes this.
HIDDY is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread