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[PREM FARE GONE] UA: NCL-EWR 600 DKK (mistaken fare) DOT ruled; see wiki for link

Old Feb 11, 2015, 11:49 am
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Last edit by: drewguy
If you've never gone through this process read this before posting!
Note: Please consider that with high probability, United is monitoring this thread, so please pay attention on what you post!

DOT Investigation UpdatesNews Media Updates:

-------

According to USA Today, Ben Mutzabaugh:
United is voiding the bookings of several thousand individuals who were attempting to take advantage of an error a third-party software provider made when it applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares. Most of these bookings were for travel originating in the United Kingdom, and the level of bookings made with Danish Kroner as the local currency was significantly higher than normal during the limited period that customers made these bookings.
Note that United has also accidentally cancelled "legitimate" tickets paid for in USD, purchased in USD from LHR... Please check your other tickets if purchased today to ensure they were not unilaterally cancelled.

However, there is no chance at all that you can have your tickets re-instated if you complain to DOT on the basis of DOT rule 399.88:
399.88 Prohibition on post-purchase price increase.

(a) It is an unfair and deceptive practice within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 41712 for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, or of a tour (i.e., a combination of air transportation and ground or cruise accommodations), or tour component (e.g., a hotel stay) that includes scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation, tour or tour component to a consumer, including but not limited to an increase in the price of the seat, an increase in the price for the carriage of passenger baggage, or an increase in an applicable fuel surcharge, after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of an increase in a government-imposed tax or fee. A purchase is deemed to have occurred when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer.
Form for filing DOT complaint. File complaint as soon as your ticket is cancelled.

Link to PDF of enforcement bodies for European customers affected. File complaint as soon as your ticket is cancelled.


Tips for DOT Complaint:
  • File on DOT for every ticket number affected.
  • If you have one reservation with four people traveling (four tickets) file 4 DOT complaints, one per ticket.
  • If you have separate reservations, file a DOT complaint for each.
  • The DOT complaint website may take several minutes to load, depending on demand.
  • When you go to upload a file, be careful as it will reset all your radio buttons. So, if you want a copy of the complaint, make sure you double check that "Yes" is still selected before submitting, especially if you upload a file.

Template For Complaint:
United has unilaterally cancelled my ticket without my consent.

Facts:
1. The ticket was ticketed (had a ticket number).
2. I received a confirmation number, ticket number, and emails stating both
3. The ticket was paid for and my credit card charged.

United must reinstate the ticket within its original cabin. This trip is for travel TO the United States.

At no time during the booking process was any other fare than the Danish Krone equivalent displayed. As a reasonable, prudent consumer, I believed I was paying the price displayed to me on the website. United never sent or displayed the equivalent fare in any other currency.

Trip Details
Ticket #: 016XXXXXXXXXX
PNR: XXXXXX
Routing: LHR-EWR-LAX-HNL

Attachments: Attached is a document showing the ticket, routing, and providing proof that the reservation was ticketed.

Filename: Cancelled - UA Reservation - LHR-EWR-LAX-HNL - XXXXXX - 016XXXXXXXXXX.pdf

+-------------------------------------------------------+
| Relevant Law |
| http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/399.88 |
+-------------------------------------------------------+
399.88 Prohibition on post-purchase price increase.

(a) It is an unfair and deceptive practice within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 41712 for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, or of a tour (i.e., a combination of air transportation and ground or cruise accommodations), or tour component (e.g., a hotel stay) that includes scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation, tour or tour component to a consumer, including but not limited to an increase in the price of the seat, an increase in the price for the carriage of passenger baggage, or an increase in an applicable fuel surcharge, after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of an increase in a government-imposed tax or fee. A purchase is deemed to have occurred when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer.

+-------------------------------------------------------+
| Relevant FAQ |
| http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/EAPP_2_FAQ.pdf |
+-------------------------------------------------------+
Does the prohibition on post-purchase price increases in section 399.88(a) apply in the situation where a carrier mistakenly offers an airfare due to a computer problem or human error and a consumer purchases the ticket at that fare before the carrier is able to fix the mistake?

Section 399.88(a) states that it is an unfair and deceptive practice for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to, or from the United States, or of a tour or tour component that includes scheduled air transportation within, to, or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation to a consumer after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of a government-imposed tax or fee and only if the passenger is advised of a possible increase before purchasing a ticket. A purchase occurs when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer. Therefore, if a consumer purchases a fare and that consumer receives confirmation (such as a confirmation email and/or the purchase appears on their credit card statement or online account summary) of their purchase, then the seller of air transportation cannot increase the price of that air transportation to that consumer, even when the fare is a mistake.
-----
Tips for retrieving your ticket number:
  1. paste(right click copy link location first) following link into your web browser
  2. change XXXXXX next to COPNR= for your reservation number and LASTNAME next to LN= for you SURNAME
  3. go to the webpage address you have just created

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/app...NRCD=2/11/2015


Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
R E L A X

Breathe deep.

Congrats on all who got in.

Now comes the fun part.

1. Discovery - mistake fare is posted on FT. Novices frantically checks how much vacation time they have and if the dates of availability mesh with their schedules. Experienced FTers just book it and worry about contacting spouses or their boss later. Word spreads like wildfire.

2. Excitement - Tickets purchased, confirmation emails received and dates of travel shared with other FTers. Discussions of what to see and do and where to stay crop up in other threads. Novices contact source to change seats or inquire about upgrades, Seasoned FTers sit back and enjoy reading the discussion threads.

3. Stress Stage 1 - Concern over paper ticket delivery - Novices Frantically check otheFedEx website every few hours, constant monitoring of driveway for FedEx truck. Seasoned FT veterans sit back and relax.

4. Glee and happiness - Paper tickets in hand, vacation request submitted, spouses finally informed, hotel reservations made and bragging to friends and co-workers begins. Both novices and experts get very excited.

5. Stress Stage 2 - Rumors of fare not being honored, discussion threads about the airline and ticketing agency ensue. Rumors crop up like crabgrass at this stage. Many FTers begin to worry excessively about whether or not the trip will happen. Novices make non-refundable and financial committments to their trip. Seasoned FTers make mixed drinks (and maybe a sandwich) and is patient.

6. Reality Check - Accurate information is obtained - usually takes place a week to 10 days after mistake fare is published. Confirmed information from the source as to whether or not tickets will be honored.

7a. Pure Joy (Icelandair style- Fare is Honored) - Lots of happy people, FT threads on shared information regarding hotels, restaurants, tours, etc. Jealousy from others sets in. First "FT guinea pigs" embark, post confirmation threads that all is ok.


7b Hostile Feelings (Copa Airlines Style - fare is not honored) - Many angry and disappointed FTers. Refunds are issued. Novices have multiple discussion threads of lawsuits and hostile correspondence, FT pros mutter "c'est la vie" and look for the next fare mistake.

8a Success (Honored) - Trip Report thread becomes very active


Freedom of Information Act Request
File #2015-147, Office of the Secretary of Transportation - Receipt acknowledged 3/13/15

http://www.dot.gov/individuals/foia/office-secretary-foia-information

Relevant excerpt from my request on 2/24/15. There no need for multiple requests for the same thing, though feel free to request more or different information obviously. I'll post any updates as I get them.

"Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S. C. subsection 552, I am requesting access to any and all records of correspondence, including electronic, between anyone working for, or on the behalf of, United Airlines and its subsidiaries, and with anyone working for, or on the behalf of, the Department of Transportation; specifically this would include only the date range beginning on February 11th, 2015 through and including February 24th, 2015.

In addition, I am requesting access to any and all internal records and correspondence in relation to coming to the decision made on February 23rd, 2015 regarding the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings Determination Regarding United Airlines Mistaken Fare, with the exception of any of the consumer submitted complaints via phone, email, website, or letter. Specifically, this would be any records beginning on February 11th, 2015 through and including February 24th, 2015."
Print Wikipost

[PREM FARE GONE] UA: NCL-EWR 600 DKK (mistaken fare) DOT ruled; see wiki for link

Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:45 pm
  #1591  
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Originally Posted by konems
"United is voiding the bookings of several thousand individuals who were attempting to take advantage of an error a third-party software provider made when it applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares. Most of these bookings were for travel originating in the United Kingdom, and the level of bookings made with Danish Kroner as the local currency was significantly higher than normal during the limited period that customers made these bookings."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...t-68/23234223/
Notice UA did not say it is voiding all the ticketed bookings?
GUWonder is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:46 pm
  #1592  
 
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Originally Posted by sonofzeus
Link to the DOT claim form would helpful.
http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/air-t...t-comment-form

I'm not exactly sure what to write but will be keeping a close eye on this thread for tips.
abari is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:47 pm
  #1593  
 
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Dear United -

I appreciate you offering such a great deal on business and first class fares. Unfortunately others, like myself, were not able to book for the receipted amount and it would be discriminatory to allow them to travel at that rate and not me. I am young and lazy and didn't wake up in time to book this fare quickly enough this morning since I stayed up late World of Warcraft.

I am in hopes you will change your mind and make an offer to those that are being shortchanged and could not book the ticket in time. Compromise usually provides a much better outcome than having this dragged through Flyertalk and the blogs, particularly based on other recent UA issues that did not show UA in a favorable light with consumers.
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:48 pm
  #1594  
 
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Yep, no need to contact DoT yet unless your ticket has been cancelled.
They have my email and phone number, I'm waiting fat dumb and happy until they call me about this.
I expect they are lawyering up at the moment to come up with a statement.
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:49 pm
  #1595  
 
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Bad thing that United will probably bring: H) UA reserves the right to cancel bookings and/or reservations which it deems abusive, illogical, fictitious, or which are
booked and/or reserved with no intention of flying without notice to the passenger.

http://www.united.com/web/format/pdf...f_Carriage.pdf page 10
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:50 pm
  #1596  
 
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But, unfortunately for fliers who were lucky enough to snag one of those fares, it appears as though United will not honor them.

In a statement to Today in the Sky, United says:

"United is voiding the bookings of several thousand individuals who were attempting to take advantage of an error a third-party software provider made when it applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares. Most of these bookings were for travel originating in the United Kingdom, and the level of bookings made with Danish Kroner as the local currency was significantly higher than normal during the limited period that customers made these bookings."
http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...t-68/23234223/

And now it gets interesting. Someone have the RGN form DOT complaint handy?
onfo is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:50 pm
  #1597  
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Just curious.. what happens to FareLock after the cancellation occurs?
Do those automatically get nixed?
izzik is offline  
Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:50 pm
  #1598  
 
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Originally Posted by vforni
If United does decide to cancel the tickets..I believe:

-It will weed out those not too serious or educated about the DOT rulings (blog readers?)
-Those who do file DOT complaints will get their tickets honored.

Based on the wording of the DOT ruling, and my past experience with similar mistake fares and complaints (RGN was indeed quite similar), I expect those who do fight to fly, will be able to fly.

Just my opinion.
Well, it's not exactly the same. They forwarded the correct fares to a third-party company. I assume they are pretty much covered in front of any DOT ruling in case they deny to honor the tickets.
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:51 pm
  #1599  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Notice UA did not say it is voiding all the ticketed bookings?
Indeed.

I think I'm ready to go make a nice mixed drink and a sandwich while this plays out...
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:51 pm
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The first thing they should do is cancel all flights on Partner metal, then cancel all flights that are not to the US. Then they should allow all United Metal flights ending in the US
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Karlson
Bad thing that United will probably bring: H) UA reserves the right to cancel bookings and/or reservations which it deems abusive, illogical, fictitious, or which are
booked and/or reserved with no intention of flying without notice to the passenger.

http://www.united.com/web/format/pdf...f_Carriage.pdf page 10
Why are these abusive, illogical, fictitious or reserved w/o intent to fly?

That clause is for silly nested bookings, obvious open jaw/hidden city/tag-on bookings, not a problem with their currency servers.

Unless someone booked 10 back to back trips, that could be seen as abusive. I actually have to travel on these dates that I have booked, there is nothing abusive, illogical or fictitious about them.
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:51 pm
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anyone have good popcorn recipes?
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:52 pm
  #1603  
 
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For now I will wait tomorrow afternoon when I will do the online check-in!

So far:

"This reservation has been ticketed and confirmed." and I have all my seats reserved as well.

Note: I have business class between the uk-us and "first" and eco in us.
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Karlson
Bad thing that United will probably bring: H) UA reserves the right to cancel bookings and/or reservations which it deems abusive, illogical, fictitious, or which are
booked and/or reserved with no intention of flying without notice to the passenger.

http://www.united.com/web/format/pdf...f_Carriage.pdf page 10
Big difference between airline policy and the law
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Old Feb 11, 2015, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Dan98
Well, it's not exactly the same. They forwarded the correct fares to a third-party company. I assume they are pretty much covered in front of any DOT ruling in case they deny to honor the tickets.
I don't believe this to be the case. We do not know anything about who posts what fares where, nor are we in any sort of contract with that information provider.

If I buy a gallon of milk, but the milk provider has told the wrong price to the supermarket, is it my or the supermarkets problem?
dera is offline  

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