Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Mileage Run Deals > Mileage Run Discussion
Reload this Page >

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

Old Feb 11, 15, 11:49 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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, 15, 4:10 pm
  #1636  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,309
I'm going to post a one star review on Yelp about United.

Is Yelp in Denmark yet?
Jesperss is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:10 pm
  #1637  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DEN
Programs: AS MVP75K, UA Gold
Posts: 4,037
Originally Posted by tangel
Is there really any reason to fight with the DOT over this? It's an obvious abuse and no one should be surprised at the cancellations. I don't think either side can claim it was an innocent mistake.
I agree. I expected them to void the tickets. the way I look at these instances, where we here at FT KNOW for a fact that it is a mistake. if UA honors it (like in 2013), great. if they void them, oh well. it was worth a shot.
haddon90 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:11 pm
  #1638  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA / San Francisco, CA
Programs: BA Gold, TK Elite Plus
Posts: 1,150
Someone in Twitter please retweet the quote from their PR from was it 2007, where they said they will always honor mistake fares no matter how big they are?
dera is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:11 pm
  #1639  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 681
Oh well. It was a fun day of dreaming about the travels I had booked myself on. I will see if anything changes, but in the meantime, on to the next thing, whatever that may be!
ukinny2000 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:11 pm
  #1640  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 101,029
Originally Posted by Novemurr
Out of curiosity, the press release says "several thousand" bookings would be voided. Does that imply all tickets, or is it the unsaid phrase "several thousand unticketed reservations"?
United's wishy-washy language was definitely lawyer-approved, and I wouldn't be surprised if the language was deliberately wishy-washy to make it seem to some like the tickets were all being cancelled even when they are not.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:11 pm
  #1641  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: 60137
Posts: 10,498
I'm ready for a fight.

NB: IAAL
sonofzeus is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:11 pm
  #1642  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, SPG Gold..Flying around the world
Posts: 1,098
Originally Posted by Jesperss
I'm going to post a one star review on Yelp about United.

Is Yelp in Denmark yet?
alexisonsmith is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:12 pm
  #1643  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: All airline status gone as of 2/1/24, woe betide me
Posts: 19,984
"Your itinerary cannot be retrieved because it has been canceled. You may use the remaining value of your ticket toward a new flight by selecting the "Change Flight" link below. A change fee may apply."

I had a ticket number and I have a pending charge for the ticket from United.

As long as no money comes out of my account, I'm good...
eponymous_coward is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:12 pm
  #1644  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: IAD,MOW
Programs: PMUA
Posts: 247
Originally Posted by IancoleTX
United @united 1m 1 minute ago

We will void the bookings for those who purchased tickets as a result of a third-party currency conversion error. http://bit.ly/1uGiPuo

0 replies 9 retweets 4 favorites

Game over, thanks for playing
Karlson is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:12 pm
  #1645  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SAT
Programs: AA EXP BA Gold, TK Gold, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, AS 100K, QR PLT, SAS Gold, IHG Spire, AMR
Posts: 5,874
Originally Posted by dera
No it is not. I have a good track record of getting them to honor previously cancelled bargain fares (twice so far).

By lawyering up I mean getting those lawyers in one room to assess the legal situation, and coming up with a statement and the approach on defense.

They can email me, whatever is their preferred contact method.
I really doubt UA will contact anybody. They will cancel what they want to cancel and then it is up to us to find and respond accordingly. Either fight via DOT if you have US tickets or simply move on.
Deltahater is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:12 pm
  #1646  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: BNE
Programs: AA PPro OWS, QF B(Points Club)
Posts: 222
Interestingly you can't access that from the News page.
QPProletarian is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:12 pm
  #1647  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Merry ole LHR
Posts: 5
i'm a noob but managed to snag a fare for me and one for my fiancee since i caught wind within 15 mins of this thread. booked for trips we were going to take anyway, so hopefully it gets honored (dreamliner!), but not sweating it if not.

can't edit the wiki, but i'm still confirmed and ticketed.

20-apr-2015 -- 24-aug-2015 LHR-IAH 482 DKK via United.com absentoutbound
30-jul-2015 -- 02-aug-2015 LHR-PHL 531 DKK via United.com absentoutbound
absentoutbound is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:13 pm
  #1648  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 80
Originally Posted by HansGolden
Read the DOT rule in the wiki. It protects anyone flying to/from the US. Your citizenship doesn't matter. Now if you're flying LHR-CPT, you're not protected by DOT. You may be protected by EU rules, however. I'm very unfamiliar with them and am waiting to learn about them until I need to. Some people will say you are protected, some will say you're not. I'm sure a number of folks will shortly chime in with opinions.
The DOT rule is quite poorly drafted. I think there is a plausible argument that anyone is covered since United is a seller of scheduled air transportation in the US, even when the flights are not touching the US.

Read the rule like this:

(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...


For ex-UK flights in any event, you should get denied boarding compensation when they cancel the ticket and deny boarding, or at least that is my thought.
loofa133 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:14 pm
  #1649  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: AA Ex Plat United Premier Silver Hilton Diamond Marriott Gold
Posts: 104
ya and...

ya how exactly is that relevant? its false advertising if you dont honor it....just cause someone screws up means the person who was the beneficiary should not get it? what kind of sense does that even make

Originally Posted by tangel
Is there really any reason to fight with the DOT over this? It's an obvious abuse and no one should be surprised at the cancellations. I don't think either side can claim it was an innocent mistake.
USAIRCHAIRMAN is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 4:14 pm
  #1650  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: SEA/DEN
Programs: Hostelworld.com Diamond Plated Platinum
Posts: 390
If only it were Etihad, who would say "It is the right thing to do."

For those of you that say that it is an honest mistake, how would you feel if a surgeon forgot a sponge in your body during surgery, or if an engineer forgot to check a calculation that made a bridge collapse, would it be an honest mistake? If a computer programmer misses a bit of code, and does not check their work, is it an honest mistake?
AJCU is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread