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

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

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Old Mar 16, 15, 6:19 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: drewguy
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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.
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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/...ia-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."
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Old Feb 11, 15, 5:31 pm
  #1876  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Originally Posted by FlyHigh23 View Post
"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'm assuming these will be wiped from the CC, not that a credit will be issued...correct?
That's my assumption, if not i'll issue a chargeback.
abari is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:31 pm
  #1877  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 521
I see quite a few people defending UA on the basis of it being an honest mistake, which people are trying to exploit.

Where I start to feel a bit uncomfortable is if I book a flight and accidentally reserve 1 June instead of 1 July. How far is my claim of an "honest mistake" going to get me? Such innocent mistake happen 100s of times a week and normally result in costly last minute tickets or cancelled trips. You just need to read these forums to see how airlines respond to honest customer mistakes.
teahan is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:32 pm
  #1878  
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Data point:

http://www.startribune.com/business/89803082.html

"But some airlines say they will honor any price they sell, mistake or not. United, Continental, Southwest, JetBlue and Singapore Airlines all say their policy is to not cancel "mistake" tickets, no matter how large the error.

"That is the right thing to do," says United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski. In 2007, United honored a business-class fare from Los Angeles or San Francisco to destinations in New Zealand that was missing one zero: it was sold as $1,062 plus taxes and fees instead of $10,620 plus taxes and fees.

....But with airfares, it's hard to know these days what consumers should consider a mistake. Some ultracheap carriers boast of selling seats at zero fares -- passengers pay only the taxes and fees. Some international tickets in slow seasons are priced with fares cheaper than taxes and fees. Both Dutta and Miller figured the $540 they were paying for the British Airways flights were not all that far off typical international sales."
bhatnasx is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:32 pm
  #1879  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 29
If I booked a ticket for me and one other person to travel, am I required to file two separate DOT forms or is one sufficient. How would I go about this? Thanks!!
PT612 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:32 pm
  #1880  
 
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Exactly. Which is why I will want this resolved well before I show up at LHR (and I planned it so: flights on UA metal, plenty of time for things to resolve one way or another). If it turns out "nope", I'm good.
This is the "rather safe than sorry" approach which is completely understandable. I like to be at the airport 3 hours before departure arguing about it, with a good solid backup plan in place. They are more likely to honor the fare when you are in a situation where the flight is really needed, than a few months in advance when they can reasonably argue(although it would be a moot point with the DoT) that you can make alternative arrangements for the trip.

So far I've only had to do this once (successfully), other times they have reinstated the tickets themselves a few days/weeks after cancelling them initially.
dera is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:34 pm
  #1881  
 
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post to be deleted
teahan is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:35 pm
  #1882  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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There was nothing "honest" about their mistake. It was UAL's own flaw. The faulty FX rate data showed up on ITA. Only UAL had a site that let you book the far.

By contrast, BA.com quotes and charges you based on the country of origination, not the country of your billing address.

UA and its trolls are trying to tell us that we were in the wrong because of their faulty systems.
SCSA is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:36 pm
  #1883  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Let's see if we can get #UnitedSucks trending on Twitter in response to their post: https://twitter.com/united/status/565648072047603713
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Old Feb 11, 15, 5:36 pm
  #1884  
 
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[PREM FARE GONE] UA: NCL-EWR 600 DKK (mistaken fare)

DOT complaint filed.
Mauibaby2008 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:37 pm
  #1885  
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Originally Posted by dera View Post
So far I've only had to do this once (successfully), other times they have reinstated the tickets themselves a few days/weeks after cancelling them initially.
I'm thinking the latter case is the more viable option. I'm not really interested in arguing my case in LHR during summer peak travel (which is when I'm booked). Too much of a chance of "you're hosed" (the return to LHR is on 12/26 and has a domestic segment, which is also a really bad time to handle flying standby/last minute... and I do plan on flying it if the ticket's allowed).
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Old Feb 11, 15, 5:37 pm
  #1886  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Boston, MA
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Question: What happens once you file a DOT complaint? Do you need to also follow up with UA? Do you wait for them to contact you? How do you try and get your ticket reinstated?
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Old Feb 11, 15, 5:39 pm
  #1887  
 
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So, United even cancelled a LEGITIMATE ticket I purchased from LHR-ZRH... Paid for in USD and priced in USD.
mbwmbw is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:39 pm
  #1888  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by SvenB1414 View Post
Question: What happens once you file a DOT complaint? Do you need to also follow up with UA? Do you wait for them to contact you? How do you try and get your ticket reinstated?
I have the same question, i just filed the DOT complaint, now what?
servinagustin is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:40 pm
  #1889  
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Originally Posted by mbwmbw View Post
So, United even cancelled a LEGITIMATE ticket I purchased from LHR-ZRH... Paid for in USD and priced in USD.
hahaha they are eager bunnies
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Old Feb 11, 15, 5:41 pm
  #1890  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 19
Got this message: "! 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'd say that the "remaining value" of my ticket is a bit vague.
RGillette2882 is offline  

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