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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: drewguy
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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/...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, 5:42 pm
  #1891  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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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.
Whoops, they clearly didn't get that SQL exactly right then!
burmans is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:43 pm
  #1892  
 
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A question: Any chance a DOT complaint works if the ticket hasn't been issued yet? (But I DID receive a booking confirmation and my credit card was charged).
frequentflyingdutchman is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:44 pm
  #1893  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by Miami305 View Post
Let's see if we can get #UnitedSucks trending on Twitter in response to their post: https://twitter.com/united/status/565648072047603713
let's go with #UnitedFail ... "sucks" won't get you anywhere
scibuff is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:44 pm
  #1894  
 
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Originally Posted by Nicksterguy View Post
I am going to sue!

I am not sure for what but I will find a reason! I wanted to be the first person in 100 pages to say that!
Congrats man, you've got your self a lawyer! I truly like your spirit ! Now, where's Jeff...
Epicura is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:44 pm
  #1895  
 
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Originally Posted by frequentflyingdutchman View Post
A question: Any chance a DOT complaint works if the ticket hasn't been issued yet? (But I DID receive a booking confirmation and my credit card was charged).
My understanding is that the airline has no obligations whatsoever until a ticket# is issued, but i may be wrong.
abari is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:45 pm
  #1896  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Re: DOT Complaints.

I've never filed one before, but I wouldn't put much stock in them from a legal perspective. What I'm saying is, I don't think you will get your ticket back. UA might get fined for bad behavior by DOT, but DOT doesn't have any private party enforcement rights. Maybe someone with more experience filing DOT complaints can comment.
RGillette2882 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:45 pm
  #1897  
 
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It seems like there’s a really clear and established practice with mistake fares these days that eliminate the need for most of the questions/comments in this thread:

1. Mistake fare discovered, details shared in a forum like this;
2. Forum users book mistake fare, ensuring origin or destination are in US (where possible) to ensure DOT protection allowing some time before travel to deal with cancellations and subsequent DOT objections;
3. Mistake fare is quickly pulled, customers wait for airlines response;
4. Airline either honours fares (unlikely), offers compensation like nominal FF points for agreeing to cancel, changing class from premium to economy (likely) or simply cancels all bookings (very likely)
5. If bookings are cancelled customers lodge DOT objections; and
6. Where customers have followed 2 – 5 above, DOT objection successful, tickets restated.

There’s really no need for endless questions or people getting angry about UA cancelling the tickets – this is a very standard mistake fare process. You simple follow the steps above and benefit from the deal.
smit0847 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:45 pm
  #1898  
 
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DOT Complaint filed. This will be interesting…
LH4116 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:46 pm
  #1899  
 
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2010 reference:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB100014...41644282587882
dusty2010 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:47 pm
  #1900  
 
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Originally Posted by teahan View Post
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.
Except if you made that mistake, you can change it.
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Old Feb 11, 15, 5:47 pm
  #1901  
 
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#unitedsucks

DOT complaint filed, and also tweeted the DOT complaint form link. If you want to get this sorted please hit twitter to do the same. #unitedsucks
Irelandflyer is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:48 pm
  #1902  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by smit0847 View Post
It seems like there’s a really clear and established practice with mistake fares these days that eliminate the need for most of the questions/comments in this thread:

1. Mistake fare discovered, details shared in a forum like this;
2. Forum users book mistake fare, ensuring origin or destination are in US (where possible) to ensure DOT protection allowing some time before travel to deal with cancellations and subsequent DOT objections;
3. Mistake fare is quickly pulled, customers wait for airlines response;
4. Airline either honours fares (unlikely), offers compensation like nominal FF points for agreeing to cancel, changing class from premium to economy (likely) or simply cancels all bookings (very likely)
5. If bookings are cancelled customers lodge DOT objections; and
6. Where customers have followed 2 – 5 above, DOT objection successful, tickets restated.

There’s really no need for endless questions or people getting angry about UA cancelling the tickets – this is a very standard mistake fare process. You simple follow the steps above and benefit from the deal.
Maybe put that up into the Wiki?
scibuff is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:49 pm
  #1903  
 
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Originally Posted by hiima View Post
Except if you made that mistake, you can change it.
As long as you cancel and rebook within 24 hours... If it's passed that, you're SOL without paying fees based on the fare rules.
montezume is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:50 pm
  #1904  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by smit0847 View Post
I5. If bookings are cancelled customers lodge DOT objections; and
6. Where customers have followed 2 – 5 above, DOT objection successful, tickets restated.

There’s really no need for endless questions or people getting angry about UA cancelling the tickets – this is a very standard mistake fare process. You simple follow the steps above and benefit from the deal.
And you know this how?
DealAddict is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 5:50 pm
  #1905  
 
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Originally Posted by hiima View Post
Except if you made that mistake, you can change it.
Only if you figure it out. I once made that mistake and found out only on my return, which actually was for a month later. Airline told me to go fish.
My mistake, I paid for it.
dera is offline  

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