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

Old Feb 11, 15, 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."
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[PREM FARE GONE] UA: NCL-EWR 600 DKK (mistaken fare) DOT ruled; see wiki for link

Old Feb 11, 15, 9:56 pm
  #2191  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA / San Francisco, CA
Programs: BA Gold, TK Elite Plus
Posts: 1,150
Originally Posted by tsz
But...but...but...United Clubs sound like torture...
True dat. But, these are ex-LHR and the lounge at T2 is nowhere nearly as bad!
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Old Feb 11, 15, 9:56 pm
  #2192  
tsz
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by dera
It was that Chinese guy somewhere in mainland China, not with LH.

Unless there's more than one
I think it happened with LH too! The man ended up having to pay LH EUR55 each time he used the lounge without flying.
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Old Feb 11, 15, 9:59 pm
  #2193  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: EUG PDX
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Posts: 430
Originally Posted by SpiderFlyerTX
I have the same issue although I thought I had captured the ticket number when I took a PDF of the itenary on United.com that said I had been confirmed and ticketed. But I mark this mistake up to being a noob and my first experience with a mistake fare.

However, I did go ahead and submit the form with Confirm # and PDF stating the flight was confirmed and being ticketed. Might as well give it a shot
Thanks for your input and I submitted the same pdf as you. I was also part of the KE reinstatement of the RGN-USA currency glitch. I think this will surpass the RGN deal in magnitude of tickets booked and LHR being more accessible .
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:02 pm
  #2194  
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Originally Posted by tsz
But...but...but...United Clubs sound like torture...
The UA GF lounge at SFO is not bad. Serves Dom Ruinart NV, which I prefer to Dom Perignon NV...
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:03 pm
  #2195  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
no no no

Originally Posted by iahphx
Actually, UA is doing a terrific job of dealing with this. You might not like the outcome, but they are moving VERY fast -- which is exactly what they should do if they're not going to honor the fare. Their reasoning makes perfect sense to me. They're pinning the blame on a third-party where, it would logically seem, most of the blame belongs.

If you read the comments in the UK newspaper stories, there's little sympathy for the folks who bought these tickets. That's not surprising given the facts here. Honestly, there would be ZERO sympathy except for the fact that most folks hate airlines (and, often, not unreasonably so). But being unhappy with the way UA has, in general, treated its customers isn't a terribly compelling argument that they should bend over backwards to help folks here who tried to exploit an obvious glitch in their reservation system.

Honestly, as long as they don't call us bad and evil people for buying these tickets, I have no problem with what they're doing.
Not this

Can't blame the third party vendor in this situation. I am not paying the 3rd party vendor.. I didn't chose to employ that 3rd party vendor.. the 3rd party vendor is not selling for $xxx amount on the stock exchange.. can't blame them here, just can't.. I'm not even saying honor the flights..if you don't want to honor it, fine, deal with the DoT & upset customers.. but cannot blame 3rd party vendor.. worst move ever. It wasn't our fault. We went to united.com. not 3rdpartyvendorscrewedup.com. Take accountability. It was your website, your name, your brand.. Own it. It's almost worse than not honoring the ticket. "I didn't do it".
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:04 pm
  #2196  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Atlanta, GA / San Francisco, CA
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Originally Posted by tsz
I think it happened with LH too! The man ended up having to pay LH EUR55 each time he used the lounge without flying.
Haha, bargain!

I recently consumed more alcohol in DOH than my whole ticket was worth. I had a 12-hour connection at the new airport, and their lounge has Krug for champagne. So I had almost 3 bottles during those 12 hours, thanks to Qatars no-rebooking-in-economy policy. So instead of putting me on an earlier flight (which would have been a zero issue for anyone), they left me there for 12 hours. In the lounge. With Krug. Bingo!
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:07 pm
  #2197  
 
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Originally Posted by anwar516
Not this

Can't blame the third party vendor in this situation. I am not paying the 3rd party vendor.. I didn't chose to employ that 3rd party vendor.. the 3rd party vendor is not selling for $xxx amount on the stock exchange.. can't blame them here, just can't.. I'm not even saying honor the flights..if you don't want to honor it, fine, deal with the DoT & upset customers.. but cannot blame 3rd party vendor.. worst move ever. It wasn't our fault. We went to united.com. not 3rdpartyvendorscrewedup.com. Take accountability. It was your website, your name, your brand.. Own it. It's almost worse than not honoring the ticket. "I didn't do it".
I think the third-party blame is their strategy towards DOT. They have claimed that the fares were entered correctly and thus will argue it is not a "mistake fare".

It also tries to be a signal to shareholders. "We didn't screw up".
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:08 pm
  #2198  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by anwar516
Not this

Can't blame the third party vendor in this situation. I am not paying the 3rd party vendor.. I didn't chose to employ that 3rd party vendor.. the 3rd party vendor is not selling for $xxx amount on the stock exchange.. can't blame them here, just can't.. I'm not even saying honor the flights..if you don't want to honor it, fine, deal with the DoT & upset customers.. but cannot blame 3rd party vendor.. worst move ever. It wasn't our fault. We went to united.com. not 3rdpartyvendorscrewedup.com. Take accountability. It was your website, your name, your brand.. Own it. It's almost worse than not honoring the ticket. "I didn't do it".
Agreed. I deal with several 3rd party vendors in my line of work and my company is responsible for validating the services they provide, reviewing their internal controls, etc. Blaming the 3rd party is the most annoying part of this.

For example... My company uses a 3rd party that calculates employer payroll taxes. Guess who gets the fine from the IRS if those taxes are paid incorrectly? Not the 3rd party.

Last edited by Nehawk; Feb 11, 15 at 10:12 pm Reason: Added example
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:09 pm
  #2199  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Originally Posted by anwar516
Not this

Can't blame the third party vendor in this situation. I am not paying the 3rd party vendor.. I didn't chose to employ that 3rd party vendor.. the 3rd party vendor is not selling for $xxx amount on the stock exchange.. can't blame them here, just can't.. I'm not even saying honor the flights..if you don't want to honor it, fine, deal with the DoT & upset customers.. but cannot blame 3rd party vendor.. worst move ever. It wasn't our fault. We went to united.com. not 3rdpartyvendorscrewedup.com. Take accountability. It was your website, your name, your brand.. Own it. It's almost worse than not honoring the ticket. "I didn't do it".
:-:

Congrats on your first post! Did UA p*ssed you off that much you decided to make the move in 2 years ?
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:13 pm
  #2200  
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CO tried blaming the third party several years ago on a CO EX tarmac delay issue.

DOT held CO partly responsible for the fine to demonstrate how responsible they were.

Sounds like they could use a little reminder.
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:20 pm
  #2201  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 33
You're both right.

Originally Posted by Epicura
Not joking, this actually happened! Can not remember the airport but a guy was able to change his J full flex fare time after time, for months! And just before making the change, he spent a whole day in the J lounge. I believe it was on LH.
http://nypost.com/2014/01/29/man-use...ee-for-a-year/

Originally Posted by tsz
I think it happened with LH too! The man ended up having to pay LH EUR55 each time he used the lounge without flying.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...ood-freeloader
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:21 pm
  #2202  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by Epicura
:-:

Congrats on your first post! Did UA p*ssed you off that much you decided to make the move in 2 years ?




I think it was the combination of that comment and UA blaming others. lol

but thank you!
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:33 pm
  #2203  
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Originally Posted by ecomajor
My wife booked us LHR to EWR business First. I had asked her to do multi city with OGG and LAX on the end and Rome in the middle. I was so disappointed about that all day. On one hand I am sad about not getting our first class tickets. But on the other hand it takes away the pain of not getting the crazy tickets. I know I shouldnt have these feelings. But its hard to control your emotions with these things. Its been a rollercoaster for me all day.
well, just give it some time. you'll prolly feel better when your period is over.

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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:34 pm
  #2204  
 
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Originally Posted by augias84
I am just writing what I think. I did see the mistake fare this morning but I'm reasonably law abiding (except jaywalking). I do not usually take United's side and am often frustrated by them, but what people here are doing, and then bragging about, is fraud as far as I'm concerned.
If you can claim that you happened upon this by chance, for example if your address is actually in Denmark, then you might be ok.
But I hope UA presses charges if they can, or closes the accounts if they can't.
Respectfully disagree with your comments and views.
As someone who has to purchase Business class/ Premium Economy/ basic economy tickets from non-USA cities on a regular basis because of work travel pattern changes, I have purchased tickets from different parts of the world, including cities in Asia, ME, Africa and Europe.

So purchasing from Denmark or England or India or Singapore or Dubai is not unusual, at least for someone in a similar situation.
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Old Feb 11, 15, 10:39 pm
  #2205  
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Originally Posted by dd1612
Respectfully disagree with your comments and views.
As someone who has to purchase Business class/ Premium Economy/ basic economy tickets from non-USA cities on a regular basis because of work travel pattern changes, I have purchased tickets from different parts of the world, including cities in Asia, ME, Africa and Europe.

So purchasing from Denmark or England or India or Singapore or Dubai is not unusual, at least for someone in a similar situation.
pretty sure thats not the point... the point was misrepresenting your billing address... you can buy your tix wherever you want, in whatever currency you want.... in this case, you could have chosen to display in DKK all day, but the last step where you had to enter your billing address and if you did it correctly, indicating any other country apart from denmark, the real price of these tix would've showed up. or if you looped thru paypal where you had entered a fake danish address, also equates to misrepresentation and thus fraud due to having proper knowledge of the glitch and looking to game the system.

in any case, these threads and situations are always so fun! I look forward to seeing how the DOT rules on this.

p.s. hate UA (and popcorn) with a passion! fun facts
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