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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
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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.”
-----
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 12, 2015, 12:37 pm
  #2851  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: FRA/MUC/NUE
Programs: M&M SEN, Starbucks Gold
Posts: 315
Guys Please stop talking about Wrong CC Informtion or CC in general. This horse is dead.
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:37 pm
  #2852  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 267
Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
Did he knowingly keep it as "Denmark", or did he make an effort to provide correct information?
He made no effort to correct what the website defaulted to, only adding his legitimate US-based billing address in the spaces provided. His card was charged, and his ticket was issued.
nyjoe4 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:40 pm
  #2853  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: YYZ
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Originally Posted by Forrest Bump
don't miss the hidden city/throw away thread.
PhD of analogies.
^ Seriously i don't the arguing/analogies going on. There's nothing to be done until DOT announces their ruling and then everyone can pick their pitchforks back up.
abari is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:40 pm
  #2854  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Posts: 310
Originally Posted by xSTRIKEx6864
FOX Business Network's Gerri Willis says United States Dept. of Transportation has told them they are investigating United over this... https://twitter.com/GerriWillisFBN/s...52632989044737
Glad to see an investigation is taking place. I was thinking that United and the DOT held a meeting yesterday to go over what happened. The DOT led United to believe they were within the rules to cancel, and United cancelled following this discussion.

Perhaps it was only the United lawyers who advised them to cancel all the tickets and the DOT may still rule otherwise.
Nehawk is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:41 pm
  #2855  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Posts: 424
Well one thing is for sure, if they reinstate the bookings, there will a ton of flights booked to/from London
vd0t is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:41 pm
  #2856  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 18
Hello folks,

Long-time reader, first-time poster here.

Let's just say that some guy was able to complete his purchase on the United website using his real billing address and country (some kind of glitch that miraculously went thru).

Would he be entitled to travel on the price (DKK) United gave him?

Thank you.

Last edited by GucciVersace; Feb 12, 2015 at 12:45 pm Reason: Spelling error
GucciVersace is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:41 pm
  #2857  
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Posts: 4,157
Originally Posted by nyjoe4
He made no effort to correct what the website defaulted to, only adding his legitimate US-based billing address in the spaces provided. His card was charged, and his ticket was issued.
You're saying that he knowingly provided incorrect information.
That makes his case against UA much weaker, because he would't have been able to take advantage of the glitch if he hadn't knowingly provided incorrect CC info. That is why the CC info matters. If you had to lie in order to buy the ticket, do you think you would have a legal right to have the ticket reinstated?

If I use a public computer to buy something online, and the previous user's CC info is cached and entered by default, do you really think I could claim to have done nothing wrong if I use that person's information instead of correcting the information to use my CC info?
The "the website showed this info by default, so I don't have to change it" excuse doesn't work. You are responsible for making sure that you provide correct info when initiating a CC transaction.

Last edited by UA1K_no_more; Feb 12, 2015 at 12:47 pm
UA1K_no_more is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:43 pm
  #2858  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SIN (with a bit of ZRH sprinkled in)
Posts: 9,493
Originally Posted by tfc3rid
They have sent emails after they voided tickets.
I've not got ANY email from UA after they cancelled my tickets (and no, I don't have a spam filter etc.)
YuropFlyer is online now  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:43 pm
  #2859  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 845
Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
Really looking forward to this!

Cannot wait till 5PM ET!!
B747forever is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:45 pm
  #2860  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: SPG Gold/HH Diamond/CC Gold/Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 310
Originally Posted by B747forever
Cannot wait till 5PM ET!!
They'll talk about the mistake fare, how it could be booked, how many people booked it, and that the DOT is investigating. Highly doubt that they'll report on any type of DOT decision but one can hope.
Nehawk is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:45 pm
  #2861  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berlin
Posts: 1,771
I for one, am definitely at the sandwich and mixed drink phase. I go back to my statement earlier. This, for better or worse, will be an incredible test case for 399.88 and will affect "questionable" fares for years to come.
largeeyes is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:45 pm
  #2862  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Posts: 315
Originally Posted by B747forever
Cannot wait till 5PM ET!!
Whats that in GMT time? god. my girlfriend would be so happy. LH F..
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:46 pm
  #2863  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Posts: 271
Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
Call UA web support and book the ticket.

Your situation is different from the people who chose Denmark as their CC's billing address country even though their country is available in the system. They knowingly tried to game the system, and now claim that they didn't do anything wrong.

About 2 years ago I spend about 2 hours talking with UA helpline trying to resolve this problem (my country is not a list) - the conclusion was , that they are not able to help me, and they can not sell me the ticket.
There is not possible to enter billing county "by hand"

It is against EU law - UA can not discriminate any EU residents, if they decided to sell tickets in one of EU county.

After that I am entering my true "billing address", but select random EU country.
SPlDER is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:47 pm
  #2864  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 845
Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
Whats that in GMT time? god. my girlfriend would be so happy. LH F..

10PM GMT.


Dont have your hopes high on non UA-metal bookings. If anything goes through I would expect it to only be UA operated flights.
B747forever is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 12:48 pm
  #2865  
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Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
Whats that in GMT time? god. my girlfriend would be so happy. LH F..
5 hours ahead ... so that would be 10pm?

EST is GMT-5 while EDT is GMT-4
787fan is offline  

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