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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
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 12, 2015, 1:08 pm
  #2881  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
Just be honest to your self. Are you adding value to this thread?

You dont have to respond to this question, as it is rethorical.
^

I find the ignore feature very convenient in situations like this.
Andrea Waters is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:09 pm
  #2882  
 
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please stop to discuss about billing address!
That's not the point and everybody can easily change their billing address through their bank! Furthermore the transaction has been verified with MasterCard SecurCode.
...and even if it was, would you bet that if the fare would have been 5000£/ticket the airline would have not blamed nobody for the wrong address?
Paul4Travel is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:10 pm
  #2883  
 
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
I am pointing out that people knowingly lied when using their CCs to purchase these tickets, and that gives UA a leg to stand on when arguing that they have the right to cancel the tickets. Apparently, some people who purchased the tickets don't like hearing that.

Just be honest with yourself. Did you provide incorrect info about your CC's billing country when buying the tickets?
I provided the Adress of my friend who lives in Denmark. Once the transaction was on "Verified by Visa", I entered my German adress. easy as that.
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:10 pm
  #2884  
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Complaints and comments about airline service other than safety or security issues may be registered with DOT's Aviation Consumer Protection Division (ACPD). You can call, write or use our web form.

You may call the ACPD 24 hours a day at 202-366-2220 (TTY 202-366-0511) to record your complaint. Calls are returned Monday through Friday, generally between 7:30 am and 5:00 pm Eastern time.

____________________________

Shall we fill their voice mailboxes too?
sonofzeus is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:11 pm
  #2885  
 
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Shall we fill their voice mailboxes too?
This issue is squarely in the DOT's eyes at this point, I'm not sure what more phone calls or complaints would accomplish.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:12 pm
  #2886  
 
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
UA knows that people who used their CCs to pay for the tickets lied about their CC billing country, which gives them a leg to stand on when claiming that they have the right to cancel the tickets (even though that particular reason may not have been publicly communicated yet).
As I've noted elsewhere...does UA generally disallow purchases made in other currencies or from the landing pages designated for countries other than the one the purchaser is currently located in? Or is their normal business practice to process and fulfill these purchases as normal, just like what happened yesterday?

Unless UA's usual business practice is to cancel and disallow such purchases, then you're really not making much of a point. It appears almost certain that such purchases are typically allowed. Moreover, UA cancelled even those purchases that were actually paid from a card with a billing address in Denmark.
trouble747 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:12 pm
  #2887  
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Originally Posted by MilesToGoBeforeISleep
Look, sure what you say is true. But there are so many sides to this. Why make me pay for a change fee if I made an inadvertent booking on the wrong day? This has happened to me and I only noticed a few days before departure so I had to also pay for the increased fare as well. I would love to see the headlines on a million miler account being shut down because they booked a few 'mistake' fares.

A smart company could turn this around to their benefit also and get lots of good press for honoring the tickets - capitalize on the champagne drinking masses writing blog posts on their first class flights and posting pictures throughout the web with 'thank you United captions'.... you can't buy good will and publicity like that with a couple of superbowl ads...
But such goodwill does not worth a dime. The next time a mistake fare not honored people would cry foul.

OTOH, if we put this out in front of an ordinary person who are not into this FT thing, there is hardly anyone feels the airline should eat crow and honor the tickets, even though most everyone hates airlines.

Let's be realistic, airlines are not non-profit organization. And they certainly dont need to earn the goodwill from this crowd which only seek to take advantage of any loophole, not customers who would be loyal to any airline. Most airlines would be better off NOT to have this type of customers. So there is nothing to lose for them to have "bad publicity" because for the few media pieces published so far, there is very little sympathy on those who bought tickets.

I only hope DOT would not modify their languages so to avoid "unintended consequences" in the future. Else, there would be much harder down the road to take advantage of mistake fares.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:14 pm
  #2888  
 
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Originally Posted by B747forever
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.
Why should this make a difference?

Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
I am pointing out that most people knowingly lied when using their CCs to purchase these tickets, and that gives UA a leg to stand on when arguing that they have the right to cancel the tickets. Apparently, some people who purchased the tickets don't like hearing that.

Just be honest with yourself. Did you provide incorrect info about your CC's billing country when buying the tickets?
If you think this gives UA such a big leg up in terms of cancelling tickets, then why didn't they say that this was the reason? Why blame it on a third-party vendor, inviting challenges to the "mistake fare" rules?
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:14 pm
  #2889  
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Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
I provided the Adress of my friend who lives in Denmark. Once the transaction was on "Verified by Visa", I entered my German adress. easy as that.
So, you gamed the system by using two different addresses. Got it.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:15 pm
  #2890  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
I provided the Adress of my friend who lives in Denmark. Once the transaction was on "Verified by Visa", I entered my German adress. easy as that.


The EU has laws that guarantee anyone (from the EU) receives the same treatment regardless of their (billing) address. e.g. as a UK card holder, you "must" be allowed to purchase from a DK site with you UK card at the exact same conditions as someone (or you) with a DK card.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:16 pm
  #2891  
 
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Originally Posted by Happy
OTOH, if we put this out in front of an ordinary person who are not into this FT thing, there is hardly anyone feels the airline should eat crow and honor the tickets, even though most everyone hates airlines.
Au contraire. Did you watch the Fox News clip above? The sentiment seems to be quite the opposite from what you think...
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:16 pm
  #2892  
 
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
I am pointing out that most people knowingly lied when using their CCs to purchase these tickets, and that gives UA a leg to stand on when arguing that they have the right to cancel the tickets. Apparently, some people who purchased the tickets don't like hearing that.

Just be honest with yourself. Did you provide incorrect info about your CC's billing country when buying the tickets?
Europe's air passenger rights states the following:
"Firstly, you may not be charged a higher price for a ticket because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from."

Therefore it is fair to misrepresent your country as United is breaking the EU rules by charging a lower price for your ticket if buying from Denmark
dlandz is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:17 pm
  #2893  
 
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
I am pointing out that people knowingly lied when using their CCs to purchase these tickets, and that gives UA a leg to stand on when arguing that they have the right to cancel the tickets. Apparently, some people who purchased the tickets don't like hearing that.

Just be honest with yourself. Did you provide incorrect info about your CC's billing country when buying the tickets?
So by that token, are you saying if I book a trip through a foreign carrier I HAVE to use their English site instead of their main site? Last year when I booked a flight on Azul on their brazilian site instead the American one, that was fraud?

Furthermore, you do realize you can book at ticket by paying cash and never giving United your address right? The address is purely to authenticate your credit card. If your info matches your card, its approved, if not, its denied, simple as that. If it were fraud the police would be called every time I fat finger my zip code.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:17 pm
  #2894  
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Originally Posted by as219
Au contraire. Did you watch the Fox News clip above? The sentiment seems to be quite the opposite from what you think...
I can't view it at work. Can you summarize what the sentiment from the clip is? thanks
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:17 pm
  #2895  
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Originally Posted by as219
Au contraire. Did you watch the Fox News clip above? The sentiment seems to be quite the opposite from what you think...
Do you trust Fox News reporting?
UA1K_no_more is offline  

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