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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, 1:29 pm
  #2911  
 
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So, for fun, on a purchase I needed to make today on United, I intentionally changed my credit card address to Denmark and even used a fake Danish address. Guess what? The US domestic trip has been purchased and ticketed. Used a Sapphire Preferred, FYI.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by ArizonaGuy
So, for fun, on a purchase I needed to make today on United, I intentionally changed my credit card address to Denmark and even used a fake Danish address. Guess what? The US domestic trip has been purchased and ticketed. Used a Sapphire Preferred, FYI.
You thief!
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by dera
You thief!
Where is UA1K_no_More when you need him ?!
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:35 pm
  #2914  
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Originally Posted by as219
I trust my own eyes. Did you even watch the segment, or are you just being contrary?
I watched the segment. Interview 1000 people, and I'm sure you can find a couple that support the point you're trying to make. Editing is a powerful tool, especially in the hands of Fox News.

Happy said "there is hardly anyone feels the airline should eat crow and honor the tickets, even though most everyone hates airlines." The anchor in the segment linked above doesn't share this sentiment, hence my comment.
I have no problem disagreeing with a Fox News anchor, for obvious reasons.

Last edited by UA1K_no_more; Feb 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
Where is UA1K_no_More when you need him ?!
Probably still avoiding my question I've asked a few times...
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:36 pm
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Oh, it looks like UA is honouring us, and just started cutting jobs to pay for our tickets:

United Airlines cuts about 80 jobs from Eppley Airfield
http://www.ketv.com/news/united-airl...field/31238014

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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:37 pm
  #2917  
 
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Originally Posted by Nehawk
These mistake fares are a ton of fun. Following the media coverage on it, analyzing how the DOT might respond, listening to the moralists,and flaming United.

Will make it that much sweeter if these somehow get honored. It's an enjoyable ride either way.
^^ 100% agree
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:38 pm
  #2918  
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Originally Posted by ArizonaGuy
So, for fun, on a purchase I needed to make today on United, I intentionally changed my credit card address to Denmark and even used a fake Danish address. Guess what? The US domestic trip has been purchased and ticketed. Used a Sapphire Preferred, FYI.
I'm surprised it went through. If your CC company is so lax with its controls, maybe you should consider getting a different card.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by B747forever
First off, some people bought tickets not passing through the US, or only connecting through the US, which automatically DOT has no ruling over. Secondly, it will cost UA much more to honor flights on partner carriers, plus it could blame them for not allowing them to confirm the tickets.
Good point with the former. On the second point, I'm not so sure. Many people had confirmed tickets on foreign carriers; I know I did. Even assuming it would cost UA more to honor those than tickets on its own metal, I don't see how cost would affect their calculus at that point. If the DOT says that UA broke the rules by cancelling the tickets, it has nothing to do with how high the price was.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:41 pm
  #2920  
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
Do you trust Fox News reporting?
As opposed to... Brian Williams?
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:41 pm
  #2921  
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Originally Posted by dera
You still haven't answered my question; What about us, who did not lie, cheat or swindle anything?
You should be allowed to travel on your ticket. Unlike most others, you didn't knowingly lie to make your transaction go through.
How many do you think there are in the same situation as you? 1% of the people who bought tickets? Probably much fewer people than that, don't you think?

Last edited by UA1K_no_more; Feb 12, 2015 at 1:49 pm
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:41 pm
  #2922  
 
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Heres my take on this as an EU citizen (apologies for making it specific)

You guys gamed the system by changing your country to Denmark and misrepresenting where you live! Youre as much in the wrong as United
Not quite. Yes people listed their address as Denmark, however this was only done to take advantage of an offer made to those using the Danish version of the United website. As an EU citizen Article 56 TFEU and Art. 63(2) TFEU allows citizens to offer and receive goods and services without restriction. By forcing users to use their local version of the United website they were restricting free movement of goods and services in contravention of Article 56 TFEU and Art. 63(2) TFEU.

If United try and dismiss claims on this basis then they open themselves up to the greater claim that they were in contravention of Article 56 TFEU and Art. 63(2) TFEU.

You guys knew that the FX was wrong
Not true. At no point in the booking process was a currency other than Danish Kroner (DKK) displayed.

(can someone provide some redacted screenshots of the whole process?)

But United filed the fare correctly it was their 3rd party FX vendor who screwed up so really this isnt a mistake under 399.88 its an error that falls outside of this and therefore they can void the tickets
I dont agree.
First off lets dispel this myth about the 3rd party. It doesnt matter who made the error whether it was United or any other of their Vendors ultimately United are responsible for the actions of their vendors.

So lets move on to the United filed the fares correctly..this isnt a mistake under 399.88 its an error that falls outside of this and therefore they can void the tickets.

Im not an airline fare expert and have no knowledge of airline back office operations etc. however the operations do not matter!! I doesnt matter if at 1 stage in getting the ticket prices on to the website that they were correct.

What matters is what happens when the fares/ticket prices are offered to the public and United got this wrong (even if they try and distance themselves by blaming one of their vendors). 399.88 therefore does apply.

United were stupid enough to say I f you would like to book your travel at the correct price, please visit united.com.

I totally agree.

This is pretty much saying we got it wrong and want to put the price up after youve already booked this is in direct contravention of to increase the price of that air transportation to a consumer after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer from 399.88

That was not a clever move.

We didnt pay enough to even cover the tax so it fair to void the tickets
I agree we didnt pay enough tax and if United wanted to come back at us to make up the difference they wouldnt be able to under 399.88. As United could only ask for additional cash 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.

United could only ask for additional cash if there are any increases in the taxes not to reclaim the taxes they didnt originally collect.

Conclusion
I cant see how United cant get out of this however its all in the hands of the DOT and I dont know how it will all go down. My gut is that they will protect a US carrier despite their earlier rulings with foreign airlines. L

Lets all wait and see how it plays out! (but I dont want to hear any more about misrepresenting the billing country unless you are non EU citizen)
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by as219
Good point with the former. On the second point, I'm not so sure. Many people had confirmed tickets on foreign carriers; I know I did. Even assuming it would cost UA more to honor those than tickets on its own metal, I don't see how cost would affect their calculus at that point. If the DOT says that UA broke the rules by cancelling the tickets, it has nothing to do with how high the price was.
I have a friend who had 2 LH tickets, confirmed by LH. He was able to call LH, made sure they had the ticket and get seats assigned. He also took screenshots of LH's website showing the confirmed tickets including ticket numbers. I don't think that excuse can fly.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by hourami

Also when Uniteds currency conversion charges too much do they put their hands up and refund you, hell no!! So works both ways.
People keep making this statement, but I bet if United's currency conversion charged too much in error and you pointed it out, you would get refunded.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO777
As opposed to... Brian Williams?
Fox News would love to hire Brian Williams
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