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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, 1:48 pm
  #2926  
 
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Originally Posted by exitcontrol
Here’s my take on this as an EU citizen (apologies for making it specifi....
Great summery, thanks and thumbs up! ^^^
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:49 pm
  #2927  
 
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Originally Posted by amiras
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.
I did exactly that. Was sitting on a nice seat, and a FT with his gf was sitting behind me haha.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:51 pm
  #2928  
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Originally Posted by exitcontrol
My gut is that they will protect a US carrier despite their earlier rulings with foreign airlines. L
My Magic 8 Ball predicts DOT will gently nudge UAL to settle with everyone who booked this deal.

Time consuming? Absolutely.

Good business strategy? No question.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:52 pm
  #2929  
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Originally Posted by exitcontrol
Here’s my take on this as an EU citizen (apologies for making it specific)
Maybe ticket buyers will have a better chance in EU courts versus getting the DoT to agree with them. It would probably be a long battle, though. Would it be worth the time?
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:54 pm
  #2930  
 
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
Maybe ticket buyers will have a better chance in EU courts versus getting the DoT to agree with them. It would probably be a long battle, though. Would it be worth the time?
As you are clearly a CON, did you book any of these tickets? Or are you just sacking everyone here because you are so unhappy that you didnt get a lolly?
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:55 pm
  #2931  
 
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Originally Posted by sonofzeus
My Magic 8 Ball predicts DOT will gently nudge UAL to settle with everyone who booked this deal.
I'm supposed to fly on Saturday...kinda running out of time....

(yes, backup plan is booked...)
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:57 pm
  #2932  
 
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As much as I dislike United, I don't think this ticket purchase represented a "reasonable" customer. Earlier this year I was booked in first class with a confirmed seat number on US Airways, but was downgraded to economy last minute at gate being told "there was no first class seat available." I filed a complaint to DOT and they said it was not within their scope of ruling.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:58 pm
  #2933  
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Originally Posted by ironmanjt
I'm supposed to fly on Saturday...kinda running out of time....

(yes, backup plan is booked...)
They'll have to be more creative in your situation.

Would you accept 2 or more years of 1K status to make this go away?
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 1:59 pm
  #2934  
 
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Originally Posted by sonofzeus
They'll have to be more creative in your situation.

Would you accept 2 or more years of 1K status to make this go away?
Absolutely. But since UA values 1k at around $12,000 minimum, I can't see them offering more than one year
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 2:01 pm
  #2935  
 
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Originally Posted by UA1K_no_more
Maybe ticket buyers will have a better chance in EU courts versus getting the DoT to agree with them. It would probably be a long battle, though. Would it be worth the time?
I would only agree with this if United cite the very narrow point that customer listed the wrong country. Everything else it looks like the DOT is the way to go as there is specific rulings/legislation etc. on this point.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 2:02 pm
  #2936  
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Originally Posted by ironmanjt
Absolutely. But since UA values 1k at around $12,000 minimum, I can't see them offering more than one year
If UAL in serious about settling, everything is on the table.

Status. MP miles. Ideas?
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 2:04 pm
  #2937  
 
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Originally Posted by ironmanjt
I'm supposed to fly on Saturday...kinda running out of time....

(yes, backup plan is booked...)
Me too, my cutoff time for positioning is noon CST tomorrow.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 2:06 pm
  #2938  
 
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Originally Posted by bthotugigem05
Me too, my cutoff time for positioning is noon CST tomorrow.
Sooner here, mine is noon EAT (East Africa time) or 4am EST....they better cowboy up soon...
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 2:09 pm
  #2939  
 
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Originally Posted by sonofzeus
If UAL in serious about settling, everything is on the table.

Status. MP miles. Ideas?
I want what I paid for. An old-fashioned notion, I know...

I'd be reluctant to start discussing what compromise would be appropriate as it would seem to tacitly acknowledge UA can weasel out of the contract.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 2:11 pm
  #2940  
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Originally Posted by Irelandflyer
I want what I paid for. An old-fashioned notion, I know...

I'd be reluctant to start discussing what compromise would be appropriate as it would seem to tacitly acknowledge UA can weasel out of the contract.
Did I mention the process would be time consuming?
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