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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, 4:36 pm
  #3031  
 
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No, I am not working for UA

Just summarising available newsfeed.

But es, haddon90, also what I was expecting. There are different stakeholders here and these are clearly in UA's favor.
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:40 pm
  #3032  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Most of those commenting in that article make money by selling their services to airlines and defending the airlines. It's how they get more butter for their bread.
http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/fir...?id=D000000330

Holland & Knight received $120k in lobbying money from United Continental Holdings, and have 1,443 clients in the Transportation sector.
Lamingtons is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:41 pm
  #3033  
 
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All those opinions in the Bloomberg article amount to lobbying in UA's favor. It'll be up to the DOT to weigh the long-term consequences as well as the current circumstances.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:42 pm
  #3034  
 
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Originally Posted by maclover
Were I UA, solution would be pretty simple.
Wanna fly the ticket you purchased well knowing you were exploiting a glitch in the system? Fine, you had me.

Just, let me ban you from any future flight with the airline.
If a customer feels cheated by the airline, said customer can simply shop somewhere else.
If airline feels being cheated by a customer, that customer should be banned.

Easy, simple and everyone is happy
why - in every post you made in the last 24h - you always seem so frustrated?
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:43 pm
  #3035  
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I wonder how much of a "fine" or "donation" will UA pay to the DOT to weasel out of this
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:43 pm
  #3036  
 
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Originally Posted by haddon90
that bloomberg article is kind of what i was expecting. i expect UA to be in the clear here.
Except for people actually from Denmark. I don't see how they get out of that one.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:43 pm
  #3037  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
US DOT can fine and collect on the fines on such tickets.

More than one is scheduled to fly on these tickets tomorrow. Even UA's LHR-IAD route has a couple for tomorrow.
And DOT passes that fine on to the consumer who's ticket has expired? If not, what good does it do me?

Originally Posted by largeeyes
Except for people actually from Denmark. I don't see how they get out of that one.
Do we have evidence that even 1 person from Denmark booked one of these tickets in question?

Last edited by Pat89339; Feb 13, 2015 at 12:16 am Reason: TOS rule 14; consecutive posts
TMM1982 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:48 pm
  #3038  
 
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Originally Posted by TMM1982
Do we have evidence that even 1 person from Denmark booked one of these tickets in question?
If you are a EU citizen, it doesn't matter. Vendors can't discriminate. So if they only reinstate Danish citizens they will have to reinstate all purchasers from other European countries.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:49 pm
  #3039  
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Originally Posted by hourami
Someone wrote this on another forum:

I think it's imperative that everyone know that a DDFer is currently aboard LHR-TLV as part of a UA glitch ticket. Congrats to he who will remain nameless unless he comes forward himself!
When the UA HKG award travel occurred on July 15th 2012, UA allowed people who had begun their travel, or were about to travel soon, to complete their trips. All others had their trips cancelled.
For those customers who have already begun travel, or are ticketed to begin travel on or before July 21, we will not cancel these tickets and will allow travel to be completed in full. This is intended as an accommodation to those customers whose travel is already underway or the departure date to begin travel is imminent.
In this latest incident, UA has chosen to cancel the tickets for the people who hadn't started their travel yet.
I wouldn't expect UA to try to get the LHR-TLV traveler to pay any additional fare, but I don't think that allowing that traveler to take advantage of the glitch is any indication that UA will be forced to allow all other ticket buyers to get their tickets reinstated.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:51 pm
  #3040  
 
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Originally Posted by TMM1982
Do we have evidence that even 1 person from Denmark booked one of these tickets in question?
I am currently living in Denmark. I booked my tickets sitting in an office in Copenhagen. 10 of my colleagues also booked. So there are plenty of Danes (using their danish credit cards) that took part in this deal.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:53 pm
  #3041  
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Originally Posted by TMM1982
Do we have evidence that even 1 person from Denmark booked one of these tickets in question?
There is one (or more) poster(s) here who used a card with a Danish billing address. I don't recall if that person currently lives in Denmark.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:55 pm
  #3042  
 
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One more Danish here - Danish residential adress and CC in DKK
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:56 pm
  #3043  
 
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We had this earlier...

Just awkward how often UA appears in this list.
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by hourami
If you are a EU citizen, it doesn't matter. Vendors can't discriminate. So if they only reinstate Danish citizens they will have to reinstate all purchasers from other European countries.
What about someone who booked with a MP US address but UK credit card & billing address?
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Old Feb 12, 2015, 5:02 pm
  #3045  
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Originally Posted by patgarrett
What about someone who booked with a MP US address but UK credit card & billing address?
From the Bloomberg article: "United may simply need to show that a customer misrepresented that his home country was Denmark, Mosner said."
I have a hard time seeing how the person in your example would NOT have to misrepresent his home country / CC billing address as being Denmark in order to take advantage of the glitch.

That may get UA out of trouble with DoT, but someone in that situation may choose to take UA to EU court if they think it's worth it.
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