Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Mileage Run Deals > Mileage Run Discussion
Reload this Page >

[PREM FARE GONE] UA: NCL-EWR 600 DKK (mistaken fare) DOT ruled; see wiki for link

Old Feb 11, 15, 11:49 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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."
Print Wikipost

[PREM FARE GONE] UA: NCL-EWR 600 DKK (mistaken fare) DOT ruled; see wiki for link

Old Feb 14, 15, 11:56 am
  #3766  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: FRA/MUC/NUE
Programs: M&M SEN, Starbucks Gold
Posts: 315
Originally Posted by maclover
United - or any other airline - will do it for free during the first 24 hours
How about I book a ticket, and then I issue a payed rebooking and I chose the wrong date? Had that on UA and also on LH. 60€ spent for nothing.

Cheers
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 11:57 am
  #3767  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,309
Originally Posted by Granite64
I havent looked at this topic for 12 hours; can somebody give me some quick updates if there are any? Thanks.

Threats of lawsuits, horrible analogies, misapplications of DOT rules, attempts to strong arm UA into honoring, ect
Jesperss is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 11:59 am
  #3768  
Hyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Between AMS and BRU
Posts: 8,852
The Oman error last year in Germany proved otherwise.... Error fares are not protected if it was clear there was an error. And that's obvious the case here....

Fortunately these are not German tickets to KUL on a ME airline :-). That thread was a lot shorter. Although they did allow gold members to fly....
RTW1 is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 11:59 am
  #3769  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: BQH
Programs: United Airlines F for Fudge You Fanclub
Posts: 40
Originally Posted by Paul4Travel
Furthermore I would like to understand why if I book a tkt with UA that costs me 1000$ and unintentionally i set 30/01/2015 instead of 31/01/2015, would you bet how much UA will be willing to change my tkt without any penalty?
although that's a simple mistake too!
Next time let your wife book, if you then notice any mistake just ring up and let them know a third party booking your ticket made an error, I'm sure they'll be happy to sort everything out without charge
rachcollins is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:02 pm
  #3770  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: FRA/MUC/NUE
Programs: M&M SEN, Starbucks Gold
Posts: 315
UA should just ask themselves:
"What would EK do?"

Exactly: they would say:
"Welcome Back, Mr. Miller."
... and would honor the fare!

Last edited by FlyingLasse; Feb 14, 15 at 12:13 pm
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:12 pm
  #3771  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: 7th planet on your right
Programs: BA[G], SQ[G], TK[G], DL[PM], EY[G], AF[S], IC[Amb], HH[G]
Posts: 1,641
Afaik there have been other airlines affected...but they fixed the bug before we got it. Unfortunately I could not enjoy it... but afaik few (and i mean a few) tix were booked and issued and the airline is honouring..
paffendorf is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:13 pm
  #3772  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NY
Programs: The local deli gives me 1 free sandwich after I buy 10
Posts: 4,025
Originally Posted by RTW1
What's consumer protection worth if you cannot use it.

Either companies take measures to check for mistakes, something they can easily do now before ticketing. Or they should pay up.

Maybe an adaptation to the regs is in order by giving something of a grace period. But airline contracts are not known to be very consumer friendly anyway, so who really cares if an airlines has to pay for its mistakes now and again.
Totally agree!
Until the airlines take measures to prevent ticketing fares they do not intend to sell they are obligated to make good or make some compensation or at least apologize for canceling their end of a contract.
As a regular opportunist of good deals (intentional or not) I would be in favor of a clause that protects them. Their lawyers and customer services want to be so smart on how to deal with the public after a mistake, why not use some of that brain power and be proactive. This continual cycle of selling something and then saying you can't have it only creates ill will and is bad business.
With that said, to my advantage, UA currently has nothing in place. I can just imagine what it was like in the executive offices last Tuesday in Chicago, "Oh, no what do we do!" "Should we cancel?" "What are the repercussions to our reputation?" I am sure the stress is felt on both sides of this issue. Why do they continually subject themselves to this is beyond me. Until they protect themselves against me, 'the opportunist' I will continue to buy with the expectation to recieve the product I paid for! This is what Alitalia did. That is what Delta did.
You cannot cry, "Poor United Airlines!" until they wake up and implement a strategy to keep it from happening again.
Clincher is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:19 pm
  #3773  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berlin
Posts: 1,751
Originally Posted by RTW1
The Oman error last year in Germany proved otherwise.... Error fares are not protected if it was clear there was an error. And that's obvious the case here....

Fortunately these are not German tickets to KUL on a ME airline :-). That thread was a lot shorter. Although they did allow gold members to fly....
I had spoken with an attorney who felt positive about this case, considering the price. However, not sure what ever came of it or if it ever saw a courtroom.

Last edited by largeeyes; Feb 14, 15 at 12:21 pm Reason: Replied before I read it all.
largeeyes is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:20 pm
  #3774  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 101,103
Originally Posted by hsk
You know, we may just be killing off a very pro-consumer piece of regulation. Would really suck if ridiculous $50 error fares made the DOT reconsider its stance on consumer protection.
That made me smile. First of all, the U.S. has very little pro-consumer rights legislation and regulation for airline passengers; and the US DOT is already being pushed by the airlines to reconsider what little consumer rights protection it has granted to ticket buyers before.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:23 pm
  #3775  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berlin
Posts: 1,751
Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
UA should just ask themselves:
"What would EK do?"

Exactly: they would say:

... and would honor the fare!
Considering EY and QR both do everything they can not to honor a questionable fare, what makes you think EK is different?
largeeyes is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:26 pm
  #3776  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: BQH
Programs: United Airlines F for Fudge You Fanclub
Posts: 40
Originally Posted by IAN-UK
Fair enough. But if there is a positive ruling from DOT it would be unthinkable not to include an element of compensation for those whose travel dates had passed unfulfilled.

EC261 generally doesn't allow accumulation of compensation, reducing it for against sums awarded elsewhere (Article 12). So, whether or not the regulation could be applied, that course of action becomes redundant.
It only becomes redundant if United completely fulfil their obligations under EU261, if tickets are reinstated I can't see United both rerouting passengers who they denied boarding and also giving them 600 for the inconvenience, but I suppose you never know.

Originally Posted by IAN-UK
If DOT intervention goes against us you return to the uphill struggle to get a ruling against UA's receding from its contracts. Again, success would bring reinstated transport or compensation, and EC261 becomes redundant.
Agreed, I've never suggested otherwise.
rachcollins is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:28 pm
  #3777  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PlatMM, BA Silver, AlaskaAir, HHonors DIA, Accor, Marriott Titanium, IHG Plat Amb, UA Silver, AA
Posts: 4,412
Originally Posted by Xyzzy
Instead of selling seats at a few thousand dollars each, they've potentially filled the seats with passengers paying close to zer.
Have you ever flown UA F? Of the 6 F seats, I'd estimate that, as a rule, zero or 1 seat may be a paid F ticket. I've seen many more nonrevs in F than paid pax, as well as award pax and op-ups. Plus one of the seats is reserved for pilots on many flights.
kyushuman is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 12:32 pm
  #3778  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 273
United also did have the correct FX rate somewhere in their system. I don't have a screenshot of it but after checking out, there was a "Show Conversion" button on the bottom of the page which correctly converted DKK into some other currency (GBP I think). It is only on the final receipt where it shows the conversion wrong
dlandz is offline  
Old Feb 14, 15, 1:03 pm
  #3779  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 101,103
The "show conversion"/conversion" currency display was noticed by me only after this deal was pulled or nearly pulled.

When I was doing these bookings, I had no clue that this was a currency exchange issue. My first thought was finally there to the fuel surcharges on some economy class tickets and rush to book what I can before UA puts in the scam fuel surcharges too.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Feb 14, 15, 1:06 pm
  #3780  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: BOS/SIN
Programs: SQ
Posts: 2,701
Originally Posted by kyushuman
Have you ever flown UA F? Of the 6 F seats, I'd estimate that, as a rule, zero or 1 seat may be a paid F ticket. I've seen many more nonrevs in F than paid pax, as well as award pax and op-ups. Plus one of the seats is reserved for pilots on many flights.
Exactly. United could have potentially honored this and then just zeroed out the R space on these flights.

Even more, they could've priced the upgradable fare classes at a reasonable amount to trick the consumers into thinking they'd scored a good chance at an affordable upgrade.
benzemalyonnais is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread