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

Old Feb 11, 15, 11:49 am
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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 Mar 10, 15, 4:09 pm
  #5221  
 
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[QUOTE=LHR/MEL/Europe FF;24486719]I don't believe this was a denied boarding for the purposes of EU261, which requires the passenger to have a confirmed reservation.

UA cancelled the reservation (separate issue to be pursued).

The $100 appears to be a 'goodwill' recognition of inconvenience, rather than an admission of anything.


I understand your doubts, but the EU261/2004 legal ratio is to protect the consumers against airlines bad practices.
Well, I got the point you are highlighting, but denied boarding could mean also when you are denied to board because the airline, suddenly, cancels your tkt, calling down some odd reasons. Otherwise the airlines could cancel the tkt few minutes before your airport check-in, pretending to demonstrate that you don't have a valid/existing tkt.
In his case, I would proceed. It's costless also.
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Old Mar 10, 15, 4:17 pm
  #5222  
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Originally Posted by Paul4Travel
Since it was a denied boarding (someone would still disccus about it!), if i were in your shoes, I would deepen the issue with the EU261/2004 through your national authority (I mean the national authority deputed to regulate all the EU261/2004 issues, we're not talking about the judicial process at this stage!))!



It's a little cruel to keep stoking hope that the Regulation is in any way likely to resolve this issue. For starters it simply does not address ticketing. For it to have any relevance, the passenger requires a ticket. We do not have tickets: they were cancelled.




The Regulation defines cancellation in Article 2 (l)

(l) "cancellation" means the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved.



The Regulation defines denied boarding in Article 2 (j)

(j) "denied boarding" means a refusal to carry passengers on a flight, although they have presented themselves for boarding under the conditions laid down in Article 3(2), except where there are reasonable grounds to deny them boarding, such as reasons of health, safety or security, or inadequate travel documentation;




Article 4 devotes just three paragraphs to addressing denied boarding, from which it is clear this is intended as a protection afforded passengers against the consequences of over-booking.
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Old Mar 10, 15, 4:25 pm
  #5223  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK
It's a little cruel to keep stoking hope that the Regulation is in any way likely to resolve this issue. For starters it simply does not address ticketing. For it to have any relevance, the passenger requires a ticket. We do not have tickets: they were cancelled.




The Regulation defines cancellation in Article 2 (l)

(l) "cancellation" means the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved.



The Regulation defines denied boarding in Article 2 (j)

(j) "denied boarding" means a refusal to carry passengers on a flight, although they have presented themselves for boarding under the conditions laid down in Article 3(2), except where there are reasonable grounds to deny them boarding, such as reasons of health, safety or security, or inadequate travel documentation;




Article 4 devotes just three paragraphs to addressing denied boarding, from which it is clear this is intended as a protection afforded passengers against the consequences of over-booking.
I really wonder why you're not able to see no further than one's nose.
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Old Mar 10, 15, 4:27 pm
  #5224  
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Originally Posted by Paul4Travel
......denied boarding could mean also when you are denied to board because the airline, suddenly, cancels your tkt, calling down some odd reasons.

Yet that is quite clearly not what it means

The Regulation quite carefully defines what is means by denied boarding (see above).



Originally Posted by Paul4Travel
Otherwise the airlines could cancel the tkt few minutes before your airport check-in, pretending to demonstrate that you don't have a valid/existing tkt.
Why in heaven's name would an airline do anything so capricious and silly?

If it cancels a ticket without justification it will face substantial damages
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Old Mar 10, 15, 4:34 pm
  #5225  
 
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK
Yet that is quite clearly not


Why in heaven's name would an airline do anything so capricious and silly?

If it cancels a ticket without justification it will face substantial damages
this means that you do not have the slightest idea of what happens behind the scenes. Good luck with your certainties, dude!
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Old Mar 11, 15, 4:27 am
  #5226  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Hello there,

I have followed this thread for quite some time since I watched my tickets being voided by UA.
Following the complaint I filed at the CAA (for a flight departing LHR) I had the following email from them:

Dear Mr XXXXX,

Thank you for your email.

We understand your complaint relates to a booking error on United Airlines where tickets were sold at the incorrect fare. United Airlines has advised the CAA they will offer passengers a refund. We suggest you contact United Airlines in the first instance to arrange your refund.

Please note that the CAA is not taking any further action about your complaint.

Yours sincerely,


Alicia XXXXXXXX
Consumer Affairs Officer
Markets and Consumers Group
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXX

www.caa.co.uk


A refund? Is this too good to be true?
Anyway, seems like EU regulators are taking the same position as DOT. Too bad.

Last edited by IBJoel; Oct 31, 16 at 8:54 am Reason: Removed full name
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Old Mar 11, 15, 6:00 am
  #5227  
 
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Now 1 'month' after buying (and -1 for cancelling ffs) , UA still has my money ... Way to go
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Old Mar 11, 15, 6:45 am
  #5228  
 
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Not to add fuel to the fire, but I noticed this tidbit on the BA T&Cs page:

14. Please note that some credit card issuers will not permit payment for air travel from the UK to be paid for on credit cards that they have issued if the billing address is outside the UK. BA does not accept responsibility for the refusal of any card issuer to allow use of its cards for payment. Prices are based on debit card payments. BA applies a charge for other payment methods, including credit cards and Paypal.

Lends credence to the argument that a country of billing address is irrelevant to the eligibility to purchase a fare when that is not part of the fare rules.
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Old Mar 13, 15, 3:19 pm
  #5229  
 
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Originally Posted by SCSA
Not to add fuel to the fire, but I noticed this tidbit on the BA T&Cs page:

14. Please note that some credit card issuers will not permit payment for air travel from the UK to be paid for on credit cards that they have issued if the billing address is outside the UK. BA does not accept responsibility for the refusal of any card issuer to allow use of its cards for payment. Prices are based on debit card payments. BA applies a charge for other payment methods, including credit cards and Paypal.

Lends credence to the argument that a country of billing address is irrelevant to the eligibility to purchase a fare when that is not part of the fare rules.
At least under US law, if you can't get the fare without it, that makes it a material representation. It really doesn't matter whether the seller "needs" the information or not.

I don't know if EU law is any different, however.
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Old Mar 14, 15, 7:56 am
  #5230  
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Originally Posted by Tamos
Now 1 'month' after buying (and -1 for cancelling ffs) , UA still has my money ... Way to go
I wish I was in your position. Makes your case against UA so much stronger.
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Old Mar 14, 15, 6:01 pm
  #5231  
 
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Originally Posted by Tamos
Now 1 'month' after buying (and -1 for cancelling ffs) , UA still has my money ... Way to go
Originally Posted by 336
I wish I was in your position. Makes your case against UA so much stronger.
UA still with my money too.
About 200 because they charged an extra 40USD for my tickets.
I'm EU based and I have no idea what to do. If I put some hope and fight for this tickets or just start the refund process
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Old Mar 15, 15, 3:23 pm
  #5232  
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Originally Posted by Tamos
Now 1 'month' after buying (and -1 for cancelling ffs) , UA still has my money ... Way to go
send it to the DOT. Refund issue. United cancelled ticket and hasn't refunded in a month. The DOT is well-aware of UAs refund issues and has already fined them a couple of times.
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Old Mar 16, 15, 8:23 am
  #5233  
 
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Not that it means much or anything will come of it, but the DOT FOIA Division has acknowledged receipt of my freedom of information request (asking for records of all correspondence between them and united, as well as any documentation related to their decision, with the exception of the actual complaints submitted)

I'll post an update when I hear anything else from them, the statute requires a response (but not actual release of documents) in a further 20 business days.

I fully expect them to not release very much and claim exemption under either intra-agency communications/decision processes, or confidential trade secrets.

I'll appeal either if they do:
Department of the Interior v. Klamath Water Users Protective ...'n, Merit Energy Co. v. United States Department of the Interior, Center for International Environmental Law v. Office of the United States Trade Representative for intra-agency, and will need to find some case law if they claim trade secrets

This is not what I do for a living, so it is very likely nothing will come of any of this, but its interesting for sure.

For reference:
File #2015-147, Office of the Secretary of Transportation
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Old Mar 16, 15, 11:55 am
  #5234  
 
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Originally Posted by thepaul500
Not that it means much or anything will come of it, but the DOT FOIA Division has acknowledged receipt of my freedom of information request (asking for records of all correspondence between them and united, as well as any documentation related to their decision, with the exception of the actual complaints submitted)

I'll post an update when I hear anything else from them, the statute requires a response (but not actual release of documents) in a further 20 business days.

I fully expect them to not release very much and claim exemption under either intra-agency communications/decision processes, or confidential trade secrets.

I'll appeal either if they do:
Department of the Interior v. Klamath Water Users Protective ...'n, Merit Energy Co. v. United States Department of the Interior, Center for International Environmental Law v. Office of the United States Trade Representative for intra-agency, and will need to find some case law if they claim trade secrets

This is not what I do for a living, so it is very likely nothing will come of any of this, but its interesting for sure.

For reference:
File #2015-147, Office of the Secretary of Transportation
many thanks! it would be funny to see what they discussed behind the scenes!
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Old Mar 16, 15, 12:14 pm
  #5235  
 
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Originally Posted by dilanesp
At least under US law, if you can't get the fare without it, that makes it a material representation. It really doesn't matter whether the seller "needs" the information or not.

I don't know if EU law is any different, however.
Untrue as usual...you could purchase using Western Union, which didn't require a Danish credit card or a selected home country.

Not sure why people have a difficult admitting it was a flawed ruling reached for pragmatic reasons.
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