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

Old Feb 11, 15, 1:57 pm
  #1396  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: KSTP KSPG
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https://twitter.com/united/status/565546726187368448

LOL
teddy25 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 1:59 pm
  #1397  
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Originally Posted by HansGolden
Is this original with you?
Maybe he's Aaron Rodgers?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...irts/21416719/
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:00 pm
  #1398  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Then again how about Sweden? Copenhagen Airport serves the whole southern part of Sweden, and surely people have taked advantage of good deals ex-CPH in the past. Notably the 1000 dollar Business Class return fares to New York.
LH4116 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:00 pm
  #1399  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by teddy25
Wow, that was a close call
ForeignDude is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:01 pm
  #1400  
 
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Can anyone log into the online pannel on ua.com? Its always saying technical difficulties. Booking still up on LH.com
FlyingLasse is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:03 pm
  #1401  
 
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Originally Posted by James91
What is the delay? Do they have to find holes in the DoT rules, or are they just torturing us, or are they deciding whether to give it to us for the PR? I'd be interested to hear the conversations going on at the moment!
They are probably trying to decide on a solution to honor the fares, it's good PR for them. They'll probably trying to find another solution for those who "abused" (in their opinion) this and leave them with a single ticket.
Dan98 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:04 pm
  #1402  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX
R E L A X

Breathe deep.

Congrats on all who got in.

Now comes the fun part.
This should be the Official Flyertalk Mistake Fare Haiku.
MarcusBWI is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:07 pm
  #1403  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by iahphx
Wow. So a customer could have their MileagePlus account closed, and possibly thrown into the gulag, because they had the audacity to visit United's Danish website and buy a cheapo ticket.

That's an interesting theory.
no, I meant that entering a wrong billing address on purpose for the sake of getting a mistake fare would give UA grounds to cancel your FF account. I didn't say "Gulag", and I hope nobody gets into any legal trouble with this.

"Cheapo ticket", that's putting it lightly - buying a $10,000 ticket for $50 by using a sneaky trick to trick the website... if they dragged you to court, how would you explain it? That you read about this trick to get the UA website to display the wrong price, and then you entered a wrong credit card address on purpose, pretending to be in another country? Think about how that sounds to somebody who is not a Flyertalk regular!
augias84 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:08 pm
  #1404  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 58
Originally Posted by FlyingLasse
Can anyone log into the online pannel on ua.com? Its always saying technical difficulties. Booking still up on LH.com
Yes I can still view both my bookings, though several of the options at the top of the screen are no longer available, such as:

Change flights
E-mail Summary
Print Itinerary
Export to calendar
Cancel
Trevski220 is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:08 pm
  #1405  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Originally Posted by Dan98
They are probably trying to decide on a solution to honor the fares, it's good PR for them. They'll probably trying to find another solution for those who "abused" (in their opinion) this and leave them with a single ticket.
I think that'd be fair and a possible solution for them to cut out the people booking a million trips through it without losing too much PR. I have a feeling it will be all or nothing as that's easier to decide than a ticket-by-ticket basis.
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Old Feb 11, 15, 2:08 pm
  #1406  
 
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http://www.eturbonews.com/55459/unit...-buying-frenzy

As news spread on the internet, potential customers began calling United and complaining that it was unjust discrimination to let Danish people have $14,000 fares for under $100, and insisted United should afford them the same price. These were apparently customers who lacked the skills to book a ticket on the internet and know how to switch the currency to Danish crowns.
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Old Feb 11, 15, 2:09 pm
  #1407  
 
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This has been a really exciting day. I hope all this works out but if it doesn't I suppose I'm not really out anything. Just thought I would post what I was able to book. I don't want to use exact flight info cause I don't want to draw attention. Basically I was about to book 1.5 trips. I booked LHR-US in May then in September I booked a different US airport roundtrip to Germany for about $230. I booked it using the multi city. So now I just have to book a one way to London and then I'll have two different trips to Europe.
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Old Feb 11, 15, 2:10 pm
  #1408  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Iowa City, IA
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Originally Posted by Trevski220
Yes I can still view both my bookings, though several of the options at the top of the screen are no longer available, such as:

Change flights
E-mail Summary
Print Itinerary
Export to calendar
Cancel
If your flight hasn't been ticketed yet those options will not show up.
nsummy is offline  
Old Feb 11, 15, 2:10 pm
  #1409  
 
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For those needing to cancel (overlapping dates for me)...

I'm still getting an error when trying to cancel online. Has anyone been able to cancel online successfully? I'd like to handle this without drawing an eye to my other reservation...
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Old Feb 11, 15, 2:11 pm
  #1410  
 
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who told you "you entered a wrong credit card address on purpose", could somebody just do not pay attention to the country?

Originally Posted by augias84
no, I meant that entering a wrong billing address on purpose for the sake of getting a mistake fare would give UA grounds to cancel your FF account. I didn't say "Gulag", and I hope nobody gets into any legal trouble with this.

"Cheapo ticket", that's putting it lightly - buying a $10,000 ticket for $50 by using a sneaky trick to trick the website... if they dragged you to court, how would you explain it? That you read about this trick to get the UA website to display the wrong price, and then you entered a wrong credit card address on purpose, pretending to be in another country? Think about how that sounds to somebody who is not a Flyertalk regular!
outfox999 is offline  

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