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Mistake fares: I pledge to to be ethical

Mistake fares: I pledge to to be ethical

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Old May 15, 07, 6:52 pm
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Mistake fares: I pledge to to be ethical

I find the whole mistake fare thing so intruiging. I don't want FT to turn into a forum of people trying to take advantage of the airlines. Rather, I have always seen FT as a way to share good and honest ways of earning miles. When we shy away from calling the airline because we think the fare might not be a valid fare, I think we are doing something less than ethical.

That said, what can we do that doesn't compromise our loyalty as customers? I don't know the answer. But I do know that I wouldn't like it if I ran a business and my loyal customers took advantage of honest mistakes.
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Old May 15, 07, 7:08 pm
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I pledge to always recognize that no one will take care of me but me, and, as such, expect that airlines should honor their pricing mistake in the same way that I would expect a grocery store to honor the mispricing (new word) of something at .11 when it should be $1.19. Fare mistakes are not the end of western civilization as we know it and, frankly, it won't be the end of the airline that made the mistake either.

Last edited by Randeman; May 16, 07 at 9:24 am Reason: grammar
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Old May 15, 07, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
I find the whole mistake fare thing so intruiging. I don't want FT to turn into a forum of people trying to take advantage of the airlines. Rather, I have always seen FT as a way to share good and honest ways of earning miles.
The relentless CPM focus in the MR forums puts lie to your view. If there's to be no discussion of fares and routings with unusually low CPM, then it's time to close the MR deals forum entirely.

Personally, I resent the implication that purchasing and flying on a fare and routing freely offered with no fraudulent intent is anything other than a 'good and honest' way of earning miles.

I also don't accept claims of mistake where there's no evidence of mistake in the purchasing process (e.g. fare shows $XXXX price on one page but my card is charged only $YY). Fare sales happen all the time for many reasons.
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Old May 15, 07, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Randeman View Post
I pledge to always recognize that no one will take care of me but me, and, as such, expect that airlines should honor their pricing mistake in the same way that I would expect a grocery store to honor the mispricing (new word) of something at .11 cents when it should be 1.19. Fare mistakes are not the end of western civilization as we know and, frankly, it won't be the end of the airline that made the mistake either.


I pledge the same. I will take advantage FULLY of any and all "mistakes" that arise, at the same time doing nothing to hinder other FTers
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Old May 15, 07, 7:45 pm
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In my view ethics are about how people treat each other.

Since corporations do not treat people (either their customers or their employess) ethically, I don't feel compelled to treat corporations ethically.

Corporations are machines designed to make money without regard for the damage they do to people, society or the environment.

Given the opportunity I will not hesitate to screw a corporation over. Countless corporations have done the same to me.
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Old May 15, 07, 8:19 pm
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The Ethics Issue

I struggled with it when I first joined FT 6 years ago. In that time I have personally come to the realization that the service provider (airline, hotel, third party provider) has the ultimate "say" in honoring the fare mistake or not. As such, if they honor it, GREAT. If not, there will be another one next week. I'm not the type to sue although I do admit getting mad when they back out. ie: Japan Hiltons, changing fare rules,and Los Gatos 2 weeks ago.

And my question to the airlines is: how can they ethically charge the walk up fares they do?? Most of them are outrageous. And can you imagine a first class seat to New Zealand really being worth $19,000???
The airlines have very little leverage when THEY play the ethics card.
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Old May 16, 07, 12:36 am
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
I don't want FT to turn into a forum of people trying to take advantage of the airlines. Rather, I have always seen FT as a way to share good and honest ways of earning miles.
I would suggest that thanks to the notoriety FT has gained from the super low fare phenomenon that to a certain extent for a large percentage of the membership taking advantage of the airlines by trawling for these deals has become a priority. Having just passed 138K members FT isn't about the same things it used to be, at least IMHO.

That said, what can we do that doesn't compromise our loyalty as customers? I don't know the answer. But I do know that I wouldn't like it if I ran a business and my loyal customers took advantage of honest mistakes.
Loyalty? Perhaps it's the skeptic in me that wants to lump loyalty in with privacy as quaint 20th century notions as I sometimes wonder whether there is much of either in this day and age. After all for many here, myself included to a certain extent, loyalty is fuzzy term that rarely extends beyond this promo or that elite status match. And really what would you expect from us who are trained by airlines & hotels to switch loyalty at the drop of a hat? I know what you're saying and appreciate the notion but feel it's expecting too much from too many.

Last edited by tcook052; May 16, 07 at 1:07 am
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Old May 16, 07, 1:00 am
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
Having just passed 138K members FT isn't about the same things it used to be, at least IMHO.
Well said. Take a look at the posts that were important back in 1998:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/searc...archid=1206820
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Old May 16, 07, 1:27 am
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
Take a look at the posts that were important back in 1998:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/searc...archid=1206820
Exactly. The recent upgrade to FT that allows us to see how many members & guests are in a certain forum are interesting from an amateur statisticians POV as unlike before we can now literally see the ranks swell when a super low fare deal is in play. I can only hope that those that come for the titilation of the exotic will stay for the community that is so much more than one forum, however exiciting it can be from time to time.

I would disagree with the assertion that buying tickets on these super low fare is unethical, though everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am quite sure we've had this discussion in many forms in many threads on many forums. I've always been careful, or perhaps simply poor enough, not have been able to splash extra cash around for what could be called speculative reservations, and haven't booked any more than one ticket on any one of the "deals", but that's just me.

I guess that while I can understand your motive creating this thread I find it too hard to broadly apply such a personally subjective term as ethics to a community of 138K and reach anything approaching a consensus.
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Old May 16, 07, 1:34 am
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Originally Posted by Randeman View Post
I pledge to always recognize that no one will take care of me but me, and, as such, expect that airlines should honor their pricing mistake in the same way that I would expect a grocery store to honor the mispricing (new word) of something at .11 cents when it should be 1.19. Fare mistakes are not the end of western civilization as we know and, frankly, it won't be the end of the airline that made the mistake either.
Originally Posted by mtacchi View Post
I pledge the same. I will take advantage FULLY of any and all "mistakes" that arise, at the same time doing nothing to hinder other FTers
*raises hand to heart*
I sincerely and wholeheartedly pledge the same as quoted.
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Old May 16, 07, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by zrs70 View Post
Well said. Take a look at the posts that were important back in 1998:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/searc...archid=1206820
That link doesn't work for me. Perhaps you could summarize briefly the discussion topic?
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Old May 16, 07, 9:20 am
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The airlines have implemented a system that allows them to change their fares numerous times a day. While the practice can definitely be benefical to the customer (occasional low fares and sales), the primary reason why the airlines engage in this practice is so they can constantly offer fares at prices that benefit them most at that moment. Since they have the freedom to change the fares so often, then, IMO, they can suffer the (seldom) consequence of that freedom. Plus, most of the airlines have language in their CoC giving them the option to not honor a mistake fare, so even if a mistake happens they still have the choice to either honor it or not.

If every time you went to the grocery store a gallon of milk was a different price (Monday $5.00, Tuesday $8.00, Wednesday $3.50, Thursday $12.00, etc), would you really question it all that much if on Friday it's only $1.00?

As evidenced by the recent PR/Cheapair mistake, most FTers are reasonable folks and willing to let the fare go, given a reasonable and forthright explanation from the airline or OTA (though I think most were willing to cut Cheapair more slack than they would an airline or larger OTA).
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Old May 16, 07, 12:57 pm
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link didn't work for me either, unless...

Originally Posted by Socaflyer View Post
That link doesn't work for me. Perhaps you could summarize briefly the discussion topic?
The link didn't work for me either, unless you were showing that there were no posts before 1998 ?!

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Old May 16, 07, 2:26 pm
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Agree with MPATTDU...these mistakes are a natural outgrowth of automating the process and not developing appropriate business rules in concert with this automation.
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Old May 16, 07, 8:03 pm
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If a fare is offered and I accept then we have a deal. No regrets and no guilt.
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