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Price Mistake on Airline website

Price Mistake on Airline website

Old Jul 9, 12, 10:47 pm
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Price Mistake on Airline website

I have a international flight booked on a Non-Us carrier. I saw an airfare on their website for the exact same itinerary that was $500.00 cheaper. I booked the new fare on line and received a confirmation and plan to cancel the higher fare. Can the airline claim that the posted and confirmed fare was a mistake and not honor the new fare? The round trip begins and ends in the USA.
P
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Old Jul 9, 12, 11:38 pm
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Price Mistake on Airline website

I doubt it was a mistake. Prices do change all the time and in some cases they drop. Buy the lower fare I don't think you will have a problem as long as you're ticketed for it.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 11:46 pm
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Cool

Originally Posted by pgrin View Post
I have a international flight booked on a Non-Us carrier. I saw an airfare on their website for the exact same itinerary that was $500.00 cheaper. I booked the new fare on line and received a confirmation and plan to cancel the higher fare. Can the airline claim that the posted and confirmed fare was a mistake and not honor the new fare? The round trip begins and ends in the USA.
P
You are assuming you can cancel the previous ticket. That may not be true. Be sure so you aren't stuck with two tickets.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 7:36 am
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This can also be a situation where you bought a fare in a higher fare bucket and space in a cheaper bucket opened after you bought the ticket. That's one of the reasons prices can fluctuate quite a bit.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 7:58 am
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Originally Posted by LizzyDragon84 View Post
This can also be a situation where you bought a fare in a higher fare bucket and space in a cheaper bucket opened after you bought the ticket. That's one of the reasons prices can fluctuate quite a bit.
Yup, I've had this happen. Make sure you can cancel the original itinerary before getting stuck with two tickets. On my particular international itinerary, the only ticket I could buy included a business seat. I did not select to search for business class seats and couldn't figure out why economy would not be offered as I was searching months in advance. As soon as I booked the itinerary with the business class seat, the same flights popped up in the search with plenty of economy seats at $1000 less. Since the itinerary was international and on partner airlines, it didn't get ticketed right away so I was able to call and cancel and rebook the cheaper fare bucket.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by pgrin View Post
I have a international flight booked on a Non-Us carrier. I saw an airfare on their website for the exact same itinerary that was $500.00 cheaper. I booked the new fare on line and received a confirmation and plan to cancel the higher fare. Can the airline claim that the posted and confirmed fare was a mistake and not honor the new fare? The round trip begins and ends in the USA.
P
To answer to your general question, if the airline makes a genuine error, they can cancel the ticket and not honor the fare. These mistakes happen often enough that there is a name for them here on FT, they are called "mistake fares" and people frequently book them in the hopes that the airline will ultimately honor the fare for PR reasons. Sometimes they do.

The law governing this goes back to misprints in print advertisements. If it was a true, significant error and is corrected as soon as found, there is no obligation to honor the price printed in error.

As to whether your particular ticket was a mistake fare, that is less clear, as the posters above have pointed out.
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Old Jul 10, 12, 9:08 am
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hopefully, the 1st booking is fully refundable....
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Old Jul 10, 12, 12:51 pm
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That happens rather often when you check flight or hotel room prices on the carrier/hotel website.

My BKK J trip with AY was $280 lower the week after I made the first reservation; the Hilton room central HEL went down $80 in three weeks.

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Old Jul 10, 12, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
To answer to your general question, if the airline makes a genuine error, they can cancel the ticket and not honor the fare. These mistakes happen often enough that there is a name for them here on FT, they are called "mistake fares" and people frequently book them in the hopes that the airline will ultimately honor the fare for PR reasons. Sometimes they do.

The law governing this goes back to misprints in print advertisements. If it was a true, significant error and is corrected as soon as found, there is no obligation to honor the price printed in error.
The DoT would beg to differ vis a vis 49 U.S.C. 41712 399.88(a).

And since airline pricing is governed by the feds the obligation to honor the fares seems to be quite real.
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Old Jul 23, 12, 10:26 am
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A little late to the party but I did not want to start a new thread. Having been part of the KE cancelation from last fall and in my reading of the new DOT rules (49 U.S.C. 41712 399.88(a)) I think the jury is out. A mistake is not an "unfair or unethical business practices on the part of the airlines."

However, I think what comes into play is timeliness. Most mistakes are caught in a timely fashion (<72 hours) and passengers are notified. In KE's case it did not notify passengers in a timely fashion nor did they have anything in their CoC about mistakes. So KE should have honored the fare as I would say their actions were unethical because KE knew about the mistake in a timely fashion (<72) but did not notify the affected passengers until two months later.

However, IMHO if an airline makes a mistake they should have a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem, including canceling tickets. After that they should held to the price. I believe that strikes a balance in fairness.
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Old Jul 23, 12, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
A little late to the party but I did not want to start a new thread. Having been part of the KE cancelation from last fall and in my reading of the new DOT rules (49 U.S.C. 41712 399.88(a)) I think the jury is out. A mistake is not an "unfair or unethical business practices on the part of the airlines."

However, I think what comes into play is timeliness. Most mistakes are caught in a timely fashion (<72 hours) and passengers are notified. In KE's case it did not notify passengers in a timely fashion nor did they have anything in their CoC about mistakes. So KE should have honored the fare as I would say their actions were unethical because KE knew about the mistake in a timely fashion (<72) but did not notify the affected passengers until two months later.

However, IMHO if an airline makes a mistake they should have a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem, including canceling tickets. After that they should held to the price. I believe that strikes a balance in fairness.
While not the same scenario: a pax purchases a ticket, and (really) by accident clicks 7/23, when they meant to click 7/24 for the departure date, why shouldn't they also have a 72 hour period to correct their mistake?
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Old Jul 23, 12, 3:22 pm
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
While not the same scenario: a pax purchases a ticket, and (really) by accident clicks 7/23, when they meant to click 7/24 for the departure date, why shouldn't they also have a 72 hour period to correct their mistake?
Don't most airlines allow 24 hours to cover this situation?
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Old Jul 23, 12, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Don't most airlines allow 24 hours to cover this situation?
Yes, but since the post I responded to, was allowing the airline 72 hours to correct their mistake, shouldn't a pax who ligitimately made a mistake also be allowed 72 hours to make the correction--with most airlines, once ticketed any changes fall under the CoC provisions, and these are not very forgiving.
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Old Jul 23, 12, 11:55 pm
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
Yes, but since the post I responded to, was allowing the airline 72 hours to correct their mistake, shouldn't a pax who ligitimately made a mistake also be allowed 72 hours to make the correction--with most airlines, once ticketed any changes fall under the CoC provisions, and these are not very forgiving.
the airlines have lawyers and lobbyists.... we have none.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
While not the same scenario: a pax purchases a ticket, and (really) by accident clicks 7/23, when they meant to click 7/24 for the departure date, why shouldn't they also have a 72 hour period to correct their mistake?
Actually, that is a good point. Should go both ways. I was just throwing out a time period for example. Split the difference 48 hours.
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