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UA mistake award redemption rates for China travel [UA says will void tickets]

UA mistake award redemption rates for China travel [UA says will void tickets]

Old Jul 16, 12, 4:44 pm
  #586  
 
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according to milepoint, a memo was send to united reservations agents:

"A memo went out moments ago from Reservations to all Reservations and MileagePlus agents. The memo states that a pricing error occurred yesterday on itineraries involving travel to China, that the pricing error has now been corrected, the company is still working to resolve the matter of tickets already issued...and the company will be contacting us shortly."
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:46 pm
  #587  
 
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A contract of carriage provision that reserves the right to cancel such ticketed purchases or reserves the right to raise the fare cannot legalize the practice described above. The Enforcement Office would consider any contract of carriage provision that attempts to relieve a carrier of the prohibition against post-purchase price increase to be an unfair and deceptive practice in violation of 49 U.S.C. 41712.

Any lawyers here (not looking for idle speculation) know what fine UA might have to pay if the DOT rules that these bookings fall under their purview and UA still chooses not to honor them?
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:49 pm
  #588  
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Originally Posted by JC1120 View Post
A contract of carriage provision that reserves the right to cancel such ticketed purchases or reserves the right to raise the fare cannot legalize the practice described above. The Enforcement Office would consider any contract of carriage provision that attempts to relieve a carrier of the prohibition against post-purchase price increase to be an unfair and deceptive practice in violation of 49 U.S.C. 41712.

Any lawyers here (not looking for idle speculation) know what fine UA might have to pay if the DOT rules that these bookings fall under their purview and UA still chooses not to honor them?
DOT enforcement varies widely. I imagine anywhere 5k-10k range per ticket.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
DOT enforcement varies widely. I imagine anywhere 5k-10k range per ticket.
Where are you pulling this number from, since I know you're not a lawyer?
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:50 pm
  #590  
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
DOT enforcement varies widely. I imagine anywhere 5k-10k range per ticket.

The last issue I recall was some like $27K per affected ticket.

DOT likes that $27K number -- I think it's the same number that's used for excessive tarmac delays per person.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by JC1120 View Post
Where are you pulling this number from, since I know you're not a lawyer?
uhh yes I am and I worked for FAA enforcement at one point.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
The last issue I recall was some like $27K per affected ticket.

DOT likes that $27K number -- I think it's the same number that's used for excessive tarmac delays per person.
I wonder if there'd be some give-and-take with the DOT here given that (1) there is some argument that can be made the mileage purchases should have some flexibility over $$ tickets; and (2) no person with an average IQ could competently argue in court that they didn't think that was a mistake since there wasn't an advertised promotion anywhere that can be pointed to listing the same amount and that the value was essentially zero.

Last edited by JC1120; Jul 16, 12 at 4:58 pm
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:54 pm
  #593  
 
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Originally Posted by Vunder31 View Post
Have the miles been deducted from your account? If not, UA could claim that you haven't paid "the full amount".
No matter what the receipt says, the system will try to deduct the "normal" mileage (successful in the case where the passenger had enough miles in the account).
According to previous posts here, the booking page showed the correct mile "price" at the top, but the wrong amount further down, which could be enough for UA to argue that customers should have realized that the 4 mile fare is a computer screw-up and not consistent with the published award charts.
However the deduction of miles is 100% in UA's control, I have no ability to "force" the miles to be deducted...So for them to claim that "I" didn't pay in full is shaky. And if I didn't pay in full, why did they issue me a confirmed ticket?

This wouldn't be the first time, with UA or other airlines, that someone did not have miles deducted when they were issued an award ticket.

UA sent me the e-ticket and invoice showing payment of the required taxes/fees and 4 miles/ticket. That UA failed to reflect the deduction in my mileage balance is their problem and something they are more than welcome to rectify at any time - I won't miss the 12 miles total out of my <1K balance!
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
uhh yes I am and I worked for FAA enforcement at one point.
Interesting. Learn something new everyday. All this time I've spent hanging out with you I thought you were in accounting. Go figure.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:55 pm
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On United.com I can book award to Hkg but no awards on any flights from Hkg.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Vunder31 View Post
According to previous posts here, the booking page showed the correct mile "price" at the top, but the wrong amount further down, which could be enough for UA to argue that customers should have realized that the 4 mile fare is a computer screw-up and not consistent with the published award charts.
But maybe the airline somehow forgot to add a line that says: "Big miles promo discount: - 119,996 miles" in the itemized list. Itemized lists are not always perfect. What matters to me is the bottom line total price and the fact that the transaction went through although I didn't have enough miles in my account to cover the top line price
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by JC1120 View Post
I wonder if there'd be some give-and-take with the DOT here given that (1) there is some argument that can be made the mileage purchases should have some flexibility over $$ tickets; and (2) no personal with an average IQ could competently argue in court that they didn't think that was a mistake since there wasn't an advertised promotion anywhere that can be pointed to listing the same amount.
Yes to the first part, see the RGN deal. No to the second part. What a buyer knows is not relevant to whether or not there is a valid contract. US law in general places the information burden on the seller, not the buyer.

Originally Posted by JC1120 View Post
Interesting. Learn something new everyday. All this time I've spent hanging out with you I thought you were in accounting. Go figure.
heh
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Old Jul 16, 12, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
What a buyer knows is not relevant to whether or not there is a valid contract.
I seem to remember reading that some sellers on eBay (thinking like purchases of autos and other large items) which were able to back out of sales using that argument. Could have been because it was state vs. federal.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 5:01 pm
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Do the DoT regulations govern US based airlines also when the flights in question are not to/from the USA?
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Old Jul 16, 12, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by HumbleBee View Post
Do the DoT regulations govern US based airlines also when the flights in question are not to/from the USA?
Yes.
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