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UAs Official Response to HKG Ticketing/IT Error: Redeem @ Correct Amount or Redeposit

UAs Official Response to HKG Ticketing/IT Error: Redeem @ Correct Amount or Redeposit

Old Jul 19, 12, 7:21 pm
  #1876  
 
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Originally Posted by pdx1M View Post
I've been trying to understand what actually occured in the original bug and how that relates to the DOT argument and I have a theory...
Perhaps the only way to figure out the logic is for at least some of us to file DOT complaints. That or an FOIA request regarding any communication between UA and DOT regarding this error. Or both.

FWIW, I believe that the right strategy for United is to cancel everything and see who fights for it. Several possibilities that would support this action:
1. DOT will only fine UA/enforce the rules for instances where people complain about their canceled ticket.
2. DOT declined to fine UA in this instance, but the damages are still recoverable in civil court.
3. DOT fined UA with a wrist slap of $10 or $1000 per ticket, but UA still felt that was preferable to their losses if they honored the tickets. In which case, damages would still be recoverable in civil court.
4. DOT decided that their rules don't apply to award tickets in the absence of fuel surcharges or other airline fees. In this case, recovering damages (outside of non-refundable expenses) in court would probably be an uphill battle.

Also, I believe there are two distinct classes of customers here: Those who were over-deducted by 139,996 or 279,996 miles, and those who had their tickets canceled. It might be appropriate to split (yet again) into two threads.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:22 pm
  #1877  
 
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Originally Posted by XLR26 View Post
I'm guessing DOT has already given UA the green light on the cancellations, or at least and advisory opinion that any such cancellations will not be considered violations of DOT regs.
I agree. To do so without such approval would have been reckless!

Last edited by LAXOGG; Jul 19, 12 at 7:31 pm Reason: sp
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:23 pm
  #1878  
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What if I had 100 miles, booked 12 tickets and am due to travel by the 21st and return 10 months later?
Am I an insufficient account or a duly cleared for travel account?

If insufficient, why is it OK not to cancel the tickets of those with more miles than mine who are booked to fly at the same time?
If OK for travel, may be the FTG claim to discrimination is going to start.

I think if a time was going to be used as the cut off, it should have been Monday Noon or 9 PM or whenever they came up with the realization that they goofed.

Some (very few) had already traveled, too late for anything.
Anyone else, sorry too late,
or at least,
allow travel for half the saver price on these tickets as a goodwill gesture.

Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
Hi Everyone, I want to provide you with a further update on our Hong Kong award programming error from this past weekend. Specifically here’s how we are proceeding with these reservations:
  • For those customers who had sufficient mileage in their account for the correct award amount, the correct amount of miles were deducted at the time of redemption. Any customers who do not intend to use the published number of miles for their ticket may cancel their reservation without paying a fee and we will refund all miles, taxes and fees.
  • For those customers who did not have sufficient mileage in their account for the correct award amount, the correct amount of miles could not be deducted at the time of redemption. These tickets have been canceled for non-payment and all taxes and fees have been refunded.
  • For those customers who have already begun travel, or are ticketed to begin travel on or before July 21, we will not cancel these tickets and will allow travel to be completed in full. This is intended as an accommodation to those customers whose travel is already underway or the departure date to begin travel is imminent.
We hope you’ll agree this was a unique circumstance. Unlike other widely reported “mistake fares,” the number of miles required for these awards – the correct purchase price – was clearly disclosed to customers throughout the MileagePlus award redemption process and is also available on our MileagePlus travel award chart.

We are in the process of communicating with affected customers at this time. Once again, we appreciate your understanding.

Shannon Kelly
Director, Customer Insights
United Airlines

Last edited by ffI; Jul 19, 12 at 7:30 pm
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:24 pm
  #1879  
 
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
Why anyone would want to fly to HKG and back on extremely short notice just to experience UA's first class boggles the mind. If I have to be in HKG for business, sure. If it's just for the pleasure of sitting on a plane for 26+ hours in a weekend, uh....no thanks.
I once flew around the world in about 36 hours. Because I could. Some of us were born this way.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:24 pm
  #1880  
 
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Sorry if this has been answered but I'm not reading all those posts.....
Who actually traveled between the error and the 21st?
Thanks
Oh and don't get mad if they don't honor, you really look silly
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:25 pm
  #1881  
 
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Originally Posted by LAXOGG View Post
I agree. Do do so without such approval would have been reckless!
You making an assumption about a company that was reckless enough to post a fare to Hong Kong for 4 miles plus taxes...don't assume anything....

I agree with whoever stated that this could be a way to avoid fines (if you don't complain, there is no fine). Or perhaps only those who complain will get to fly.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:26 pm
  #1882  
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
Why anyone would want to fly to HKG and back on extremely short notice just to experience UA's first class boggles the mind. If I have to be in HKG for business, sure. If it's just for the pleasure of sitting on a plane for 26+ hours in a weekend, uh....no thanks.
Some people like to fly...
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:29 pm
  #1883  
 
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Thanks



You are more charitable than I. Clearly folks knew this was an opportunity to do something akin to defrauding UA -- and certainly was not acting in a way that they would like to be treated.



The amounts of staff time that had to be devoted to this over the last 96 hours could have been used to work on things -- and there are many -- which are real, frustrating, and annoying problems. (Not to mention the staff time and potential attorney fees to be paid responding to frivolous DOT or other claims by its "most loyal customers" [sic])
^^^^
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:30 pm
  #1884  
 
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Originally Posted by janetdoe View Post
Perhaps the only way to figure out the logic is for at least some of us to file DOT complaints. That or an FOIA request regarding any communication between UA and DOT regarding this error. Or both.

****

I was thinking FOIA too. They're a great way to get "inside" info. ^

Not sure there's a private right of action for alleged violations of DOT regs, are you sure about that?
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:33 pm
  #1885  
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Originally Posted by VandyBDL View Post
Unfortunately I think this means that they worked with the DOT to come to this answer. I think DOT made them honor the tickets up to 7/21.
Sound like a reasonable supposition and, if so, a reasonable thing to have done. ^
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:35 pm
  #1886  
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Wrong way around

Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
If I was TPG, I would not be amused at being confused with FTG...... that might be a DOT complaint in itself!
I'm the one not amused, being mistaken for the Pointsguy. Where do I file
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:36 pm
  #1887  
 
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I accept the outcome. I certainly won't be demanding an almost free trip to Asia based on an error. Time to move on and not worry about it.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:37 pm
  #1888  
 
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This is quite disappointing that this didn't get honored, although I didn't really think this would.. so be it.

However it is still very disrespectful that they cancelled everything without contacting people in advance..
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:38 pm
  #1889  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
We hope you’ll agree this was a unique circumstance. Unlike other widely reported “mistake fares,” the number of miles required for these awards – the correct purchase price – was clearly disclosed to customers throughout the MileagePlus award redemption process and is also available on our MileagePlus travel award chart.
Dear UA Insider,

I booked my ticket off of a hold. When I returned to the held reservation and eventually purchased the ticket, the only number of miles ever listed was 4. Essentially my process to purchase this ticket was (1) Go to United.com. (2) Access the held reservation. (3) Confirm and pay taxes on said reservation.

During this process, I never saw any mileage price other than 4. So, in my case, it is not true that the correct purchase price was disclosed throughout the redemption process.

I'm posting this since I think you (United) may not be aware of this.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 7:39 pm
  #1890  
 
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
Why anyone would want to fly to HKG and back on extremely short notice just to experience UA's first class boggles the mind. If I have to be in HKG for business, sure. If it's just for the pleasure of sitting on a plane for 26+ hours in a weekend, uh....no thanks.
Uh, this is Flyertalk where people travel crazy itineraries just for the fun of it! I'm too lazy to do the search now, but remember Lucky's post a few years back when he flew 6 transpacs in just a few days? And that was way before the fleet upgrades to the new business and first class!
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