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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, 8:41 pm
  #1951  
 
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One final note before I leave this thread for good. Word of the Thread goes to "unilateral"! I have not seen that word used so much in my life. But maybe I'm not a lawyer like all of you...

Last edited by 1015-1k; Jul 19, 12 at 8:50 pm
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Old Jul 19, 12, 8:43 pm
  #1952  
 
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Originally Posted by rittenhousesq View Post
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!
I also did the 6 transpacs except I went to BKK rather than ICN like Lucky did. Both of us came to the conclusion that even with the old F seats and IFE it was not so bad. Lots of movies on my laptop kept me entertained. Would do it again, maybe for 4 miles . I considered doing a few day trip to HKG this week but I had schedule conflicts.

Six Transpacs in Five Days. HELP ME!
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Old Jul 19, 12, 8:45 pm
  #1953  
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
Two paragraphs too long, presents opinion as fact, and includes grammatical, punctuation and typographical errors. You nailed it.
It's a draft that I quickly came up with.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 8:46 pm
  #1954  
 
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Anyone received the promised call?
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Old Jul 19, 12, 8:47 pm
  #1955  
 
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Although we do not mediate individual complaints, if your complaint concerns
airline service we will enter it in our computerized industry monitoring system,
which serves as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research. Complaints
are also charged to the company in question in our monthly complaint report,
which is distributed to the industry and made available to the news media and
the general public so that both consumers and air travel companies can compare
the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators. Complaints are
also routinely reviewed to determine the extent to which carriers are in
compliance with our regulations. We also use these complaints to track trends
or spot areas of concern, which we feel may warrant further action in the
future.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 8:53 pm
  #1956  
 
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Originally Posted by West Coast Ace View Post
Yes. The website is just a sexy front end. In SQL (db lingo) it goes something like this:

SELECT user from sales_table where saleDate='2012-07-12' and depCity='LAX' and arrCity='HKG' and payType='award'
I was actually wondering if it was SQL or knowing how 'legacy' so many of these systems are whether it was something more esoteric. Do you know what specific technology it is running on?

The 'IT mistake' has been bandied about (in the 25 pages I've read). Anyone think this could be a 'parting gift' from a disgruntled last day at the office type? Another reason UA may be in lockdown. Trying to find said person and get a confession out of them. Could be checking logs to see who was logged in and what commands they were running.
I doubt it, the reason being is that the error seems far too random for an insider attack. If you really wanted to screw over United (and had the unfettered admin access that would be needed for people who are claiming this is a hack) you'd just divide all of the award tables by 1000 or screw up a bunch of fare codes. If you were trying to do some insider stuff for personal gain you'd likely change a small number of values then reset them immediately after ticketing. Setting up a website bug that shows an incorrect value in one field whilst ticketing, followed by pulling lots, some or no miles from an account but only when transiting a few cities seems much too random for an attack.

I think Occam's razor applies, this was a screw up pure and simple. Now I'd love to see the incident analysis they write up, but I doubt they'd share it even if we asked nicely.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 8:56 pm
  #1957  
 
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Good re-write. ^



Yup. Agreed.



Will that include future purchases where the customer knew that he/she was doing something akin to fraud and taking advantage of an honest -- if regrettable and stupid -- mistake?



I quite agree with all of that. UA has seriously messed several things up since 3/3; they have serious issues to work on. But for me to behave dishonorably in the face of that legitimate frustration and then to claim that it's somehow honorable and right and ethical is just pure rationalization at best.

As a favorite author says, holding on to a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.




[sic]



True on all counts. But when I encounter those folks, I'll try to treat them in the way that I would wish to be treated.



Or take a hit to its bottom line which can only eventuate in further cuts in service or continued IT ineptitude.



Ah, the time-honored inaccurate, inflammatory, ad hominem.
You're bitter because you didn't jump on it = na na na na na I got one and you didn't
Some people are providing me with loads of laughs and material
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Old Jul 19, 12, 9:02 pm
  #1958  
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Mine reservation is completely gone as well - cancelled without my knowledge. Not even an email to say "you reservation was just cancelled." Regardless of the morality of the deal ("deal" if you prefer), they should have sent out at least the email that was promised.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 9:04 pm
  #1959  
 
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Is it just me, or have we gotten too aggressive, dare I say, "over-entitled" with mistake fares?

I posted earlier:
Well, can't say I'm surprised...
For "error" fares, they should have a 24 hour rule, like what consumers have when buying a ticket. If you think you made a mistake, cancel in 24 hrs or else you're stuck with it. Same can apply to the airlines: catch and fix the tickets issued in 24 hrs or else they're stuck with it.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18943233-post35.html

Now, call me old fashioned, but when we play a game of mistake fare chicken, there's always an understanding that it may not go in your favor.

I've gone on some mistake fares before (even found one and posted on FT - not too many members can say they've accomplished that) and the level of resentment is pretty high for an airline that has been fairly timely with the error (it may not have been within a day, but it has been pretty quick).

Perhaps some have forgotten how long (and arduous) other mistake fares have been. The Alitalia fiasco lasted for weeks/months before they reneged, BA took over 2 or 3 weeks with their India misprice before canceling. Granted, there was furor over those as well, but those bookings were in the system as ticketed for far longer, and there was no update from the airline, unlike how UA has been relatively quick to respond. And most mistake fares that get cancelled never got a head's up either.

The understood protocol was to not book any dependent hotels/flights on the mistake fare until a few days/weeks later. I remember that it used to be a "gentlemen's agreement" that an airline that caught the mistake and informed the affected passengers in a timely manner (within a day to a few days), it was considered fair play and it was no harm, no foul.

UA did inform/cancel within a timely fashion (by previous standards). Now it seems that it is unacceptable; but even we have 24 hours to cancel a ticket. And they even honored the ticket for those who booked and flew early. That was nice of them. People complaining they have to let everyone else do the same are just unrealistic.

I'm as much for a mistake fare as the next guy, but UA played it fair in my consideration.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 9:09 pm
  #1960  
 
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Originally Posted by alex_b View Post
I was actually wondering if it was SQL or knowing how 'legacy' so many of these systems are whether it was something more esoteric. Do you know what specific technology it is running on?
I didn't when I typed that. But a quick Google search (united airlines database) and it appears to be Oracle or Microsoft SQL (nice, mixed environment! ):

http://jobs.united.com/chicago-il/sr.../29827519/job/

I wonder if great deals on flights is part of the Benefits package? (sorry, can't help myself - it's just too easy)
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Old Jul 19, 12, 9:10 pm
  #1961  
 
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My Complaint Email:

I purchased a ticket on July 15th, 2012 from United Airlines and received an email confirmation from United Airlines on July 15th, 2012.

My confirmation email showed that my flights had been confirmed, my record locators had been created, and ticket number 016XXXXXXXXXX had been issued.

My receipt indicates the full fare (composed of miles and money) was 4 miles and $40.50. My credit card was charged in full in the amount of $40.50 by United Airlines on July 15th, 2012.

My ticket was cancelled unilaterally by United Airlines without notice on July 19th, 2012. I called United Airlines who informed me that United Airlines would not honor this ticket at the quoted amount due to a pricing error on their part.

Per 14 CFR 399.84, I was not advised that my ticket price was subject to change, and I believe this action by United Airlines to cancel my ticket is an unfair and deceptive practice in violation of 49 U.S.C. 41712.

Furthermore, guidance from the DOT provided #8 at (http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/EAP...-2012final.doc) appears to apply to this situation.

Im asking the DOT to investigate this matter further with United Airlines to determine why this happened, and for my ticket to be reinstated.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 9:13 pm
  #1962  
 
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I don't think it's fair for those giving UA a hard time about this. Award mileage requirements are clearly posted on their web site so this is an obvious erroneous error. Revenue tickets are a different story since prices constantly change and there's no set price.

I feel it's naive to believe someone is entitled to this ticket for only 4 miles and think UA has been nice enough to honor even tickets through July 21. While I'm all about getting things for free I think if you want to make complains to the DOT you are really just trying to take advantage of something you shouldn't have received anyway. It's like finding a million dollars in your account and shocked when the bank wants it back. Better off sticking with mistake fares since those will be honored. :-D

However, if you did already depart on your trip, congrats!
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Old Jul 19, 12, 9:18 pm
  #1963  
 
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If I call UA and they offer some kind of compensation (not likely, but let's assume for sake of argument), should I accept? I'd forfeit everything, should the DoT rule in our collective favor, but if the odds are slim, and if UA offers something, should I bite?
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Old Jul 19, 12, 9:18 pm
  #1964  
 
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Originally Posted by Noodlesz View Post
I don't think it's fair for those giving UA a hard time about this. Award mileage requirements are clearly posted on their web site so this is an obvious erroneous error. Revenue tickets are a different story since prices constantly change and there's no set price.

I feel it's naive to believe someone is entitled to this ticket for only 4 miles and think UA has been nice enough to honor even tickets through July 21. While I'm all about getting things for free I think if you want to make complains to the DOT you are really just trying to take advantage of something you shouldn't have received anyway. It's like finding a million dollars in your account and shocked when the bank wants it back. Better off sticking with mistake fares since those will be honored. :-D

However, if you did already depart on your trip, congrats!
Well, in December, Aeroplan ran an F-for-J and J-for-Y promo, as you may know about. There, the award charts had the standard rates but lower mileages popped up when selecting flights. Granted, they weren't 4 miles, but they certainly weren't the standard rates. Aeroplan did not say anything about this promo (but eventually did acknowledge there was a promotion if you asked about it when calling in). So how are we supposed to know that wasn't a mistake but this one is? Could Aeroplan cancel whichever tickets are left and say "well, you know, we actually goofed and never meant to have a promo."

Obviously, I'd like to fly to HKG for 4 miles, but more importantly (well ok, not more), I'd like to see that the DoT actually protects us!
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Old Jul 19, 12, 9:20 pm
  #1965  
 
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
Will that include future purchases where the customer knew that he/she was doing something akin to fraud and taking advantage of an honest -- if regrettable and stupid -- mistake?
Really? Akin to fraud? I think that's a pretty big stretch.

United was selling something for a certain price, and people were willing to buy it at that price. Where's the fraud there? The people who bought the tickets didn't do anything fraudulent. United may have made a mistake, sure, but there's no fraud.
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