Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

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 20, 12, 11:14 am
  #2311  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MEL
Programs: Asiana Diamond+, Qantas Gold, Alaska MVP Gold
Posts: 47
Valid legal contract = offer + acceptance + consideration. There's no requirement that consideration be adequate, only that it exist. Multinational corporations sign millions of contracts with each other every day for the princely sum of $1.

In certain cases, mistake being one of them, the general rules in contract hold that valid contracts may be rendered void or voidable, subject to any over-riding legislation. The DOT rules have over-ridden this general principle: with respect to airline tickets, mistake is no longer a reliable defense to unilaterally repudiating a contract.

Ethics, morality, and intentions are all fine discussions, but they are irrelevant to the question of whether the law requires these tickets to be honoured. So are all the analogies to other types of purchases.
navigator4309 is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:18 am
  #2312  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Costa Mesa, CA, USA
Programs: AA (Life Plat), Starwood (Plat) and every other US program
Posts: 5,834
Originally Posted by Bacopa View Post
Anyone consider writing to their respective house reps?
You mean so that they can pressure the DOT to remove the "mistake fare" rule until they write one which makes sense?
sbrower is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:20 am
  #2313  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by CDKing View Post
I said back in 2007 that I would excercise every day. Does that mean i'm stuck with that decision for 20 years? Just becaue they said it does not mean its now the rule for time to come.
I disagree. You are not a corporation that provides a service to customers. You exercise for yourself, which doesn't affect other people whether you exercise or not. United, a huge corporation that affects millions of flyers, on the other hand, issued a public statement, no - a promise, two years ago in a well read newspaper that stated they would honor any mistake made, no matter how big. They should be held accountable for such a promise when it is put to the test, which clearly they are not. This, in my opinion, promotes poor PR for them as a company.
If you promised your friend $2 for every day that you didn't exercise and you stopped exercising and then you decided you didn't really need to pay your friend because you didn't really mean your promise, that might approach comparison, but not really.
Microsando is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:20 am
  #2314  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,120
Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
Gary at View from the Wing has a response that the DoT sent to somebody. It's pretty interesting to see DoT thinking, and might influence further complaints. (I hope copying here doesn't violate any T&C. Actual link provided to the source.)

The actual post
The letter reads

As you may be aware, the Department recently issued a regulation, 14 CFR 399.88, that is intended to prevent airlines from unfairly and deceptively raising the price of a ticket after a consumer has paid in full and purchased that ticket. As stated in the regulation, such conduct would constitute a prohibited unfair and deceptive practice under a statute enacted by Congress, 49 USC 41712. The goal of our investigation is to determine whether UAL has acted unfairly or deceptively to consumers who acquired Mileage Plus Awards tickets as described above. Please note that, regardless of the outcome of our investigation, consumers are free to pursue claims (e.g., a breach of contract claim) against the airline in an appropriate civil court for monetary damages and other remedies particular to their situation.
In this case, I think it's sort of clear what DOT's position is. I don't think anyone thinks UA acted unfairly or deceptively.
mabramovich is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:25 am
  #2315  
formerly known as seanthepilot
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Don Muang, Thailand: AirAsia_Plat, UA_Premier_Gold4Life, Bonvoy_hater measly gold 4 life
Posts: 6,936
I would like to share my thoughts.

For the record. I was made aware very early in the process. I decided not to book. But had I wanted to 'give it a shot' and the reservation was ticketed, you bet that I would be pushing for their acceptance.

The simple reason is that the legal contracts that bind airlines and consumers via the ticketing process is a tool that disadvantages the consumer. We are bound by the rules and cannot cancel at will, so neither then should they be able to.

Now, if the playing fields were evened, and consumers were able to cancel airline tickets at a whim, I am sure many here would gladly exchange their 4 mile tickets for this new reality. But, this is not what is being proposed.

A contract is a contract, and as dramatic as some may make this mistake appear. All we have is a number of award seats being redeemed. The actual cost of one award seat to the airline is fairly insignificant (it's in a research paper I read not long ago).

Which brings me to my next point that I think deserves its own post.
Does the practice of airlines cancelling tickets compromise the integrity of the e-ticketing process? I will share my thoughts on this in a post to follow.
2lovelife is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:27 am
  #2316  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: BOS/ORH
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 18,091
Originally Posted by Cargojon View Post
For those of you that keep erroneously stating that the Wall Street Journal article was 5 years old, the statement from Robin Zumanski regarding UA's mistake fare policy was actually in 2010.

2007 was when the New Zealand fare mistake took place.

And barring a stated change of policy from UA/CO, they are morally bound to honor it; for those of you preaching ethics....
Everyone keeps telling me the old UA does not exist anymore. Also COdbaUA as everyone puts it is claiming this is not a mistake fare
CDKing is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:31 am
  #2317  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: West Africa
Programs: Flying Blue, Mileage Plus
Posts: 204
Originally Posted by navigator4309 View Post
...The DOT rules have over-ridden this general principle: with respect to airline tickets, mistake is no longer a reliable defense to unilaterally repudiating a contract....

Ethics, morality, and intentions are all fine discussions, but they are irrelevant to the question of whether the law requires these tickets to be honoured. So are all the analogies to other types of purchases.
1) Slow down there, cowboy. The DoT rules are only an agency's interpretation of a statute. Not only are they subject to continuous re-interpretation by the implementing agency, but they are also subject to review by courts. In such a review, the courts would consider the intent of the agency's authorizing legislation over all else, which could call into question whether mistakes are covered at all, since the intent (even as DoT states) is to protect consumers against deceptive acts. If you equate programming error with deception without establishing motive/intent to deceive, well, I can't help you there, and neither probably can DoT. (I'm not saying this is what is or ought to be, just pointing out it's not so cut and dried.)

2) Our legal system is all about analogies. It is the job of each side to demonstrate how this case is analogous to previous rulings, why or why doesn't a particular rule apply to a different case, how ruling in your favor would apply to future analogous cases. This is what case law is all about. (Not to say any of the analogies presented here have been particularly convincing one way or the other.)
chelmkamp is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:33 am
  #2318  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: BOS/ORH
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 18,091
Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
Gary at View from the Wing has a response that the DoT sent to somebody. It's pretty interesting to see DoT thinking, and might influence further complaints. (I hope copying here doesn't violate any T&C. Actual link provided to the source.)

The actual post

Its the exact same letter others have posted as well. I'm sure its their template response to the complaints
CDKing is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:36 am
  #2319  
formerly known as seanthepilot
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Don Muang, Thailand: AirAsia_Plat, UA_Premier_Gold4Life, Bonvoy_hater measly gold 4 life
Posts: 6,936
Does the practice of airlines cancelling tickets compromise th integrity of e-tickets

Does the practice of airlines cancelling tickets compromise the integrity of the e-ticketing process?

If airlines are able to cancel airline tickets, my confidence in the e-ticket process is lost. Air Canada did this years ago to me. If United thinks they can cancel tickets, perhaps the legal experts can advise me how the "e-ticket" can survive. Consumer confidence in the system will crumble if airlines are able to cancel a ticket at will.

Could a proper legal battle be waged to destroy confidence in e-tickets to the extent that e-ticketing rights be taken away from the airlines. I mean if we cannot trust the airlines to administer e-tickets, they should not be able to issue or cancel them. This would mean PAPER TICKETS for all who fail to meet proper accreditation, or perhaps all e-ticketing powers be delegated to a third party who could be trusted.

If, through their own doing the confidence in the "e-ticket" was destroyed, the financial damage to the airlines would be substantial.

I have already lost faith that the airlines can be trusted. Proving this shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Who cares to assist me on this crusade?
2lovelife is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:38 am
  #2320  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NYC
Programs: All of them...
Posts: 361
I have yet to receive an email from United or from the DOT
chff is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:38 am
  #2321  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 89
I have always taken the position that I would live with whatever decision United made and either be done with it or start planning my time in Asia. I was not going to file a DOT complaint and I was not going to participate in any lawsuit. I still am not going to participate in any lawsuit, but I might file a complaint with DOT.

I say that not in the hopes of having my ticket honored, as I don't truly deserve that. But this non-payment thing has gotten under my skin. I don't like it, as it makes me sound like a deadbeat. I agreed to pay the price that was billed. I didn't pay that price, because United chose not to accept my 4 miles and deduct my account.

I fully took advantage of a mistake fare that I knew was a mistake, and I have no moral qualms about that. I've done it before, and hopefully will do it again. You win some, you lose some. You just wish that the resolution didn't feel as empty as this one did. I still haven't been contacted by United once throughout this entire fiasco.

I am not a deadbeat.
HCSmooth66 is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:39 am
  #2322  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: YVR SFO EOF
Programs: UA 1K, VX S
Posts: 4,866
Originally Posted by apk123 View Post
It shows they are going to own their mistakes even if they don't have to and would put customer satisfaction and reputation above immediate profits.

A lot of the changes they made are hard to feel immediately. It's hard to tell that upgrade %'s are going up, there are less cancellations, the IRROP handling is better etc. It can take time until flyers can feel comfortable that united is walking the walk rather than just talking the talk. An event of large scale such as this 4 mile incident is a quick way to demonstrate strategy change.
I'm of the opposite belief. They should be cancelling these tickets immediately so that space can be restored for those customers willing to pay for the seats or used by elites with instruments, rather than have them taken up by TODers (or in this case, TOMilers). That is, after all, the FT party line, right?
unavaca is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:43 am
  #2323  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In a little twisty maze of airline seats, all alike...
Programs: CO, NW & UA forum moderator emeritus
Posts: 30,858
Originally Posted by mabramovich View Post
In this case, I think it's sort of clear what DOT's position is. I don't think anyone thinks UA acted unfairly or deceptively.
Couldn't KE have been said to have acted similarly (ie not unfairly r deceptively) in the RGN debacle? The end result there was the opposite of the result here. We don't know what the DOT said to KE, though.
Xyzzy is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:44 am
  #2324  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Othello, Seattle
Programs: AS MVPG 75K, DL Diamond
Posts: 259
Any of you having problems uploading files to the DOT complaint form?
koopas is offline  
Old Jul 20, 12, 11:45 am
  #2325  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Dubai / NYC
Programs: EK-IO, UA-1K2MM, ETIHAD-GOLD, SPG-PLAT LIFETIME, JUMEIRAH SERIUS GOLD
Posts: 5,220
Originally Posted by seanthepilot View Post
Does the practice of airlines cancelling tickets compromise the integrity of the e-ticketing process?

If airlines are able to cancel airline tickets, my confidence in the e-ticket process is lost. Air Canada did this years ago to me. If United thinks they can cancel tickets, perhaps the legal experts can advise me how the "e-ticket" can survive. Consumer confidence in the system will crumble if airlines are able to cancel a ticket at will.

Could a proper legal battle be waged to destroy confidence in e-tickets to the extent that e-ticketing rights be taken away from the airlines. I mean if we cannot trust the airlines to administer e-tickets, they should not be able to issue or cancel them. This would mean PAPER TICKETS for all who fail to meet proper accreditation, or perhaps all e-ticketing powers be delegated to a third party who could be trusted.

If, through their own doing the confidence in the "e-ticket" was destroyed, the financial damage to the airlines would be substantial.

I have already lost faith that the airlines can be trusted. Proving this shouldn't be too much of a stretch. Who cares to assist me on this crusade?
I have ALWAYS preferred paper tkts and people thought I was crazy. Up until just the last few years I still would always make sure to get a paper tkt issued. Unfortunatly now, they are just not psbl to get w some airlines. Just think how much better we would all feel w a paper tkt instead of trusting SHARES. We should still have that option. I was willing to pay the $25 fee and I'm sure many others were as well
chinatraderjmr is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: