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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 31, 12, 10:23 am
  #3151  
 
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
Really? You truly believe that UA priced the ticket at over 100k miles, but they intended to sell it a 4/8 miles? Sales are advertised. What on earth in your history on this planet would make you suspect anything but an error? Possibly a small child with no ticket buying experience might think this was a legit deal, but you are fooling noone, so why not drop the charade about you believing it was UA's intent to do so.

If yo have real points, please share them, but trying to bs us on this is a waste of our time.
Well yes I do *but my group is boarding my pig to PEK now.
*no I don't
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Old Jul 31, 12, 10:23 am
  #3152  
 
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Originally Posted by Shanye2233 View Post
... In the email it keeps talking about the correct published fare was shown thru the process . This is un true I booked from SYD to lax to hkg SYD not once did it give me another fare . ...
That would really shoot down UA's public argument (that the fare was correctly presented durring the transaction, but simply miscollected). I seriously doubt the DOT would care about UA's mile award charts if the webpage presented at purchasing says 4Miles.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 10:41 am
  #3153  
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
That would really shoot down UA's public argument (that the fare was correctly presented durring the transaction, but simply miscollected). I seriously doubt the DOT would care about UA's mile award charts if the webpage presented at purchasing says 4Miles.
You would need a screen shot to disprove. (and there are plenty of screenshots showing the dual pricing)

However having a screenshot would show you believe this was a mistake / anomaly.

Sort of a Catch-22.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 10:57 am
  #3154  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
You would need a screen shot to disprove. (and there are plenty of screenshots showing the dual pricing)

However having a screenshot would show you believe this was a mistake / anomaly.

Sort of a Catch-22.

This is not a new revelation: As previously discussed in this thread, multi-city bookings merely showed the 4-mile quote throughout the booking process.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 11:38 am
  #3155  
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Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
UA will probably argue (and most like successfully) that the amount of money in discussion is more than a small claims limit.

I really doubt this is a good case to take to any court.
While I have strong doubts about the merit of the case, you generally have the right to "waive" the amount in excess of small claims jurisdiction (in fact, usually it is automatic - that is, by suing in small claims you are saying that the maximum you can get is the small claims limit - about $7,500, depending on the jurisdiction).
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Old Jul 31, 12, 11:40 am
  #3156  
 
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Originally Posted by Bacopa View Post
This is not a new revelation: As previously discussed in this thread, multi-city bookings merely showed the 4-mile quote throughout the booking process.
Has anyone published/posted pictures of this? Anyone have a link?
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Old Jul 31, 12, 11:59 am
  #3157  
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
99.9% of the people who booked this fare learned about it from a website (such as FT), or from a friend, or from a ticket broker/travel agent, and they were told that it was an error (or, if they weren't, they already knew because they had an IQ high enough to figure it out).
My estimate on tix sold has been 5000-10000 from the beginning. Unofficial sources upthread claims 6000. Lets say all booked an average of 4 tix, giving 1500 customers. That only 1.5 person stumbled upon this by a regular search is of course incorrect. HKG is one the worlds main hubs, and dozens of UAMPs would in any given second search for relevant routings involving HKG.

Originally Posted by seanthepilot View Post
Cost to the airline, per award seat, is about $23.So, 6000 tickets would result in a net cost to the airline of $138,000
1. Thats in any case probably a domestic Y award.

2. And its the incremental price for those in award class, not for the full flight.

Originally Posted by Michael D View Post
I don't think $23 covers the fuel alone needed to fly a single passenger round trip TPAC.

400 Passengers X $23/($2/gallon fuel) = 4,600 gallons for the round trip
Failed math- See above.

Originally Posted by Plusflyer View Post
The (non-free) paper actually references this article to come with the $23 value:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23137092/#.UBbzgccgcs1

It's hard to say how accurate is this $23 figure and how it was calculated but I think this is indeed of the order of the marginal cost of hauling the weight of an extra passenger on an average domestic award flight (marginal cost is the cost of the extra weight not the cost of hauling the weight of the airplane). On an international flight, it is a few times larger due to longer route and additional service (free luggage and food service). But anyway, the marginal cost of filling an otherwise empty seat is low. The cost of an F award ticker are somewhat larger but it is anyway of the order of low hundreds not thousands of dollars. That's why frequent flyer programs are so profitable.
Pretty spot on I guess.

Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
The fact that front line agents with no authority confirmed that they saw this in their computer doesn't make it an action of UAL.
A company is responsible for all its employees actions, as well as for contractors and sub contractors. Especially so when they are acting within their specified area of responsibility.

Originally Posted by TRAVELSIG View Post
UA will probably argue (and most like successfully) that the amount of money in discussion is more than a small claims limit.

I really doubt this is a good case to take to any court.
Make your claim just below your local limit.

Originally Posted by SWCPHX View Post
No, but if there aren't any prices on the menu, I sure ask what I will be charged before ordering the meal @:-). And then I don't cry or send the meal back when I found out that it was more expensive than what I thought it would be or should be.

So you just blindly put in your multi-city itinerary without having any clue as to the fact that it's supposed to require more than 4 miles for an award ticket and were happily surprised that it just priced out at 4 miles? And you just happened to search for that itinerary on some random day without any knowledge of the pricing error? Whatever...
To put in a multi city request IS asking for the price. Another (totally so) failed analogy.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
You would need a screen shot to disprove. (and there are plenty of screenshots showing the dual pricing)

However having a screenshot would show you believe this was a mistake / anomaly.

Sort of a Catch-22.
Maybe, unless you can explain your habit of screenshotting EVRYTHING you do online? Or if you get those scr shots from someone else who did it, who contrary to you did not it was a mistake

Last edited by travelkid; Aug 1, 12 at 9:15 am
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Old Jul 31, 12, 12:05 pm
  #3158  
 
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If I read the words "contract law" or "unilateral" one more time...
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Old Jul 31, 12, 12:13 pm
  #3159  
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This is all becoming so silly. Here are my predictions:

A *very* few people got lucky and did get flights for free. (4 miles, plus taxes which go to a government, plus a few fees is, for my purposes in this message, "free").

Absent some unusual circumstances (I am not a participant in the Google group and I don't know what strategies they might have) NO ONE ELSE is flying First Class for free on this offer.

The DOT will eventually: a) do nothing; or, b) levy a fine against UAL for a combination of IT stupidity, customer inconvenience and administrative costs at the DOT to deal with the mess. The amount of the fine will not be enough to cause UAL to offer free flights instead and it will not even be enough to cause UAL to make a major change to their IT infrastructure. The DOT regulation might be changed or it might not. But there is no "civil" right to enforce the DOT regulation - it is administrative and only the DOT can decide what to do.

The arguments about "I thought it was a sale" are offensive. No one who knows how to use a computer is that stupid. And if someone really did believe that, the reliance was not "reasonable," so it still wouldn't matter.

I don't know what will happen with the small claims suits, because I don't know whether UAL will decide to actually send employees to oppose or just pay off the ones that go badly (or perhaps appeal only those which go badly, if allowed in the individual jurisdiction).

P.S:

I VERY MUCH want to know what really happend at UAL. Was this a hack? Unlike the RGN incident, where there was a currency conversion issue (which I can logically follow), I don't understand what "error" lead to this particular problem. And, in case anyone doesn't understand, I am not saying that UAL handled this well. I know that their PR people wrote things that were ultimately wrong, I know what their letters were unclear/inaccurate, etc. But that doesn't change my conclusions.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 12:24 pm
  #3160  
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
Col - your opinion is as welcome as mine. But making up legal arguments, that are not true, doesn't help. There is no sellers remorse here - no one, not even you, believes that UAL at the appropriate levels intended to sell these tickets at these prices. The fact that front line agents with no authority confirmed that they saw this in their computer doesn't make it an action of UAL.
Actually UA is liable for the actions of its agents. this is one area that is not open for debate.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 12:44 pm
  #3161  
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
Actually UA is liable for the actions of its agents. this is one area that is not open for debate.
It is only open for debate if you want to make a truthful, accurate statement. UAL is liable for the authorized actions of its agents. And, to the extent that they are authorized to sell tickets for the price the computer tells them, that is within their scope. Just like the computer is authorized to sell tickets.

But that doesn't mean that just because the computer (or the live agent) sold a ticket for free, means that there wasn't a mistake. In fact, even if the VP of Ticket Pricing signed a document from the IT department, which included 1000 new prices, including 4 miles for certain flights, that doesn't mean that UAL can't argue that there was, in fact, a mistake. And I assure you that if a ticket agent signs a $100 million lease, for a new corporate headquarters, UAL will claim that it was an act in excess of their authority to make decisions.

Last edited by sbrower; Jul 31, 12 at 2:42 pm
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Old Jul 31, 12, 1:01 pm
  #3162  
 
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Originally Posted by Jesperss View Post
If I read the words "contract law" or "unilateral" one more time...
Yup ... best to stay away from this thread
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Old Jul 31, 12, 1:07 pm
  #3163  
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
It is only open for debate if you want to make a truthful, accurate statement. UAL is liable for the authorized actions of its agents. And, to the extent that they are authorized to sell tickets for the price the computer tells them, that is within their scope. Just like the computer is authorized to sell tickets.
stop, this is not an issue here. I'll let you figure out why it is not an issue.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 1:14 pm
  #3164  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
.........................................

However having a screenshot would show you believe this was a mistake / anomaly.

Sort of a Catch-22.
Not really. It just shows that you thought it was a good deal worth going through the trouble of taking screenshots in case something went wrong later. How many of us have taken screenshots in the past to fight later for a perfectly legitimate offer? It happened to me.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 1:24 pm
  #3165  
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
Actually UA is liable for the actions of its agents. this is one area that is not open for debate.
Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
It is only open for debate if you want to make a truthful, accurate statement. UAL is liable for the authorized actions of its agents. And, to the extent that they are authorized to sell tickets for the price the computer tells them, that is within their scope. Just like the computer is authorized to sell tickets.

But that doesn't mean that just because the computer (or the live agent) sold a ticket for free, means that there wasn't a mistake. In fact, even if the VP of Ticket Pricing signed a document from the IT department, which included 1000 new prices, including 4 miles for certain flights, that doesn't mean that UAL can't argue that there was, in fact, a mistake. And I assume you that if a ticket agent signs a $100 million lease, for a new corporate headquarters, UAL will claim that it was an act in excess of their authority to make decisions.
+1.

Contractually, the employer is responsible only for the actions of its employees taken within the scope of the employees' authority or apparent authority.

If someone says that an employer is absolutely responsible for any offers or promises its employees make under any circumstances--that person either has not been to law school, or was sick and missed a very important day of class.

Originally Posted by Beckles View Post
While my understanding is that you're right, basic contract law would typically apply in a situation like this and the seller could claim that, the problem in this specific instance is that the US government has gone out and written a regulation that applies only to airlines that says they must honor mistake fares.
But does the regulation create a private right of action?

Last edited by iluv2fly; Jul 31, 12 at 3:49 pm Reason: merge
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