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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, 1:31 pm
  #3166  
 
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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.
Uhh, that would be a stupid defense, that would set them up for possibly losing more than they're being sued for! If you sue for $5000 (the maximum for small claims court in most states) that's enough for a nice ticket to Hong Kong.

Often times when you sue a major corporation in small claims court, they determine that the amount of money it would cost to defend themselves is greater than the amount they're being sued for and don't even bother showing up resulting in a default judgment for the plaintiff. Remember, they can't send their high profile attorney's to small claims court.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 2:55 pm
  #3167  
 
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Originally Posted by StevenSeagalFan View Post
Uhh, that would be a stupid defense, that would set them up for possibly losing more than they're being sued for! If you sue for $5000 (the maximum for small claims court in most states) that's enough for a nice ticket to Hong Kong.

Often times when you sue a major corporation in small claims court, they determine that the amount of money it would cost to defend themselves is greater than the amount they're being sued for and don't even bother showing up resulting in a default judgment for the plaintiff. Remember, they can't send their high profile attorney's to small claims court.
As a landlord having been to small claims court a few times you should know:

A defendent not showing up does not automatically result in a default judgement for the plaintiff. You still have to prove your case based on evidence and law.

But ultimately - you can only sue for damages. And, you'll have to explain to a judge what your damages are. If your miles are returned and taxes/fees are refunded - you have no damages. If you want to argue about your cancelled ticket - it again goes back to damages - you don't have any. A small claims court can't make United fly you to Hong Kong - it can only award you money. To even have judge ponder this case - you'd have to prove United cancelled your ticket illegally and bringing up the DOT won't be applicable because DOT has guidelines - they don't make the law. You'll need to show your contract was violated (cancelled ticket) - but then again - it will go back to damages and since you've made whole with refunded fees you are out of luck.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:05 pm
  #3168  
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Originally Posted by billxmeredith View Post
As a landlord having been to small claims court a few times you should know:

A defendent not showing up does not automatically result in a default judgement for the plaintiff. You still have to prove your case based on evidence and law.

But ultimately - you can only sue for damages. And, you'll have to explain to a judge what your damages are. If your miles are returned and taxes/fees are refunded - you have no damages. If you want to argue about your cancelled ticket - it again goes back to damages - you don't have any. A small claims court can't make United fly you to Hong Kong - it can only award you money. To even have judge ponder this case - you'd have to prove United cancelled your ticket illegally and bringing up the DOT won't be applicable because DOT has guidelines - they don't make the law. You'll need to show your contract was violated (cancelled ticket) - but then again - it will go back to damages and since you've made whole with refunded fees you are out of luck.
Contract damages are that you be made whole. What this means is that if UA is liable UA would owe you the difference between what you paid and the next best alternative, IE rebooking on another carrier.

However, since I paid for my ticket using milles through the MileagePlus program and United Airlines is the only company that accepts MileagePlus miles for payment. I would ask that the judge order United to rebook me at UA's expense.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:15 pm
  #3169  
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
Contract damages are that you be made whole. What this means is that if UA is liable UA would owe you the difference between what you paid and the next best alternative, IE rebooking on another carrier.

However, since I paid for my ticket using milles through the MileagePlus program and United Airlines is the only company that accepts MileagePlus miles for payment. I would ask that the judge order United to rebook me at UA's expense.
It's small claims court. In most states, having the judge order them book you an airline ticket is not even possible. The only award possible is cash. As you have no cash damages (assuming the four miles and fees are refunded) there's no way that's even a possibility.

I can just see the first case that actually gets in front of a judge. Hopefully a young judge, an old one will be laughing so hard they may have a heart attack.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:25 pm
  #3170  
 
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post

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.
(emphasis mine)

A friend of mine in Chicago works for UA corporate was over at my place on Saturday and we talked about what happened. They were not hacked.

I will check with him to see if he's ok with me explaining what happened.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:27 pm
  #3171  
 
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
Contract damages are that you be made whole. What this means is that if UA is liable UA would owe you the difference between what you paid and the next best alternative, IE rebooking on another carrier.

However, since I paid for my ticket using milles through the MileagePlus program and United Airlines is the only company that accepts MileagePlus miles for payment. I would ask that the judge order United to rebook me at UA's expense.
Being made whole is generally going to be limited to getting your miles (if any were debited) and taxes/fees refunded. At best the only thing additional might be some damages such as a nonrefundable hotels booked. No judge will ever order United to re-book you at its expense as settlement of a private suit, especially small claims court.

And with any small claims case, getting a judgment in your favor is fine. But then it's usually up to you to pursue actually getting the cold, hard cash in hand from the other party. That in itself is time and effort though again, it would only be the above refunds.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:31 pm
  #3172  
 
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
Contract damages are that you be made whole. What this means is that if UA is liable UA would owe you the difference between what you paid and the next best alternative, IE rebooking on another carrier.

However, since I paid for my ticket using milles through the MileagePlus program and United Airlines is the only company that accepts MileagePlus miles for payment. I would ask that the judge order United to rebook me at UA's expense.
First - you'll have the burden of proof based on your contract that United did not have the right to cancel your ticket. So lets say you break out your contract of carriage and the judge finds in your favor (which they won't) - but if they did - they can't order United to fly you - they don't have that power. Small claims court deals with monetary damages. A judge can only order United to refund the money you paid - just like any contract. It doesn't matter if this is United or any other company - a small claims court can't order a company to provide a service - just refund the money.

For instance - If I signed a contract with you to install carpet for $1,000 - and you paid me for that service but I didn't do it - all a small claims court could do is make me give you back the $1,000 - not force me to install the carpet.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:33 pm
  #3173  
 
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Originally Posted by spsawant View Post
Best post so far out of the 3000+ posts. 99.99% of the people here are banking on the DOT ruling and if DOT stays silent they will just accept it. Nobody is going to file a lawsuit over the same (maybe they can go to small claims court). They are expecting it will be a repeat RGN scenario, but looks like DOT is getting wiser and although they do want to protect the consumers, they definitely don't want to put the airlines out of business. In case of RGN fares as well there was no need to rule in the favor of consumer but they still did and are now realizing that the intent of the rules they made were different than the ways they are getting applied.
agree, great post. i would never win the case since i would know full well it was an error...in fact, any error fares i see, given i know what things should and should not usually cost, i am likely to loose 100% of the battles. like the dirt cheap AA F fare on QF, the people who will win are the people who have no idea what things cost and just book it and think hey, that is a great deal...me, i would have to rely on the DOT....i have seen many mistake of fact cases that are even stronger than this be lost....and as the OP points out, people never ever keep their mouths shut about deals they get.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:43 pm
  #3174  
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Originally Posted by billxmeredith View Post
First - you'll have the burden of proof based on your contract that United did not have the right to cancel your ticket. So lets say you break out your contract of carriage and the judge finds in your favor (which they won't) - but if they did - they can't order United to fly you - they don't have that power. Small claims court deals with monetary damages. A judge can only order United to refund the money you paid - just like any contract. It doesn't matter if this is United or any other company - a small claims court can't order a company to provide a service - just refund the money.

For instance - If I signed a contract with you to install carpet for $1,000 - and you paid me for that service but I didn't do it - all a small claims court could do is make me give you back the $1,000 - not force me to install the carpet.
I don't know whether equity remedies are available in small claims court.

But you're wrong on what damages are and what being "made whole" means. What normally happens is that the plaintiff gets the "benefit of their deal." IE that the plaintiff would not only get the 1000.00 back but all so the difference that it cost the plaintiff to hire someone else to do it.

for example, if it costs the plaintiff 1200 to install the carpet she is getting the 1000 back plus another 200 on top of it. Under your view contract law completely falls apart, because people could just refund the money to avoid obligations that they would want to avoid.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:50 pm
  #3175  
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
And with any small claims case, getting a judgment in your favor is fine. But then it's usually up to you to pursue actually getting the cold, hard cash in hand from the other party. That in itself is time and effort though again, it would only be the above refunds.
you know I successfully sued Delta in small claims court. I'm really kind of sad they paid me. I was because I really wanted to have the sheriff's office take posession of an A330 and see it auctioned on the courthouse steps.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:55 pm
  #3176  
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
I really wanted to have the sheriff's office take posession of an A330 and see it auctioned on the courthouse steps.
You can levy on a leased asset?
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Old Jul 31, 12, 3:57 pm
  #3177  
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Originally Posted by sonofzeus View Post
You can levy on a leased asset?
Are they leased? It never became more than an dream as the check arrived soon after the court date.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 4:52 pm
  #3178  
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
I don't know whether equity remedies are available in small claims court.

But you're wrong on what damages are and what being "made whole" means. What normally happens is that the plaintiff gets the "benefit of their deal." IE that the plaintiff would not only get the 1000.00 back but all so the difference that it cost the plaintiff to hire someone else to do it.

for example, if it costs the plaintiff 1200 to install the carpet she is getting the 1000 back plus another 200 on top of it. Under your view contract law completely falls apart, because people could just refund the money to avoid obligations that they would want to avoid.
NICE WORK! Colpuck got this one right on the money.

(Just to answer your question, there are no equitable remedies in small claims. And even in a "real court" you couldn't get this injunction, because you can only get injunction for "irreparable harm" which means that money can't fix it. Here, money can fix it (enough to buy a ticket, for example).)

While I have already expressed the fact that I think a person would lose this case on "liability," the recent discussion has shifted to damages and colpuck is right - it is arguably benefit of the bargain. So, if you go to a judge (any - small claims or not) and say "UA had a contract to fly me to HKG first class, and I paid the full amount due (according to the DOT regulations if nothing else), and now they won't do it" then IF you win on liability, the damages would be up to the cost of a replacement ticket.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 5:21 pm
  #3179  
 
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Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
I don't know whether equity remedies are available in small claims court.

But you're wrong on what damages are and what being "made whole" means. What normally happens is that the plaintiff gets the "benefit of their deal." IE that the plaintiff would not only get the 1000.00 back but all so the difference that it cost the plaintiff to hire someone else to do it.

for example, if it costs the plaintiff 1200 to install the carpet she is getting the 1000 back plus another 200 on top of it. Under your view contract law completely falls apart, because people could just refund the money to avoid obligations that they would want to avoid.
Sorry - it doesn't quite work like you are describing in small claims court.

If I didn't install carpet - you can't just go to another installer that costs more and have the court award you the extra money. You get the money back and you start over.

Now, if I took on a job and botched it up - and you are out of pocket money to fix it - you may be entitled to the money.
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Old Jul 31, 12, 6:01 pm
  #3180  
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Originally Posted by billxmeredith View Post
Sorry - it doesn't quite work like you are describing in small claims court.

If I didn't install carpet - you can't just go to another installer that costs more and have the court award you the extra money. You get the money back and you start over.

Now, if I took on a job and botched it up - and you are out of pocket money to fix it - you may be entitled to the money.
Sorry, but he is right and you are wrong. (I have been a Judge pro tem in Small Claims court in Los Angeles county.)
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