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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 17, 12, 9:05 pm
  #736  
 
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Man, I remember the good old days..... people cheering for each other and hoping a mistake would get honored. Much of this thread is just nasty. Holy cow!

It is interesting how it has shaken up the UA forum..... for once, it's not PMUA folks vs. PMCO. It's those who punched their tickets vs. those who were late to the dance. LOL.

I dare say I've made friends with a few folks who I've seldom agreed with in the past.... See, lots of good things can come of this!
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:05 pm
  #737  
 
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I don't want United go chapter 22 (chapter 11x2) or Chapter 7, I don't want to be an unsecured creditor with couple of first class seats.

If they do file, i bet it will be either in Delaware or the Southern District of NY.




Originally Posted by samwkchan View Post
I agree that UA should follow all rules set by DOT. (Full disclosure: I didn't take any advantage of this 4-mile redemption.)

It is a country with rules. All rules are well written by DOT and have come into play for some time. In other words, UA should have known the rules and get advised by their legal department, so they should follow rules unless they don't want to play this game (their business) anymore.

Some of you may sympathize UA on the potential great loss by this silly mistake. Honestly, I feel sorry about this but it is a business world. If a company gets bankrupt solely because of a wrong transaction, I will feel sorry about it, but the transaction cannot be reversed at the expense of others who obey rules to take advantages.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:11 pm
  #738  
 
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
^

For all the finger-wagging over people upset at UA, the nastiness toward those who bought these tickets is just as bad on this thread.
+1

Originally Posted by teddy25 View Post
I don't want United go chapter 22 (chapter 11x2) or Chapter 7, I don't want to be an unsecured creditor with couple of first class seats.

If they do file, i bet it will be either in Delaware or the Southern District of NY.
Kind of big leap there, don't you think?
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:12 pm
  #739  
 
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Originally Posted by teddy25 View Post
would you have taken advantage of the error at 4,000 or 40,000 miles?

I just don't see any difference. going 40 mph or 50 mph on a 30 mph road are both speeding.
There is a point where it is no longer a 'incredible deal/steal' but just a 'discounted price'.

4,000 - Yes I would have taken it. That's still less than 10% of the normal cost.
40,000 - Maybe, if that was the round-trip total. Definitely wouldn't have booked more than one.

But driving 100 in a 30 mph is "driving with intent to kill". There are degrees of egregiousness for almost any violation.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:14 pm
  #740  
 
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Originally Posted by teddy25 View Post
where should DOT draw the line on the size of the error, for honoring the tickets?

4 miles?
40 miles?
400 miles?
4,000 miles?
40,000 miles?

Will the people say it is unethical to travel on the 4 miles fare be ok with a 40, 400, or 4000 miles mistake fare?

you can NOT tell me 4,000 or even 40,0000 miles for first class round trip tickets to HKG is ethical if you think 4 is unethical. what is the difference if you know a big error made by the United's IT department?

would you have taken advantage of the error at 4,000 or 40,000 miles?

I just don't see any difference. going 40 mph or 50 mph on a 30 mph road are both speeding.
Good question! I'm waiting with bated breath for the naysayers' analyses!

Originally Posted by colpuck View Post
Whatever is in their financial best interest. I don't trust united. If the DOT rules in UA's favor what is to stop them from calling any ticket a mistake. That saver ticket, nahhh they really meant to issue it at saver levels. that 80.00 fare nahhh it was really supposed to be 160.00.

Allowing UA off the hook once, will set the precedent for them make more "mistakes" (IE grabs for incremental revenue) in the future.
I hadn't thought of the saver vs. standard award, which would be the easiest way for an airline to abuse a "mistake" excuse. "Oops, that was the wrong award fare bucket loaded, your award has now doubled if you wish to pay, or you can refund it for no redeposit fee!" Would airlines deliberately go out of their way to do this? Maybe not. But if a programmer error could cause the 4 miles deal, it's certainly possible someone loaded the wrong award category availability.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:14 pm
  #741  
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Originally Posted by BigPoppaCO View Post
It's a shame SHARES sucks otherwise it would be great if they could notate every person who took advantage of the deal and go out of their way to apply every rule to the letter of the law. No exceptions. No breaks. No favors. As punitive as possible.
What makes you think that they cannot do that? It isn't part of SHARES necessarily versus the CRM systems they have, but it wouldn't be at all difficult for them to get a list of all the tickets issued on this fare (I'm sure they already have it) and match that up with the accounts.
Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post
Why so vindictive? How does this hurt you?
It arguably does in at least an indirect way.

The few hundred passengers who did book these taking up huge chunks of the F/C inventory will just further alienate folks most upset that they don't think their upgrades are clearing or that they cannot ever find award inventory. That's bad for business and for keeping the actually valuable customers happy.

And should these be honored the airline is going to have to account for the costs somewhere. No, they cannot assume that they would have sold all the seats now booked as awards, but they certainly would have sold some of them. That's real money lost. That ends up costing all passengers in an indirect way, assuming they try to make it up rather than just watching it float away to China.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:15 pm
  #742  
 
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My what big teeth the pack of you sheep on Flyertalk have!

Originally Posted by dsquared37 View Post

...When the fox gets the sheep all is well. When the sheep traps the fox the fox gets to say "whoa, let's go back to the beginning, this ain't right."?...
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:16 pm
  #743  
 
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So are you OK with 4 miles?

the speeding example is base on if you are over the speed limit you are then you are breaking the law.

4, 40, 400, 4000 miles fares are all mistakes.




4,000 - Yes I would have taken it. That's still less than 10% of the normal cost.
40,000 - Maybe, if that was the round-trip total. Definitely wouldn't have booked more than one.

But driving 100 in a 30 mph is "driving with intent to kill". There are degrees of egregiousness for almost any violation.[/QUOTE]
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:16 pm
  #744  
 
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My guess is that UA contacts everyone by snail mail.

Not a phone call or email.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:19 pm
  #745  
 
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Originally Posted by apk123 View Post
Are you you kidding right? To use the exact same argument as you are using to justify united now "hmmm yes the total price said $600 but if you look at the breakdown it sums to $1200 so there is obviously a mistake, we meant to charge $1200".
You should look up the word "reasonable" ("rational" too if you have time).

Also, like I said in two previous posts. This is the first time this type of error has ever happened (AFAIK). If it happens with any regularity, of course there should be a little DOT love. Heck, the DOT should even step in NOW, but that still doesn't mean these tickets should be honored (in my opinion, at least).

Last edited by murphyUA; Jul 17, 12 at 9:25 pm
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:19 pm
  #746  
 
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I just booked a one way for me and the husband. Figured it wouldn't come to anything but it was an amusing way to spend a Sunday before going out.

I have the 4 miles receipt for the two tkts BUT 120k were taken out. I figured I'll cancel since it looks like the party is over and when i go to cancel/redeposit I am being informed that 8 MILES will be redeposited. Ummm, that's 119,992 short......

How can they take out the 120k, show that the tickets should have been 8 miles and now on the refund page say they are only giving me back 8 miles.

I am afraid to do anything now as I may never have the 120k put back correctly....
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:20 pm
  #747  
 
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Originally Posted by alex_b View Post
I would be interested in whether there is any legal precedent for whether this is permitted? I have asked this question a couple of times only been told that a) the T&Cs say they can b) that some people have had their accounts closed for dodgy behavior. What no-one seems to have answered is whether anyone has ever fought such a thing and what the outcome was.

In other jurisdictions (e.g. the UK) such a transparently one sided contract would be deemed 'unfair' under the relevant consumer legislation; this would seem doubly so if UA tried to engage those unfair terms on an arbitrary basis to punish lawful behavior (e.g. complaining too much, only buying 'mistake fares') and took away something of value (miles, instruments etc). However I don't know US consumer law and therefore would be interested in whether there is any settled case law in this area.

PS In case you can't guess I'm not interested in the "my bud Joe says the conditions of carriage say that they can take away your miles if you're rude about their videos" type answers that seem to predominate this thread.
MP is a separate legal entity from UAL. You absolutely do not own your miles, MP does, and you agreed to those terms when you joined. If you had a problem with those terms, then you shouldn't have joined. The reason that there is no legal precedent for defending the loss of MP membership and miles is because the terms are so cut and dry that no lawyer would take such a case unless it was a clear case of discrimination, allowing for application of civil rights law, etc. If UA were to take the miles and close the accounts of all British citizens, it could be argued that there was a likelihood of discriminatory behavior. If UA closes the account of someone obviously gaming the system, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. UA has closed thousands of accounts of scammers, mileage award and upgrade instrument sellers, serial complainers, etc. There is one sad case where a 1K flyer was suspended for selling only 4 SWUs on ebay!

As others have pointed-out, UA can even blacklist you so that you can never fly on their airline again, although this is exceptionally rare.

It is unlikely that UA will close the accounts of the offenders here, so I wouldn't worry about it. But, the real truth is that they can close anyone's account and confiscate your miles with little or no recourse on your part. They have even blackmailed a few FDers to retroactively pay unpaid YQs, holding the loss of their MP accounts over their heads. Every FDer knows that this is a risk and freely accepts it. That is why so many of them are really PO'd that this got posted here and on other travel blogs in the clear. That is a violation of their rules of conduct because it changed the nature of the deal from under the radar to higher than Everest. Yet, the most important rule, that many violated here, is the "Never, ever call the airline" rule.

Last edited by zombietooth; Jul 17, 12 at 9:28 pm
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:22 pm
  #748  
 
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post
The problem with your example is if you book a non-refundable, non-changeable ticket on the wrong day, how do you prove you made a mistake? ........ (And you do get 24 hours to correct mistakes, BTW.) .......

UA took 48 hours, which is why I used that in my analogy.

How do I prove I made a mistake? The same way UA did. I make the assertion.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:30 pm
  #749  
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I've been on FT a long time and a lot longer than many posting above.

I recall UA loaded error fares to Paris ex USA for about $30 all in - roundtrip. Even from West coast.

REVENUE fares.

Like this, there was a stampede to book them.

UA started playing hard-ball and refused to honour them.

Then the media got hold of it "Airline makes error and tells good customers to pound sand"

Within a DAY the coin had flipped - UA were all over the media with a beaming spokesperson saying saying :

"Shucks we goofed and OF COURSE all those lucky folks who noticed our mistake will get their flights"

They all earned miles, and I think were upgradeable if you had SWUs, as I recall.

Many a FT'er made 1K that year for a couple of Ben Franklins.

Someone may have the link to that lonnnnnnnnnnnnng thread?

Anyway it showed a far wiser UA ... cop it on the chin and turn a mistake into a PR Plus.

The current "United" seems to actively seek terrible PR .. maybe that attracts the Kettles they so desire these days to fiill the planes?

.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 9:36 pm
  #750  
 
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Originally Posted by GMUJD06 View Post
One of my biggest pet peeves in life is hypocrisy. None of us here are completely virtuous. I'd argue that most of us came to FT in the first place as a place to share ideas on how to gain something from our chosen airline. If we all wanted to play 100% by the rules United set up, why does FT exist in the first place? I'd just ask Alex all of my questions.
Hear hear! ^^
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