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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, 10:38 pm
  #751  
 
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
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.
OK, call me clueless. What does this have to do with fuel-dumping? Did somebody manage to dump the taxes? If so, they are my hero.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:39 pm
  #752  
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That was what made UA go Ch 11 twice, I think, being nice like that.
Now it is "too bad, move on folks..."
They even gave me 200$ voucher for a compliment (for my concern) in the past!
Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post
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?
.

Last edited by ffI; Jul 17, 12 at 10:48 pm
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:39 pm
  #753  
 
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Originally Posted by Jesperss View Post
My guess is that UA contacts everyone by snail mail. Not a phone call or email.
Unless they send it certified with return receipt (talk about costs!) then I see no reason to do that... particularly due to the time it'd take.

Phone call is quicker, recordable, and farrrrrr cheaper.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:45 pm
  #754  
 
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Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
OK, call me clueless. What does this have to do with fuel-dumping? Did somebody manage to dump the taxes? If so, they are my hero.
The best way to keep a deal going is to keep it out of the public eye because the fewer that book the deal, the more likely that the airline won't pick it up and cancel it.

That is why so many of the best deals on TI/NI are only exchanged privately now. There were too many blabbermouths ruining things for everybody.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:46 pm
  #755  
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sbm12 from what I can see you seem to be on the side of the flyers to fly these and UA to fess up. I had thought your view would be more that of the airline.

I wonder, where is GUWonder. He is usually in charge of the "fleecing the customer concept" and he has been silent. I am curious to hear his opinion on this turn of events.

I am sure that if UA can sell these as anytime awards to any and everyone with an explorer card, for 140k each way, at 3 cpm = 280kx3=8400$ a seat is the max "cost" to UA. Real cost is probably half that or less. Assuming 4000 people booked these and at 4000 a seat it really is a 16 M loss at the most. Imaging the PR gain just from the news about this. I can tell you the traffic on UA site will go up with people looking for the next lottery, er, mistake fare.

Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
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.
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, 10:51 pm
  #756  
 
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Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post

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?

.
Unfortunately most airlines today are more focused on their shareholders and creditors than their customers. Shareholders apparently like what UAL is doing. Stock was down today but still near its 52 week high.

Even with so many people saying they left for AA, everyone of my flights from LGA/EWR/ORD have been nearly full this year. There are still plenty of premium passengers for whatever reason still flying UA.

I don't see the current "United" changing their mind on this after the "over-entitled" remarks that were played out with equity investors and the SQ problems.

Great if UA turns around and flies all those people to HK (HK is a lovely city as I lived there for a year). Maybe they change their mind (DOT or bad publicity) but heads are probably spinning in Chicago trying to figure out next steps.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:51 pm
  #757  
 
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Originally Posted by GMUJD06 View Post
I'm just curious, have you ever taken advantage of a skykit, or appreciation card? Did you ever get a $200+ cert for a faulty lightbulb or footrest? Do you honestly think that such a case would warrant such compensation?

To date, I've not fought United over anything. I booked a ticket, they gave me a confirmation. If they later decide to cancel my booking, oh well, the game was fun while it lasted. But if they end up honoring it, I get a great trip. I didn't write the DOT rules, I didn't write UA's code, I didn't decide for them to use SHARES. I decided to log onto .bomb on Sunday, request a ticket to Hong Kong, and agreed to pay what United charged me. Plain and simple. By the way, I booked one trip. Not 75, not 10, not even two. One. The funny thing is, I already had plans to go to HKG, I just hadn't bought the tickets yet.

I've kept up with these threads from the beginning, and I honestly feel that most of the "haters" out there are on their high horse not out of loyalty to United (how am I not loyal? I fly UA 95% of the time, unless its absolutely not an option), but because they didn't get in on the deal, either because they missed it, or they believed at the time it wouldn't be honored. What you seem to miss in your sweeping generalization is that (to my knowledge) no lawsuits have yet been filed, because United has yet to actually make their move. And, if in the end, United is forced to honor their mistake, its because that's what the law says they must do. I have no doubt if the law allows them to cancel, they will.

I don't know how this thing is going to end up. But what I do know is that I'm extremely loyal to United, all on my own dime mind you, and I guarantee that a lot of you on your high horses out there have cost this airline much more revenue over the years than I am with this one award ticket. If you're going to cite this as the downfall of United, then think how many times you've asked them to bend the published rules on upgrades, E+ seating for companions not on the same PNR, baggage that maybe just goes over the limit that you should technically pay overage fees for, and many, many other "courtesies."
To be clear I don't begrudge ANYONE for taking advantage of this. If its honored, great, if not its not. My problem is with the people who knew when they pressed purchase that this was a mistake and STILL scream "DOT, LAW SUITE, BLAH BLAH BLAH". I see nothing wrong with taking advantage of this offer and hoping its honored. I see a big problem with some of these people acting like they are hurt that UA might not honor these and scream of suing, etc. what I said anyway is fine, UA should let those that insist travel, but those people are no longer "UA's most important customers" and since they obviously wish to cause UA harm by not even considering a discussion or compromise will "force" UA to take them and UA in turn should pull their accounts so that they don't ever have to worry about these people suing them, etc in the future.

I didn't know about this offer but if I did, I would not have taken advantage if it only included UA metal but I sure would have participated if it included partners. However, I never would have expected them to honor it. If they did, great. If not I certainly would not be talking about the DOT and lawyers.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:52 pm
  #758  
 
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
That was what made UA go Ch 11 twice, I think, being nice like that.
Now it is "too bad, move on folks..."
They even gave me 200$ voucher for a compliment (for my concern) in the past!
Not so much. pmCO had been in ch 11 twice (in the 90s?), pmUA only once. pmUA went into bankruptcy a few years after 9/11 (2002 thru 2006) for bloated coast structure, not a revenue problem, similar to the forces that landed AA in ch 11 last yr.

The bonanza of eCerts for any of a plethora of reasons only started taking hold maybe around 2008, post-bankruptcy. So it was surely not the cause of any filing of chapter 11....
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:57 pm
  #759  
 
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I asked Alex

Originally Posted by ConcordeBoy View Post
Hear hear! ^^


Alex: Hi, I'm Alex, your united.com guide. I've been designed to make your time on our website as fast and efficient as possible. Just type in a question, keyword or phrase below and I'll take you to the information you're looking for.
You Asked: Alex I booked an Award ticket for 8 miles. Is it valid?
Alex: To book an award ticket for yourself or anyone you choose, simply fill out the form on this Web page. You can book award travel up to 337 days in advance. Once you have selected your flights, you will be required to enter your MileagePlus number and PIN to purchase your ticket. View Page
Here's More:
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:58 pm
  #760  
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Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
The best way to keep a deal going is to keep it out of the public eye because the fewer that book the deal, the more likely that the airline won't pick it up and cancel it.
and if UA looked at 1 other site they would see where those who got in were offerring to sell their tkts for the right price(only via PM), once the 1st post like that went up it wasnt long for many others to follow. So even if all those on FT planned to actually go that isnt the case with everyone from all the other sites. Greed my friends,why should UA let them stand when they have proof people are looking to sell the tkts and make big $$$.

Even if it cant be accomplished just some more ammo on UAs side for the DoT or the Courts why they should be allowed to CX all of them since people willing got them in order to sell them and not actually fly there
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Old Jul 17, 12, 10:59 pm
  #761  
 
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Exclamation

We all know what people here were going through when you could buy these tickets, one even got 75 of the supposedly, I myself just got one thinking if its honored I'll go, but at the time I was hoping it would be honored and thought that it won't be. I am premium UA passenger and thought that I'll get this deal. If United doesn't change their ways and don't honor it oh well it was fun while it lasted and will continue to be so, I am just not going to be one of those people complaining over a flight I wouldn't have otherwise took and only taking because of the mistake. I will be happy either way and not go on complaining about something that was taken away from me because I NEVER HAD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 11:01 pm
  #762  
 
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
That was what made UA go Ch 11 twice, I think, being nice like that.
1) UA has only filed Chpt11 once.

2) I'd say horrific labor relations, inefficient operations at their home hub, assets leveraged to the hilt, the disastrous "Summer of 2000" fiasco, crushing debt at bad interest rates, lack of rationalized fleet, etc.... all had a lotttttttt more to do with UA's filing than "being nice like that" on 1off fare flops.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 11:11 pm
  #763  
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I'm not sure what else there is to say about the ethics of this mistake award offer. Maybe discussion of this topic should be suspended at this point?

Meanwhile, I AM interested in 2 very important topics that are getting drowned out by the ethics banter. First, what about the travellers who are flying on these tickets and, I assume, the many more who are about to depart? Perhaps there should be a separate thread devoted to this very important topic?

Second, why is it taking UA so long to actually do ANYTHING about the mistake tickets? We're at about 60 hours from the fact now and that's a crazy amount of time for UA to leave this thing hanging. Nobody would think the note from Shannon was sufficient, especially since the tickets are still currently valid and folks are presumably using them every day.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 11:14 pm
  #764  
 
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I have yet to reveal the greatest tragedy of this entire episode. If/when these tickets are honored I will *gasp* have to fly in a single class plane in order to get to Chicago for my 1st Class flight to Hong Kong. Oh, the humanity. 1 full hour stuck in an old, worn out cramped seat. How will I survive the humiliation? (Yes, sarcasm was heavy).

Something I did find odd, in all seriousness, is that when I booked my ticket and went through seat selection I wasn't able to select those seats on an ERJ-145 that were marked as Economy Comfort or whatever it is they call them without paying an extra fee. Normally I wouldn't find this at all odd, but as I was on a 1st class ticket you'd think they'd have been free of charge. It doesn't matter though, the flight is less than 1 hour. Just a curious observation.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 11:15 pm
  #765  
 
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
I'm not sure what else there is to say about the ethics of this mistake award offer. Maybe discussion of this topic should be suspended at this point?

Meanwhile, I AM interested in 2 very important topics that are getting drowned out by the ethics banter. First, what about the travellers who are flying on these tickets and, I assume, the many more who are about to depart? Perhaps there should be a separate thread devoted to this very important topic?

Second, why is it taking UA so long to actually do ANYTHING about the mistake tickets? We're at about 60 hours from the fact now and that's a crazy amount of time for UA to leave this thing hanging. Nobody would think the note from Shannon was sufficient, especially since the tickets are still currently valid and folks are presumably using them every day.
Me too! I have a valid ticket for next Tuesday. I'm sure people have tickets booked this week. Did you get contacted by UA? What's happening when you get to the airport? Can someone report?
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