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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 18, 12, 4:53 am
  #811  
 
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Originally Posted by chinatraderjmr View Post

I have no problem w the people that got this deal. My problem is with the ones screaming DOT this and LAWSUIT that.
I think a distinction has to be made between these two actions. While I will definitely file a DOT complaint if my ticket is cancelled, there will be no lawsuit for me.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 5:04 am
  #812  
 
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After thinking about it for quite some time, I tend to agree with the thinking that since we only have 24 hours to cancel or face a hefty penalty, it does seem only fair that United had 24 hours to cancel. I don't think they necessarily need to validate the tickets, but rather offer some sort of decent compensation, in just the same way that a consumer would have to pay a hefty cancellation fee.

Bottom line is that if United doesn't think it's fair that we get to travel at 4 miles with their booking process due to a mistake, then they now know how it feels when a consumer makes a mistake and has to pay a hefty fee because of it. $10 million to them is like $150 to a lot of us that are not rich.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 5:06 am
  #813  
 
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Originally Posted by flyersky1 View Post
Of course the main story was that UA pilots approved a strike.
Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants...UA decides to honor my ticket, and then my flight gets cancelled d/t a pilot strike.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 5:25 am
  #814  
 
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Originally Posted by jwchef1975 View Post
OMG United is at it AGAIN another SALE

Miles buy more memories.


For seven days only, save 20% on the purchase of up to 25,000 MileagePlus® award miles, and 30% on the purchase of 25,000 miles or more. Soon, you will be on your way to that trip you've always dreamed of taking. To take AAdvantage of this great offer, please complete your purchase before 11:59 p.m. CDT on July 23, 2012.

Memories made possible by United
Mr. Subliminal strikes again.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 5:39 am
  #815  
 
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Originally Posted by GMUJD06 View Post
Wouldn't that be a kick in the pants...UA decides to honor my ticket, and then my flight gets cancelled d/t a pilot strike.
...and get rebooked in Cathay First!
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Old Jul 18, 12, 5:41 am
  #816  
 
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Originally Posted by Eryeal View Post
Or in a more real perspective - it's like if Best Buy advertised a price mistake, and a few folks were able to purchase the product before they caught on and corrected it. You can't go to Best Buy saying, "Hey! Other people got to buy it for $1, why do I have to pay $100? That's discrimination!"
Not an accurate analogy. It is like selling a bunch of people the TV's for $1 dollar, allowing some to pick them up, and then charging the rest WHO BOUGHT IT WITHIN THE SAME TIME PERIOD $ on their credit card, then saying those picking up in the future that paid can't have it....regardless of offering a refund, its unfair to honor for some and not others.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 5:56 am
  #817  
 
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Originally Posted by VandyBDL View Post
Not an accurate analogy. It is like selling a bunch of people the TV's for $1 dollar, allowing some to pick them up, and then charging the rest WHO BOUGHT IT WITHIN THE SAME TIME PERIOD $ on their credit card, then saying those picking up in the future that paid can't have it....regardless of offering a refund, its unfair to honor for some and not others.
Sure it's fair - I understand your analogy as well and would agree with it. You don't have to do for all what you do for one - that's not how life works, unless of course you are a communist. Everyone doesn't buy a car at the same price. If you buy something on the Best Buy website that was a $1 price mistake, and the first orders ship out before the price mistake is noticed - sure Best Buy can cancel the rest of the orders before they ship. Heck they can even recall the orders back from the shipping carrier prior to delivery. That's simply how it works. You aren't obligated to fulfill a mistake simply because it slipped through for some.

Bottom line is that it's "not fair" for anyone, or any company, to have to fulfill orders due to a typo or legitimate and quite obvious (ie not fraudulent) mistake. Imagine if every time you had a Freudian slip, said something accidentally, made a typo or ordered something accidentally - that you were HELD to it regardless. Again, life doesn't work like that, and it shouldn't.

Perhaps I have a different view because I am a retail business owner - if there was some major price mistake with my pricing program or labels, I would hope that an honest consumer who recognizes the mistake would bring it to my attention, versus try to get something for virtually nothing. It would feel like they stole from me (even though of course they did not). Even worse would be if it's a regular customer that does a lot of business with me.

I, too, believe that because this is a massive company, it doesn't really hit the conscience of a lot of people. It feels different to take advantage of a price mistake at Best Buy, then at your locally owned small hardware store where you know the owner. But you shouldn't separate the two - whether it's a large company or an individually owned business - the scenario could be exactly the same. And if someone came up to the counter and said, "Hey, I saw you ring that last customer at this price - you need to do the same for me!" - I would not think kindly of that person as a human being. Again, we're taking into account it's a OBVIOUS and RIDICULOUS price mistake, not something that is miniscule and could be construed as just a low price.

Last edited by Eryeal; Jul 18, 12 at 6:04 am
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:03 am
  #818  
 
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I find it cute that some of the "good customers" here think that united would close the MP accounts of those who took advantage of this offer. Current united is not about the "right thing to do" but only tries to gain as much money in each transaction.

I'm a kettle, seat in my Y seat without expecting upgrades, never try to get out of fees that I have to pay, don't ask for compensation for every small customer service issue, I have their credit card and actually use it sometimes. If I just bought a TOD or two I would be the perfect "new united" customer.

They will happily keep my account open and continue incentivize me with RDMs that they know I like, although they now know that I'm a "bad person" who will try to take advantage on the next mistake fare. Why would they cut me off when my participation in MP is a net gain for them? I would go for the mistake fare with or without being a MP member (assuming most mistake fares are not award related).

In the meanwhile, if they have a big loss that they "must pass to the customer", hey, they can always cut more benefits from their elites which continue to defend their airline despite everything it did to them. Why not, they are not going anywhere unless they are of the over-entitled variety. That's how this airline thinks, and with the responses in this thread I wouldn't be surprised if this strategy actually worked for smisek et al.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:05 am
  #819  
 
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is the argument here that UA made a one time - oopsie here ?.

or might that be the same airline which loaded this fare 5 days ago into the international reservation system and then pulled it 5 hours later

Fare 1: Carrier UA KKXNC48S EWR to LON (rules)
Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code K
Covers EWR-LHR (Economy) $0.50

or an airline which charges a legally highly questionable "Fuel Surcharge" of 46000 % of the $ 1.00 price which they tell customers is a "Fare" and label as a "Fare" for TransAtlantic Round trip travel.

or labels decreased service quality and mileage program devaluation as : A change you will love".


If you had bought a restricted $ 4000+ ticket with UA while having had a few too may glasses of wine or whisky ( system error ) and did not discover the error for > 24 hours , you would be stuck with a $ 4000+ IOU from UA. Coincidentally, if you could not make use of such IOU within 1 year, they can forfeit the entire $ 4000+ from you and record the $ 4000+ as Revenue in their financial statements without having provided you with any service whatsoever.

Remember YOU have to live by the strictest " to the Letter" of the Rule.
However, when the letter of the Rule points in the other direction, everything is up to interpretation. Make a public Mea Culpa and everything will be forgotten within a week and no leasons or incentive for improvement have been gained.
The amount of deceptive and rotten-to-the-core business practices can not even be described in words.

Last edited by WingedWorldExplorer; Jul 18, 12 at 6:39 am
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:06 am
  #820  
 
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Originally Posted by xuni4everx View Post
it looks like air china had the same problem last week
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2...t_15577414.htm
Yeah but they just had the customers killed instead of honoring the tickets. (and still took out 4 miles for the price if the bullet

I'm sure if UA thought they could get away with that, hit squads would be dispatched already
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:07 am
  #821  
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Originally Posted by ffI View Post
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 tend to report what the rules/policies actually require. I'm not so sure I've veered much from that here.
Originally Posted by HCSmooth66 View Post
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.
If you do not have status then E+ costs, even if booked in F on the connecting segments. That's the policy. Has been for a while.

Originally Posted by pdx1M View Post
Independent of what the DoT ultimately rules in this case based on their current regulation as written, there really is a difference between "consumer protection" and what is being considered here. There is no question that there should be rules that prohibit an airline (or any company) from unethical practices like post purchase price increases etc. But IMO those rules should not cover clear and obvious mistakes that are dealt with in a timely manner.
On spec I agree. Holding a company's feet to the fire for an obvious mistake is nearly as bad as the mistake itself. The devil, as they say, is in the details.

Who gets to decide if an error is really a mistake or if it is just a greedy company trying to fleece customers for a few more dollars? In many ways the companies dug themselves into this hole because there have been so many who have screwed customers in the past. Not necessarily the major airlines but the other travel industry companies that are generally seen as less upstanding.

The current set of rules is skewed quite heavily in favor of the consumer. That is a big change and may be the result of the pendulum swinging too far to compensate for the mess that was prior policies. But that's where we are today.

I still am not willing to call this one a done deal in either direction. I think that the comment from the DoT late yesterday suggesting that they expect to apply the rules to award tickets certainly was a significant move but it isn't over yet.

Originally Posted by MarkXS View Post
What most posters are missing is that there's a subtext to the DOT regulations, and we should be seeing it: The reason that the regulations explicitly say "mistake fares" are covered and cannot be raised after ticketing is to provide a deterrent from sloppy practices, deliberately or not, by inflicting a penalty on the airline that tries to get away with weaseling out of honoring its mistakes.
...
UA screwed up, and under the law nowadays in the USA, they have to honor their screwup. Which is a great incentive to stop screwing up.
I think that this is, in the end, the situation we're stuck with. Might it cost UA a few million to deal with the mess? Yup. Might it cost them a few million more to shore up their systems? Yup. Is that the cost of making a mistake? Apparently so.

Not necessarily fair, but when one party holds all the cards all the time the game is definitely not fair. I don't know that the current set of rules is the best balance available, but it is where we are and what we're dealing with.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:07 am
  #822  
 
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Originally Posted by Eryeal View Post
SUPERBLY written article. The more you try and game and take advantage of a system or a mistake, the harder it will be in the future to use the system (if available at all). Sometimes you have to know that even though a rule or law says one thing, doesn't make it the absolute right thing. Even if DOT enforces this and requires the tickets to be valid - it still doesn't mean it is right in the end. There are millions of examples of companies starting out with the best intentions (whether it's liberal returns policies or something completely different), and then due to so many consumers taking wrongful advantage, those intentions come to an end. It doesn't end because their rules, or lack thereof, were faulty. It ends because of so many folks abusing the system. Yeah, Sam's Club may have an unlimited returns policy, but I'm not going to take the TV I bought a year ago and accidentally dropped in for a refund or replacement, despite the fact they will accept the return.

I love the #3 comment on the bottom of the article by "Bob" - saying exactly what the article points out is the wrong way to think.
My lord! 100+ comments overnight! I'm already behind...

Had to comment on this post. The argument makes logical sense as far as it goes, it just happens to be wrong. There have been pile-on mistake fares for years, and it would be patently absurd to claim that UA's customer-unfriendly turn since 3/3 is because of mistake fares. What is more, many disagree and feel that CO policies are more customer friendly than UA's were.

So where's the evidence? Show me a single example -- backed up with evidence -- of how customers have been negatively impacted by mistake fares...other than the fact that airlines have taken measures to prevent them from happening as often.

Mistake fares are blips of speed bumps for the airlines relative to everything else they have to deal with. Claiming otherwise, IMHO, is silly.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:11 am
  #823  
 
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post
So where's the evidence? Show me a single example -- backed up with evidence -- of how customers have been negatively impacted by mistake fares...other than the fact that airlines have taken measures to prevent them from happening as often.

Mistake fares are blips of speed bumps for the airlines relative to everything else they have to deal with. Claiming otherwise, IMHO, is silly.
There would never be any direct evidence - as with any price mistake, lawsuit settlement, etc etc - businesses raise costs to consumers when their profit drops (usually). There isn't going to be a direct connection to one event, and even if there were, they aren't going to "announce" it most of the time.

I'm not so sure I would classify this as a speed bump .. but the truth is we really don't know, since we don't know how many tickets were booked. Yes if 100 tickets were booked - speed bump in the scheme of things. If 5,000 first class international tickets were booked in that time - a heck of a lot more than a speed bump. At some point, the quantity does make a difference.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:16 am
  #824  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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The Marketplace Morning Report on NPR had a blurb on the glitch this morning. Nothing new to report, but its making its way into more mainstream media.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 6:21 am
  #825  
 
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Originally Posted by apk123 View Post
I find it cute that some of the "good customers" here think that united would close the MP accounts of those who took advantage of this offer. Current united is not about the "right thing to do" but only tries to gain as much money in each transaction.

I'm a kettle, seat in my Y seat without expecting upgrades, never try to get out of fees that I have to pay, don't ask for compensation for every small customer service issue, I have their credit card and actually use it sometimes. If I just bought a TOD or two I would be the perfect "new united" customer.

They will happily keep my account open and continue incentivize me with RDMs that they know I like, although they now know that I'm a "bad person" who will try to take advantage on the next mistake fare. Why would they cut me off when my participation in MP is a net gain for them? I would go for the mistake fare with or without being a MP member (assuming most mistake fares are not award related).

In the meanwhile, if they have a big loss that they "must pass to the customer", hey, they can always cut more benefits from their elites which continue to defend their airline despite everything it did to them. Why not, they are not going anywhere unless they are of the over-entitled variety. That's how this airline thinks, and with the responses in this thread I wouldn't be surprised if this strategy actually worked for smisek et al.
Not really a good analogy. IMO the problem is not with the person that took advantage of this "glitch", I sure would have if i could have flown non UA metal. The problem is with the people that want to make a big deal out of this and try to drag UA thru the courts. Only a moron would not have known this was a mistake and "may" not be honored. Sure, some kind of compensation would be the right thing for UA to do. But honoring all these tickets including the guy that bought 75 of them is nuts. Personally, I could care a less if they are honored or not. My fear is that if this causes enough of a headache for UA, they might turn around and hurt ALL MP members by changing the terms of how award tickets are issued, no more close in bookings or 48 hour ticketing period for example. Let's face it, if UA had rules like that now, they could have cancelled all these reservations before any actual tickets were issued. This could hurt all of us in the end.
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