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DOT Complaints for UA HKG Mistake Fare - Collaboration on Content, Process, Actions

DOT Complaints for UA HKG Mistake Fare - Collaboration on Content, Process, Actions

Old Jul 20, 12, 9:05 am
  #1  
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DOT Complaints for UA HKG Mistake Fare - Collaboration on Content, Process, Actions

Note to mods: I'm starting this separate thread from the "main" threads which have been filled with debates regarding morality, treatment of passengers/elites by UA, IT system discussions, etc. I think this makes sense, but I'll defer to your discretion if you don't consider this valuable to forum dwellers.

The subject for this thread is *only* information germaine to the filing and management of DOT complaints for the HKG mistake fare issue. Please keep this thread on topic. If you would like to rant about topics unrelated to the filing and management of DOT complaints, please use the other threads or OMNI/PR.

I'll update this OP with high-level information and snapshot statuses if we have any.

Key references

What information should you include?
  • Your ticket and/or reservation numbers
  • Record of any communication (or lack thereof) from United after your reservation was ticketed
  • Confirmation email or PDF receipt


Example complaint from FTer colpuck (do not copy directly!)

On July 15th 2012 I purchased from United Airlines ticket numbers 016xxxxxxxxxx and 016xxxxxxxxxx. These tickets were for myself and my girlfriend, MP, respectively. They were on United Airlines for travel from Phoenix Arizona to Hong Kong. Over four days after the tickets were issued United Airlines in violation of two DOT regulations unilaterally canceled those tickets. The cost of these tickets were 8 miles and $120.24 in “Taxes and Fees.”

First, United Airlines violated the DOT regulation that forbids airlines from canceling mistake fare tickets. United Airlines by canceling these tickets has forced me, if I so, chose to purchase these tickets at a higher price. DOT regulations forbid an airline from imposing post-ticketing fare increase. United Airlines by demanding that I pay more for these tickets is direct violation of the DOT regulation that forbids this practice.

Second, United Airlines is in violation of the DOT regulation that forbids an airline from displaying multiple prices for tickets and demanding the higher price. When I went to purchase these tickets two prices were displayed. I was charged in accordance with DOT regulations the lower price. Now, United Airlines over four days after the tickets were issued is demanding that I pay the higher price. This is in direct violation of the DOT regulation that forbids this action.

United Airlines has waived any defenses that would allow them to cancel these tickets. First, United Airlines has already affirmatively honor tickets issued at the fare as purchased. This was also done AFTER United Airlines knew about the mistake. This constitutes an affirmative act validating United Airline’s liability for these tickets that United Airlines is now illegally trying to disclaim. Also, this fare was validated not just by their automatic ticketing system “SHARES” but by telephone agents that were authorized to issue tickets on United Airlines behalf. It is well settled that businesses are liable for actions take on their behalf by authorized agents acting in the normal course of business. As such, United Airlines remains liable for these tickets as originally issued.

In conclusion, paper tickets belonged to the passenger that purchased them. Because they were paper the airline could not change them without physical possession of the tickets. Now with e-tickets they remain the property of the passenger but in the possession of the airline. This system allows the airline to abuse ticketing to shake down passengers for more money in name of a “mistake.” In the July issue of United Airlines’ in-flight magazine United Airlines’ CEO makes the case that airlines are “the most regulated deregulated industry.” The actions taken by United in this case show why that regulation is needed and is all that preventing United Airlines from abusing the flying population.

As such, I request that the DOT open an enforcement action against United Airlines for the wrongful and illegal unilateral cancellation of the tickets above.

Thank you,

JB

Last edited by fsfsfsfs; Jul 20, 12 at 9:18 am
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Old Jul 20, 12, 9:12 am
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Is there - seriously - a way for those of us who think United's solution to this matter was fair and honest to contact DOT with our opinions too? Thx.
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Old Jul 20, 12, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by Chevelter View Post
Is there - seriously - a way for those of us who think United's solution to this matter was fair and honest to contact DOT with our opinions too? Thx.
I guess you could contact the DOT directly -- send an email to Ray LaHood

If you wouldn't mind though -- can we please keep the rest of this discussion limited to passenger complaints filed with DOT? I'm not even saying that I will personally file one, but I think it's fair to provide FTers with the resources and advice they may want should they choose this course of action.
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Old Jul 20, 12, 9:17 am
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We really don't need another thread on this. If people care enough, they can take the time to read the other thread.
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Old Jul 20, 12, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by Chevelter View Post
Is there - seriously - a way for those of us who think United's solution to this matter was fair and honest to contact DOT with our opinions too? Thx.
^
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Old Jul 20, 12, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by DeaconFlyer View Post
We really don't need another thread on this. If people care enough, they can take the time to read the other thread.
Sure all 200 pages.
Great idea fsfsfsfs. Will work on mine and post over the weekend.
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