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Lapchild fee not charged at booking - should UA honor booking? [Consolidated]

Lapchild fee not charged at booking - should UA honor booking? [Consolidated]

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Old Sep 15, 13, 11:55 pm
  #1  
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Lapchild fee not charged at booking - should UA honor booking? [Consolidated]

In July, I used United's website to plan and book award travel from YYZ-LHR-SIN-CMB and PNH-BKK-LHR-YYZ for myself, my wife, and lap infant.

The system priced the booking at 260k miles and $357 in taxes/fees, which I paid.

The following day I received e-tickets for myself and my wife. I assumed the lap child would not need a ticket, until today when I called SQ (which was doing the LHR-SIN-CMB segments) to select seats. SQ agent said the lap infant also needs a ticket.

So I called United again to have them issue a ticket for the lap child and was told that I need to pay $1,800 more! They refuse to issue a ticket for the baby until I pay. My position is that I clearly indicated the number of travelers and the names (including the lap child) at the time of booking, was quoted a fare based on this information, which I then paid.

If there should have been a separate charge for the baby, should this not have been shown to me at the time I purchased the tickets? If it was, I would have chosen different options. Also, United.com is quite capable of pricing lap infant tickets for award travel (I just checked with some mock bookings).

What can I do now? United is giving me two options, both of which absolve United of any responsibility. The options are to a) pay the $1,800 b) have the tickets cancelled and the miles refunded

I feel United should honor the fare they quoted at the time of booking. What can/should I do?
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Old Sep 16, 13, 12:59 am
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Contact UA Insider via Private Message and see if he can help.

Long-distance "fighting" with CSRs via phone and/or email will get you nowhere, my gut tells me.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 2:19 am
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OP, are you aware of the infant fee (10% of fare for the cabin you fly)?

If yes, and if 1800$ is correct (which could be in case of an award in I/O), then the matter is whether you wish to fight for UA to honor a "discount" involuntarily provided during ticketing on the website... This might be a complicated issue, it is not touching US, so no DOT intervention...

In any case, from your story it seems that you have no e-ticket for the infant... So my best guess is that you are out of luck in any case. All the mistake fare cases are based on having itinerary ticketed. This time, pay what is fair based on the rules and move on.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 6:24 am
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Originally Posted by CASAFlyer View Post
If yes, and if 1800$ is correct (which could be in case of an award in I/O)
Gosh, if UA had been offering LHR-SIN in I/O in July I would have hoped to hear about it!
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Old Sep 16, 13, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by bandana1948 View Post
In July, I used United's website to plan and book award travel from YYZ-LHR-SIN-CMB and PNH-BKK-LHR-YYZ for myself, my wife, and lap infant.......I assumed the lap child would not need a ticket........I feel United should honor the fare they quoted at the time of booking. What can/should I do?
Misleading thread title. United and partners will honor the booking. The problem is that you don't have a ticket for the infant.

$1,800 sounds about right if you are booked in O (First/Suite) class as infant pays 10% of your cabin full fare. You didn't pay it due to UA website error. The question is can you hold UA to honor its website ticketing error? UA should have charged you $1,800 when you booked.

Related threads:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...d-booking.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...fe-infant.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...ward-seat.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...award-tix.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...ticketing.html
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Old Sep 16, 13, 7:29 am
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1. Every pax needs a ticket. Period.
2. OP, by his own statement, did not purchase or receive an e-ticket for the infant. So, he needs to purchase such a ticket now. Why that did or did not happen is water under the bridge. Perhaps OP slipped up and perhaps UA goofed. But, that's what the e-ticket receipt is for and without it, there's no ticket.
3. The $1,800 sounds about right for 10% of premium cabin travel on the route specified.

Complaining to DOT gets OP nothing because UA didn't get paid for and didn't issue a ticket. It's also not a useful endeavor. OP could have called UA immediately when he didn't receive the infant ticket and paid the $1,800 or he can pay it now. Or, if he suggests that he would not have paid $1,800 had he known what it would cost, he can cancel the itinerary since it's an award.

There really is no beef here. And, it's far from certain that this is a UA screw-up in any event.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1. Every pax needs a ticket. Period.
2. OP, by his own statement, did not purchase or receive an e-ticket for the infant. So, he needs to purchase such a ticket now. Why that did or did not happen is water under the bridge. Perhaps OP slipped up and perhaps UA goofed. But, that's what the e-ticket receipt is for and without it, there's no ticket.
3. The $1,800 sounds about right for 10% of premium cabin travel on the route specified.

Complaining to DOT gets OP nothing because UA didn't get paid for and didn't issue a ticket. It's also not a useful endeavor. OP could have called UA immediately when he didn't receive the infant ticket and paid the $1,800 or he can pay it now. Or, if he suggests that he would not have paid $1,800 had he known what it would cost, he can cancel the itinerary since it's an award.

There really is no beef here. And, it's far from certain that this is a UA screw-up in any event.
Pretty much gotta agree.

Now the $25 infant ticketing fee that I got assessed even as a 1K.... now that might be worth fighting over!
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Old Sep 16, 13, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by TerryK View Post
Misleading thread title. United and partners will honor the booking. The problem is that you don't have a ticket for the infant.
Yup. It undercuts credibility when there's a hyperbolic - and inaccurate - thread title.

Basically OP wants a free infant ticket. There's no justification for that.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 9:39 am
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The $1800 would be ten percent of the adult fare for the same flights in the same cabin, plus all taxes and fees. Sounds right, although there might have been discount first business class tickets available when the award tickets were acquired. This might have reduced the price somewhat if the airlines involved don't insist that the international lap infant ticket costs 10% of full F/full J/C.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 9:50 am
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The OP told the website what he wanted, and he thought it gave it to him. Not everyone has the interest to sit and learn the ins and outs. People should be able to just go to the website and expect it to work.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Sep 16, 13 at 7:04 pm Reason: edit required for TOS compliance
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Old Sep 16, 13, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP could have called UA immediately when he didn't receive the infant ticket and paid the $1,800 or he can pay it now.
Uh, how was the OP supposed to know this? He very clearly states that he booked for wife, self and infant and received no indication that he would have to pay more than what he paid - and no indication that the booking was incomplete. You and I might know that everyone needs a ticket, but that's not clear to the general public. Especially those who have never taken a lap infant on a flight (and been charged the 10% fare). When you go buy something on a website and the process appears to be successful, you assume it's successful - until the company doesn't delivery the goods. Then it's the company's fault, not the consumer's.

UA's website screwed up, and UA should take responsibility for it by eating the $1800 and issuing a lap infant ticket.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 9:57 am
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When you made the booking - did it show the infant as a passenger? When you check the PNR does it still have the infant on the booking.

If yes, you might escalate this as that seems to be an IT error. I doubt it will help but it doesn't hurt to try.

If not, you need to buy the ticket. I would price out the infant ticket using ITA, Orbitz, or similar to see if the 1800 is correct. If it seems too high ask UA to match the available fare/check the fare with the rate desk.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by bandana1948 View Post
My position is that I clearly indicated the number of travelers and the names (including the lap child) at the time of booking, was quoted a fare based on this information, which I then paid.
If you received a receipt from UA for THREE passengers then you might have an argument.

If not, the assumption that the third passenger (child) would not need a ticket was a mistake on your part.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 10:13 am
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Instead of blaming the OP wouldn't it be better to help him find a solution?

I second the suggestion to send a PM to UA Insider, hopefully Aaron can help.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Sep 16, 13 at 7:04 pm
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Old Sep 16, 13, 10:44 am
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I did not slip up, as some commentators here have suggested.

All three passengers were clearly indicated at the time of booking. When I "view" the booking online, my child's name is indicated as a passenger with a seat assignment that says "In Adult's lap". Air Canada, the first carrier in this itinerary, has a record of my daughter in their system, but sees that no ticket has been issued to her.

United.com indicated on its website that the fares/fees etc. for ALL of the passengers would be indicated on the final page, just before I had to make payment.

I received a quote, and paid what it quoted. I had no reason to second guess United's quote, to contemplate even for a moment if it was a mistake, or feel the need to follow up with United.

My only experience traveling with my daughter has been on a domestic segment for which she did not need a ticket.

Some commentators seem to suggest it is my fault and not United's; that I ought to have known better; that it is not too late to fork out more money.

I respectfully disagree.

Last edited by bandana1948; Sep 16, 13 at 10:51 am
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