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Priceline's United Packages: First Class Bait and Switch

Priceline's United Packages: First Class Bait and Switch

Old Jun 12, 22, 12:42 am
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Angry Priceline's United Packages: First Class Bait and Switch

Pretty sour experience with the United brand today. United Packages (actually a division of Priceline.com advertised on United's homepage) sold me a "first or business" class roundtrip domestic air travel on United with a packaged hotel.
After paying online the actual consolidated bulk fare ticket booked included the transcon segment in economy (mixed class booking). At no point in the booking process does Priceline disclose anything other then the 1 stop ticket is being booked in first or business.

Pretty blatant bait and switch that they are not willing to book the advertised class of travel nor offer a full refund (due to the hotel cancellation policy). Coincidently only after they acknowledged their "system error" do they notify me the hotel rate they booked is over 2x the hotel's fully flexible rate had I booked direct.

Beware of booking premium class tickets with Priceline / United Packages. United sells these types of mixed class itineraries themselves but it's always advertised in advance in my experience..
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Last edited by firemandan9; Jun 12, 22 at 12:50 am
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Old Jun 12, 22, 1:15 am
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Originally Posted by firemandan9 View Post
Pretty sour experience with the United brand today. United Packages (actually a division of Priceline.com advertised on United's homepage)....
Where did you see this on UA's home page? Or another page?
Can you replicate?
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Old Jun 12, 22, 1:16 am
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Interesting. I just tried booking a similar package and just before the Book now page, one can click on flight details and clearly see class of service for each flight. I guess you just assumed it was First or Business all the way without double-checking? Does the package booking allow cancellation within 24 hours like flights?
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Old Jun 12, 22, 1:19 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Where did you see this on UA's home page? Or another page?
Can you replicate?
Im using United.com on iPhone and get to the Priceline deal by clicking to n packages, then flights/hotels. Dont see FirstBusiness promise - maybe on desktop version?

https://packages.united.com/shop/sea...e95fc1&index=0
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Old Jun 12, 22, 1:34 am
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So not on the home page
Deals>Current offers and promos>Vacation packages

Appears this is the replacement for United Vacations>
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Old Jun 12, 22, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Where did you see this on UA's home page? Or another page?
Can you replicate?
United Packages is prominently featured on the rotating featured offers on my United.com desktop experience. No class information of what I'm purchasing for my one-stop departure flight other then "First or Business" as I selected after initially selecting my desired flights. Only when I went to Untied.com with my PNR once ticketed did I realize they had booked a mixed class trip.







Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Interesting. I just tried booking a similar package and just before the Book now page, one can click on flight details and clearly see class of service for each flight. I guess you just assumed it was First or Business all the way without double-checking? Does the package booking allow cancellation within 24 hours like flights?
I accepted an "upgrade offer" to first or business after selecting the flights. It went from a screen showing the individual flights are in economy to showing a confirmation the 1 stop departure and return were booked in First or Business.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 12, 22 at 1:45 am Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jun 12, 22, 2:16 am
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Different trip for privacy reasons but this is the presentation they use. The only tell I can find of a mixed class itinerary is if you bother to go through their clunky seat assignment flow and realize you can't select a first class seat. I typically just assign seats in the United app directly after ticketing alas...

Confirmation page:



Per the seat assignment tell the outbound is a mixed class (first then economy) booking in this case.
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Last edited by firemandan9; Jun 12, 22 at 2:27 am
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Old Jun 12, 22, 3:23 am
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The upgrade appears to be offered on a per-segment basis based on the screens I see. Otherwise, Economy is clearly displayed.

I think United and Priceline are guilty of having a needlessly confusing and difficult to read booking system. So its understandable that a mistake could easily be made. They should definitely offer a refund.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 7:37 am
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Where on the confirmation does it clearly say "economy" ?

On the contrary, it clearly says "first or business".
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Old Jun 12, 22, 8:40 am
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I've booked business class packages on Expedia without this problem. So it can be done correctly.

I'm curious about this:
Coincidently only after they acknowledged their "system error" do they notify me the hotel rate they booked is over 2x the hotel's fully flexible rate had I booked direct.
So, "they" admitted there was an error? I think there's more to this story. Could you supply the missing details? What exactly happened when you complained about it? And how can you know the hotel rate is "2x the hotel's fully flexible rate" when the hotel is part of a package price?
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Old Jun 12, 22, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by firemandan9 View Post
Different trip for privacy reasons but this is the presentation they use. The only tell I can find of a mixed class itinerary is if you bother to go through their clunky seat assignment flow and realize you can't select a first class seat. I typically just assign seats in the United app directly after ticketing alas...

Confirmation page:



Per the seat assignment tell the outbound is a mixed class (first then economy) booking in this case.
Actually just below where is says CHA to IAD and IAD to ORD in your first picture it clearly says economy class. You don't have to go through the clunky seat assignments page.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by RetiredATLATC View Post
Actually just below where is says CHA to IAD and IAD to ORD in your first picture it clearly says economy class. You don't have to go through the clunky seat assignments page.
That's the page where he selected the upgrade to first or business at the bottom. The following confirmation page says first or business below both sets of flights.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 10:13 am
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Misleading at best, deceitful at worst.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by AsiaTraveler View Post
That's the page where he selected the upgrade to first or business at the bottom. The following confirmation page says first or business below both sets of flights.
That isn't the issue OP raised. It says first or business below both the outbound and inbound flights. The issue OP had involved a connecting flight, whereby the short hop was upgraded to FC but the connecting transconflight wasn't. The problem is Priceline isn't breaking down the flight by segments on the confirmation page after you choose the upgrade option, just by the overall leg so all you see is CHS-IAD-ORD with a single class of service listed. So according to the OP it is unclear that it could be a mixed cabin (I can't verify this, as I haven't been able to find an option that allows for an upgrade on only one segment of the outbound leg). In my testing, anytime a connection was involved I only had one option to choose for first class and couldn't get a mixed cabin. Also when I chose the FC upgrade it immediately put me to the seat map for all my flights, so I feel like something should raise a flag to the buyer if I'm selecting row 3 on one flight and only have options for 15 + on the T-con.

So seems like the real issue, is the checkout page is just looking at the class of the first flight of a leg, and not considering additonal segments when it decides what to display. Either way this is a priceline issue, not a UA issue. Expecting UA to honor the fare because priceline displayed it wrong is ridiculous, and the issue needs to be taken up with Priceline.
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Last edited by Lux Flyer; Jun 12, 22 at 10:20 am
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Old Jun 12, 22, 10:24 am
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This is a Priceline issue, not an UA issue.
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