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It probably does not come as a huge shock to anyone, but United is going to (attempt to?) void the bookings for anyone who booked the United mistake fares this morning.
We will void the bookings for those who purchased tickets as a result of a third-party currency conversion error. http://t.co/KBaXBJCwoQ
— United (@united) February 11, 2015
From the United press release,
United is voiding the bookings of several thousand individuals who were attempting to take advantage of an error a third-party software provider made when it applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares. Most of these bookings were for travel originating in the United Kingdom, and the level of bookings made with Danish Kroner as the local currency was significantly higher than normal during the limited period that customers made these bookings.
The Flyertalk thread from this morning is still hopping, with many people “up in arms” about this (my favorite troll-worthy part of the thread from this morning was people complaining about having to pay $80 USD ticketing charge in addition to their ~$50 first-class transatlantic flight 😀
Recourse from the DOT?
The US Department of Transportation has regulations that are supposed to help the consumer in situations like these.
§ 399.88 Prohibition on post-purchase price increase.
(a) It is an unfair and deceptive practice within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 41712 for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, or of a tour (i.e., a combination of air transportation and ground or cruise accommodations), or tour component (e.g., a hotel stay) that includes scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation, tour or tour component to a consumer, including but not limited to an increase in the price of the seat, an increase in the price for the carriage of passenger baggage, or an increase in an applicable fuel surcharge, after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of an increase in a government-imposed tax or fee. A purchase is deemed to have occurred when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer.
Here is the link to the form to fill out a complaint, should you have bought tickets, had them cancelled, and want to complain. (Thanks to the Flyertalk wiki for the US DOT language as well as the link to the form). On Flyertalk it was suggested that if you’re going to file a complaint, you should do so as soon as your tickets are voided, as the amount of people complaining could play a factor in “negotiations” between United and the DOT.
What do you think? Did you get in on the fare this morning and if so, are you going to file a complaint with the DOT?
(UPDATE: The US DOT is NOT enforcing this United Mistake Fare Sale. Here is the final information including a link to the full DOT press release)