Thousand Of Fliers Bought First Class Tickets To Hong Kong For Only $33: Here’s What Happened
As any modern savvy traveler knows, it’s worth your while to keep your eyes open for short-lived deals online and jump on them as soon as possible to take advantage of when the airliner computers take over a la Terminator and offer insanely low prices on normally expensive flights. (This happened to me in early 2011 when I snagged a flight to Barcelona from New York for only $210.)
It was recently reported that thousands of fliers, upon getting word via chat boards and e-mail alerts, logged onto United’s site and snagged first class tickets for only 4 frequent flier miles and $33 in taxes. United, once getting word of the purchases, ended the deal and announced that they were voiding the purchases, citing a computer glitch for the problem.
Before long, hundreds, if not thousands, of fliers — the airline won’t say how many — booked trips. United eventually pulled the plug and announced it wasn’t honoring tickets already sold. People could get a refund without paying a penalty or have the proper amount of miles deducted. Anyone who had already started their trip would be allowed to complete their travel.
One problem: The Department of Transportation’s recently enacted rule which prohibits airlines from “increasing the price after the consumer completes the purchase.” The AP reached out to DOT spokesman Bill Mosley who said the agency was still investigating.
Posted on July 19, 2012 by Matt Stabile