By now you all know about the amazing short lived deals that United brought us with their third party errors. Now we learned that United will not honor those first class tickets sold at insanely low prices and surely there’s a lot of anger from those lucky ones who were able to grab such deals. Many have already complained to the DOT and you can do so as well by using this online form. But should you?
Opinion vary here and most blogs are up in arms against United, mentioning previous cases where mistake fares were honored. I think I have to go on the other corner of this debate though, and not just because I’m sour over not being able to get a ticket myself (by the time I woke up, the deal was almost over and my attempts were unsuccessful).
I have been screwed over by airlines in the past, with many types of fees. Some you you might have been charged for am erroneous booking. But should we get back at United just because we’re mad at them? We sure can, but we shouldn’t claim that they owe us those tickets. This wasn’t just a simple mistake fare, but mistake that had to be combined with some low level fraud, in order to get those thousand dollar fares for $70-80.
To get the discount fares, one had to misrepresent information, in this case as booking from Denmark. Knowingly writing your US address, with Denmark as the country, is intentional fraud. So sure, some of us hoped that those deals would be honored, but we have no right to demand those tickets and United should be under any legal obligations to honor them. It might have been a good idea for them from a PR point of view, but maybe this was a big hit to take financially.
So in my opinion, calls for complaints to the DOT are unacceptable. We hunt for deals, and we pray for errors like this one, but we have to let this one go and not be too greedy. We did have our first ever visitor from Denmark today though (not making this up), and he might be the only reader with the moral right to complain if he booked a ticket.
I kept this a little short, but may update it later with some more thoughts. In the meantime let us know if you were able to book one of these fares and if you think of filing a complaint with the DOT or just your thoughts on the matter.