As everyone knows, Delta has had an operational disaster that began on Monday and is still continuing as of this moment. In the main discussion thread on the topic, various trolls and fanboys were pointing out throughout the day on Monday that Delta's website was selling tickets for flights later in the day on Monday and all day Tuesday, and showing seat availability. The trolls were using flights with open seats as evidence of some sort of operational recovery. As we all know many of those flights were actually cancelled, some well in advance of departure and some near departure. And many more were delayed, some by many hours. Until reading that thread it did not occur to me that Delta's so-called power outage did not affect their website or ticket sales. Which brings up the question -- is it fraud for an airline to sell a ticket for a same-day or next-day flight when they know that the flight in question will be cancelled? Once the airline accepts payment, the customer is screwed. They will be able to re-book for a later date and may receive a nearly worthless voucher but if they were buying a same-day or next-day ticket because they needed to travel, they likely have to eat the money they gave Delta and buy a duplicate ticket on another airline.
I am not a lawyer but it seems to me this is a question worth asking. So tonight I have written a letter to my state's Attorney General asking if it is considered fraud for an airline to sell a ticket for a flight if they know the flight will be, or likely will be cancelled. I encourage others to do the same. Our Attorney General's office has a strong consumer fraud protection service and I have also asked that they use their powers to help affected consumers receive appropriate compensation.
On a side note I believe that Delta should have immediately stopped selling tickets for Monday & Tuesday flights as soon as the meltdown began on Monday morning and I wish to thank all the trolls and fanboys who pointed out that Delta was selling tickets for cancelled flights.