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Aquila3
Posts: 576
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:18 pm

RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Tue May 12, 2015 12:08 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 18):
It's been an ongoing discussion. Unless you travel an awful lot for work, there is little point to focusing on your FF accounts.

Same for me. What you can do is to donate you miles to some Charity before they "expire". At least you can hope they will be of some use to somebody.
chi vola vale chi vale vola chi non vola è un vile
 
bobnwa
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Tue May 12, 2015 1:21 pm

Boy, does this topic bring out the basic differences between liberals(democrats) and conservatives (republicans)
 
HPRamper
Posts: 5111
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 4:22 am

RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Tue May 12, 2015 3:05 pm

Quoting nonrevman (Reply 49):
Just like you, my big worry would be buying a vacation package for my family months in advance, and then a couple of weeks before the trip, getting a call from the airline that the fare was a "mistake", and I have a choice of paying $2000 more for the tickets, or they could refund the trip.

It's been stated quite clearly numerous times that the airlines have only 24 hours in which to cancel/refund. There will be no last-minute cancellations.

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 51):
Boy, does this topic bring out the basic differences between liberals(democrats) and conservatives (republicans)

I'm not sure I see how.
 
nonrevman
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 6:33 am

RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Tue May 12, 2015 3:56 pm

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 52):

The only 24 hour rule mentioned on this thread is if the consumer requests a refund within 24 hours of purchasing the ticket. I do not see anything in the thread or the link provided in the original post about an airline being required to discover the error within 24 hours of the customer purchasing the ticket. Can anyone confirm this?
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Tue May 12, 2015 4:01 pm

Quoting DDR (Reply 16):
Agreed. The 24 hour rule should apply to both the passenger and the airline. That would be fair for everyone.

The only thing I'd say is that, as the consumer, I'm only really looking at one or two itineraries to see if they are correct. The airlines are selling tens of thousands of tickets every day - catching errors will be much more difficult in a 24 timespan. I'm guessing that they can develop software to help discover these things but for now, if there's human intervention along the way, it will continue to happen.

Quoting CHA5departure (Reply 46):
I wish! It sickens me how much cheaper my German relatives can purchase Europe-USA-Europe tickets on pretty much any airline website compared to what it costs to purchase USA-Europe-USA tickets on the US site for the exact same arlines. We are talking hundreds of dollars cheaper.

When no one can afford to come to the US because of the strong dollar, the airlines will charge lower fares to boost demand and fill seats. It sucks for us right now (I'm putting my wife on a LH flight SEA-FRA-MAD today and it wasn't cheap) but at least when we're there the stronger dollar might make the actual time there more affordable.

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
ikramerica
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Tue May 12, 2015 4:09 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 23):
1. Mistakes should be impossible, in principle, because fares are not calculated by salesmen anymore, but by computer algorithms. Oh, we gave away tickets for $10? It was a mistake done by the computer! Let's crucify, quarter and burn those who sold us the computers!   

You can feed average loads, cost factors and whatever into your algorithm, and use that as a safeguard against giving away tickets too cheaply. They big legacy airlines might just ask U2 or FR how they prevent losses, as they routinely sell extremely cheap tickets. Their safeguards are obviously working.

So airlines should demonstrate the price was in error. I look forward happily to the that "demonstration" which necessarily divulges at least some of their company secrets.

Are you being funny?

Computers aren't self aware and they are programmed by HUMANS. It's incredibly complicated and mistakes do happen. My wife works in this exact field (reservation and booking and inventory and rates for hotels) and their company is scrambling constantly to squash a bug that offered a strange rate, or double charged, or what have you that only pops up out of the blue because one property had one specific circumstance on one day that made this error show up.

If you think software engineers are infallible, then I don't know what to tell you. They work hard like everyone else, and they make mistakes like everyone else. The mistake usually happens when the code is deployed and then another department makes another change that is tied to dependencies that aren't clear or have a bug, and once the second change is made by a different person, the mistake of the first person shows up.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Tue May 12, 2015 8:49 pm

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 55):
Computers aren't self aware and they are programmed by HUMANS.

Oh, I didn't know that. I always believed my computer would be happily plodding forward doing my PhD research while I drink beer and watch movies.

A sanity check on the ticket prices would not be that difficult to implement. It could be fed with the expected per-seat costs per flight (which are foreseeable quite well, even down to the A/C types and routes) in order to prevent selling tickets at a certain loss.

If this is too difficult for the airline, they could just buy insurance against accidentally selling tickets too cheap.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
ikramerica
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Tue May 12, 2015 9:56 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 56):

You are making the assumption that a "sanity check" isn't the point of failure...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
billreid
Posts: 761
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 3:52 am

It remains very very very sad that the government needs to protect UAL from its own stupid mistakes.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
HPRamper
Posts: 5111
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 4:21 am

Quoting billreid (Reply 58):
It remains very very very sad that the government needs to protect UAL from its own stupid mistakes.

It happens to every airline from time to time, it's just that the UAL incident was widely publicized. I'm honestly surprised it took this long. It's just interesting to me that airlines warrant special protection whereas huge retail store chains have no such protection when they make a mistake on a Black Friday ad and have to give away 50-inch flat screen TVs for 10 bucks.
 
BlueShamu330s
Posts: 2584
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 8:34 am

Quoting billreid (Reply 14):
I am so disillusioned by airlines and their management.
Quite simply the airlines obviously work with the DOT who licenses them through the FAA. So there is a complete and utter conflict in interest.

Under the law if someone makes a mistake and sells a Rolex in a garage sale for $5 the sale stands, yet if the airline makes a mistake because they are poorly managed they are protected by those in government they work with.

How do you spell corruption? LOL
Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 15):

Your analogy doesn't work. The person selling a Rolex for $5 in a garage sale is underpricing purely out of ignorance of the value of the product, not a mistake. The airlines have a pretty good idea of the value of their product and they know a J/F seat on a transatlantic flight is worth a lot more than $100.

I would argue that the airlines should get the same protection as passengers. They get 24 hours to correct fare mistakes. If they don't catch by then, then they have to honor it. With more sophisticated software systems, tracking down and fixing errors should be easier.

Quite so.

The Rolex being sold in a house sale is already considered a sold asset, irregardless of what price the asset achieves. What ever it sells for, it is a net gain for the retailer.
When an airline or booking system throws up an error and that error gets identified and is notified worldwide, it is taken advantage of and purchased en masse at that reduced price. The seller did not sell those seats with the intention of retailing them at whatever price they could get. Rather than a net gain to the retailer, the result could be bankruptcy.

That is why there is a requirement for a protection net.
Flying around India
 
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RWA380
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 9:29 am

Quoting steex (Reply 1):
Assuming it isn't a mileage run, I can't help wondering if this will create a loophole where an airline won't cancel your ticket simply because it's a worse financial decision for them. If I find and book an $80 SFO-NRT-SFO trip on UA and quickly book two weeks of nonrefundable hotel stays, I can't see them wanting to shell out potentially thousands of dollars in cash to reimburse me for the right to void an $80 ticket that was supposed to be $800.

These fare things are usually caught very quickly, in my decades of issuing airline tickets I can remember exactly three times where a mis-loaded fare was caught quick enough that we were able to issue tickets against the mis-loaded fare.

Only once was there enough time to contact our entire client list in just a few hours with dozens of agents calling & just as many booking & a few of us, just issuing. We sold nearly 150, $121.00 r/t PDX-HNL-PDX on UA. I went with friends as well.

The worst days of ticketing will only be remembered by fellow industry vetransall I need to say is "half price sale" for 3 days in 1990, IIRC All the airlines matched a half price sale by AA. The half price was off ALL published fares, We worked 14 hour days for those three days, I was still at a smaller local agency, between my friends, my families connections & the multiple places my folks were involved with, I had quite a client list right out of travel school.

I bought 5 tickets for myself, just with the extra commissions I made, but as I only got 5% of the sale & tickets were not over $200 r/t each, it took a lot of sales.

But I paid $118.00 r/t PDX-SJC-LAS-SJC-PDX on AA,
$33.00 r/t PDX-SEA-PDX on TW
$188.00 r/t PDX-ORD-MIA-EYW-MIA-DFW-PDX on AA.

That was pure hell those threedays & I was the pro in our office of finding the V inventory seats by first finding, then breaking booked city pairs, before marriage logic came along & killed my skill.
707 717 720 727-1/2 737-1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 747-1/2/3/4 757-2/3 767-2/3/4 777-2/3 DC8 DC9 MD80/2/7/8 D10-1/3/4 M11 L10-1/2/5 A300/310/320
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ckfred
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 6:43 pm

In contract law, for a contract to exist, there must be an offer and an acceptance. I learned in law school that a price tag isn't an offer. It's an invitation for the shopper to make an offer, which the store is free to reject. So, if an item is mismarked, the clerk can tell the customer, in effect, that the offer is rejected and an invitation to make an new offer, at the correct and higher price, would be entertained.

Of course, a smart retailer will sell the good at the mismarked price, since that will heighten the store's good will.

Now, there are various laws and regulations about what happens, if a retailer has the wrong price listed. A retailer may have to sell the item at the marked price. Then the retailer will correct the price for future customers. For a price listed in a newspaper ad or flyer, the retailer may have to display the correction in the front window or by the register, as well as buy ad space announcing the correction.

But, based on contract law, a very low (and incorrect) fare offered by an airline is merely an invitation to make an offer.

Now, if a carrier is smart, it honors those incorrect fares while getting it's IT department to correct the fares in the system ASAP.
 
kalvado
Posts: 2970
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:29 am

RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 7:44 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 62):

In contract law, for a contract to exist, there must be an offer and an acceptance. I learned in law school that a price tag isn't an offer. It's an invitation for the shopper to make an offer, which the store is free to reject. So, if an item is mismarked, the clerk can tell the customer, in effect, that the offer is rejected and an invitation to make an new offer, at the correct and higher price, would be entertained.

Which state are we talking about? A quick look shows that at least some states require that the lowest displayed price is charged (and I didn't find any opposite examples)
Examples for lowest price: California B&P Code, 12024.2.; MA General Laws, PART I TITLE XV CHAPTER 94 Section 184B; NY AGM. LAW § 197-b
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 9411
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 8:28 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 62):
In contract law, for a contract to exist, there must be an offer and an acceptance. I learned in law school that a price tag isn't an offer. It's an invitation for the shopper to make an offer, which the store is free to reject. So, if an item is mismarked, the clerk can tell the customer, in effect, that the offer is rejected and an invitation to make an new offer, at the correct and higher price, would be entertained.

Of course, a smart retailer will sell the good at the mismarked price, since that will heighten the store's good will.

Now, there are various laws and regulations about what happens, if a retailer has the wrong price listed. A retailer may have to sell the item at the marked price. Then the retailer will correct the price for future customers. For a price listed in a newspaper ad or flyer, the retailer may have to display the correction in the front window or by the register, as well as buy ad space announcing the correction.

But, based on contract law, a very low (and incorrect) fare offered by an airline is merely an invitation to make an offer.

Now, if a carrier is smart, it honors those incorrect fares while getting it's IT department to correct the fares in the system ASAP.

That may be the reading were you learned contract law and applying in the USA or where ever.
In most European countries the advertised price is the offer by the seller.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 8:52 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 62):
In contract law, for a contract to exist, there must be an offer and an acceptance.

Not quite...

Quoting mjoelnir (Reply 64):
That may be the reading were you learned contract law and applying in the USA or where ever.
In most European countries the advertised price is the offer by the seller.

  

For Switzerland, I can say that we have both systems. In a supermarket, the price on the product is not binding, because the purchase contract is made at the cashpoint.

And then there are situations where the customer just has to express his will to form a binding contract. An airline contracts with anyone who is willing to pay the ticket and adhere to the terms of carriage. There is absolutely nobody who accepts/rejects the contract on the airline's side.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
airlineecon
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:22 am

RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 9:02 pm

Quoting jbflyguy84 (Reply 48):

That's a cop out excuse that doesn't justify "mistakes." It's quite easy to program-in lower bounds on what fare the human can enter into the pricing system. There are many explanations for the pricing. There are elements of randomness in airline pricing in which extreme tails would occasionally result as the "optimal" fare. There are also tit-tat pricing wars that under the right conditions could trigger extremely low fares, even if just temporarily. Finally, humans have the ability override the algorithms and safeguards against an employee's typing fingers. These low fare events are perhaps the most informative "experiments" for an airline to gauge how consumer demand responds to pricing. Businesses deviate from normal practices all the time to run such pricing experiments. None of these scenarios are mistakes.

The DOT report contains no smoking guns to prove a mistake.
 
bennett123
Posts: 10367
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 9:20 pm

Do airlines make so many mistakes that they need to be protected.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: DOT: Airlines Dont Need To Honor Mistaken Fares

Wed May 13, 2015 10:53 pm

Quoting airlineecon (Reply 66):
Quoting jbflyguy84 (Reply 48):


That's a cop out excuse that doesn't justify "mistakes."
Quoting bennett123 (Reply 67):
Do airlines make so many mistakes that they need to be protected.

As already mentioned, many airlines, especially smaller carriers, still do much of their pricing manually and submit fare changes to ATPCO, thousands every day. Human error is unavoidable. It's easy to omit one zero from an amount, especially when dealing with foreign currencies with many zeros like the Japanese Yen etc.

If you see an ad for a new car priced at $2,000, when it should read $20,000, do you really expect that an error like that should be honoured? Why should errors in air fares be any different?

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