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Squawks & HeadlinesUnited Shuts Down Website Bookings After Ticket-Pricing Glitch

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United Shuts Down Website Bookings After Ticket-Pricing Glitch

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For a little while on Thursday, United Airlines was giving away airplane tickets for free, or close to it. Passengers reported buying tickets for $5 to $10 before United shut down the bookings on its website and phone centers to prevent more tickets from being sold or given away. The airline said it accidentally filed some fares for $0. Airport charges might have resulted in a small cost seen by some passengers. (www.huffingtonpost.com) More...

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Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 4
$5-$10 for UNITED? Still too much.
upes44ac
Nate K 0
Amen to to that
acmi
acmi 4
finally selling seats for what they are worth :-)
gopurduego
Robert Lewis 1
I'd be willing to bet Phil's money that this is a PR thing. Why not give away a couple hundred seats when they probably have a million seats in the air at any given time? These news reports will get people on their site trying their luck, and assuming they will 'honor' the freebies, United comes out lookin like champs.
gopurduego
Robert Lewis 1
and... its official:

By Samantha Bomkamp

Tribune reporter

1:47 p.m. CDT, September 13, 2013
After accidentally offering free fares on Thursday, United Airlines said it will honor tickets bought by some quick customers.

"We’ve reviewed the error that occurred yesterday and based on these specific circumstances, we will honor the tickets," United announced on Twitter on Friday afternoon.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke -1
United needs to stop hiring pricing personnel in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Anyone can make an error, and the law allows them dishonor tickets sold in error. I would argue that this continues to happen at United. At some point consumers need protection against the carelessness of United's failure to practice greater care in their pricing. When they follow a business model that moves the price up and down from one minute to the next it is impossible for a consumer to judge if the price offered is the correct fare or not. Just as when they charge you $200 to change a ticket, they should credit you the same when they want to change a ticket.

This reminds me of the car dealers that sign a contract with a buyer, take a down payment and send the happy motorist off in his new ride. A week later they call the motorist and inform him an "error" was made in the paperwork, and he needed to come sign a new contract for $100 more a month. One LA area dealer was making this "error" on more than half the cars sold.
klimchuk
Nikolay Klimchuk 2
I would return a car instantly if dealer would start to play this game
JetMech24
JetMech24 1
Most times it is not the dealer's fault, it is usually the financing company's fault for not honoring the deal the dealer originally made, but if you dont like the deal take it back and take your money else where, it is THEIR loss for giving you a deal that no bank would honor.
captainjman
Jason Feldman 1
its all about market share - its not about profits... this is airlines not real business - don't you know that? LOL
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 0
That is the trick the dealer offers to convince suckers that they will need to pay more. The financing company makes loans based on your credit report. They tell the dealer the lowest amount they will accept for the contract. If the dealer gets more, the excess flows back to the dealer.

If you simply want to unwind the deal at that point the dealer charges you for the use of the car at very high rates (it will be in the fine print) and just keeps your down payment.

The simple defense is to say no. You have a contract to purchase. There is no "cooling off" period.
pilot62
Scott Campbell -1
Well. United's web page pre-merger was faster and easier to navigate.
It must have been a coin flop, or whichever system had newer servers - equipment.

Just like the the choice to go with the Continental livery, which was already older than the NEW United livery, because the newer Aircraft were already painted that way. I don't think any smart management team can afford to be sentimental.
RRKen
Kenneth Schmidt 1
Is it the web site at all, or the database it references? I would imagine they are two distinct and separate systems.

One truism in computing: GIGO!
jpreston1
Josh Preston -3
Their website is awful and always has been IMO. Just compare it to any of their competition.
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 5
This is a pretty hilarious comment to make...that their website "always has been" awful. Since the site format currently used (post-merger) is the Continental version (which was always superior in many ways to other airlines').

Yet, reading the article, we see that UAL had a pricing mistake in 2008...with their "old" website arrangement, pre-merger.

Oh, and I guess no one remembers that similar gaffes have happened at just about every other airline in recent years:

April 2012: http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/how-to-travel-frugally/mistake-fares

August 2012: http://www.farecompare.com/ask-rick/5-things-to-know-about-finding-mistake-airfares/

December 2011: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2011/12/ticket-pricing-errors-and-unilateral-mistakes.html

December 2007: http://rickseaney.com/2007/12/05/airfare-mistakes-0-airline-tickets-happen-but-fewer-and-far-between/

And those are only four examples.....
yr2012
matt jensen 3
You're pretty funny Josh. Actually their current CO website is MUCH BETTER than the old UAL site!
artkocha
Art Kochaphum 0
If you able to pick this