United Changes Mind On Mistake Web Prices

from the fly-free! dept

Late last week I posted that I thought United made the right move in not honoring $25 flights from San Francisco to Paris that were due to a mistake on their webpage. The readers who responded disagreed, and apparently so did a lot of folks. United has bowed to the pressure and agreed to give those flights at the price listed. I think this is stupid. I’m sorry, but there’s no way anyone who bought those tickets didn’t know it was a mistake, and United has every right to refuse to honor them. I think consumers are expecting to get away with a little too much these days. They know that if they scream loud enough, the companies will give in to avoid the negative press. It’s fine to complain about legitimate problems, but these are just a few people who want to get away with basically scamming the airline. I consider it to be dishonest.

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Comments on “United Changes Mind On Mistake Web Prices”

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lissell says:


Somthing to keep in mind in all of this is uniteds legal obligation. Selling a ticket online for $25 bucks and then say oops, it was a mistake its actuall * is legally no different from target marking a nice sweater as being $25 and then telling you that the item was “mismarked” and therfore $50. If it is the businesses mistake then they have to simply take it. Otherwise they can be charged with a whole load of nasty things including bait and switch. This is why we have rainchecks as well.

just my $.2


Ryan says:

Re: Re: legalities

A $25 dollar flight could well be believable! Here in London, you can have normal flight prices for the equivelent of several hundred dollars that due to special promotions are reduced to essentially loss making fares (pretty close to $25 on company websites) to get people interested in flying in certain types of airlines (like easyjet and etc.). To be honest I’m glad that consumers actually have power to change the will of corporations, it’s too easy to forget that out side of the US, large corporations really could give a Sh*t if they got bad publicity (taking into the fact that customer services in many other countries means just that, if a customer gets served they should feel lucky!)

Jim_Nance (profile) says:


I understand why United decided to absorb the cost of this ad glitch. The advertising they’ll get from this story and their ultimately taking the high road will probably equal the 1.6 meg it cost them.

And, they can certainly cut some of the flight costs, such as fueling the plane(s) with the not-so-fresh stuff that sat a while and took on water and the other contaminants that enter all liquid fuel vessels through their vent pipes.

And, they can stretch the maintenance schedule, i.e. delay engine overhauls, lube changes, pressurization stress inspections, etc., because after all, this is what corporations feel compelled to do to keep stockholders happy, especially in uncertain economic times such as these.

For added perspective let’s compare: Of all the past and present accusations against British Petroleum (BP) none are ever for any questionable spending of potential dividends to guarantee-or even overkill, if you’ll pardon the metaphor when deaths are mounting-the safety of their workers, the public or the environment.

Sure, big corporations will magnanimously spend what they must to maintain the images and illusions, but they have ways of compensating that we aren’t ever supposed to learn about….

Have a nice flight, folks! And, don’t worry, the tires are probably safe for one more takeoff and landing, even if they may be due for replacement….(that fine print in the logs of the equipment install dates, total air miles and cabin pressurizations, etc., are really hard to read sometimes. And, workers, mechanics and even inspectors can make mistakes, especially if they’re exhausted from working to cover permanent staff and crew shortages….)

25 dollars from San Fran to Paris? Wow! Now, that’s what I call tempting fate!

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