With all of the buzz around yesterday’s 4-mile United “mistake” award fare, there’s a lot of speculation about how United will handle the situation. For those of who are unaware of what happened, award trips routing through Hong Kong were being priced, confirmed, and ticketed at the redemption rate of only 4 miles per passenger roundtrip, regardless of the date of travel, class of service, and final destination.
Some people actually bought tickets departing on the same day and were able to board the plane and fly – thus further proving that the tickets were indeed 100% valid. You may read more about the situation at View from the Wing and One Mile at a Time.
UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, Continental Airlines Inc., Southwest Airlines Co.,LUV +1.40%JetBlue Airways Corp. JBLU +1.59% and Singapore AirlinesC6L.SG +0.28% all say their policy is to not cancel tickets even when a mistake is discovered, no matter how large the error.
“That is the right thing to do,” says United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski.
Now rather to continue to beat up a dead horse with an ethics/morals debate, let’s put all aside (including DoT regulations and legal advice) and focus strictly on United:
Does this statement put United in a hole with their customer service at stake? Will United’s word/integrity be on the line if they don’t honor these tickets? If you were United in this situation, what would you do?
I say, whatever does end up happening, this will surely be the talk of the frequent flyer and airline industry for quite some time, and it will be an interesting topic in the news to watch unfold and follow.
Please share your opinions in the poll below and in the comments.