backtop


Print 10 comment(s) - last by antoniocatte.. on Dec 29 at 11:55 PM

Delta said it would honor the tickets purchased at super-low prices yesterday

Shopping for plane tickets on Delta Airlines' website yesterday likely made many people dance for joy and fling their wallets open as quickly as possible, as a glitch caused air fares to plummet. 

According to Reuters, Delta's website suffered a glitch Thursday that dropped air fares way below their usual rate. For example, a round-trip flight between New York and Los Angeles went for as low as $40, when typical fares for that distance is around $400.

Further, a first-class, round-trip ticket between Los Angeles and Hawaii was only $200. This fare is at about $3,500 right now for traveling in January 2014. 


It's not clear what caused the glitch, but some sites say analysts employed by airlines to adjust rates may have punched in a wrong number on accident. There's no way of double-checking these rates when typed into the systems in order to check errors, so they can happen pretty easily. 

Delta said the glitch has been fixed and regular prices are up once again, but that it would honor the tickets purchased at super-low prices yesterday. 


Source: Reuters



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Delta has no choice in the matter
By ebakke on 12/27/2013 12:04:22 PM , Rating: 3
Delta must honor the fares:
quote:
Therefore, if a consumer purchases a fare and that consumer receives confirmation (such as a confirmation email and/or the purchase appears on their credit card statement or online account summary) of their purchase, then the seller of air transportation cannot increase the price of that air transportation to that consumer, even when the fare is a “mistake.”

A contract of carriage provision that reserves the right to cancel such ticketed purchases or reserves the right to raise the fare cannot legalize the practice described above. The Enforcement Office would consider any contract of carriage provision that attempts to relieve a carrier of the prohibition against post-purchase price increase to be an unfair and deceptive practice in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712.


http://www.theflightdeal.com/2012/08/10/honoring-m...




RE: Delta has no choice in the matter
By quiksilvr on 12/27/2013 12:20:40 PM , Rating: 1
Somebody needs to read the article they just read...

quote:
Delta said the glitch has been fixed and regular prices are up once again, but that it would honor the tickets purchased at super-low prices yesterday.


Yeah...


RE: Delta has no choice in the matter
By ebakke on 12/27/2013 12:51:37 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, I read the article. The point I'm making is that Delta didn't choose to honor the prices. They're not making some gesture of goodwill. They're doing it because they have no choice in the matter.


RE: Delta has no choice in the matter
By drycrust3 on 12/27/2013 1:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere in the terms and conditions Delta do have the right to at least cancel the ticket, return the money, and then notify the customer of new fare prices, but regardless of whether or not Delta could have cancelled the tickets sold, the fact is if they had they would have only gained bad publicity and probably having to give discounted fares to appease angry customers if they had done so. Instead they will gain some customers, although probably not many, because they honoured those tickets.
From the customer's perspective, only those who bought those tickets because they were going to anyway actually saved money, those who bought them on the whim of seeing the low fares didn't actually save themselves any money because they now have bought a ticket they weren't intending to, and now they will have to spend more money on things like accomodation, food, travel (non-airline), etc, as well.
For those that were going to buy a ticket anyway, it does mean a different airline, not using their cell phone on the plane, a better hotel to stay at, better restaurants to dine in, etc, so I guess on the whole those people are happier.


RE: Delta has no choice in the matter
By ebakke on 12/27/2013 2:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere in the terms and conditions Delta do have the right to at least cancel the ticket, return the money, and then notify the customer of new fare prices
Did you even read my post? Delta does not have the option to cancel the ticket and refund the money. The DOT "Enforcement Office would consider [cancellation] to be an unfair and deceptive practice in violation of 49 U.S.C. § 41712."


RE: Delta has no choice in the matter
By Solandri on 12/28/2013 1:37:49 PM , Rating: 2
Normally I'm against this sort of regulation that prevents cancellation of sales of mistakenly priced items. But I can see why the DOT made it this way in the case of airfares.

Airline ticket prices are not like retail goods prices. There isn't a set price, and if you happen to miss a sale you default back to paying the regular price. Airfares fluctuate wildly based on availability. So you could be shopping for a ticket and the cheapest fare is $300. Then suddenly a (mistake) fare for $100 pops up. You purchase it ASAP, get the email confirmation, print it out, and shut down the browser and celebrate.

Next day you get a cancellation message from the airline, saying the fare was a mistake. So you get back on the browser, and now find that the cheapest fare available is $700. You could've bought the ticket for $300, but the airline's mistake kicked off a sequence of events which ends up with you having to pay $700 for the same ticket. That's not really fair for you to have to pay for the airline's mistake.

i.e. The point of this regulation isn't to save you the $200 if the mistake fare were canceled ($100 vs $300). It's to save you the $400 the fare went up ($300 to $700) between when you bought the ticket and when you had to buy the replacement ticket. If airfares tended to go down as you get closer to the flight date, I'd say the DOT rule was unnecessary. But since it tends to go up (as the cheaper tickets for a flight sell out), it's really the simplest way to protect the consumer against mistakes by the airline.


RE: Delta has no choice in the matter
By ebakke on 12/28/2013 9:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm torn on the matter. I certainly understand and agree with the rationale behind the rules, but on the other hand they seem to throw common sense and human error out the window. I get the argument against fraud, but an airline should also have the ability to say "clearly $12.83 was an error and unfortunately we won't be able to transport you from A to B for that rate. In fact, we'll lose a lot of money doing so." The airline should have the option of saying "Oops! You paid $12.83, fares that day were supposed to be $X, and fares today are $Y. We'll either cancel your registration and return the $12.83, or you can pay the difference for the lower of X and Y." Give the airline, say, 24-48 hours (or up to some period of time before the flight takes off) to correct a mistake. And even then, I think there's a reasonable argument to be made that government rules aren't necessary here at all. Companies can have their own cancellation policies, just like baggage policies (or cell phone policies in the near future).

But my original post was mainly directed at the omission in most reporting (DT included) that the rules existed in the first place. I wasn't so much stating an opinion on the rules as much as I was interested in letting others know they exist.


By jRaskell on 12/27/2013 2:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere in the terms and conditions Delta do have the right to at least cancel the ticket, return the money, and then notify the customer of new fare prices


Nope. DOT regulations expressly forbids them from cancelling tickets for the purpose of changing airfare prices as well. And no amount of airline terms and conditions can violate those regulations.

Now, it's quite possible that Delta could cancel any given flight for a whole variety of technically legal reasons, but unless a disproportionately large number of these mistaken airfares are on a single flight, that's extremely unlikely, and even then it'd still be very unlikely.


goodness
By Angstromm on 12/27/2013 5:46:48 PM , Rating: 2
some folks are just stubbornly doltish.




Fares
By antoniocatte on 12/29/2013 11:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
Normal, You signed an agreemet! Not respecting It would result on a loss a credibility and in tons of charges
(but in Italy they would have canceled anymore whith no one defending customers.)




"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki