Old Oct 17, 2013, 1:55 AM
akjs11 akjs11 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1
Default Bait & switch?

Hey Everyone! I wanted to get everyone's opinion on this situation before I make my next move.

I purchased tickets for my wife and I from DEN-HEL through united.com last Wednesday (October 9). I paid $1362.80 for both tickets (a pretty decent fare I thought). After completing the purchase process, I checked my email. Instead of receiving the standard confirmation email, I received an email from United saying that a segment could not be confirmed with a codeshare partner and my itinerary had been placed on a 24-hour hold. The email also said that the fare will be guaranteed once the codeshare partner accepts the reservation.

So, 36 hours later, I receive another email saying the codeshare partner could not confirm a seat on their flight. The email instructed me to give UA reservations a call to discuss options. So I call UA reservations. They say they have to find me another flight. They find me another flight, but now the fare is $1588.80 for both tickets...an increase of $226.

I'm frustrated because I feel the fare should be guaranteed as soon as I entered my credit card number AND that number is accepted by United. I feel that if United is going to offer fares for sale on their website that they cannot guarantee, then they need to be willing stand behind their customer when a partner airlines cannot confirm a flight (instead of charging me extra to complete the itinerary they agreed to sell). At the very least, I feel they should include a note saying the fare cannot be guaranteed until at least 24 hours after purchase (which would have steered me elsewhere since there were other flights at the same fare on other airlines).

Of course, with all the time United took in not guaranteeing my flight, all the fares have increased substantially in the last week.

My questions:

1. How can United offer fares for sale on their website when they cannot be guaranteed at time of purchase? Has anyone else had an issue like this? What did you do to resolve it?

2. Complicating matters, I'm a Delta PM member and I just moved to the Denver area for work. I was looking at doing a status match to United (since they have more non-stops out of DEN), but obviously I have soured a bit on them as an airline. Do things like this happen often? Why should I still status match?

3. I'm still holding out hope (as small as it may be) that I can still get this fare? Any chance that I still get this fare? Or should I just give up and start looking for other fares?

Thanks for all your help.
Old Oct 18, 2013, 1:13 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

This is an interesting scenario, but if you were given the option of cancelling in the email which notified you of the "hold", then they are probably ok, because you had the opportunity to shop elsewhere if you didn't like the deal they offered. If they did not, I think you should contact your local State Attorney General as it is effectively a bait and switch.

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