Old Nov 17, 2011, 7:36 PM
PJ777 PJ777 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1
Default Raising Fare will Processing Credit Card

How does Delta Airlines increase the fare while they are processing your credit card to purchase ticket? I had selected my dates and times, selected my seats, agreed to a fare of $415.00, and while they were processing my credit card for payment, a window popped-up and said the fare had increased to $470.00 and to hit continue if I wished to proceed. Needless to say, I did not. So, I called Delta Airlines and spoke with a representative and explained what had just happened. Her response to me was "that's the way the system works". I expressed my concerns and feelings of unfairness. She stated "we are a business and have a right to make a profit" Really? They were in the middle of processing my credit card and they can change the rate? I have been a loyal customer of Delta Airlines for many years, but with this type of ethics, greed and attitude of employees, I will take my business to another airline. I do not understand how this is allowed and almost to the point of illegal. Has anyone else had the same exeperience?

Last edited by PJ777; Nov 17, 2011 at 7:39 PM.
Old Nov 18, 2011, 2:48 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Whilst I do not think it is illegal to propose a fare during the purchasing process, it is utterly ridiculous. I would invite any Delta employee to say how they would respond if they bought something from WalMart and whilst the going through the checkout were advised that the bill was going to be 12% more expensive than the till register showed, as the price had gone up before you could swipe your credit card to pay. If you complained, the WalMart staff responded "we are entitled to make a profit". Ludicrous and no other business would even attempt to get away with this nonsense.

There is a potential legal issue, which is that once you have clicked the button to state that you have accepted their offer at the price of $407, and Delta had accepted your method of payment, can Delta withdraw from the deal. It is a fine line when you can say definitively when the deal is struck. They may well have a T&C which states that the deal is not struck until payment has been received by them, in which case you are out of luck on the legal front. However, if only to test the waters and to irritate them, you might try writing a letter of complaint about them to the local Office of the Attorney General in your state accusing them of sharp practice, bait and switch and questioning if Delta had accepted your offer and were therefore in breach of the law.
Old Nov 18, 2011, 3:03 AM
cortney cortney is offline
Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 288

I have NEVER had this happen. i dont think its illegal, but definetly stupid. I agree with what jim said. i get the pleasure of flying delta on sunday to louisiana. (lord help me. and not my choice, but my company booked me on them). If i were you i wouldnt even argue with delta and just find a different airline
Old Nov 21, 2011, 10:44 PM
Matt_FLL Matt_FLL is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 100

I am so sorry to hear about what happened to you. As a very frequent flyer (and “online booker”), I have experienced the same issue in the past.

The Delta agent was correct; air fare will fluctuate drastically at the drop of a hat. As you pointed out, this can even happen DURING the booking process. You noted that the website produced a pop-up window to notify you of the event. The website has been coded to alert users of these situations—so we know that the airlines anticipate it happening from time to time.

Without doubt, the “right to make a profit” comment was unprofessional and rude. It is an infuriating situation. The agent should have explained why and how this happens. For example, another user may have successfully completed the ticketing process a moment before you when there was only one seat available at that price.

I am so sorry to hear about the incident. To answer your question: It sure does happen.
Old Nov 22, 2011, 2:18 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197


Your puzzling response confirms to the customer that they are indeed right that airlines use dynamic pricing and that it can indeed happen that the price changes whilst processing the transaction.

Whilst I am sure the OP is grateful that you have confirmed that something can happen, that actually did happen to them, I am not sure they needed you to tell them.

You didn't seem to address the fundamental point. It is wrong that a customer accepts an offer by the airline to purchase at a price and during the credit card transaction, the airline changes it's mind and proposes a counter offer. It might be legal, it certainly does happen, but it is wrong.

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