“United is voiding the bookings of several thousand individuals who were attempting to take advantage of an error a third-party software provider made when it applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares. Most of these bookings were for travel originating in the United Kingdom, and the level of bookings made with Danish Kroner as the local currency was significantly higher than normal during the limited period that customers made these bookings.
In other words: Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.
I’m not going to tell you whether to complain or not, but it’s definitely within your rights to file a complaint to the US DoT. DoT regulations state that mistake fares that contain travel to, from, or connecting in the USA must be honored. United obviously thinks that they will not be found in violation of those regulations under these circumstances or else they would have honored the tickets, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to file a claim.
You win some and you lose some in these cases. Over 10+ years of blogging years I’ve covered dozens of fares like these including first class travel to Hawaii for $50 and all-expenses paid 5 star vacations in Las Vegas. Many of these have worked out, while some do not. This one will fall in the latter it seems.
Sometimes it’s hard to even tell which are glitches, such as a “mistake fare” on United that was “leaked” online by a Norweigan airline on purpose and last month’s $63 round-trip transcontinental fares.
One thing is for sure. There will be a next time and we’ll go through all of this again. Want to take part?
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