DOT 'Looking Into' United's Absurdly Cheap Mistake Fares
The U.S. Department of Transportation is looking into the United Airlines mistake fares that allowed customers to buy overseas tickets for as little as $51 for several hours. According to United, thousands of tickets were bought at the low fare and that the tickets would be voided because third-party vendors made currency conversion mistakes. However, the recently enacted DOT consumer protection rules require airlines to honor all sales, including those that may have been mistakenly priced.
"It's true that DOT rules require airlines to honor a fare once a flight is booked and the passenger is confirmed," said Aviation attorney Anita Mosner. "However, DOT has had a longstanding policy of permitting carriers to cancel bookings when there has been evidence of passengers' manipulation or misrepresentations during booking, or misstating their status."