(WPRI) - United Airlines offered flights to Hong Kong and other parts of Asia for only four frequent flyer miles and then backed out of the deal, blaming a computer glitch for the mistake.
"They don't care there is no consumer protection or awareness or attempt to do anything," said travel law consultant Al Anolik.
Turns out the dream deal was nothing more than a computer glitch. Instead of honoring the tickets and cutting their losses, United told passengers they could either use the regular amount of miles for the trip or cancel their flight with no penalties.
"Rather than standing up and saying protect our reputation, they don't have a reputation anymore, so, they said consumers are not going to get anything we made a mistake, tough."
This isn't the first time United has goofed. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, United alone receives a quarter of all airline complaints.
Jeff McQueen often flies United when he goes home to Australia.
"I try not to but it happens."
He thinks United should pay for their faulty fare.
"You put it out there and that's your promise, if you don't deliver that's your problem.
Anolik says he's tried cases where the U.S. Department of Transportation has for forced other airlines to honor their promised discounted price, even if it was a mistake. But he says this case is different.
"This is frequent flyer mileage and as soon as you have frequent flyer mileage it's like a cross to a werewolf and we aren't going to mess with that."
USDOT officials say they are continuing to look into what happened with the United flights and haven't reached a conclusion yet.
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