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United Airlines to honor $0 tickets

By Joshua Freed

AP Airlines Writer

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:58 p.m. HST, Sep 13, 2013


United Airlines said today that it will honor the tickets it accidentally gave away for free.

The decision is good news for people who snapped up the tickets on Thursday after United listed airfares at $0. Many customers got tickets for $5 or $10, paying only the cost of the Sept. 11 security fee.

The mistake was an especially good deal for any passengers who bought tickets for travel within the next week. For instance, a Houston-to-Washington Dulles flight for next weekend would have cost $877, according to United's website today.

Airlines have posted so-called mistake fares before. They generally decide on a case-by-case basis whether they'll honor the ticket. United Continental Holdings Inc. said today it was honoring the tickets "based on these specific circumstances." On Thursday, United said there was an error in filing the fares to its computer system.

United would not say how many tickets it accidentally gave away, or how much the mistake cost. The wrong fares were available on its website for a few hours on Thursday. It eventually shut down bookings on the website until it could fix the problem.

Some passengers bought their tickets for flights today, and then immediately checked in online and printed their boarding passes, figuring that would give them their best chance of being able to use their ticket.

Mike Nehmer bought a ticket for him and his wife to fly from Houston to San Francisco today. But he chickened out after a United agent told him that his ticket would be rejected at the gate. He ended up changing his ticket to December.

"I decided it wasn't in my best interest to show up and be denied at the gate," he said. "I have a pretty unhappy wife, too."







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iwanaknow wrote:
Now if some of these "FREE" flyers are coming to Hawaii...........it just means more money spent here......
on September 13,2013 | 11:58AM
Mahalo wrote:
On todays morning news they interviewed a lady who purchased tickets to Maui for $5.00
on September 13,2013 | 12:46PM
environmental_lady wrote:
Of course passengers love free deals, but if the airline loses money as a result, it is more apt to cut corners on maintenance. A prime example is the cargo door that fell off United Airlines way back in 1988. Just watch Air Crash Investigation on YouTube and you'll find out how cutting corners can bring down planes. Personally I'd be scared to fly if so many free tickets are given away. Beside pilot error, imperfect maintenance is the second major cause of air crashes. United Airlines already incurred numerous fatalities over the years whereas Hawaiian Airlines never had one single fatality in its eighty years of existence. I'd fly Hawaiian any day even if it's more expensive.I
on September 13,2013 | 05:13PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Speaking of United Airlines, I have to warn others that if you are going to go to the mainland for surgery, do not buy two way tickets. A friend of mine had to go to the mainland to get a surgery done that is not available here and he bought a two way ticket. Complications occurred that resulted in his having to stay longer at the hospital making him late for his flight. United Airlines refused to rebook this person's ticket despite even a letter from the surgeon that explained why his patient did not make the flight. United Airlines' action is heartless and I will avoid using them for any traveling whatsoever. I hope that a United Airlines rep reads this post because they need to change their policy regarding clients who have extenuating circumstances such as this.
on September 13,2013 | 07:25PM
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