United 4 Mile Hong Kong Ticket Update

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Last Sunday I posted on a huge mistake glitch on the United Airlines website where you could book a ticket to Hong Kong or just through Hong Kong to another designation for 4 miles + $30ish in taxes. Clearly it was a mistake and the chances of it being honored in my mind was slim. Monday came along and I blogged about the communication from United on MilePoint. At that point, we were told it was not being honored. However, there was some scuttlebutt going on that due to new policies with the Deportment of Transportation, United might actually have to honor these tickets. At that point my tickets were still there in my United account and no official word from United.

My plan was to go to Beijing in a few weeks so I was really anxious to see what might happen. Of course I do not believe they should be honored, but if they had, I would take the opportunity. I even received a call from my dad two days ago saying, “I just heard on the radio that American Airlines was offering flights to Hong Kong this past weekend for something like $30!” Clearly he doesn’t read dealswelike nor how to get the information correct from the radio! I guess my mom also forgot to inform him that he actually had a ticket issued through this glitch and if it was honored the family was going to Hong Kong over Christmas. She probably didn’t tell him as he would have been bummed as Hong Kong is not the best place for laying on a beach during Christmas break! And just when I thought Mr. Deals was a handful in this points and miles world!

Well, speculation ended this morning when I woke up to the official email from United:

You recently requested the ticketing of MileagePlus award travel to, from or through Hong Kong (confirmation XXXXXX). Because your account does not have enough miles to complete the purchase, we have canceled the ticket for non-payment and refunded all taxes and fees. The number of miles required for this award was provided during your transaction and is published on the MileagePlus travel award chart on our website.

If you have already canceled the ticket, please disregard this email.

We appreciate your understanding and look forward to serving you in the future.

So there you have it folks. It is an official no go on the 4 mile tickets to Hong Kong. Dissapointed? Absolutely not as I was well aware of the massive glitch and I did not think it was going to be honored anyways. Those, however, who have a reservation confirmed through July 21, 2012 will have their tickets honored. I guess being spontaneous and taking the plunge paid off! The only thing that I am disappointed about is the lack of communication from United. It annoys me that with airlines it is not a two way street. We only have 24 hours to cancel a ticket and then have to pay a $150 change fee, where the airline is able to cancel a ticket 4 1/2 days later with no fee to them.

C’est la vie

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  1. Regarding your last point, it is a two-way street with the airlines if you consider that more flexible tickets are always available if one is willing to pay more for them. I’m not saying that I like change fees, though. But I do understand why they exist.

  2. Do you seriously think United owes the people who tried to knowingly scam them for a free ticket anything? I’ d say you should be grateful they don’t shut down their FF accounts. Why would any Biz want customers who have proven they will use the slightest computer glitch to try and rip them off. The hypocrisy about all this “oh United is so mean” is dripping.

    • @Chris – I absolutely do not think United should have honored this and respect their decision. I don’t think United owes me anything, nor did I state that.

  3. I agree with Chris, this is no different than theft, i am in it for the miles and fun, but this does not mean one has to get so greedy and dishonest.

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