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This isn't a case of finding a glitch in the fare system. I paid about $600 for an international fare out of LAX with 2 flights (1 stop) through American Airline's website. When I bought the ticket, all other flights were within $100 of what I paid for so the price was not a mistake. The first leg is operated by American Airlines while the second leg is operated by Dragonair.

After I placed the flight. I received confirmation from the first leg (American Airlines) but did not receive a confirmation from Dragonair. I have called American 3 times trying to confirm my Dragonair leg. In my first 2 calls, the representative just told me to wait for the confirmation. By the 3rd time, I was told that Dragonair changed its price and now is not honoring that leg.

As a result, my entire flight is useless because I don't have a viable connection to my final destination. Now that it is less than 24 hours to my original departure time, American is now telling me that I can pay 2X my original fare to reach my destination. Is there any recourse for me to get on my flight at the advertised price?

  • What country are you in? US I suppose? (Just confirming) – Belle-Sophie Aug 15 '16 at 8:23
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    Can you upload a scan of your receipt/itinerary from American Airlines? (Black out identifying info and credit card.) This is so outrageous as presented, my mind spins. On such short notice, I would try calling these guys: transportation.gov/airconsumer and soon. – Andrew Lazarus Aug 15 '16 at 20:01
  • @J.Constantine Yes, the US. – Alexander Sep 15 '16 at 0:33
7

The DOT enforcement policy on mistaken fares

On April 25, 2011, the Department of Transportation issued a final rule on enhancing airline passenger protections which included a provision prohibiting airlines and other sellers of air transportation from increasing the price of air transportation after a purchase has occurred (the post-purchase price increase prohibition). See 14 C.F.R. § 399.88. Under section 399.88, a purchase occurs when the full agreed upon amount has been paid by the consumer.

On June 15, 2012, the Enforcement Office issued Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the application of the post-purchase price increase rule to mistaken fares. Mistaken fares are offers by an airline or other seller of air transportation to sell tickets for air transportation for a fare that is usually substantially lower than the intended ticket price for the class of service being sold.

Emphasis mine.

My interpretation: since this is not a mistake fare it falls under 14 CFR 399.88 - Prohibition on post-purchase price increase and AA is on the hook to deal with Dragonair. But: IANAL and I am not even playing a lawyer on television.

  • You should keep reading. The rest of the page clearly states that airlines must honor mistaken fares. – Michael Hampton Aug 15 '16 at 20:38
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    @MichaelHampton That does appear to be what chx is saying and also what this particular paragraph says. Why would you need to read further? – The Wandering Coder Aug 16 '16 at 0:01
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    @MichaelHampton with this ruling, DOT have muddied the waters re mistaken fares but currently they are not enforcing on those; however this issue here is not a mistaken fare; I quoted DOT policy to show this as this quote a) points out the relevant law in the non-mistake case b) defines what a mistake fare is. – chx Aug 16 '16 at 3:54

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