A Peoria, Illinois man filed a class action, breach of contract lawsuit on January 21, 2015 against United Airlines, Inc. alleging that he was overcharged on various one-way ticket prices for a flight from Peoria International Airport (PIA) in Illinois to Orlando International Airport (MCO) in Florida on March 1, 2014 for himself and two family members.
Coulier bought the three tickets for $182.00 per ticket in January 2014 with reliance on taking advantage of United’s Low Fare Guarantee.
According to topclassactions.com, plaintiff Scott Coulier’s allegations include (my emphasis added):
[United Airlines] represents and guarantees that its united.com website and toll-free phone service sells tickets for [United] flights at the lowest available fares. The guarantee, however, is false and results in a breach of the purchase contract.
[If plaintiff had purchased the] three tickets separately instead of together on united.com, the same tickets could have been purchased for a lower price. Despite the Low Fare Guarantee, [United] does not provide consumers purchasing airline tickets the lowest available fares for a particular date, flight, and class of service when multiple tickets are purchased at the same time for passengers traveling together on the same flight.
[United doesn’t offer for sale or sell] tickets that are available for the same flights in lower fare classes first and only charging [sic] the consumer for the limited and necessary number of remaining fares at higher fare classes. The united.com system and corresponding toll-free phone system are systematically programmed to only disclose and sell all tickets at a higher fare class which will maintain a uniform price for all tickets purchased at that time.
[For example,] if there are three ‘Q’ fares available for $200 each and six ‘U’ fares for $300 each, and a consumer wishes to purchase four ‘Q’ fares for $800, [United’s] computer system/website will perform an automatic bait-and-switch and only offer the consumer four ‘U’ fares for $1,200 instead of the three available ‘Q’ fares and a single ‘U’ fare resulting in a net surcharge of $300.
According to United’s Low Fare Guarantee:
[I]f you find a fare for the same flight, itinerary and cabin at a price that is lower than the fare offered on united.com by $10 or more, we’ll make up the difference and give you a $100 USD Electronic Travel Certificate. And not only will you find the lowest fare at united.com, but you’ll never pay a service fee for booking online.
This “guarantee” is conditioned upon ten listed terms and conditions at the bottom of the page that demand compliance by the customer before the guarantee may be honored.
See more on this topic from:
Seth Miller — United’s best fare: Only if you ask VERY nicely
Chris Elliott — No “low” fare guarantee at United Airlines – plus, they’re rude!
Flyertalk Thread — Anyone have luck making a claim under the “Low Fare Guarantee”?
The lawsuit is Coulier v. United Airlines Inc., Case No. 4:15-cv-00190, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
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