Reversing course, United said Monday it would honor the 143
tickets sold on its Web site during a 55-minute period on Jan. 31
when flights for international destinations were offered for next
The world's largest carrier blamed a computer error and said
last week that anyone who spotted the near-giveaway fares at
www.ual.com should have known that the prices $24.98 for San
Francisco to Paris, for example, with similar deals for flights to
Hong Kong and other cities were too good to be true.
That angered ticket-buyers, who argued that listed fares should
be binding even if they were unintended.
United spokesman Chris Brathwaite said Monday that while the
airline thought it was on solid legal ground with its
cancellations, "We've chosen not to make this issue a point of
dissatisfaction with our customers."
"We say to them, 'Bon voyage,' and enjoy this
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said.
Nearly 100 people snapped up the low-low fares, with some
purchasing multiple tickets including a man who bought 17,
Brathwaite said. Some accepted United's offer of future travel
credit or accommodation in exchange for their paying the lowest
available standard fare, he said.