United Blames Ridiculously Cheap First-Class Fares On Software Glitch, Won’t Honor Those Tickets

Yesterday, a travel blogger figured out that by changing United Airlines’ online booking page to Denmark, travelers could take advantage of what appeared to be a crazy conversion rate to buy super cheap tickets between London and Newark. But what do they say when something seems too good to be true? Yup. It probably is: United now says it won’t be honoring those fares, blaming a third-party software provider.

Some travel sites breathlessly reported the run-around, wherein users would switch their home country Denmark, with varying results — some got London to Newark in first class for a few hundred Danish kroner, or around $44, when it usually costs upwards of $8,000 to do so.

But it seems United caught on pretty quickly, as others who tried later in the day to see what would happen found Denmark had vanished from the list of available countries, and fares were back to normal.

United announced last night that it had identified the problem, and would be voiding all those tickets:

“United is voiding the bookings of several thousand individuals who were attempting to take advantage of an error a third-party software provider made when it applied an incorrect currency exchange rate, despite United having properly filed its fares. Most of these bookings were for travel originating in the United Kingdom, and the level of bookings made with Danish Kroner as the local currency was significantly higher than normal during the limited period that customers made these bookings.”

United is no stranger to glitchiness getting customers; hopes up: It accidentally sold $0 to $10 fares in September 2013, but decided to honor those fares, only to turn around in October 2013 with another glitchy incident and not honor those tickets. Hang on, let’s not forget the July 2012 incident, either. Customers were out of luck that time, too. You just keep breaking our hearts, United. Right before Valentine’s Day and everything.

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