$14 Fee for Redeeming UA E-Cert??????

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Billiken, Aug 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Billiken
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    Billiken Silver Member

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    Trying to book a round trip flight, all on UA metal (CLE-IAD-SEA-IAD-CLE):
    Cost is: Fare $306.98 + Taxes $28.00 = Total of $334.98 (all 4 segments in T fare class)

    Apply a UA $200 e-Cert:
    Cost is: Fare $120.93 + Taxes $28.00 = Total of $148.93 (all 4 segments in T fare class)

    Why isn't the base fare $106.98 ($306.98 less the $200 e-Cert)?

    THANKS
     
  2. lightangel

    lightangel Silver Member

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    Seen that before, but not sure why. I tried to use $300 e cert, and everytime it shows the fare changed just now as a notice, and bumped up the base fare. Maybe there's a fare bucket required?
     
  3. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    What does .bomb support say?
     
  4. Billiken
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    Billiken Silver Member

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    Nothing in the terms and conditions re fare class.
    Again, pricing after application of the $200 e-cert shows T class.

    This is a same-day turn (out and back to SEA on same day).
     
  5. Billiken
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    Billiken Silver Member

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    Was hoping to know the answer before I asked them.... :)
     
  6. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    If I had one I would definitely give it to you, I was just curious--my apologies. lol
     
  7. Billiken
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    Billiken Silver Member

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    Sorry, no dis-respect intended on my part.
    I think I'm going to book the itin and then call.
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I don't know about UA but some carriers don't let you use certs on anything that's considered a promo (special, sale, etc.) fare, sometimes including instant upgrades. NW did this for a while.
     
  9. mherdeg
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    mherdeg Silver Member

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    This is a well-known problem (see FlyerTalk thread "6.97 for using an e-cert") that Web Support can fix.

    The best hypothesis I have read is that it's buggy tax-related business logic on united.com. Recall that because of Congressional inaction, the FAA is no longer legally allowed to collect certain taxes on airfares. The story goes that the taxes which UA no longer needs to collect on the FAA's behalf are correctly excluded when you price a fare at united.com, but they're not correctly excluded after you apply an e-certificate.

    We hit this exact problem yesterday and Web Support was able to fix it in a 20-minute phone call by matching the quoted price online. (It would have been closer to 5 minutes, but during the phone call the price went from L1 to L0, and Web Support did a lot of magic to get the L-fare price anyway.)
     
  10. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    Oh no problem--I would call first though and maybe they can book it for you with the cert
     
  11. Billiken
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    Billiken Silver Member

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    Ended up having UA tech support book the ticket.
    Technician had to "...manually create the pricing record to show the correct amount."

    FWIW, I could not get into FT....got the "unable to connect message".
     
  12. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Problems with the FAA tax holiday sound plausible in that the amount seems approximately correct, just as $6.97 is pretty close for using a $100 ecert, assuming that they also mess up on some of the fixed amount taxes/fees too.
     
  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Given that the federal excise tax is 7.5% those numbers sound dead on. My guess is that the e-Cert is reducing the base fare but not also reducing the amount taxable for the excise tax by the same amount.
     
  14. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Similar situation happened to me two days ago when booking a ticket for goalie-parents SFO-IAH-PBI/PBI-IAH-SFO.

    When I applied a $250 e-cert on-line, and I on the select flights page to see the all in price, the base fare was showing $116 with a click to show the total of $116 base & $25 in taxes for a net of $141 but when i clicked thru to the next page to show the itinerary, the fare per pax was $151 ($133.44 base + $25 taxes).

    I called web support and they honored the fare of $141 all in as they could see the $116 and had the same "issue" of it pricing out at $151 with a base of $133.44.
     
  15. Billiken
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    Billiken Silver Member

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    Have now booked 3 UA itins using e-Certs (2012 mileage runs).

    Each time I have had to call .bomb support.
    They see the problem and adjust the pricing record.
    Ticket is issued later that day.
     
  16. gbryan84
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    gbryan84 Gold Member

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    Would this be worthy of a DOT complaint to get them to fix it? I have been trying to use a $150 e-cert to EWR-AUS but I basically only get $101 of value out of the e-cert because of these shenanigans. I have not booked the ticket due to this.
     
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  17. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    This sounds like something different than mentioned upthread. Most of us are seeing a difference of 7.5% (I was getting a $14.95 difference on a $200 ecert) but you are indicating a much more substantial difference.

    Call UA and get transferred to web support and see if it will price out correctly for you then.
     
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  18. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Bolding mine: Agreed - web support will get it ticketed correctly.
     
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  19. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    And it shouldn't, should it? If an e-cert is a "form of payment" then the excise tax should still be charged on the actual fare.

    So it may be the case that .bomb is doing it correctly (taking $200 off the fare portion but still charging you excise tax on the full amount) but it's confusing because of the way the fare is displayed online. By calling web support you're actually getting them to do something technically wrong by way of "fixing" it.
     
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  20. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    So do we tell UA "it ain't broke"? ;)
     
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It depends on how they are applying the payment. If they are actually using it as a reduction of the fare then the excise tax should be reduced as well. If they are counting it as a payment against the fare charged then it should not be. I have no idea what their accounting process is for processing said coupons, but it could work either before or after taxes and still be valid. From a customer service perspective I'm happy to see them willing to at lest try on occasion to make it pre-tax on the discount as that ultimately means more savings for the customer.
     

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