October 4, 2012 Swiss Drops the Hammer
Swiss, the latest perpetrator of the discount Rangoon fares has issued the public response.
We are writing in regards to the travel you recently booked with Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. from Yangon (RGN), Myanmar. Unfortunately, as you must have been aware of, the fare you purchased was incorrect and resulted from an inadvertent error that was out of our control. While SWISS honors its commitment to the highest level of customer service and safety in air travel, it must also honor its obligations to its employees and shareholders.
We are not obligated to provide our services for compensation that is obviously erroneously published and commercially infeasible. We are aware that good travel bargains are quickly recognized and booked, however principles of fare bargaining dictate that a service provider does not give away its services for almost free or at a loss.
Because the fare you booked was not valid, we will unfortunately have to cancel your reservation and ticket. We are extremely sorry for this error and we are not increasing the price of your ticket; rather we will promptly issue you a full refund for the total price you paid for the ticket. The full amount will be automatically credited using your original form of payment. In the event that you would like to rebook your itinerary at the appropriate price, please contact your nearest SWISS service center or your travel agent.
SWISS deeply regrets the inconvenience caused by the publication of the erroneous fare to the passengers who may have thought they had booked and purchased a valid ticket for an erroneous cost. We apologize for this unfortunate situation and trust your future travel on SWISS is comfortable.
Swiss International Air Lines Ltd.
Malzgasse 15, Basel/Schweiz
Handelsregisteramt des Kantons Basel-Stadt
As many of you know this is in direct contravention of 14 CFR §399.88 which specifies that ticket agent or airline that sells a ticket for transport in, to, or through the U.S. may not increase the fare post-tickting. At least according to this letter Swiss is trying to avoid this by stating that they are not increasing the fare but are simply refunding it. Korean Airlines tried this tack in April and it did not work. The problem is that United Airlines tried this in July and it did work. What will happen here, I don’t know. I would like to see airlines be held accountable for their mistakes, but it is just not catching on.