Some patrons had already purchased tickets with other airlines, and promptly canceled their reservations in favor of B.A.s outstanding rate. Many others opted to charge tickets on the spot, moving ahead to book hotels and transportation within India.
Following the brief 2-hour window in which the $40 rate was available, B.A. pulled the plug. Allegedly, a glitch in the system was the source of the low price point that has now become the source of an intense debate. BAs decision to cancel hundreds of purchased tickets has caused anger and resentment among customers not great timing for an airline trying to compete in the U.S.India market.
The airlines refusal to honor tickets purchased at the mistaken rate has also resulted in numerous complaints to the Department of Transportation. After an investigation by the DOTs Aviation Consumer Protection Division, a statement was issued that B.A.s reneged fare has caused financial harm to a large number of consumers . . . [BA] should compensate affected consumers to make them whole.
Apparently, compensation to make them whole was left to interpretation. B.A. offered a $300 discount on future India fares to affected customers; however, strict conditions applied to this deal. First, travelers names were required to be the same on both the canceled and new bookings. Second, trips had to be completed by September 30, 2010. Third, customers were only given a few days to book the new trip. Many patrons are still dissatisfied with the decision, and others, have filed small claims court cases.
Is the customer always right, or should buyers beware? Whats your take on B.A.s decision?