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Current as of 22/02/17 02:39PM NZST

Air NZ, United fail to honour $450 US-NZ return fare

By Tina Trenkner-Meade

Air New Zealand did not attempt to match or rebook the ticket at the $450 fare. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey
Air New Zealand did not attempt to match or rebook the ticket at the $450 fare. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

A Texas woman claims United airline refused to honour a $656 (US$450) US to NZ return ticket she tried to book through its website.

In an email to the Herald, Carol Wright explained how in April, she booked
a return fare for a July 2016 trip - the US legs on United and the trans-Pacific legs with Air New Zealand.

The next morning, Wright received an email from United claiming that Air New Zealand was unable to ticket a portion of her trip.

A United phone representative had told Wright that Air New Zealand was unable to confirm the purchase because there were no more codeshare seats available. He offered Wright a ticket for $1286.00 USD. Wright said that price was "not acceptable" compared to $450.

Wright contacted Air New Zealand, who told her that codeshare seats were still available and that the airline "could not say what United was doing". According to Wright, Air New Zealand did not attempt to match or rebook the ticket at the $450 fare.

Wright was unhappy. "Basically I felt it was the old 'bait and switch game' and was
not acceptable to me."

"All I could do was put on my [Facebook] wall for my friends to see that the ticket
was not honored by United and that I was very distressed."

In a statement by United provided to the Herald: "We're sorry that the customer had this experience.

We've investigated and it appears that our codeshare partner Air New Zealand was unable to confirm a seat on the Los Angeles-Auckland segment of the journey at the originally-quoted fare. We therefore offered the customer an alternative fare."

"When a customer books through a codeshare partner fares will continue to sell until
the booking process has been completed and it's possible for a particular fare
to sell out during this time - especially with really well priced fares on popular routes," an Air New Zealand spokesperson wrote in an email to the Herald.

Since then, Wright has decided to postpone her trip to NZ until January. She said in
an email that United called her this week and offered a $1400 return fare, which she conceded was "a good price" for the summer season but declined.

"I explained the situation and told them the acceptable price was the one I booked
already."

- NZ Herald

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