SQ error fare closed by FC

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burmans

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I think given the facts of the case, the total pax falling into that category = the total number of tickets sold. The CTA was able to look at the timing of the release of the fare on the blogs, and the timing of the tickets sold. The two perfectly matched. IIRC not a single ticket had been sold on that route prior to the fare being announced on bulletin boards and blogs, and all tickets sold for that route were sold within ~24 hours. And not a ticket since.

I think it is pretty fair to say almost everyone purchasing the fare had a pretty good idea it was a mistake ($150 plus tax/fuel for Singapore Airlines Suites and Swiss First class from Asia to Canada).
I think we'll just have to disagree. If you look at the equivalent of some of these bulletin boards in Australia, e.g. ozbargain and read some of the comments its pretty clear to me that many people do not have any real idea of a fair price for many goods and services, and jump on deals because they seem like a great deal.

My view is that your extrapolating your own knowledge (and that of other AFF members) of what is a right price to others, many people (who fly never or infrequently) would not have a clue what the "right" price is to xx_ until they spend some time investigating but are still susceptible to people suggesting a particular price is a steal. Indeed many retailers rely on this with their "sales".
 

MEL_Traveller

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I think we'll just have to disagree. If you look at the equivalent of some of these bulletin boards in Australia, e.g. ozbargain and read some of the comments its pretty clear to me that many people do not have any real idea of a fair price for many goods and services, and jump on deals because they seem like a great deal.

My view is that your extrapolating your own knowledge (and that of other AFF members) of what is a right price to others, many people (who fly never or infrequently) would not have a clue what the "right" price is to xx_ until they spend some time investigating but are still susceptible to people suggesting a particular price is a steal. Indeed many retailers rely on this with their "sales".

The CTA dismissed the importance of specialist knowledge of how airfares work or how frequently (or otherwise) a person may fly.

The test is whether a 'reasonable person' would have known, or ought to have known it was a mistake. And that's what the court held.
 

Danger

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It is relevant to the discussion around mistake fares more generally, and how courts may decide to deal with the issue of mistake when it comes to airlines honouring a fare.

Okay. While it's a different jurisdiction I'll bite, for now.

For the Iberia fares in RGN Round 3 the CTA found (my bolding):

The full decision is here: https://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/ruling/290-c-a-2014

I'm well aware of the decision and it's on that basis that I can state your assertion is that ". . . the Rangoon passengers knew . . ." is wrong, as you yourself highlight later when you water down your statement. That is:

I think it is pretty fair to say almost everyone purchasing the fare . . .

Which is quite different to:

It's important to note that the Rangoon passengers knew it was a mistake . . .

To be fair you booked more than a dozen of these mistake airfares? And you did know they were a mistake. Right?

In round one, yes, I was confident that the fare was an error. Because of that I waited a month before making non-refundable arrangements to get to RGN. But, by round three, it was getting ridiculous to suggest that it was an error, particularly when IATA had counselled members on the matter several months prior.

Airfare pricing is highly sporadic and subject to a multitude of factors and is very much opaque in favour of the airlines. This is different from, say, a litre of milk. The consumer knows that on any given day one can expect to pay a $1 a litre at the big two and maybe double that at a corner store or a 24 hour servo. But when it comes to an airfare from, for example, Perth to Singapore, one can pay anywhere from $89 one way to $700 one way. The price variation is so great that the consumer should not reasonably be expected to know what's a mistake and what's not.

I think we'll just have to disagree. If you look at the equivalent of some of these bulletin boards in Australia, e.g. ozbargain and read some of the comments its pretty clear to me that many people do not have any real idea of a fair price for many goods and services, and jump on deals because they seem like a great deal.

I agree.

The CTA dismissed the importance of specialist knowledge of how airfares work or how frequently (or otherwise) a person may fly.

The test is whether a 'reasonable person' would have known, or ought to have known it was a mistake. And that's what the court held.

And there again you highlight what the CTA found, which is quite contradictory to your earlier statement. It's also false to state the CTA is a court. It is not; it's a quasi-judicial body.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Okay. While it's a different jurisdiction I'll bite, for now.



I'm well aware of the decision and it's on that basis that I can state your assertion is that ". . . the Rangoon passengers knew . . ." is wrong, as you yourself highlight later when you water down your statement. That is:



Which is quite different to:





In round one, yes, I was confident that the fare was an error. Because of that I waited a month before making non-refundable arrangements to get to RGN. But, by round three, it was getting ridiculous to suggest that it was an error, particularly when IATA had counselled members on the matter several months prior.

Airfare pricing is highly sporadic and subject to a multitude of factors and is very much opaque in favour of the airlines. This is different from, say, a litre of milk. The consumer knows that on any given day one can expect to pay a $1 a litre at the big two and maybe double that at a corner store or a 24 hour servo. But when it comes to an airfare from, for example, Perth to Singapore, one can pay anywhere from $89 one way to $700 one way. The price variation is so great that the consumer should not reasonably be expected to know what's a mistake and what's not.



I agree.



And there again you highlight what the CTA found, which is quite contradictory to your earlier statement. It's also false to state the CTA is a court. It is not; it's a quasi-judicial body.

The CTA considered the arguments on different pricing, and the claim that consumers can't be expected to know what is and what isn't intended. The CTA dismissed those arguments.

The CTA held (and as it states, in its own words, it acts 'like a court' for these purposes) that a reasonable person would have known, or ought to have known, that this was a mistake.

In it's decision of the 83 pax against Swiss the CTA found (my bolding):

[48] In response to Swiss’s reference to the base fare range of US$113 to US$150, several complainants maintain that the use of the base fare is misleading and that the total cost of transportation is relevant to the consumer. In addition, several complainants state that the process by which air carriers set prices is varied and complex and places an unfair burden on the consumer to evaluate the reasonableness of the price of a ticket. The Agency has considered these arguments and finds that a reasonable person ought to have known that a total cost of approximately US$1000 for first and business class travel from Yangon to Eastern Canada is not simply a low ticket price, but a mistake.
[49] A number of complainants also provided examples of heavily discounted first and business class fares for travel between certain distant city pairs, and situations where economy fares between two points are more than first class fares, to indicate that the fares at issue would not be considered a mistake. The Agency considers that these fares could be anomalies and in their own right, could have been mistaken fares.

full decision: https://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/ruling/202-c-a-2014

So basically the CTA is stating that anyone buying those fares knew or ought to have known of the mistake.

I'm not sure if the CTA decisions have been appealed by anyone?
 

Aussie_flyer

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Seriously can't believe you are even comparing rgn to this mel traveler. Will you ever move on?
 

Danger

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The CTA considered the arguments on different pricing, and the claim that consumers can't be expected to know what is and what isn't intended. The CTA dismissed those arguments.

The CTA held (and as it states, in its own words, it acts 'like a court' for these purposes) that a reasonable person would have known, or ought to have known, that this was a mistake.

In it's decision of the 83 pax against Swiss the CTA found (my bolding):



full decision: https://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/ruling/202-c-a-2014

So basically the CTA is stating that anyone buying those fares knew or ought to have known of the mistake.

So you agree that (a) the CTA is not a court (contrary to what you stated) but acts like one and (b) consumers knew or ought to have known (contrary to what you stated)?

If you're going to get all legalese, you must learn to split hairs with the best of them.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Seriously can't believe you are even comparing rgn to this mel traveler. Will you ever move on?

they are both claimed to be 'mistakes' and it's worth noting that if you ever purchase a fare that could be a mistake, that there's not necessarily any automatic protection for the consumer.

the cases can drag on for years (as in the RGN tickets) and even if a court/agency/tribunal finds in favour of the consumer, there's no guarantee that you'll get to fly on the original date you planned.
 

MEL_Traveller

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So you agree that (a) the CTA is not a court (contrary to what you stated) but acts like one and (b) consumers knew or ought to have known (contrary to what you stated)?

If you're going to get all legalese, you must learn to split hairs with the best of them.

Agreed re: quasi-judicial body.

'Knew' or 'ought to have known'? I don't see a practical difference?
 

Danger

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Agreed re: quasi-judicial body.

'Knew' or 'ought to have known'? I don't see a practical difference?

I think the difference is very clear.

A person either knows or, they didn't but the particular decision making body considers that they ought to have known. In the latter case, the person did not know but the body believes they should have known. It's like saying to a young child "You should have known better". The child did not know better, but is still being penalised for it.
 
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