Airline Mistake Offers $0 Tickets, Will Honor If ‘Appropriate’

airline mistake
JamesZ_/Flickr

It was an airline mistake and the number of tickets sold is unknown, but a glitch on the United Airlines booking site offered some really good deals yesterday. Only the automatic airport fees and other surcharges added to flights by airports around the country were included, not the price of the flight. The flash sale-like offerings were caused due to an error loading fares into the United computer system.

This is not the first time this has happened. A similar mistake happened in May 2002 when a fare sale accidentally appeared as a $5 round-trip ticket for about 45 minutes. In 2008, United accidentally stopped charging a fuel surcharge that was as much as $130. In that case, the airline honored the price of tickets sold without the surcharge.

But what about those unbelievably low fares? Will United honor the obviously incorrect pricing?
“As always, we will do what is appropriate,” United Continental Holdings Inc. spokeswoman Megan McCarthy told the Huffiington Post.

Flight Attendant Trainee Fired After Being Found On ‘No-Fly’ List

A man who was training to become an American Airlines flight attendant has been fired after it was discovered he is on the Terrorist Screening Center’s “no-fly” list. According to reports, the man is on the list after allegedly making eight bomb threats against United Airlines.

Although 40-year-old Patrick Cau cleared a background check with American Airlines, it was later discovered that he also goes by the name of Patrick Kaiser, the name on the list. On Tuesday, a company e-mail circulated information about how the airline removed Cau from the company’s training program in Texas back in May.

According to court documents, it is believed that Cau called 911 via payphones in Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas and Seattle to claim bombs were on United flights. The airline is claiming it lost approximately $268,000 from canceled and delayed flights due to his threats, which mostly affected flights between Los Angeles and London.

For the offenses, Cau could serve up to five years in prison. In his plea deal, he has agreed to pay $250,000 in restitution to United.

The no-fly list was created after the September 11 attacks in 2001. To date, the list is said to contain more than 21,000 names.

A Guide To In-Flight Wi-Fi And Power Outlets

BrentDPayne, Flickr

In-flight internet access is on the up and up. Thanks to a list compiled by Lifehacker, it’s now easy to get a glimpse of just how much progress has been made over the past few years. It looks like AirTran and Virgin America are the best bets for in-flight Wi-Fi, while United Airlines is the worst. According to the company’s website, only 59 of the airline’s 700+ planes have Wi-Fi.

We did a little more digging to find out exactly where airline Wi-Fi stands (prices are for domestic flights), and here’s what we came up with:

*These fleets are serviced by Gogo Inflight Internet. Frequent fliers will want to consider buying a Gogo pass, which can cover all flights in a day or month. Since the majority of airlines use Gogo, one pass could cover multiple legs of a trip — even if different airlines are used.

It is also important to note that even if the airplane you’re flying has Wi-Fi, every seat may not have access to a power outlet. No airline has yet ensured outlets at each seat, but Seat Guru has documented where the power outlets are in each type of aircraft. Additionally, you’ll want to check and make sure you have the right adaptor, or you might find it difficult to get some work done at 10,000 feet.

What Do You Think Of United Airlines’ New Uniforms?

Courtesy United Continental Holdings.

Starting today, passengers flying United Airlines will see the flight crew decked out in new threads. According to a press release, tens of thousands of worldwide employees – including flight attendants, customer service agents, technical operations and ramp workers – will begin wearing new, sophisticated uniforms with accents of blue, gold, silver and gray.

Although news outlets like Jaunted have questioned United’s choice to go against trend and not enlist a high-profile designer to create the uniforms, such as Banana Republic who recently outfitted Virgin America’s crew, United says the company relied on feedback from their employees to create the stylish yet functional clothing. Pilots will be the last to switch over to the new getup when they begin wearing new, midnight blue uniforms later this year. Once everyone has made the switch, the company’s attire will – for the first time ever – have a cohesive feel across all operations.

United Allegedly Runs Out Of Toilet Paper During International Flight

Shorline, Flickr

We’ve heard of flights running out of sugar, snacks and even fuel – but never have we ever known a flight to run out of toilet paper. That’s what happened on board a recent flight from London to San Francisco, when United Airlines allegedly forgot to re-stock the plane’s supply of toilet paper.

According to an account posted to FlyerTalk.com, it seems some creative flight attendants put together a pocket to hold some cocktail napkins, so passengers who had to use the loo weren’t left completely stranded in the bathroom.

Although we’ve heard some crazy schemes for reducing the weight of aircraft to save on fuel – like how Spirit Airlines recently started serving wine in cans – we hope airlines overstock toilet paper on long-haul flights so more passengers don’t have to rely on cocktail napkins in the future. It would be crazy to not be able to count on toilet paper being provided with the cost of an airline ticket, but in the age of add-on fees, who knows what can happen?

Update: A spokesperson from United contacted Gadling to assure us that fewer than half of the lavatories on the flight ran out of toilet paper.