Playing Dumb for Cheap Prices

On Thursday, September 9, a glitch in United Airlines’ booking engine caused tickets prices to list between $0-$10. Reportedly lasting fifteen minutes, this mix up flew frugal fliers to Heaven and landed the airline in a PR nightmare. As consumers, of course we love great deals; but at what cost? The following article in Forbes magazine reports one spokesman declared the mistake to be human error. Should we as consumers, who know better than to think such prices are correct, expect the airline to honor the tickets if it means the loss of one or multiple employee’s jobs? No terminations have been reported, and it’s doubtful they would be if they occurred, but it is hard to believe someone isn’t going down for the mistake. I can’t help but read between the lines of this following tweet released by United:


‘We found a fall guy, enjoy your flight…’

This paints a picture of the average consumer as unforgiving and advantageous. One of the most comforting things to know in this world is that people make mistakes, and that it’s okay because they are a part of life. If the consumer cannot agree with that, then either should the airline, or any other business for that matter. If this is the sinister new reality of consumerism, the next time we all buy a sweater that doesn’t fit right we might as well just chalk it up to human error and forget returning it. Oh, and no more refunds for anyone!



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