Yesterday I wrote in my protected post how to (potentially) get a free award ticket by exploiting a glitch in the system, it struck me as so ludicrous that this could even exist that I felt like it was a prank, but thus far I haven’t heard anything to the contrary regarding being able to exploit the glitch. Unsurprisingly many people felt this was outside of their moral comfort zone, what does surprise me is attitudes towards the mistake fare booking space, so I would like to open the floor to a discussion of the morals behind this, and see why one is worse than the other.
The 0 Mile Award
This is a potential exploit where you can change the date of your travel AFTER flying, so you can take the journey again in the future for zero miles (potentially you could do this many times, until 1 year from the date of the original reservation). This seems to work on Trans-Pacific (TPAC) routes connecting Asia and North America in any class of service.
The 4 Mile Award
This was a mistake fare that happened on United last year where biz/first class awards on TPAC routes were bookable for 4 miles, thousands of people clamoured to book these, and then when United refused to honor them threatened legal action.
I think the difference between the two awards is exactly 4 miles, which I would value at 8 cents. I think both are wrong to exploit because if you know what the price of something should be, and are knowingly taking advantage of a ‘glitch’ it is fraudulent, whether a court of law would agree or not I don’t know, but to my moral compass these two things are no different. That doesn’t mean I would or would not necessarily do them, but I know they are both equally wrong on some level.
If I know that a flight should cost say 60,000 miles, and I only have 10 in my account, but I manage to book that trip regardless, either with a remaining balance of 0 or 6 miles, either way, i’m making out like a bandit.
What do you think? Are they different, or the same, would you do it, and what is your rationale behind the decision?