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We were having a lazy day watching the Weather Channel and doing puzzles while it rained outside, when all of the sudden the internet basically “lit up” with news of the “mistake fare” (which in this case was a mistake reward mileage amount) to/from China on United. I first saw the news on View From the Wing and ignored it for a while – I have tons of trips already booked, and China wasn’t on my short list with Little C while she is still little. However, after more texts, messages, and emails came in, I changed my mind and decided “what the heck?”.
My husband laughed when I asked if he wanted to go to China, so I booked myself, my kiddo, and my mom for June 2013 from Houston to Hong Kong. I didn’t ask Grandma Points in advance if she wanted to go, I just booked, and booked as soon as I found a routing that would work. These things don’t last long, so it is important to book first and ask questions later. I think this mistake lasted about two hours once it basically went viral in the miles and points world.
I had been unsuccessfully trying to book tickets to Shanghai, but then thanks to the advice of others, switched to Hong Kong as it was working more reliably. My dad has made it clear that flying from Houston to Las Vegas is about as long of a flight as he prefers, so I didn’t bother booking him to China since it is a smidge further than Las Vegas. However, once he learned of the “deal” (after it was over) he said he would have thought it was hilarious to go to China for 4 miles. Lesson learned, book Grandpa Points next time, too.
The reality is I could have booked a dog, a clown, and three strangers and quite possibly (in fact, likely) none of us will make it to China in First Class for four United miles. That is clearly an error as roundtrip tickets to China in First Class are in the hundreds of thousands of miles range, not in the 4 miles range. There is speculation over whether the new DOT regulations will cover award ticket bookings like this one. I’m not holding my breath, but I am happy to throw my hat in the ring, sit back, and watch what happens. No skin off my back if/when this isn’t honored. Sure makes for some cheap entertainment on a Sunday afternoon!
So, who else might be headed to China?