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Submission + - Budget airline fails to recognise e-booking bug

An anonymous reader writes: Last October I booked a flight for a date in November using a popular european budget airline who charges a high per-minute fee for telephone bookings to encourage online ticketing. Several days later I decided to delay my flight for until December. In their online system I made what I thought was a change in date, for exactly a month later (the same weekday and time) and was charged a change fee. When I arrived at the airport in December I was told that my flight had left one month ago. It seems my browser (Firefox on OSX) didn't change the requested date, although the airline proceeded to tell me my date was successfully changed and charged my credit card for the change fee, even though I had cancelled and rebooked the exact same flight. I contacted customer service to request a refund of both the change fee and for the second flight I had to pay for to actually get to my destination. Not being able to resolve this over their phone system (while being charged per-minute for it) I evenutally received a 'regrettably we cannot refund' email as they consider this user error. While I admit that I did not look at the new date (instead of November 17th it should have said December 19th), my argument to the airline is that this is an extremely simple programming error which should have been picked up and if I had booked this flight while talking to a live person this never would have happened. I don't expect to see a refund of either my change fee (which should never have been charged considering there was no change) however I am concerned this could affect other users. I am fortunate that I had reserve funds when I arrived at the airport so I could book a seat on the flight I wanted, plus I was lucky the flight was not fully booked. Should the airline own up to this as their mistake and fix the online ticketing system, or should I consider this user error?

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton