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Old Oct 5, 12, 8:50 am   #1
 
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Question Getting a Electronic Travel Certificate Refund -- Need advice pronto, PLEASE!

Going to make this story a little longer than it probably needs to be but it may help in putting together the most clear picture possible of my problem.

February 29 I booked a trip that I ultimately had to cancel. I was left with over $800 of credit I could use on other flights. So in August I took a trip that spent over $550 of the credit, and I paid the $150 change fee at that time. I was issued a ETC for the balance of $250. No further change fees would be due.

This past Tuesday morning I booked another trip to go to California next week and used the ETC balance, however canceled it a few hours later. It was a really good fare I didn't want to lose even though I wasn't sure yet I'd be able to take the trip, but I also knew I could cancel within 24 hours without penalty. I read the 24-hour flexible booking policy carefully before clicking the Purchase button which clearly stated refunds would be made to original form of payment.

Since I still need about 4000 miles to make status by the end of the year, I continued to look for other options where I could go taking in to account my own schedule, appropriate destinations, etc and settled on visiting my parents in Arizona in about 1 month. The fare was about the same as the California trip, it got my miles, it was a good weekend to go from a work perspective, and more. Great, right?

When the credit I used earlier in the day had not been reinstated as I tried to purchase the 2nd ticket, I called United and spoke with a very nice gentleman who said the credit would be re-issued in 24-48 hours so I could use it on the new purchase to Arizona then. I paid the FareLock fee and he put a whole bunch of notes in the reservation explaining everything for the benefit of anyone else I may talk to. He further advised I would have to call in to book the ticket because of the way the re-issue of credit works but they wouldn't charge me a phone booking fee.

This morning I called and spoke with an agent plus a supervisor who now advised:
1. The credit wouldn't be re-issued for 2-4 weeks
2. I could buy the Arizona ticket outright
3. I could use the $250 on another ticket once the credit has been reissued or pay $150 change fee on the Arizona ticket (after re-issue) to change the form of payment

They would not give me the number or other contact information to contact anyone at the certificate desk. I also asked for them to extend the FareLock gratis, or extend the expiration date on the credit once it's re-issued -- both requests were met with "No's." There will not be another opportunity for me to travel on the $250 credit between now and expiration as I have 4 other trips planned which I already have tickets for.

How do I reach someone in Certificate Customer Service to get this resolved? I have less than 12 hours before the existing FareLock expires. I have been a dedicated United/Continental customer for more than 25 years and have often made Premier (or better) status, plus I have a branded credit card, etc, but nobody seems to care about working to help me resolve this situation. Suggestions????? Thank you.
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Old Oct 5, 12, 8:59 am   #2
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The way these certs work is that once used they're gone. If you carefully look at the price paid as listed in your PNR you'll see the the base fare is $250 less than was listed when you made the reservation. So when they refund you the ticket value it will be for this amount. You may call the customer relations and plead with them to issue you a new cert but prepare yourself for a disappointment. The only time I was successful was when I had to cancel due to UA's fault.
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Old Oct 5, 12, 9:05 am   #3
 
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Originally Posted by todorovic View Post
The way these certs work is that once used they're gone. If you carefully look at the price paid as listed in your PNR you'll see the the base fare is $250 less than was listed when you made the reservation.
Not true for an ETC. They are payment towards the fare like cash (unlike discount ecerts).

If you are sure that you'd use the $250 in the future on another ticket, I'd probably just buy the new ticket outright and save the $250 for later. I've had problems with getting 24 hour courtesy cancellation to play nice with ETC as well, so now I only use them if I am sure I won't be cancelling. As you have experienced, it can be a headache to get the value returned.
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Old Oct 5, 12, 9:38 am   #4
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Or better yet, stop flying UA.

AA lets you pay the change fee out of the reservation value. WN doesn't charge change fees at all and has more comfortable Y seats than UA.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 3:36 pm   #5
 
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Refunding E-cert

I used an e-cert a few months ago to purchase a ticket to fly the 787. After a schedule change, my flights had mis-connects so I canceled. The only portion of the ticket the agent could refund did not include the $250 e-cert I had used. How can I get that refunded?
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Old Nov 11, 12, 3:52 pm   #6
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Originally Posted by JamesHNL View Post
I used an e-cert a few months ago to purchase a ticket to fly the 787. After a schedule change, my flights had mis-connects so I canceled. The only portion of the ticket the agent could refund did not include the $250 e-cert I had used. How can I get that refunded?
usually once its used its Gone. Id say call the 1K desk and explain about the misconnects and that you CXed due to that.If they dont budge HUCA and ask for Web support and explain all over again if they have any in lying around they will hopefully send it to you.

But how it works is once you Click Purchase that eCert is history,Period. Ive gotten a couple replaced when I mentionned how it wa sout of my control and wouldnt you want this 1K with a smile on their face.

Dont mention that once the 787 wasnt gonna fly you didnt want to, as they never sell the type of aircraft and arent responsible for changes that are made
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Old Nov 11, 12, 3:54 pm   #7
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Originally Posted by craz View Post

Dont mention that once the 787 wasnt gonna fly you didnt want to, as they never sell the type of aircraft and arent responsible for changes that are made
Not quite true for the 787.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 4:01 pm   #8
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Not quite true for the 787.

Even if thats true the rep would have to know that and Id say it can mess things up. A much better chance getting a replacement if when they look at the PNR they see the misconnect
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Old Nov 11, 12, 4:14 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by craz View Post
Even if thats true the rep would have to know that and Id say it can mess things up. A much better chance getting a replacement if when they look at the PNR they see the misconnect
The misconnects were just for the 787. They put me on other flights but the only reason I booked was to fly the new bird. And they did HEAVILY promote flying the new aircraft.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 4:31 pm   #10
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The misconnects were just for the 787. They put me on other flights but the only reason I booked was to fly the new bird. And they did HEAVILY promote flying the new aircraft.
If thats how you want to play it go right ahead

As I said Id rather try with the fact that I was gonna misconnect and thusly not be able to get back when I expected to, and if I see that isnt working then the 787 thing

For a misconnect you wont have to explain anything to anyone, unlike maybe the 787 thing. Now if they still could have gotten you back pretty close to the orginal time that would be something else, as I couldnt think of why I could fly and return say @ 6:30am but not @ 6:45am, but now @ 7:30am from 6:30am is easy to say Id never make it on time to a meeting etc
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Old Nov 11, 12, 4:36 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by craz View Post
If thats how you want to play it go right ahead

As I said Id rather try with the fact that I was gonna misconnect and thusly not be able to get back when I expected to, and if I see that isnt working then the 787 thing

For a misconnect you wont have to explain anything to anyone, unlike maybe the 787 thing. Now if they still could have gotten you back pretty close to the orginal time that would be something else, as I couldnt think of why I could fly and return say @ 6:30am but not @ 6:45am, but now @ 7:30am from 6:30am is easy to say Id never make it on time to a meeting etc
The change UA made was with aircraft type. The schedule stayed exactly the same with different aircraft. The misconnects would have been if I wanted to still fly the 787. Since they swapped planes, they allowed me to cancel without penalty.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 4:37 pm   #12
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Originally Posted by craz View Post
If thats how you want to play it go right ahead

As I said Id rather try with the fact that I was gonna misconnect and thusly not be able to get back when I expected to, and if I see that isnt working then the 787 thing

For a misconnect you wont have to explain anything to anyone, unlike maybe the 787 thing. Now if they still could have gotten you back pretty close to the orginal time that would be something else, as I couldnt think of why I could fly and return say @ 6:30am but not @ 6:45am, but now @ 7:30am from 6:30am is easy to say Id never make it on time to a meeting etc
+1 - Your advice is solid. Make this issue about the type of aircraft and it's not worth dialing a toll-free # to ask.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 6:23 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by JamesHNL View Post
The change UA made was with aircraft type. The schedule stayed exactly the same with different aircraft. The misconnects would have been if I wanted to still fly the 787. Since they swapped planes, they allowed me to cancel without penalty.
Well its a good thing you said this in your 1st post Anyway they did issue a full refund, so I would still go on that , you indicate you are a 1K they will do things for us that they may not for others

Id say Hi Im calling about PNR ...... , due to changes that were made by UA I was issued a full refund and I was wondering when the $250 eCert replacement for the 1 that I used will be arriving? (use your own wording) When they say it wont be go into well they told me Id get a full refund I assumed that meant a new eCert as well. This isnt gonna make this 1K a happy camper (again your own wording)

Keep in mind once you clicked Purchase that eCert is History no matter the reason Id say even if theres a Travel wavier on going and you CX rather then reschedule to a different date.

Now your goal is to try and get them to replace something that according to the T&Cs they dont have to do.If you feel by saying well once it was no longer a 787 I didnt want to fly will do the trick ,go with it. Since the only misconnect would have been if you flew the 787 at times that it seems you werent booked for, then there really was Never a Misconnect , since you could have well flown what you booked with the exception that you wouldnt have been on the 787, so you shouldnt have used Misconnect in your title. I prefer I was told Id get a Full refund and had they told me that didnt include getting my eCert back I would have rebooked rather then CX as that way I would have still been able to use the value of that eCert (again your own words)
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