Farelock - Questions/Answers/Experiences

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United's Farelock
FareLock allows you to hold your itinerary and price for either three or seven days for a service charge. This allows time to finalize your travel plans without worrying about flights selling out or the price of your ticket increasing.
A FareLock is a reservation for space pending ticketing.

Why is farelock not offered at times?
FareLock is available on select flights operated by United and United Express (Star Alliance® flights and marketed codeshare flights are not eligible).
Also, only fares that would be valid at the future purchase time, such as due to advance purchase (AP) requirements, can be farelocked. So if looking at 21 day AP ticket, 22 days before the applicable segment neither a 3 day or 7 day farelock will be available.

Farelock fees are not refunded even under the 24 hour ticket cancellation rule.

Fareock reservations cannot be changed until after you have purchased the reservation.

If you do not purchase your ticket before your Farelock period expires, your reservation will be canceled unless you have selected the automatic purchase option. The 24 hour cancellation clock does not start until the actual purchase is made.

Caveats

Per the CoC, UA reserves the right to cancel reservations made for the same passenger on flights traveling on or about the same date between one or more of the same or nearby origin or destination cities. There have been multiple reports of UA exercising this option to cancel duplicate FareLock segments conflicting with either another FareLock reservation or with a ticketed reservation, often making the remainder of the FareLock (if any) unticketable. Generally, unticketed segments will be canceled over ticketed segments, and older bookings will be canceled over more recent bookings if ticket status is identical. UA does not automatically refund the FareLock service charge if this happens, but it is possible to call in and ask for the refund.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 9:01 am
  #196  
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Originally Posted by higher_flyer View Post
If I Fare Lock a reservation with two pax, and then only want to ticket one pax later on, is that possible? Or are you required to use-or-lose the complete reservation?
If you farelock a two passenger itinerary, that's what you'll be able to purchase. You won't be able to split one off. Though I suppose you could call and have the PNR split and request a free refund of the one you don't want within 24 hours of purchase.

You can just farelock the two tickets separately. The total price will be the same. The only issue is if you do buy two separate tickets, they won't be on the same PNR.
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Old Feb 25, 16, 11:31 am
  #197  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If you farelock a two passenger itinerary, that's what you'll be able to purchase. You won't be able to split one off. Though I suppose you could call and have the PNR split and request a free refund of the one you don't want within 24 hours of purchase.

You can just farelock the two tickets separately. The total price will be the same. The only issue is if you do buy two separate tickets, they won't be on the same PNR.
Thank you for the info. I hadn't thought about the first option (if it is actually possible to split them and then refund one PNR). I definitely want to lock as one PNR so that if we do make the trip, my non-status companion can take advantage of my status.

Cheers.
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Old Mar 16, 16, 1:46 pm
  #198  
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Have a farelock (and I guess, also other) questions that I don't know the answer to, so hoping someone can help.

Have a farelock right now - CVG-PHX return, for me and the wife. I may need to travel back separately....as I may need to go back to Toronto first, while she would head back home (we'd both fly the first segment back to DEN together, then split off from there).

I know I can't change the flights that have been farelocked to different ones, but can I split myself off, and only purchase the ticket for my wife? Or do I need to buy it for both of us? If the latter, I assume I could at least split right after purchase, and then cancel mine within 24 hours.

Another possibility: If I want to keep us on the same reservation on the outbound (many reasons why this would be preferred), since those will still be the same, is it possible to just purchase the outbound, and cancel the returns (then book those separately)? This is hypothetical at the moment - both the outbound and return were available on the lower fares (G outbound, K inbound) booked as one way's, though looks like the return flights for my wife went up to a Q as a one way now (ouch!), so I'd rather see if that comes back down. I'm thinking I could either call to see if an agent is able to do that, or book everything, then see if I could change within 24 hours to cancel the return segments - is that possible under the 24 hour flexible policy (I think it is), and can I do this online, or do I need to call in?
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Old Apr 12, 16, 8:19 pm
  #199  
 
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Fare-lock Policy

So I was just told by a lady in reservations of this new "policy"

If you use farelock and later want to buy that reservation you have to use the credit card you purchased the fare lock with.

I was booking a flight for my mom, went ahead and did a fare-lock due to her not knowing her plans and it being the last W in the bucket.

Went ahead and used paypal on the payment page because it said that was an option. I had a $60 balance on paypal and then paypal charged the rest of my credit card. Went back to United and it ticketed and confirmed the flight.

Wake up the next morning and surprise surprise, there is now a separate charge directly from United themselves for $595.20 the price of the flight.

Called them up and the lady knew right away what happened. They had to close out the PNR I had and make a completely separate new one so they could refund my credit card. Then the lady says it could take up to 20 days for me to get my money back. And currently my account is in overdraft.


So don't make the same mistake I did. If you use fare-lock pay with the same credit card you use otherwise if you pay with a different one or some other form of payment they will charge the fare lock credit card.
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Old Apr 12, 16, 9:00 pm
  #200  
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wonder if UA has had some fraud issues with farelock?
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Old Apr 13, 16, 8:00 am
  #201  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
wonder if UA has had some fraud issues with farelock?
I have been wondering this myself. I had a lengthy discussion with the lady about it because I told her it made no sense. If they want you to use the credit card that you dare locked with they to advertise that somehow or disallow other forms of payment when you go to book the ticket. thought everything was good with PayPal until 4 hours later my credit card was charged. Trust me trying to get your money back from united is a hassle.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 12:49 am
  #202  
 
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You can Fare Lock till after departure?

This one was a new one for me:



So for $9, they'll hold a seat for me until 12 hours after the plane leaves? Even if they only hold it till departure, which is what I expect to happen here, it seems like that would really screw up revenue management.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 2:50 am
  #203  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Why should it be used as a credit toward the ticket cost? Its an extra service - UA is giving you the opportunity to hold a ticket (for longer than you could have when free hold was available) and guarantee the ticket cost at current levels, even when the prices could rise for any one of a multitude of reasons (fare pulled from market, fare increase, last ticket at that price gets bought by someone else, etc).

If they're not going to make any money while providing the service for you, why should they not just be willing to sell the ticket to someone else at the lower fare, who is willing to buy it right away?
This is extremely common in other industries. Have you visited Disney lately? Buy, say, a 1-day park pass, and you can upgrade the 1-day pass into a 3-day pass by going to any ticket counter, so long as you do it before the 1-day pass expires. The amount you pay to upgrade the pass is not the price of a 2-day pass, but the difference between a 3-day pass and what you paid for the 1-day pass. And then you can upgrade that 3-day pass to an Annual Pass, so long as you do it before the 3-day pass expires (still good for entering the parks), by going to any ticket counter. The price you pay to upgrade is not the total cost of an Annual Pass, but the difference in cost between an Annual Pass and what you've already paid in total for the 3-day pass.

Disney wants you to be an Annual Passholder. If not that, they want you buying as many days as possible and spending as much time in the Parks as possible. As such, they're not going to penalize you for buying a pass with fewer days on it at first and then wanting to give them more money later on for a pass that's valid longer.

Only in the airline industry do we have insane policies that result in having to get change fees waived for buying up to higher fares or higher cabins: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...-gg-buyup.html

Doesn't UA want to earn your business? They could simply allow you to apply the amount of the FareLock to the itinerary so long as you actually purchase the same itinerary at the FareLocked price. This would be reasonable; the risk you would be taking is that if the price actually goes down, you wouldn't book the FareLocked itinerary, but another one instead, and would lose the money you put into the FareLock. Kind of like buying a call option on a stock with the strike price set to the current market price before the price goes down. You're out the amount you paid for the options.
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Old Apr 18, 16, 9:36 am
  #204  
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Originally Posted by evan248 View Post
So I was just told by a lady in reservations of this new "policy"

If you use farelock and later want to buy that reservation you have to use the credit card you purchased the fare lock with.
Lying agent.

I buy farelocks on my AMEX MR (b/c they are reimbursed by AMEX) and most of my tickets with Explorer.

Did this just last Thursday (purchased farelocked reservation using Explorer where farelock was purchased with AMEX).
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Old May 16, 16, 10:13 am
  #205  
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So, used Farelock to put a hold on a ticket I'm looking at for June. It was actually not a cheap fare already transborder (return portion of a mid-June weekend trip booking into V, but everything else that weekend, and even weekends around are mostly H and up, and I've been looking at this for a couple of weeks, and its only getting worse).

What amazed me - for the first time I can remember - my credit card only has an authorization for the listed Farelock amount. Every other time I've done a Farelock since they started offering it, it does the authorization for the listed amount twice, and then one ends up dropping. So seems like UA can fix bugs when they want to...eventually. Of course, I didn't get emailed the receipt, but that's probably an app issue - will post in there since I can't seem to get any emails from the app.

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Lying agent.

I buy farelocks on my AMEX MR (b/c they are reimbursed by AMEX) and most of my tickets with Explorer.

Did this just last Thursday (purchased farelocked reservation using Explorer where farelock was purchased with AMEX).
Correct. Did this about a month and a half ago - farelock was put on my MP card the multiple in miles and PQM, but ticket purchase went on my CSP since travel with infant means I need the insurance that is included with CSP, but not my MP card. Haven't completely confirmed the flights on my Farelock above is what I'll be booking, but probably will, and will do the same thing.

Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
This is extremely common in other industries. Have you visited Disney lately? Buy, say, a 1-day park pass, and you can upgrade the 1-day pass into a 3-day pass by going to any ticket counter, so long as you do it before the 1-day pass expires. The amount you pay to upgrade the pass is not the price of a 2-day pass, but the difference between a 3-day pass and what you paid for the 1-day pass. And then you can upgrade that 3-day pass to an Annual Pass, so long as you do it before the 3-day pass expires (still good for entering the parks), by going to any ticket counter. The price you pay to upgrade is not the total cost of an Annual Pass, but the difference in cost between an Annual Pass and what you've already paid in total for the 3-day pass.
Typical in some other industries, yes, but not in the airline industry. If you haven't noticed, the airline industry does things differently. For example, if I buy a ticket connecting in Chicago and want to just get off there instead of continuing on to say, Milwakee, I'm liable to pay the fare difference, and I won't get my bags back in ORD. Most don't price where you can pay more to get less product, in the first place. But Disney also doesn't demand (and certainly not in their terms) that I stay the full day - I can buy it, stay for an hour, and go home if I want. Airlines don't allow that kind of thing, with my example above.

And this is typical for the industry. Swiss (as well as other LH Group carriers?) offer a similar hold for a few days, and again, doesn't go toward the cost of the ticket. I'm sure I've seen it on another carrier too, but I can't recall which at the moment. On the other hand, I find the service valuable in some instances. On the ticket I farelocked above, I actually got the last 2 V fare seats - so price would have gone up $120/person X 2 if someone else took those seats before I bought. Yes, it would be nice if the fee went toward a deposit, or if they offered 24 hour holds for free like they used to (that could theoretically be re-done over again), but in my book, paying a $14 fee to very likely save $240 dollars is a good deal.
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Old May 16, 16, 10:21 am
  #206  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
I find the service valuable in some instances. On the ticket I farelocked above, I actually got the last 2 V fare seats - so price would have gone up $120/person X 2 if someone else took those seats before I bought. Yes, it would be nice if the fee went toward a deposit, or if they offered 24 hour holds for free like they used to (that could theoretically be re-done over again), but in my book, paying a $14 fee to very likely save $240 dollars is a good deal.
I've saved many thousands of dollars with Farelock. It allows me to jump on cheap fares and then try to arrange my schedule to fit the ticket. So I get to lock in a cheap fare, but don't have to worry about a $200 or $300 change fee if the scheduling doesn't work. It's one of my favorite UA features.
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Old May 18, 16, 9:16 am
  #207  
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Have a question about a farelock and situation that I've never been in, so looking if someone else have.

I have a farelock on an itinerary that expires this afternoon, and I'm actually ready to book. Since buying the farelock, the outbound fare has gone down $53/person (L to K), while the return has gone from V to U. I've been in situations where the entire round-trip drops, and then just buy new instead, but never when the overall price has gone up - the overall itinerary is about $250 more (for 2 of us).

Is there a way to get this redone with the lower outbound fare, but the farelocked return fare? I imagine it would involve ticketing and making a change within 24 hours, since I understand agent's can't even seem to adjust farelocks. But is there a way to re-fare the outbound, while keeping the return fare intact?

UPDATE: Decided to buck up and just call in and see what they could do, and forget about my concern that they might change it without it going through, and then unable to get the original fare back. Agent was able to partially do this prior to purchase - she was able to do L to K on one of the outbound segments while leaving the other in L, and leaving the return intact at the V fare from before. She did put me on hold for about 10 - 15 minutes - I believe she had the help of either a supervisor or the rate desk. Total savings over my originally farelocked itinerary was about $35 vs. a change on L to both outbound legs that would have been ~$100 - not everything I wanted, but something. She said they tried to do both on the L, but it wouldn't take - I didn't press too hard since there was some savings, but guessing the L fare on the other leg wouldn't combine with the return fare. Also didn't press about using two e-certs which I was planning on using for this trip, since I'll have plenty of opportunity to use them later this year.

Last edited by emcampbe; May 18, 16 at 9:59 am Reason: update of post
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Old May 20, 16, 1:31 pm
  #208  
 
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FareLock - Price Changed During Ticketing on Reward Flight

I booked a reward ticket and used FareLock to lock in my choice so I could make some other travel arrangements. I booked CLE-MAD with a return of MAN-CLE. FareLock showed 180,000 miles plus roughly $155 for the 3 of us. United sent me 2 emails confirming these numbers.

Relying on this, I booked a non-refundable RyanAir flight from BCN-EDI. We are filling in the rest of the connections by train.

I then purchased my United reward flight. The next day, I received a United email that says that my reservation cannot be ticketed and to call 800-UNITED to resolve. The agent tells me that the taxes are roughly $400.

I called the United Silver desk Customer Care and and they both said they can't do anything, they are required to collect taxes (which I understand). I called RyanAir to see if I could cancel and add a BCN-MAN segment to United reward. The answer is no.

The Silver desk desk pointed me to Customer Care and vice-versa. I would have never bought the RyanAir segment had I known the taxes were $400. It would have been cheaper to add a United segment. Now, I'm out $250 because their FareLock was incorrect.

Anyone have any experience with this?
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Old May 22, 16, 9:19 am
  #209  
 
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Can I get the Fare Lock option when booking an award ticket to Australia? I click all the way through to the payment page, but there's no Fare Lock option. Thanks for any info...
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Old May 22, 16, 2:29 pm
  #210  
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Originally Posted by Andy the sometimes flyer View Post
Can I get the Fare Lock option when booking an award ticket to Australia? I click all the way through to the payment page, but there's no Fare Lock option. Thanks for any info...
For an all united operated itin, it should be available

Is FareLock available for award reservations using miles?

Yes. FareLock is offered for both Saver and Standard Award tickets on United- and United Express-operated flights.
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