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 Apr 4, 17, 10:30 am
  #256  
 
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Ran into a odd Farelock bug yesterday. On Sunday, 4/2, I booked a 3 day farelock selecting to purchase if not canceled at the end of the 3 days. I immediately received the expected email that my farelock was purchased, and my credit card would be charged and my reservation ticketed at 5:00 PM on 4/5. at around 5:00 PM yesterday, 4/3, I got an email reminding me that I have a farelock that will be charged and ticketed at 5:00 PM on 4/4 (not 4/5). I looked online and sure enough the "countdown clock" had me less than 24 hours left, turning my 3 day farelock into 2 days.

I called, got an overseas call center, and as expected initially had some trouble. First, the agent tells me that the day I purchased the farelock counts as "day 1", with 4/3 being day 2, and 4/4 being day 3. So I asked, "What I'm hearing is that a 3 day-fare lock is only 48 hours. Is this what you are really trying to tell me?" She stumbled, but then said yes. When I then asked how come my original confirmation email listed 4/5 as the expiration, which was in fact 3 days later? She put me on hold for about 15 minutes, came back and said she had been working with tech support, and since I booked the initial reservation on 4/1, the correct expiration date was 4/4, and my email stating 4/5 must have been a mistake. I explained her I absolutely did not book on 4/1, I booked on 4/2, I have confirmation emails that my expiration was 4/5 and that is what I'm expecting for my money.

To my surprise (because I was sure I was going to get nowhere with this agent, and maybe not at all), after another 5 minutes on hold, the agent came back and said I spoke with a supervisor, and he has changed it to 4/5. I looked online and sure enough, my reservation was now listed as "on hold" until midnight 4/5 (even a few hours later than initially). I suspect that my reservation will not automatically ticket at the end of the hold period like the farelock would have, but the fact that this was handled pretty well in the end shocked me. Credit to the agent and the supervisor for not giving up on me and doing their best to make it right (or as right as they probably could). Perhaps this is a sign of a little turnaround in customer service.

In summary, I completely lost 24 hours on my farelock due to some odd system error. Keep an eye on those reminder emails.
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Old Apr 8, 17, 9:20 pm
  #257  
 
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Originally Posted by z28lt1 View Post
Ran into a odd Farelock bug yesterday. On Sunday, 4/2, I booked a 3 day farelock selecting to purchase if not canceled at the end of the 3 days. I immediately received the expected email that my farelock was purchased, and my credit card would be charged and my reservation ticketed at 5:00 PM on 4/5. at around 5:00 PM yesterday, 4/3, I got an email reminding me that I have a farelock that will be charged and ticketed at 5:00 PM on 4/4 (not 4/5). I looked online and sure enough the "countdown clock" had me less than 24 hours left, turning my 3 day farelock into 2 days.

I called, got an overseas call center, and as expected initially had some trouble. First, the agent tells me that the day I purchased the farelock counts as "day 1", with 4/3 being day 2, and 4/4 being day 3. So I asked, "What I'm hearing is that a 3 day-fare lock is only 48 hours. Is this what you are really trying to tell me?" She stumbled, but then said yes. When I then asked how come my original confirmation email listed 4/5 as the expiration, which was in fact 3 days later? She put me on hold for about 15 minutes, came back and said she had been working with tech support, and since I booked the initial reservation on 4/1, the correct expiration date was 4/4, and my email stating 4/5 must have been a mistake. I explained her I absolutely did not book on 4/1, I booked on 4/2, I have confirmation emails that my expiration was 4/5 and that is what I'm expecting for my money.

To my surprise (because I was sure I was going to get nowhere with this agent, and maybe not at all), after another 5 minutes on hold, the agent came back and said I spoke with a supervisor, and he has changed it to 4/5. I looked online and sure enough, my reservation was now listed as "on hold" until midnight 4/5 (even a few hours later than initially). I suspect that my reservation will not automatically ticket at the end of the hold period like the farelock would have, but the fact that this was handled pretty well in the end shocked me. Credit to the agent and the supervisor for not giving up on me and doing their best to make it right (or as right as they probably could). Perhaps this is a sign of a little turnaround in customer service.

In summary, I completely lost 24 hours on my farelock due to some odd system error. Keep an eye on those reminder emails.
I actually had something similar happen last year. Grabbed 2 tix on a farehold to ensure i could fly with a friend. Friend decided to purchase own ticket after chatting later that day since price was still available and was just going to reimburse me for fare lock price. Went to cancel her farelocked ticket the next day and it had been charged and ticketed a full 24 hours early. Both tickets had ticketed automatically early, actually. Had to call United and sent them a copy of the emails showing the expiration date as 24 hours later. They did refund the fare I had wanted to cancel, and actually reconciled the one I wanted to keep, since it had gone down like $18 bucks at the time of the phone call, since I still technically had the option to cancel the farelock, and book it cheaper. I was pleasantly surprised that it was handled well. However, the farelock system apparently still has bugs, and I haven't used it since March 2016 because of that last run in.
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Old Apr 23, 17, 12:39 pm
  #258  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
As you are approaching the expiration of the fare rules (in this case likely a 7 day advance purchase requirement), farelock will not allow you to hold a fare past the the expiration. So the standard 3 day or 7 day farelock is not available in this case. The 3-day version might have worked a day or two ago.

Similar limitations occur with 30, 21, 14, ... day APs. And your return may have been a 21 day AP.
How do you find the fare rules when you have a fare lock? I can't find an email showing them, and I'm a bit scared to see if I can view them by clicking on the "purchase" option. :-)

Specifically trying to figure out if the fare I've locked carries the usual $300 fee to re-use on a different flight if I cancel. Want to make sure I haven't found some sort of new fare that carries zero re-use options if I don't fly. It's a TATL L fare, but I realize that by itself doesn't really tell us anything. Thanks!
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Old Apr 23, 17, 1:26 pm
  #259  
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
How do you find the fare rules when you have a fare lock? I can't find an email showing them, and I'm a bit scared to see if I can view them by clicking on the "purchase" option.
I would not worry about clicking on Purchase - ticket will not be issued until you actually click Purchase.

That said, I don't know where to look for fare rules once you are looking at the trip.

But would imaging that any L fare on same route would have same rules. Perhaps a mock reservation?
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Old Apr 23, 17, 3:12 pm
  #260  
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
How do you find the fare rules when you have a fare lock? I can't find an email showing them, and I'm a bit scared to see if I can view them by clicking on the "purchase" option. :-)

Specifically trying to figure out if the fare I've locked carries the usual $300 fee to re-use on a different flight if I cancel. Want to make sure I haven't found some sort of new fare that carries zero re-use options if I don't fly. It's a TATL L fare, but I realize that by itself doesn't really tell us anything. Thanks!
If farelock is still active, then the fare is still valid, so you can do a dummy booking for the same flight on .bomb (if L available) or on ITA (tell it to ignore inventory, and force L class) to see the fare rules.

Or you can call and ask.
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Old May 11, 17, 9:48 pm
  #261  
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I just put a Fare Lock on four tickets for this summer.

After further discussion, it sounds like three members of my family want to leave a week earlier.

Can I use the Fare Lock to purchase just one of the four tickets? Or am I out of luck?
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Old May 13, 17, 8:08 pm
  #262  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
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How to put reward tickets on hold with United

Okay I usually am not this dumb but I cannot seem to figure out this "hold" business on United reward tickets.

I am trying to book tickets to Europe using award miles. I can see available seats but United just tells me I do not have enough miles. I have plenty of miles with Chase which can be transferred to United (supposedly instantaneously). I would like to put the United seats on hold while I transfer the points in case somebody else picks them.

However, United does not seem to be giving me any option to put tickets on hold or farelock. It tells me to "check for options below" except that there are none, not even to buy miles.

What am I missing? Is hold/farelock no longer available? Is it my browser (safari on mac)? Is this available only to people with a certain United status?

Thanks.
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Old May 13, 17, 8:15 pm
  #263  
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Originally Posted by usulbaggins View Post
However, United does not seem to be giving me any option to put tickets on hold or farelock. It tells me to "check for options below" except that there are none, not even to buy miles.

What am I missing? Is hold/farelock no longer available? Is it my browser (safari on mac)? Is this available only to people with a certain United status?
Do you have any non-United flights on your itinerary? FareLock only works with UA flights.

I haven't seen a non-FareLock hold option for award tickets in several years. There used to be some tricks to work around it (e.g., pay taxes and fees with PayPal), but I don't believe those work any longer either.
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Old May 13, 17, 8:24 pm
  #264  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Do you have any non-United flights on your itinerary? FareLock only works with UA flights.

I haven't seen a non-FareLock hold option for award tickets in several years. There used to be some tricks to work around it (e.g., pay taxes and fees with PayPal), but I don't believe those work any longer either.
None. Direct flight on United. It gives me the option to farelock ticket if I have enough miles in the account, not if I do not. I was hoping it would since I have seen reports of Chase points taking hours (even days) to transfer in some cases. The reservation could easily be gone by then.

Would calling customer service help?
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Old May 13, 17, 8:30 pm
  #265  
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Originally Posted by usulbaggins View Post
None. Direct flight on United. It gives me the option to farelock ticket if I have enough miles in the account, not if I do not. I was hoping it would since I have seen reports of Chase points taking hours (even days) to transfer in some cases. The reservation could easily be gone by then.

Would calling customer service help?
Can't hurt, although you may spend a while on hold if you don't have status. If nothing else -- speculating here -- you may be able to expedite a point redemption from Chase if you conference them together with United.

While it would be the reservation agents (at 1-800-864-8331) that could put a reservation on hold, it would be the MileagePlus Service Center (1-800-421-4655) that would be involved in any expedited transfer. Also, the phone agent may try to charge you the phone booking fee (again, status-dependent). You may be able to get it waived by pointing out that you couldn't do this online.

Good luck!
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Old May 28, 17, 12:24 pm
  #266  
 
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I booked the fare lock 23 days before the flight but now it's within 21 days. Will I get charged $75? The confirmation shows the $75 but says the total price is $5.60
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:16 pm
  #267  
 
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Exclamation Unexpected early conversion to "ticketed"

Yesterday at 3:45 PM I put a simple RT itinerary on 7-day fare lock. Today at 11:45 AM the reservation somehow automatically ticketed -- out of the blue I received the confirmed itinerary and receipt email. I logged into .bomb and, indeed, I see it as "ticketed and confirmed."

Has this happened to anyone? I dread having to call and explain, and thus try to 1) refund and 2) re-reserve and 3) re-lock at the same time for the same fare.
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Old Jun 6, 17, 5:44 pm
  #268  
 
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
I just put a Fare Lock on four tickets for this summer.

After further discussion, it sounds like three members of my family want to leave a week earlier.

Can I use the Fare Lock to purchase just one of the four tickets? Or am I out of luck?
AFAIK, they aren't purchased until they are purchased, so the 24 hr free cancellation doesn't start until you actually purchase them.

fare lock is basically insurance

Maybe call the premier desk and see what they say, maybe they can shortcut the process
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Old Jun 8, 17, 4:25 pm
  #269  
 
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Originally Posted by Hipplewm View Post
fare lock is basically insurance
Isn't it a lot more (well, exactly) like purchasing an option contract? You pay a few dollars for the option to buy a particular ticket at a particular price within the next few days.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 7:07 am
  #270  
 
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No fare lock option?

Trying to book a provisional flight to CMH from LHR for the end of the month, but not totally sure of the dates yet. The chosen route, via IAH has only 3 seats left in K so wanted to do a fare lock.

Trying to book, I am not offered a fare lock option. Have also tried booking avoiding United Express flights with the same result.

Anyone think of a reason why fare lock would not be available?
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