Farelock - Questions/Answers/Experiences

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Old Oct 19, 19, 5:54 am   -   Wikipost
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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 Allianceģ 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 Jan 26, 18, 8:10 pm
  #316  
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Originally Posted by KosherKimchee View Post
(2) still keep my money is a deceptive business practice if I ever heard of one.
Sorry, how long ago did this cancellation occur? You posted this last night. Refunds to a card typically take a week or so to appear once they are processed by a merchant - typically a minimum of 3 business days (most of this basically a result of the bank process).

Did someone from UA confirm that the charge wasnít refunded? Or are you guesssing since you donít see your refund on a card right away? Certainly possible it could be in the process of being refunded.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 8:54 pm
  #317  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post


Sorry, how long ago did this cancellation occur?
It's been a week. Have not called United to ask for the 8.99 (incorrectly said 7.99 above) back mostly because my time is worth more than $9 bucks for what will be 10-15 minutes. Unfortunately, I think UA might be counting on that time/money analysis by its customers. $200 bucks we all call in. $8.99, forgetaboutit.

I'll give another few days, then call UA (if it doesn't auto credit) and then report back -- will justify waste of my time to do empirical research for the FT community.
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Old Jan 26, 18, 10:05 pm
  #318  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
I see 2 possible interpretations
I just looked at this more, and I think the thing here is that 'making the reservation' is not the same thing as 'purchasing a reservation' (e.g. ticketing). Making a reservation does not bind you to the CoC, but in your analysis you're assuming it does. This is supported both by the language on the final confirmation page for FareLock:

Purchase of FareLock means you understand and agree to all of the program ​rules. If you choose to purchase this reservation, you understand and agree to all of the fare rules​ associated with this non-refundable ticket, United’s dangerous goods policy, and the terms and conditions in​ United's Contract of Carriage​, and the collection, processing and transfer of your information to the United States for handling in accordance with our privacy policy.

and in the CoC itself, which says at the very top

By purchasing a ticket or accepting transportation, the passenger agrees to be bound by these controlling terms of this Contract of Carriage, and no covenants at law or in equity shall be implied or incorporated.

In the case of FareLock, you're not accepting transportation, and you're not purchasing a ticket. Therefore, you meet neither of the conditions for which the CoC would apply, and thus section 5H is moot. The only thing that does apply is the UA terms of service and the FareLock terms and conditions, which doesn't prohibit multiple FareLocks on conflicting flights.

FWIW, interesting discussion. I'd be very curious to see what United lawyers say, and if they try to defend the cancellation of multiple overlapping reservations when none have been ticketed. Pretty sure they'd be in the wrong if they tried, although (as KosherKimchee says) I have trouble getting worked up over $8.99. @KosherKimchee hopefully you'll report back on what customer service says, and if they deny it, hopefully you'll file a DOT complaint so we can get an official response from somebody in United Legal.

P.S. Does anybody know of any other US airlines that have FareLock type systems? Very curious to see what they their terms say. AFAIK though, DL, AA, AS and WN don't do this.
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Old Jan 27, 18, 8:22 am
  #319  
 
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Originally Posted by dordal View Post
which doesn't prohibit multiple FareLocks on conflicting flights.
True, but the T&C doesn't offer any protection with regards to the space you reserved either. FareLock gives you a reserved fare for seven days. ATPCO defines "fare" on their glossary page: it doesn't include a reservation of space.

With this in mind, UA is free to cancel your segments for whatever reason or no reason, as you are not entitled to them. If canceling the segments means that your reserved fare - to which you are entitled - becomes unavailable to you, they should refund the FareLock service charge, similar to how the cancelation of a ticketed reservation by the carrier is cause for a refund.

Arguing the contrary would be arguing that someone who pays a FareLock charge of $10 would somehow enjoy a more protected reservation than someone who purchases a ticket that costs $10k, which wouldn't make sense.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 10:15 am
  #320  
 
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Bomb failed to cancel an expired FareLock and decided the best course of action was to lock the fare for an additional year.



Unfortunately, the Purchase link disappeared, so I now just have one year left to cancel the FareLock manually. The seat assignments are still active though.

Last edited by mozilla; Jan 29, 18 at 10:20 am
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Old Jan 30, 18, 6:35 pm
  #321  
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Have not tested this but is farelock for a business fare more expensive or the same as an economy farelock?
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Old Jan 30, 18, 6:58 pm
  #322  
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Pretty sure it's the same.
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Old Jan 31, 18, 9:23 am
  #323  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
Bomb failed to cancel an expired FareLock and decided the best course of action was to lock the fare for an additional year.



Unfortunately, the Purchase link disappeared, so I now just have one year left to cancel the FareLock manually. The seat assignments are still active though.
I've seen this before, although it's been a while. After a few days, it cleared itself.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 8:57 pm
  #324  
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Anyone ever buy a farelock ticket after expiration?

I put a reservation on 7 day hold last Thursday morning 8:47 am CST, confirmation email showed as "Your FareLockSM reservation is being held until 9:00 a.m. Thursday, February 01, 2018. " Both the website and app showed this same deadline. Two days ago I got word the trip wouldn't be needed, so I just let it expire. Then this afternoon just before 2 pm CST, I got word I needed to travel after all. Of course, by now the price is $200+ more. Just to see, I went to united.com and was able to pull up the reservation, which was showing time to expiration 0:00.

So I clicked purchase. It let me complete the transaction, at the original price, and I have a receipt and a ticket number.

It's not a time zone issue, the flight cities are CST & EST.

Just a one-time glitch, or do these not always expire as scheduled?
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Old Feb 1, 18, 9:50 pm
  #325  
 
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
Anyone ever buy a farelock ticket after expiration?
I've seen the same thing happen, although I couldn't now say how much after official expiration time that was. IIRC only about 6 hours or so.
The initial time and the countdown clock is more of a sympathetic guide as opposed to being absolute.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 10:19 pm
  #326  
 
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
Anyone ever buy a farelock ticket after expiration?

I put a reservation on 7 day hold last Thursday morning 8:47 am CST, confirmation email showed as "Your FareLockSM reservation is being held until 9:00 a.m. Thursday, February 01, 2018. " Both the website and app showed this same deadline. Two days ago I got word the trip wouldn't be needed, so I just let it expire. Then this afternoon just before 2 pm CST, I got word I needed to travel after all. Of course, by now the price is $200+ more. Just to see, I went to united.com and was able to pull up the reservation, which was showing time to expiration 0:00.

So I clicked purchase. It let me complete the transaction, at the original price, and I have a receipt and a ticket number.

It's not a time zone issue, the flight cities are CST & EST.

Just a one-time glitch, or do these not always expire as scheduled?
maybe the same fare classes were still available?
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Old Feb 3, 18, 10:20 am
  #327  
 
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FareLock FAIL!!!

FareLocked itin yesterday, went to screenshot to send to fellow travelers this am, the return leg had fallen off and the itin was no longer showing the PURCHASE NOW button.

whst is the point of FareLock if itís not dependable? Anyone else ever see similar?



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Old Feb 3, 18, 10:43 am
  #328  
 
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Did you call United reservations to see what they have to say?
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Old Feb 3, 18, 11:41 am
  #329  
 
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I'd call. FareLock has been acting up lately.

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Old Feb 3, 18, 4:01 pm
  #330  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
Did you call United reservations to see what they have to say?
I didn't initially have time to call so just did another FareLock for same flight to insure I got the price.

Went to call just now and noticed now the entire initial FareLock is gone. Called and they said I cancelled it via the website. CLASSIC!!!! I didn't touch it.

Anyway they reinstated the original FareLock, said no refunds, and now I'm keeping both. I've got the first option with my preferred seats, and another with an extra 28 hours to decide. And I have two chances at them not glitching it out again. Worth $9 in my opinion.

ZERO confidence in United. Just made 1K this year thru a bunch of $129 TOD upgrades in 2017. I'll probably just let that go and minimize my flying. Total waste.
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