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 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 5, 18, 5:30 am
  #331  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Originally Posted by BeeeJay View Post
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.
Yes, flight firming will auto-cancel duplicate FareLock reservations (multiple reservations on identical flight segments for the same traveler). It will generally cancel the oldest reservations. This has been the subject of discussion just a few posts above.

If reservations reinstated the original FareLock, I'd be pretty concerned about flight firming just canceling the segments again a few hours later, except if they protected the reservations somehow.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 7:10 pm
  #332  
 
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Can I change the name of traveler or dob on a farelock held fare? I fat fingered my own information in.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 7:13 pm
  #333  
 
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Originally Posted by ferric View Post
Can I change the name of traveler or dob on a farelock held fare? I fat fingered my own information in.
Just change it after. If it's a little change here or there, should be no issues whatsoever.
Now if it's a major change, like from John Doe to Jane Smith, you might have some problems.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 6:52 pm
  #334  
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I have an itin showing up as a farelocked trip right now in my list of reservations.

I never farelocked it; I had done a search, selected flights, then abandoned it prior to purchase.

It shows as farelocked for 364 days and some change, with no actual ability to "Purchase Now." Definitely indicative of bugs in the system at the moment.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 12:58 pm
  #335  
 
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United recently had a sale to Europe so I did a 7 day farelock for 4 people. It turns out one of those 4 can't go. Is there a way to only purchase 3 of the tickets? The price has since substantially increased so buying all 4 would be significantly cheaper than buying 3 at the current price but I'd still rather not waste $485 on a ticket I'll never use.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 4:07 pm
  #336  
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Originally Posted by catbox9 View Post
United recently had a sale to Europe so I did a 7 day farelock for 4 people. It turns out one of those 4 can't go. Is there a way to only purchase 3 of the tickets? The price has since substantially increased so buying all 4 would be significantly cheaper than buying 3 at the current price but I'd still rather not waste $485 on a ticket I'll never use.
You will probably need an agent to do this.

Or alternatively, book all 4 and use the free cancellation in 24 hours to cancel the 4th.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 4:21 pm
  #337  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
You will probably need an agent to do this.

Or alternatively, book all 4 and use the free cancellation in 24 hours to cancel the 4th.
That's what I figured and was hoping to hear. I just wanted to make sure there's not some fine print that says you have to buy every ticket that's farelocked not just some of them.
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Old Feb 9, 18, 3:11 pm
  #338  
 
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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?
I had the same thing except I went through the process of purchasing but just as I was about to confirm it I decided to see what the current fare is. I opened up another browser tab and did the search and found a much cheaper flight with a different routing. I purchased the new flight and closed the Farelock tab. Today I noticed that reservation is still there so I opened it up and I now have a Farelock that is going to expire in 364 days, 2 hours, 12 minutes. That would be a truly useful Farelock except it expires 11.5 months after the flight departs.
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Old Feb 13, 18, 9:44 pm
  #339  
 
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Does anyone know of a way to slightly extend the time to make a purchase after using Farelock?

Last week I found an incredibly good price for a trip which I may or may not need to make. The price was by far the lowest I have ever seen for this itinerary and this trip is now listed for over twice the cost that I saw last week.

Knowing that it was an exceptionally good price, I reserved it with a 7-day Farelock that expires at midnight tonight. I should know for sure if I need to take the trip by Thursday afternoon at the latest, and I may well know sooner. The problem is that this is past the 24-hour cancel period.

Is it possible to do things like select "pay by cash" after Farelock to get an extra 24-hours or so?
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Old Feb 25, 18, 3:02 pm
  #340  
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Redacted

Last edited by kklems; Feb 27, 18 at 11:17 am
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Old Feb 26, 18, 5:10 pm
  #341  
 
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Double booking issue - United IT getting cunning?

I have a confirmed RT reservation:
XXX-YYY depart April 8, and
YYY-XXX return April 17

Due to possibly having to stay longer at YYY I farelocked:
XXX-YYY depart April 8, and
YYY-XXX return April 29

The farelock confirmation email shows the above information, BUT when I go into my reservations it only shows:
YYY-XXX on April 29 basically as a one-way???

There also doesn't seem to be an option to actually buy the ticket, only cancel it?

Odd.
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Old Feb 26, 18, 8:47 pm
  #342  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
The farelock confirmation email shows the above information, BUT when I go into my reservations it only shows:
YYY-XXX on April 29 basically as a one-way???
My guess is that a flight firming sweep automatically canceled your duplicate reservation segment(s). Per the CoC, UA reserves the right to cancel reservations - and a FareLock is a reservation pending ticketing - 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. Please see posts above for similar reports and for a more in-depth discussion.

Originally Posted by narvik View Post
There also doesn't seem to be an option to actually buy the ticket, only cancel it?
What is left of your FareLock reservation most likely no longer adheres to the rules of the fare you've chosen. As a result, it can no longer be validated for ticketing, and the remaining segment(s) will also cancel when your FareLock expires or when you decide to cancel the FareLock, whichever comes earlier.

Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Odd.
There have been no reports of automatic refunds of the FareLock charge. If you want to help us out, please do not cancel the remainder of your FareLock but contact UA and ask to reinstate your FareLock reservation and/or for a refund of the FareLock charge (if they decline), and tell us how it went. We have no documented reports on how UA handles these requests, as people just tend to move on and write-off the small loss of the FareLock charge.

Last edited by mozilla; Feb 26, 18 at 9:59 pm
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Old Feb 26, 18, 10:31 pm
  #343  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
If you want to help us out, please do not cancel the remainder of your FareLock but contact UA and ask to reinstate your FareLock reservation and/or for a refund of the FareLock charge (if they decline), and tell us how it went. We have no documented reports on how UA handles these requests, as people just tend to move on and write-off the small loss of the FareLock charge.
Will do.

UPDATE:
I asked for a FareLock refund (as I ended up changing the original flight's return segment). The 1k 1Call person did this without a fuss and it took only a few minutes on the phone.
She confirmed that the segment was dropped from the FareLock reservation because of the system identifying a duplicate reservation.

Summary: they refunded the FareLock amount and cancelled the FareLock on my request.
RNE likes this.

Last edited by narvik; Feb 27, 18 at 1:49 am Reason: update
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Old Feb 27, 18, 5:57 pm
  #344  
 
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Thanks, very useful! I've added this to the wiki.
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Old Feb 27, 18, 6:47 pm
  #345  
 
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Originally Posted by narvik View Post
Will do.

UPDATE:
I asked for a FareLock refund (as I ended up changing the original flight's return segment). The 1k 1Call person did this without a fuss and it took only a few minutes on the phone.
She confirmed that the segment was dropped from the FareLock reservation because of the system identifying a duplicate reservation.

Summary: they refunded the FareLock amount and cancelled the FareLock on my request.
I had a similar issue. I had an award ticket booked for June 11 to June 29 or something. I then found out that I may have to return earlier and found a decent fare so did the fare lock for June 11 to June 19 and one of the four segments was the same as my award booking. When I went to the farelock a couple days ago, that segment was gone. I called and had the award ticket canceled and they reinstated the other segment.
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