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 27, 18, 11:21 pm
  #346  
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Originally Posted by Sariellet View Post
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?
Not that I am aware of. You bought a 7-day Farelock (the longest UA offers, IME), and so you had 7 days. They do also allow you a full refund 24 hours after purchasing the fare, which pretty much adds an 8th day at no extra cost (beyond a loss of credit access for the fare amount while it is pending and before it is refunded). Don't know if pay by cash still exists, but even then, its always been midnight next day, which could give you pretty much 2 days if you timed it just right (i.e. made the purchase just after midnight on day 1, and then would have until day 2 at 11:59pm to pay).

Basically, the most you'll be able to get is by purchasing at the deadline, then using 24 hour flexible rebooking policy to cancel if it doesn't work out. Beyond that which IME is a pretty good length of time to hold a fare, you're out of luck.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 3:56 pm
  #347  
 
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Dynamic Pricing?

From my experience with FareLock, the 3,7 day pricing was always the same: $6.99 for a three day lock $8.99 for a seven day lock regardless of the underlying ticket price. Just checked some random itineraries and it appears UA is now pricing FareLock based on the price of the ticket. For example, a cheap ticket (sub $200 r/t EWR/ORD) is now $10.99 for a 7 day lock. Meanwhile, an expensive ticket ($4,000 r/t EWR/SFO) is now $20.99 for the same 7 day lock. I am not surprised they moved to dynamic pricing (just look at pricing for economy plus seats). They were probably underpricing the product given the daily volatility of fares. UA wants a bigger check if you are lucky enough to hold a low fare beyond 24 hours. Guess someone read a book on the pricing of stock options and decided to put it to use.
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Old Feb 28, 18, 4:20 pm
  #348  
 
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Originally Posted by dkc715 View Post
From my experience with FareLock, the 3,7 day pricing was always the same: $6.99 for a three day lock $8.99 for a seven day lock regardless of the underlying ticket price. Just checked some random itineraries and it appears UA is now pricing FareLock based on the price of the ticket. For example, a cheap ticket (sub $200 r/t EWR/ORD) is now $10.99 for a 7 day lock. Meanwhile, an expensive ticket ($4,000 r/t EWR/SFO) is now $20.99 for the same 7 day lock. I am not surprised they moved to dynamic pricing (just look at pricing for economy plus seats). They were probably underpricing the product given the daily volatility of fares. UA wants a bigger check if you are lucky enough to hold a low fare beyond 24 hours. Guess someone read a book on the pricing of stock options and decided to put it to use.
Yes, I noticed that too. As a reference point: the FareLock I mentioned upthread that I received a refund of was $19.99.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 3:02 pm
  #349  
 
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Question - using miles, if I book a Saver awards ticket for biz class EWR-LHR and use FareLock to save it, and then I don't buy it, I know I will get the miles redeposited in my account, but how about the few hundred dollars tacked on - does that get refunded as well? I know I have the $125 redeposit fee that I will face. Thanks for any advice.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 4:01 pm
  #350  
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Originally Posted by zagat2 View Post

Question - using miles, if I book a Saver awards ticket for biz class EWR-LHR and use FareLock to save it, and then I don't buy it, I know I will get the miles redeposited in my account, but how about the few hundred dollars tacked on - does that get refunded as well? I know I have the $125 redeposit fee that I will face. Thanks for any advice.
The taxes and fees associated with the original ticket will be refunded.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 5:40 pm
  #351  
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Originally Posted by zagat2 View Post
Question - using miles, if I book a Saver awards ticket for biz class EWR-LHR and use FareLock to save it, and then I don't buy it, I know I will get the miles redeposited in my account, but how about the few hundred dollars tacked on - does that get refunded as well? I know I have the $125 redeposit fee that I will face. Thanks for any advice.
Farelock does not make a purchase (unless you set auto-purchase). So if you don't purchase, you will not be charged the miles or taxes in the first place.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 6:01 pm
  #352  
 
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Originally Posted by zagat2 View Post
Question - using miles, if I book a Saver awards ticket for biz class EWR-LHR and use FareLock to save it, and then I don't buy it, I know I will get the miles redeposited in my account, but how about the few hundred dollars tacked on - does that get refunded as well? I know I have the $125 redeposit fee that I will face. Thanks for any advice.
And there is no redeposit fee if you don't buy the Farelock. That is the whole point of paying for a Farelock!
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Old Apr 6, 18, 8:45 am
  #353  
 
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Hello. With Farelock, if I use it to reserve an awards seat using miles for business class saver seat, am I able to reserve my seat before I actually purchase?
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Old Apr 6, 18, 9:38 am
  #354  
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Originally Posted by zagat2 View Post
Hello. With Farelock, if I use it to reserve an awards seat using miles for business class saver seat, am I able to reserve my seat before I actually purchase?
yes
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Old Apr 12, 18, 7:18 am
  #355  
 
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Hello. I have a saver biz awards ticket on Farelock for 7 days. It ends tomorrow but I am still not 100% certain on my plans. Is there a way to extend the Farelock period? And/or the awards ticket is still available at the same mileage level; do I reserve a second ticket at that mileage level and use forelock on that ticket so I gain another few days that way (i.e. have two tickets on hold and let the first one go?) I did reserve the best seat I wanted on the first one, tho... any advice?
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Old Apr 12, 18, 12:29 pm
  #356  
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Originally Posted by zagat2 View Post
Hello. I have a saver biz awards ticket on Farelock for 7 days. It ends tomorrow but I am still not 100% certain on my plans. Is there a way to extend the Farelock period? And/or the awards ticket is still available at the same mileage level; do I reserve a second ticket at that mileage level and use forelock on that ticket so I gain another few days that way (i.e. have two tickets on hold and let the first one go?) I did reserve the best seat I wanted on the first one, tho... any advice?
if you think you will know within 24 hours, you still have the option to purchase at the end and do a few-free refund within 24 hours.

Honestly, letting you hold for 7 days is pretty generous (even with a fee). Rightly so, no way to extend. You can always set up and pay for a new 7 day farelock, if the saver award is still available, but make sure you cancel the old one right after. This thread has reports of UA canceling reservations when one has more than one farelock with the same flight in it.
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Old Apr 16, 18, 3:42 am
  #357  
 
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Exclamation reservation disappear during FareLock period ... ends well ..

This is just to share what just happened to me and the helpful way United made it right ..
Last friday i booked a ticket and picked the 7 day farelock option ... all looked ok ..
The reservation appeared in my reservations on united.com and on the app ... with the 7day countdown in progress ... and my credit card company showed the farelock fee was charged.

on sunday morning as i was checking another reservation i noticed it was gone ... no trace of it ... gone on the app as well .. when i tried pulling it with the reservation number i got back that no segments were associated with this reservation.
at that point i tried to rebuild the reservation to see if the price i got locked on friday was still around ... it wasnt and if the seats i had booked were still available ...they were open for picking which confirmed that something wrong had happened to my booking.

i called the 1k desk and they very quickly identified that something had gone wrong although they could not tell what ... as i wasnt ready to buy the ticket they managed to re-create the reservation (new res #), honor the fare i had, restart the balance of the lock period , and refunded the farelock fee for the inconvenience ....
All in all it took 10minutes and i was back with my reservation ... Thanks United :-)

The lesson for me is that somehow reservation can diseappear but it is good to know that United can force/re-instate pretty much everything in this type of situation ... (the only thing they may not have been able to rescue would be the seats if they had been picked up by someone else)

Has anyone experienced situation like this ? any idea what may have happened behind the scene ?

Last edited by pbr6891; Apr 16, 18 at 3:48 am Reason: typos
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Old Apr 16, 18, 5:53 am
  #358  
 
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Do you have conflict reservation hold or booked with the disappeared one involved?
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Old Apr 16, 18, 6:37 am
  #359  
 
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There have been reports of this happening in a very small amount of FareLock reservations littered throughout this forum that I've read in the past year or two. In all of them (at least that I recall), as long as your FareLock time is not expired, UA will work wonders to give you that fare that you rightly have, should you want it.

But, once that time is expired, no matter what has happened, they do not give you that fare (as they shouldn't).

As for the "what happened", no one knows
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Old Apr 16, 18, 9:33 am
  #360  
 
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Same happend to me. Chose a 7 day farelock last Wednesday, and it was gone by Saturday. Web support was about to reconstruct for me, but i started looking and the fare had come down for the trip, so I simply booked a new ticket and was refunded the farelock amount.
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