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 Apr 19, 18, 5:51 pm
  #376  
 
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Originally Posted by z28lt1 View Post
In my case, I had a single Farelock. It was for a reservation in my name. I had ticketed (not using farelock - using miles) the same exactl flights for others (but not me). I had only a single Farelock, with nothing conflicting in my name.
Based on this, I don't know what triggered flight firming. What about the ticketed reservations in your name though, would any of them form an "illogical" combination with the FareLock?

Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post

Not sure where you came up with the “all reports” comment. I didn’t have anything booked for the week in question other than the trip I used Farelock for.
I don't want to chalk this off to a serious IT issue too soon (although yours could have been a Saturday shenanigan). While IT has issues, randomly "losing reservations" isn't one of the things that are frequently reported here (luckily). If a reservation gets "lost," it's because it was canceled for some reason. The fact that there is no ticket associated with a Farelock probably doesn't help to trace the reason for the cancelation.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 6:06 pm
  #377  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
All reports seem to have something in common: duplicate/conflicting/parallel Farelocks or multiple Farelocks segments that together form an "illogical" combination or look like they are reserved with no intention of flying. That's something that really should be avoided. Flight firming will detect this and won't think twice about canceling them.

Note that this includes reservations with connections that depart before the arrival of an inbound flight.
Seems like overlapping/conflicting flight farelocks should be allowed, notwithstanding farlock's technical treatment as a 'real' reservation.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 6:27 pm
  #378  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
Based on this, I don't know what triggered flight firming. What about the ticketed reservations in your name though, would any of them form an "illogical" combination with the FareLock?



I don't want to chalk this off to a serious IT issue too soon (although yours could have been a Saturday shenanigan). While IT has issues, randomly "losing reservations" isn't one of the things that are frequently reported here (luckily). If a reservation gets "lost," it's because it was canceled for some reason. The fact that there is no ticket associated with a Farelock probably doesn't help to trace the reason for the cancelation.
Obviously I have no data to support what happened, but the web support agent I spoke with said I wasn't the first she had heard of. Having utilized Farelock maybe 50 times this was the first time my trip disappeared.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 8:02 pm
  #379  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
Based on this, I don't know what triggered flight firming. What about the ticketed reservations in your name though, would any of them form an "illogical" combination with the FareLock?
Other than the Farelock, I had no other reservations in my name anywhere. I strongly suspect it was due to the tickets acquired with miles from my account for others not in my name -- after all, I can see those tickets under "my reservations", even though they are for other people, with their own names and own mileage plus numbers.
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Old Apr 19, 18, 9:50 pm
  #380  
 
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Seems like overlapping/conflicting flight farelocks should be allowed, notwithstanding farlock's technical treatment as a 'real' reservation.
Used to be that way, but we have now several reports of duplicate segments being canceled. Flight firming does seem to prefer canceling unticketed segments over ticketed segments, so, for now, it doesn't seem to harm reservations paid for with miles or money that's not just the Farelock fee.

Originally Posted by z28lt1 View Post
Other than the Farelock, I had no other reservations in my name anywhere. I strongly suspect it was due to the tickets acquired with miles from my account for others not in my name -- after all, I can see those tickets under "my reservations", even though they are for other people, with their own names and own mileage plus numbers.
Yeah, it shouldn't consider them duplicate in this case. Maybe it flags a false positive because it is aware that award reservations can be canceled with little to no penalty, but I would be amazed if the software would be that advanced, not to mention that it is a bad assumption to begin with. Or it is because the reservations are all associated with your account, but that would be a serious bug. We'll probably find out more bit-by-bit as new reports pour in.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 6:55 am
  #381  
 
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It is actually quite simple. You publish rules for farelock so people know what the game is. You keep a record and don't pretend to the passenger that it is the first you heard of it. You explain the policy to your reservations staff. You keep a record. You don't just venally pull the res and erase all traces of it. There are perfectly good and legitimate reasons why people use it. Plans change, Schedules are in the air. To be able to hedge is a good service. I scheduled one locked a trip. Things came up. I hedged a trip a week later until things settled. When the first one expired they took down the second with it I suspect due to the overlap on one flight. This is incompetence and dishonesty. I called the res people and they immediately referred me to IT hell where they were astonished this could happen and spent too much time correcting it. How is that cost effective and how is that customer service. United has a serious attitude problem.

Last edited by iquitos; May 3, 18 at 2:56 pm
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Old Apr 26, 18, 3:05 pm
  #382  
 
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Originally Posted by iquitos View Post
To be able to hedge is a good service.
FareLock is marketed as a fare reservation with a deferred purchase of a ticket to facilitate finalizing your travel plans. The clear expectation is that you will either complete your ticket purchase later or that you will cancel the FareLock and reserve a new itinerary (FareLock'ed or not) if your plans change. It is not marketed as an aid in speculating on multiple itineraries for the same travel plan, as this stage of planning would not be considered as the finalization stage.

From the UA product description: "United’s FareLock service lets you hold your reserved fare for three or seven days, so you can complete your ticket purchase later. Enjoy peace of mind that the price of your itinerary won't go up and that the flight won't sell out while you take your time with your purchase."

Additionally, from the FareLock FAQ:
"What is the benefit of the FareLock service? [...] This allows time to finalize your travel plans [...]"
"How can I change my flights after purchasing the FareLock service? [...] You may cancel your FareLock hold and choose new flights if your plans change. [...]"
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Old May 1, 18, 4:29 pm
  #383  
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Originally Posted by iquitos View Post
There are perfectly good and legitimate reasons why people use it. Plans change, Schedules are in the air. To be able to hedge is a good service. I scheduled one locked a trip. Things came up.
Please know that many of us completely agree with you. Further, we vehemently disagree that FareLock constitutes a reservation. However, we choose not to engage in a tit-for-tat on that topic. Nevertheless, watch, someone will attempt to drag me in. Not happening.

RNE, agreeing with you.
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Old May 1, 18, 5:32 pm
  #384  
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Originally Posted by RNE View Post
...Further, we vehemently disagree that FareLock constitutes a reservation. .....
What you or I think matters little on this, what matters is what UA thinks, the provider of this service. Here is a small sampling of their thoughts

FareLock® lets you hold your reserved fare and complete the purchase of your itinerary at a later time.
FareLock allows you to reserve an itinerary and then complete your purchase later.
To purchase an itinerary that's being held with FareLock, go to Manage Reservations on united.com before the hold expires.
FareLock 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.
Customers may choose to have their reservations automatically purchased at the end of the FareLock hold period.
What do I do if I no longer want my FareLock reservation?
FareLock is available for reservations booked through united.com,
Reservations that are held with FareLock and subsequently ticketed may be changed or refunded in accordance with United's 24-hour flexible booking policy
Little doubt of how UA positions this, you are free to disagree but UA writes and enforces their rules.
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Old May 1, 18, 6:10 pm
  #385  
 
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It is beyond obvious that a Farelock is a reservation, albeit one you haven't yet paid for, which hasn't yet been ticketed, and which is cancelable. You have reserved a specific fare at a specific price on a specific flight, and can even reserve your seat! If a Farelock isn't a reservation, then what on earth is it?
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Old Jun 12, 18, 6:44 pm
  #386  
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as anyone reversed engineered the farelock fee?

Is it based on the airfare? Domestic vs long haul? Cabin? Days until departure?
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Old Jun 17, 18, 12:12 pm
  #387  
 
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Can you call and get a companion's farelocked seat changed to E+? I use farelock fairly often when I see something that *might* represent the bottom price. About half the time it works out, half the time I cancel. I've not yet tried, on a farelocked reservation, to move someone up to E+ with me. That might be considered a bit much; technically, I don't think the rules allow someone not on the same itin to be moved next to you, although I've not once had an issue with that. Thanks-
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Old Jun 17, 18, 1:27 pm
  #388  
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
Can you call and get a companion's farelocked seat changed to E+? I use farelock fairly often when I see something that *might* represent the bottom price. About half the time it works out, half the time I cancel. I've not yet tried, on a farelocked reservation, to move someone up to E+ with me. That might be considered a bit much; technically, I don't think the rules allow someone not on the same itin to be moved next to you, although I've not once had an issue with that. Thanks-
why not just wait until the ticket is purchased and do it then?
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Old Jun 17, 18, 10:39 pm
  #389  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post


why not just wait until the ticket is purchased and do it then?
Because the adjacent seat might not be available then. :-)
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Old Aug 23, 18, 6:27 pm
  #390  
 
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FareLock Time Changes???

So this is my first time flying with united and using farelock. I did a 7 day lock for a roundtrip from Nashville to San Francisco. I'm located in Georgia. I locked the fare at about noon today 8/23..Well my confirmation email says it will end at 12pm on 8/30, but I went online and also looked at the reservation a few hours later on the official website and it says the lock will expire at 4:08pm on the 8/30. But then I also looked on my app and it says it will lock at 11:08am on 8/30..Which one do I go by???

I even called United and the agent said the information she was given from her support said the 4:08pm on 8/30 was the correct one, and I inquired if it was central time(nashville) or eastern(Georgia) and she said nashville time.

All I know is I'm very confused about how to time paying for my reservation on the 30th. Anyone else have these problems?

Last edited by Bellaw0730; Aug 23, 18 at 7:48 pm
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