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 Oct 1, 19, 9:53 am
  #406  
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Originally Posted by slickvik View Post
Iím seeing farelock on itineraries with other carriers involved. Is this a new thing?
either that, or a bug.

are the partner flights codeshares with a UA flight number, or marketed by the partner as well?
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Old Oct 1, 19, 4:41 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
either that, or a bug.

are the partner flights codeshares with a UA flight number, or marketed by the partner as well?
Copa but not marketed as UA flights
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Old Oct 19, 19, 2:01 pm
  #408  
 
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Farelock as a prediction tool

Hi all, has anyone tried using Farelock as a prediction tool? As in: "If farelock is offered, then you know the price of the flight is not going to go down in the x days". United knows whether pricing is going to go down or up within a 7 day period, so they don't offer it otherwise.
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Old Oct 19, 19, 2:51 pm
  #409  
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Originally Posted by eagle007 View Post
Hi all, has anyone tried using Farelock as a prediction tool? As in: "If farelock is offered, then you know the price of the flight is not going to go down in the x days". United knows whether pricing is going to go down or up within a 7 day period, so they don't offer it otherwise.
That is not the way fares or farelock works.

The most common reason you see a fare price change is a fare class inventory goes to zero and the new price is due to a higher-priced fare class -- it is not the airline changing the "pricing" for the present fare class.

Farelock may not be offered if the fare rule expires or will not meet advance purchased requirements.
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Old Oct 19, 19, 3:54 pm
  #410  
 
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I'm not that much a fan of FareLock anymore, but when I was, I saw fares going both up and down with an active FareLock for the same itinerary. As WineCountryUA pointed out, this was due to changing availability.

I've even seen fares going up because of the FareLock itself. FareLock creates an unticketed reservation in the system, for which it does pull inventory.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 4:13 pm
  #411  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
That is not the way fares or farelock works.

The most common reason you see a fare price change is a fare class inventory goes to zero and the new price is due to a higher-priced fare class -- it is not the airline changing the "pricing" for the present fare class.

Farelock may not be offered if the fare rule expires or will not meet advance purchased requirements.
That's interesting, I thought the distribution was more like 60% fare bucket being used and 40% fare changing - esp as you get in that 6 week window. You would know, so you're saying it is more like 80% inventory being used?
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Old Oct 27, 19, 4:25 pm
  #412  
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Originally Posted by eagle007 View Post
That's interesting, I thought the distribution was more like 60% fare bucket being used and 40% fare changing - esp as you get in that 6 week window. You would know, so you're saying it is more like 80% inventory being used?
i donít think anyone can tell you that. There are many reasons fares change. Sometimes, the airline sells out of the inventory and so goes to the next bucket. Sometimes, they sell the inventory, then replace it so the same fare re-appears. Sometimes, they add or pull a fare, in either a higher or lower bucket, meaning the fare goes up or down. Sometimes there is inventory, but not a fare filed, then they do. Sometimes, there is a fare filed but no inventory. Sometimes, inventory is available on a nonstop but not when Ďmarriedí from your origin - sometimes itís the opposite. Many reasons fares can go up or down, and Im sure the data could be pulled to give an aggregate percentage, but Iíd guess it wouldnít mean anything in practice since itís going to vary so much by route, date, etc.

in other words, fares/inventory change all the time, for various reasons. Farelock is not going to be a predictor of any of this. IME, anyway, farelock is pretty consistently offered at booking as long as itís all UA/UAX metal.
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Old Oct 27, 19, 4:57 pm
  #413  
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Originally Posted by eagle007 View Post
That's interesting, I thought the distribution was more like 60% fare bucket being used and 40% fare changing - esp as you get in that 6 week window. You would know, so you're saying it is more like 80% inventory being used?
What do you mean by "fare changing"? Fares will rise as you pass through the various AP requirements. Apart from changes attributable to that, within six weeks of departure is when you are even more likely to see inventory driven changes.
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