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United Airlines- how to change name on a ticket?

United Airlines- how to change name on a ticket?

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Old Jun 15, 13, 8:16 pm
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Exclamation United Airlines- how to change name on a ticket?

Hello!

i have an issue where my family is traveling to Europe in a few weeks, but one member of my family may not be able to travel due to a medical condition. We may have to change the name on the ticket so someone else can go in their place.

I know this is very difficult to do, but was wondering how anybody else has done it in the past. Also, we are more than willing to pay the change fee and the difference in fares. Would this swing United to allow us to change the name?
What is everyone's experience with this?
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Old Jun 15, 13, 9:58 pm
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Abigail,

Welcome to Flyertalk. You posed your question in a forum regarding administration of the bulletin board, so as to get the proper eyeballs, I'll move it to one dedicated to United.

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Old Jun 15, 13, 10:07 pm
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Originally Posted by aabigail View Post
Hello!

i have an issue where my family is traveling to Europe in a few weeks, but one member of my family may not be able to travel due to a medical condition. We may have to change the name on the ticket so someone else can go in their place.

I know this is very difficult to do, but was wondering how anybody else has done it in the past. Also, we are more than willing to pay the change fee and the difference in fares. Would this swing United to allow us to change the name?
What is everyone's experience with this?
Never have done this but I think it's going to end up costing some $$ since you're essentially cancelling the ticket and rebooking it using whatever credit may be due after the cancellation fee....plus the original fare may not be available now.
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Old Jun 15, 13, 10:31 pm
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Welcome to FT, aabigail
Originally Posted by aabigail View Post
....We may have to change the name on the ticket so someone else can go in their place. .....
Sorry for the bad news but it can not be done other than to cancel the unneeded ticket and purchasing a new ticket in the new name. Offering to pay more than the standard change fee will make not difference.

A second piece of bad news is the cancelled ticket credit can not directly be used to purchase the new ticket. With some effort, some it can be used but first you must buy a minimal ticket in the first traveler's name and get a separate credit for the price difference. The airlines are serious about non-refundable terms.

However there is some potential better news. It the medical issue can be documented by a medical profession, then UA will reduce the cancellation fee to $50 and potentially if a long-term issue provide a real refund vs a future ticket credit.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jun 15, 13 at 10:42 pm Reason: medical refund
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Old Jun 15, 13, 10:37 pm
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Changing names on tickets is generally not allowed. You're only realistic option is to just pay for a new one and see what refund you can get on the old one. You can not just change the name. It's all part of the fare rules. This is in no way UA specific btw. It's just how it works.

This is one of those cases where anything on flyer talk or any site will NOT change that. It's a risk taken booking a non refundable fare. You can't change the name on the ticket. You have to buy a new ticket if the person changes.
FlyingNone likes this.

Last edited by grahampros; Jun 15, 13 at 11:00 pm
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Old Jun 16, 13, 12:37 am
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Sorry, but sadly it is not like buying a ticket to a sporting event. Once the ticket is issued in one person's name, they are stuck. As mentioned above, you will have to cancel that ticket and have another one re-issued for the new passenger. You would think since a body is sitting in that seat that it is no loss for the airline and they are double dipping since they will resell that seat, but this is the current state of affairs.

Good luck
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Old Jun 16, 13, 8:46 am
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It's generally not "very difficult to do", it's usually "impossible to do" for various reasons. Your best case scenario is probably: refund the ticket (get a voucher for the remaining ticket value after the change fee, if any, is taken out, and get a new ticket for the new person traveling (which could be more expensive, if you are looking for a nonrefundable discounted ticket and the lowest fares are already taken up). The lightest touch will be if you can document and get the fee reduced to $50 as explained by WineCountryUA, if that is UA's policy.

Alternative scenarios: high value ticket that is completely refundable (usually to the method of payment for the ticket), usually available on highest fare buckets only.

The ticket is from a fare bucket that has listed reasons for refundablility (e.g. illness or death) in the detailed fare rules. This may still require a change fee.

When the ticket was purchased, so was the trip cancellation and interruption insurance offered at the time, or perhaps from another provider, such as through insuremytrip.com, in which case the ticket is refunded as the first scenario and the nonrefundable or change fee is claimed to the insurance company.

None of it is trouble-free; it will require a bit of work on your part, but this is pretty much the range of your options (and if there are others, I am sure this being FlyerTalk others will be adding those). Good luck!

Originally Posted by aabigail View Post
Hello!

i have an issue where my family is traveling to Europe in a few weeks, but one member of my family may not be able to travel due to a medical condition. We may have to change the name on the ticket so someone else can go in their place.

I know this is very difficult to do, but was wondering how anybody else has done it in the past. Also, we are more than willing to pay the change fee and the difference in fares. Would this swing United to allow us to change the name?
What is everyone's experience with this?
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Old Jun 16, 13, 10:46 am
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I guess the OP could hope for a schedule change (not a reach depending on route) and then beg for a refund because of it but it would take a pretty serious change to make that case. Again, a long shot at best but considering a lack of other good options, might be worth hoping for.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 10:47 am
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Thanks everyone! I know how impossible this can be.

So can someone answer me this:

If at the last minute she is unable to go, and we call to cancel the ticket and get a voucher for the remaining cost - the change fee, and THEN book her on a cheap one-way flight someone, will the remaining value of the voucher be free to use on a third party? I've heard of this working.

Also- how long would it take to be able to use such voucher. Could they process all of this in a day or two?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 16, 13, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
get a voucher for the remaining ticket value after the change fee, if any, is taken out
Actually, the fee has to be paid in new money when the credit is used, it is not taken out from the residual value.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by aabigail View Post
Thanks everyone! I know how impossible this can be.

So can someone answer me this:

If at the last minute she is unable to go, and we call to cancel the ticket and get a voucher for the remaining cost - the change fee, and THEN book her on a cheap one-way flight someone, will the remaining value of the voucher be free to use on a third party? I've heard of this working.

Also- how long would it take to be able to use such voucher. Could they process all of this in a day or two?

Thanks!
Yes, you are correct, this pretty much can be done, but as the other poster suggested, you might be charged the change fee and given full credit for the flight.

I would suggest going to the airport on the day of your flight and requesting in person for the flight cancellation. More than once the checkin agent has been able to do it for free for me and request that I won't be charged a cancel fee. You can take proof of the medical conditions if need be.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by sahiljain22 View Post
Yes, you are correct, this pretty much can be done, but as the other poster suggested, you might be charged the change fee and given full credit for the flight.

I would suggest going to the airport on the day of your flight and requesting in person for the flight cancellation. More than once the checkin agent has been able to do it for free for me and request that I won't be charged a cancel fee. You can take proof of the medical conditions if need be.
Two points here. Yes it might work to waive the cancellation fee if you show up at the airport with medical documentation of the reason for non travel. But again it wont be just giving the ticket over to another person. The refund or credit will process back to the original passenger. 2, No you cant use the "credit" for the old ticket via voucher for another person. Any credit would either be refunded to the original form of payment or if issued as a voucher only the person on the original ticket could use that.





There seems to be a need here to not put any additional cash or transaction into this. Not gonna happen. Another person going, the money on a new ticket will have to be paid. There is no way around that. Does not matter the final resolution on the first ticket for the original traveler, you will have to come up for the money on the new passenger.

Bottom line, if another person goes, it will be a completely separate transaction you will have to pay with new cash. The final resolution of the traveler not able to go will have no bearing on that.

Last edited by grahampros; Jun 16, 13 at 12:26 pm
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Old Jun 16, 13, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
Two points here. Yes it might work to waive the cancellation fee if you show up at the airport with medical documentation of the reason for non travel. But again it wont be just giving the ticket over to another person. The refund or credit will process back to the original passenger. 2, No you cant use the "credit" for the old ticket via voucher for another person. Any credit would either be refunded to the original form of payment or if issued as a voucher only the person on the original ticket could use that.

There seems to be a need here to not put any additional cash or transaction into this. Not gonna happen. Another person going, the money on a new ticket will have to be paid. There is no way around that. Does not matter the final resolution on the first ticket for the original traveler, you will have to come up for the money on the new passenger.
This advice is not completely correct -- as the OP ask

Originally Posted by aabigail View Post
..
If at the last minute she is unable to go, and we call to cancel the ticket and get a voucher for the remaining cost - the change fee, and THEN book her on a cheap one-way flight someone, will the remaining value of the voucher be free to use on a third party? ...
Yes this process will free up a portion of the original fare to be used by anyone (minus the change fee minus the cheap replacement ticket) and the third party usable voucher should be useable in minutes (and hour at the most). I have done this and the voucher was available in 5-10 minutes.
One concern for the OP is a walkup last minute fare tends to be very expensive. Better to do this sooner.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 12:54 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
This advice is not completely correct -- as the OP ask


Yes this process will free up a portion of the original fare to be used by anyone (minus the change fee minus the cheap replacement ticket) and the third party usable voucher should be useable in minutes (and hour at the most). I have done this and the voucher was available in 5-10 minutes.
One concern for the OP is a walkup last minute fare tends to be very expensive. Better to do this sooner.
If done in the US it's really not gonna work that way. You will be given two choices.. the 1st is unlikely but could happen with documentation. 1. Refund to original form of payment. 2. Credit for the originally ticketed traveler in the future.
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Old Jun 16, 13, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
If done in the US it's really not gonna work that way. You will be given two choices.. the 1st is unlikely but could happen with documentation. 1. Refund to original form of payment. 2. Credit for the originally ticketed traveler in the future.
I don't think you're understanding. Re-read the suggested procedure. It opens up a voucher that anyone can use. Many of us have done it.
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