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How to get residual/"future flight credit" from non-refundable flight

How to get residual/"future flight credit" from non-refundable flight

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Old May 3, 21, 6:40 am   -   Wikipost
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FFC == "Future Flight Credit"

When re-booking 3-March 2020 purchased tickets, if the new ticket is cheaper you will receive an ETC (good for 24 months); starting April 2021, this is now a new form of FFC
However for tickets purchased 3 March or later, the fare rules now state there is no "residual value" meaning no ETC for the fare drop and if you have to rebook again the credit is just the value of the new ticket.
If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no change fee but must pay the fare difference. If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change without paying a change fee but no residual value will be given.
For pre-1 April 2020 purchased, FFCs will be good for 24 months from the original purchase date
  • New tickets must be reissued within 24 months from original ticket date
  • Rebooked travel must commence within 24 months from the original ticket issue date
And there are no change fees
Change Fees Are Gone For Good

For purchases starting 1-April, the lifetime of FFCs are returning to the traditional 12 months from purchase

In some cases of voluntary cancellations, FFCs may be convertible to ETCs (seems pre 1 August 2020 purchase is a factor) but this can only be requested on the phone and may take days/weeks. This may be a way to avoid the problem of "no residual credit" YMMV


Update 4 April 2020
We’re extending electronic certificates
To give you more flexibility when you travel, electronic certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020.

This policy change will automatically appear, but it may not be reflected everywhere right away. We’d appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.
The below needs to be updated based on the changes above

This wiki discusses the for steps in using the "future flight credit" from a canceled non-refundable ticket. Note this is for the cancellation of an entire ticket -- the process is different for a partial flown ticket

- Note some tickets are non-changeable and have no residual value if not flown:
United's Basic Economy - Discussion, Q&A, ...
New UA/*A TATL -LGT Economy fare - first bag charged, no changes allowed

- Notify UA of the cancellation before the scheduled departure. An absolute must, if not done the entire value will be lost. But see note below about Travel Waivers

- Wait until you are ready to reschedule. When ready you will need to pay a change fee in new money - the fee varies and will depend on the fare rules of the original fare. Note in many cases there is no longer a change fee (BE and flights origining outside the USA may still have a fee)
  • The new ticket must be purchased within 1 years of the original ticket's purchase date (pre-April 2020 purchases receive 2 year FFC)
  • The new ticket will be good for 1 year from the exchange/re-scheduled date and travel must commence prior to the expiration of the original ticket (an exception is if the new travel is just a date change, in this case, a new ticket may not be issued and initial purchase date will still prevail)
  • The new ticket must be for the same named traveler
  • The portion of a ticket purchased with nonrefundable ticket credit will be nonrefundable regardless of the new ticket's fare rules
  • The change fee requires payments of new funds and cannot be funded from the original ticket's value
  • Any fare residual will issued as an ETC valid for one two year.

- If an ETC is issued, all of the funds in it must be used within one twos year of issuance.
  • The ETC can be used by anyone.
  • The one two-year limitation only limits purchasing, not travel - travel may be outside the 1 2-year limit.
  • There are no additional fees to use the ETC
  • The credit voucher can only be used for UA/UX operated flights (workaround - UA Electronic Travel Certificate & Codeshares/partner flights)

To get maximum ETC (or new type FFC), an option is to pay the change fee (if any) and book the cheapest possible OW fare and throw that ticket away -- how to find that cheap fare, see Cheapest possible flight (How do I redeem this flight credit?)

If the reason for the change / cancellation is due to medical issues or death of a close relative, see Consolidated "Refunds/Cancellations Due to Illness/Death" Thread [Merged] for the process to get a refund of the change / redeposit fee.

Other cases for "free" changes are:
1) if the flight is covered on the day of departure by a waiver (WX related or other reasons). Note there may be a limited time frame for the change fee waiver.
2) or by an airline's change in schedule

What if it is 1 year from the original ticket purchase date and I am not ready to buy another United ticket using my canceled ticket's funds? Buy a throwaway ticket on the cheapest fare you can find. United will issue an Electronic Travel Certificate for any unused funds. That ETC is valid for one year from issuance (see https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...policy-34.html). If you do this on the expiry date of your original ticket, you effectively extend the availability of the funds for an additional year at the cost of a throwaway ticket.

What if I purchase a refundable ticket with the credit from the non-refundable ticket, can I then cancel and get a refund? No, the funds from a non-refundable purchase remain non-refundable even if used to purchase a refundable fare.

Cannot find the canceled reservation online?
Go to Manage Reservations and look in both "Current" and "Cancelled" tabs
Find the appropriate reservation and look for "Use Future Flight Credit"

After rebooking a canceled ticket, is there a new 24-hour window for fee changes?
No, the 24-hour flexible change only applies to the original /new booking and does not extend to rebooking of canceled / changed tickets.
United’s 24-hour cancellation / flexible booking policy

What if one leg is a refundable fare and another leg is non-refundable?
For a single ticket, the most restrictive fare rule applies to the entire ticket. So a refundable segment paired with a non-refundable segment makes the entire ticket non-refundable. Same with the change fee, the segment with the highest change fee applies to the entire ticket.

Archive thread: How to get residual/"future flight credit" from non-refundable flight {Archive}

Other related threads
Changing/Canceling/Replacing a ticket costing less than the change fee?
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Old Feb 4, 21, 9:20 pm
  #376  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Believe others have reported otherwise, UA can tell how it was purchased. It would be a way to convert UR to a cash-like instrument -- usable by anyone.

UA will not do a cash refund if a refundable incident occurs - cancelled flight. UA sends you to Chase.

Have you been successful in doing this?

Schedule Change(Back to 2hrs)/Cancelation Refund,New DOT ruling,UA processing refunds
I have been successful with chase in the past (2/3 months ago) and just recently with amex PWP.
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Old Feb 4, 21, 10:01 pm
  #377  
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Originally Posted by Kleinnaf View Post
I have been successful with chase in the past (2/3 months ago) and just recently with amex PWP.
Getting a ETC on a points ticket?
Good datapoint, seems some mixed responses.
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Old Feb 5, 21, 7:51 am
  #378  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Getting a ETC on a points ticket?
Good datapoint, seems some mixed responses.
Yes.

to clarify if UA were to send the refund back to Chase, you'll likely get it as UR (Thats done on chases end.)
With amex it's YMMV, the refund will post as cash however in some cases amex will eventually reverse the charge and deduct the points.

However, if you keep the $ by UA it's 100% a cash booking just have to convince UA to take over the agency booking..
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Old Apr 29, 21, 10:52 pm
  #379  
 
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Just thought I'd throw a DP up here that I bought a UA cash ticket a week ago, and today I wanted to cancel it. The Premier Desk agent said she could not issue or convert the cancelled ticket to an ETC; her system wouldn't even let her. FFC was my only option. She offered to speak to a supervisor to try to have them do it, so she did, but she came back and said the supervisor said that they are not issuing ETC's upon request at all any more.
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Old May 3, 21, 10:04 am
  #380  
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Originally Posted by Ivan X View Post
Just thought I'd throw a DP up here that I bought a UA cash ticket a week ago, and today I wanted to cancel it. The Premier Desk agent said she could not issue or convert the cancelled ticket to an ETC; her system wouldn't even let her. FFC was my only option. She offered to speak to a supervisor to try to have them do it, so she did, but she came back and said the supervisor said that they are not issuing ETC's upon request at all any more.
You may wish to politely HUCA when they tell you such things. What you were told does not meet up with my experience. We had tickets for today and the end of the week. We called in yesterday and asked to 1) cancel them 2) issue ETCs instead of FFC and 3) combine the ETCs so we were left with a single one. The agent had no problem in doing that and we received no pushback at all. I have had pushback in the past and simply calling back resulted in success. I find it FAR easier to manage credit in the form of an ETC vs. multiple sets of FFC.

Now if they'd only let me combine an ETC balance with my UA Travelbank balance...
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Old May 3, 21, 2:16 pm
  #381  
 
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Question: I'm on a work flight from iad to sfo in a few weeks in C class, but cousin may hop along. The C class fares are definitely steep but of course, they may drop down the line. What's the rules on returning a ticket these days and then getting an etc for it and then buying the ticket at a lower fare bucket if they open it up? He flies enough ua too that an etc would be useful but is there a fee for cancellation? I've had plenty of changes during the pandemic and with the no-fee it just uses the value of the ticket but haven't had to outright cancel anything since last March so do they keep any of it or can you get everything back in the form of an etc? This is all assuming we are outside the 24 hr window ofc. Thanks!
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Old May 3, 21, 2:23 pm
  #382  
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Originally Posted by flyingrohit View Post
.... What's the rules on returning a ticket these days and then getting an etc for it and then buying the ticket at a lower fare bucket if they open it up? He flies enough ua too that an etc would be useful but is there a fee for cancellation? ....
There is no fee to cancel or change a domestic ticket. You will get a FFC which need to be rebooked within a year (travel commencing) of the original purchase. You may be able to convert the FFC to an ETC but not guarantee.
There is no fee to rebook but you will be responsible for the fare difference. If there is a residual that will be issues in a new style FFC that is more like an ETC than FFC.
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Old May 3, 21, 2:36 pm
  #383  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
There is no fee to cancel or change a domestic ticket. You will get a FFC which need to be rebooked within a year (travel commencing) of the original purchase. You may be able to convert the FFC to an ETC but not guarantee.
There is no fee to rebook but you will be responsible for the fare difference. If there is a residual that will be issues in a new style FFC that is more like an ETC than FFC.
But if a ticket is $900, then they open up some D and Z level fare buckets say at $600. Then if we cancel, and buy again, we would have a $600 ticket in hand and $300 in etc's right? At that point there would be no "being responsible for fare difference" because we wouldn't lose anything in between right? thanks
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Old May 3, 21, 2:45 pm
  #384  
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Originally Posted by flyingrohit View Post
But if a ticket is $900, then they open up some D and Z level fare buckets say at $600. Then if we cancel, and buy again, we would have a $600 ticket in hand and $300 in etc's right? ...
No longer an ETC but the residual is now a "new style" FFC, which is similar to an ETC.

See recent posts in Choosing between UA Electronic Travel Certificate (ETC) vs Future Flight Credit (FFC) for a discussion of the new style FFC
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Old May 3, 21, 3:29 pm
  #385  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
No longer an ETC but the residual is now a "new style" FFC, which is similar to an ETC.

See recent posts in Choosing between UA Electronic Travel Certificate (ETC) vs Future Flight Credit (FFC) for a discussion of the new style FFC
Ok sounds good thanks for that. Will pull the trigger and hope that ua drops the price to cancel and re buy but iad-sfo on a Thursday evening I don't like the chances of that happening .
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