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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 Aug 18, 18, 8:19 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by landrew View Post
Apparently I canceled a flight last year and completely forgot about it (very complicated). Have flown UA many times since. There was no indication anywhere obvious that I had potential funds to be applied to purchases, I only realized this today when an agent mentioned it as I was making other reservations for two of us. She didn't volunteer to apply it, and I didn't think to ask her to. She then totally screwed up what she was supposed to do, and I wasted about an hour getting another agent to correct; but I digress).

When I then went to check it out myself, it appears that I can only apply the refund (minus the change fee) to a ticket for myself.
Is this true?

I don't know that I will fly another itinerary in the remaining time that would use the entire refund for myself. So am I SOL, or is there a way to apply a refund to two tickets?

If I were to go now and try to ticket myself using my refund and then hubby separately, I assume the latest prices would apply and not what I managed to get earlier?
Thanks.
credit is initially good only for the individual pax. So if the itinerary you canceled was just for you, then that value initially is only good for you. Essentially, your itinerary (PNR) remains available, but the segments in it are cancelled. That leaves the value of the trip available for you. When you select the new flights to use, you will be charged the change fee (in new money - I.e, when confirming you’ll need to pay this amount). If the value of the new ticket is more than the value of the old, you’ll also need to pay whatever difference it is. If the value is lower, you’ll be sent an ETC for the difference. That ETC can be used for anyone (although at time of use, you’ll need to enter in the PIN and your last name to redeem it).

One other option to get an ETC for most of the value, which in addition to making it available for other travelers to use, would also extend the validity, is to book the cheapest non-refundable flight you can find. Youll then get the balance as an ETC.
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Old Aug 18, 18, 8:20 pm
  #47  
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Originally Posted by landrew View Post
... When I then went to check it out myself, it appears that I can only apply the refund (minus the change fee) to a ticket for myself.
Is this true? ..
Yes, it is essential a ticket change -- you are changing the canceled ticket. Note the ticket should be visited in the Canceled tab of Manage Reservations.

Originally Posted by landrew View Post
..is there a way to apply a refund to two tickets? ...
Yes but they need to be seperate PNRs. Change the orginal ticket for yourself and the residual can be applied to a second new ticket. The wiki covers this process in more details.

Originally Posted by landrew View Post
..If I were to go now and try to ticket myself using my refund and then hubby separately, I assume the latest prices would apply and not what I managed to get earlier? ...
correct, you can not fund an existing ticket with the cancel ticket credit.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 2:48 pm
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post


If the value of the new ticket is more than the value of the old, you’ll also need to pay whatever difference it is. If the value is lower, you’ll be sent an ETC for the difference. That ETC can be used for anyone (although at time of use, you’ll need to enter in the PIN and your last name to redeem it).

One other option to get an ETC for most of the value, which in addition to making it available for other travelers to use, would also extend the validity, is to book the cheapest non-refundable flight you can find. Youll then get the balance as an ETC.

This is very helpful. (Actually ALL answers are helpful but this one is exactly what I needed to know). Several upcoming trips, none as valuable as the one I canceled.
One clarifying question though, is the ETC really still good until the one year expiration date? Seems surprisingly "generous" LOL Thanks!

Last edited by landrew; Aug 19, 18 at 2:51 pm Reason: Reconsidered
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Old Aug 19, 18, 2:51 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by landrew View Post
One additional question though, is the ETC only good until the one year expiration date?
The ETC will have a one-year expiration from the time it's issued, and you can use that ETC for travel up to one year in the future. So, if you have a ticket that was issued on 11/1/17, you can make a change on 10/31/18 and get an ETC that's valid through 10/31/19; on 10/31/19, you could buy a ticket that would be good for travel through 10/31/20 -- three years from the original ticket date.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 9:49 pm
  #50  
 
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Very helpful as always, jsloan. (this was a trip from your help last year)

However, new wrinkle. I booked my husband, than rebooked for myself only, using the residual value on this $866 ticket from last year. Required an agent since I needed to match my hubby's, and also wanted an upgradeable fare matching his, and this can't be done from the canceled / change flight page.
After lengthy conv with agent I was charged of course for the $300, and a change fare and a copay and the miles.

I then realized there were better fares available. Went to cancel my rebooked flight (based on the prior canceled flight residual) 21 hours later, and never got a cancellation email.

When I searched for the reservation again in reservations to be sure it had canceled, it was not in past or canceled reservations. So I looked it up by record locator.

I got a canceled flight indicator which said it had a residual value of the price paid for the fare (not including the upgrade fee and change fare fee to make it upgradeable and of course not including my miles). I am ASSUMING the refunds for the upgrade fee and change fares and miles will appear later.

However, it now appears that in order to get my rebooked FARE value back I will have to pay another $300 change fee.

Surely a fare purchased using residual value from another flight is still cancelable in 24 hours without penalty?
If not, wouldn't the agent who sold me this ticket be required to tell me it is NOT? I was not warned, or I might have stayed with the ticket rather than forfeit $300.

Before I contact Premier Desk again, anything I should know about such an (admitttedly complicated) situation?

Thanks.
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Old Aug 19, 18, 9:57 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by landrew View Post
Surely a fare purchased using residual value from another flight is still cancelable in 24 hours without penalty?
If not, wouldn't the agent who sold me this ticket be required to tell me it is NOT? I was not warned, or I might have stayed with the ticket rather than forfeit $300.
I'm afraid not. The 24-hour free cancellation period is only applicable to a ticket purchase. Reusing residual value is a ticket change, not a purchase, and there's no grace period. I'm not aware of any particular requirement that airlines disclose this to you; I don't think it would be surprising in any other context. If you were making a "normal" change, as opposed to changing a flight that you had cancelled in the past, it might have been more obvious, but from UA's perspective, you're doing the same thing.

It can't hurt to ask if they'd be willing to waive the fee, though, if you explain the situation.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 19, 18, 9:58 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by landrew View Post
... Surely a fare purchased using residual value from another flight is still cancelable in 24 hours without penalty? ...
The changed reservation does not have a 24 hour cancellation period. It is a change of an existing., previously canceled reservation. No new 24 hour cancelation period.
United’s 24-hour cancellation / flexible booking policy ...

The reservation purchased with the voucher does have a 24 hour cancelation period - as it is a new reservation
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Old Oct 4, 18, 12:22 am
  #53  
 
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Using credit for cancelled reservation

With the pending hurricane last month I was forced to cancel a reservation but not able to use it again within the timeframe. Is it possible to use the credit for a trip both my wife and I are planning or is it limited to only trips that I am taking solo? I guess I could make separate reservations but then she would not have any privileges..
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Old Oct 4, 18, 1:28 am
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Ethicist View Post
With the pending hurricane last month I was forced to cancel a reservation but not able to use it again within the timeframe. Is it possible to use the credit for a trip both my wife and I are planning or is it limited to only trips that I am taking solo? I guess I could make separate reservations but then she would not have any privileges..
The initial credit can only be used for yourself but if there is any reminding credit, that credit can be used for anyone. However the second ticket would have to be purchased after the first ticket.
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Old Oct 4, 18, 8:42 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The initial credit can only be used for yourself but if there is any reminding credit, that credit can be used for anyone. However the second ticket would have to be purchased after the first ticket.
Right; it reuses the existing PNR, and you can't add a traveler to an existing PNR.

Two options: 1 - if you ask UA, you may find an agent willing to re-issue the entire amount as an ETC, which you could then use toward a new PNR -- if you explain your reasoning, you may get some sympathy; 2 - What privileges are you interested in? UA has a track record of offering some benefits (e.g., E+ seating) to companions even if they're on a separate PNR.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 9:32 am
  #56  
 
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Unhappy Cancelled non-refundable ticket and need help

All-

First time posting on this forum.

I had a ticket from SFO to LHR for Nov 22 but I had to cancel it due to travel document issue.

Online on united.com it showed that the ticket is non-refundable/non-changeable. There were options to change/cancel but Change Option link did not do anything (nothing happens when I clicked).

I also read on this forum that if I don't cancel and don't fly the whole ticket is gone/I don't get anything.

Anyway, so I cancelled as I had to wait to get the final decision on my travel docs.

Now when I go to United.com and see my reservation, I see option (Link) to "Use Future Flight Credit" but when I click it, NOTHING happens.

I read somewhere on this forum that, the credit (ticket amount - fees to use the credit) shows up little later. (I hope so as I don't want to lose full ticket amount).

My question is; will I get this credit? Am I understanding this correct that the credit takes time and hence the button/link is inactive at this time?

Please let me know if anyone has any experience with this situation. Thanks for the help in advance.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 9:37 am
  #57  
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Go to "Cancelled Reservations". You should see your original ticket there. You'll change the flights of that ticket to use the value of it. You will also have to give United a change fee in "new money" (it's not deducted from what you've already paid) to use the value of the original ticket.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 9:53 am
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Go to "Cancelled Reservations". You should see your original ticket there. You'll change the flights of that ticket to use the value of it. You will also have to give United a change fee in "new money" (it's not deducted from what you've already paid) to use the value of the original ticket.
Thank you so much for instant response. Where do I see cancelled reservations?

I only see -main menu Reservations -> Change or View Reservations and under that I see my one reservation that is inactive and there is this option to "Use Future Flight Credit".
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Old Nov 16, 18, 10:03 am
  #59  
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Originally Posted by w3bCraw1er View Post
I read somewhere on this forum that, the credit (ticket amount - fees to use the credit) shows up little later. (I hope so as I don't want to lose full ticket amount).

My question is; will I get this credit? Am I understanding this correct that the credit takes time and hence the button/link is inactive at this time?
Did you have one of the new non-changeable LGT fares? If so, those are not expressly not changeable. If you don't fly the itinerary as booked, you lose the ticket value.

Any other UA fare, yes you can pay a change fee and apply the value of the ticket to a new one.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 10:10 am
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Did you have one of the new non-changeable LGT fares? If so, those are not expressly not changeable. If you don't fly the itinerary as booked, you lose the ticket value.

Any other UA fare, yes you can pay a change fee and apply the value of the ticket to a new one.
Thanks. So I tried just few minutes back and I See that I was able to click on the link to re-use my credit. Very interesting thing is, I went all the way to pick new flights and I was able to book a new round trip ticket without any fees!! Shocking! Thanks for the help guys!! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!
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