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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 Sep 23, 20, 2:51 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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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)
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. Presently this varies from $200 to $450 in the vast majority of cases. Some Asian PoS tickets can be lower.
  • The new ticket must be purchased within 1 2 years of the original ticket's purchase date
  • 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, an option is to pay the change fee 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 Jan 22, 18, 4:56 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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How to get residual/"future flight credit" from non-refundable flight

A few months ago I cancelled my flight due to a schedule change. Unfortunately the change was too minor to get a full refund. UA allowed me to use the ticket value for future travel waiving the change fee.
Talking back then with UA agents I understood that I have to complete all travel for the new itinerary within 1 year of the original ticketing date. However I am not too sure anymore if this is really the case. I have found other rules that state that I have to do the change (reissue) within 1 year from the original ticketing date and then all travel has to be completed within 1 year from the date when the ticket was reissued. That means that in the best case I would have 2 years from the original date of ticketing to complete all travel. It is an international ticket from Germany to US. Could anybody give me advice or is there any official policy that applies to this case?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 22, 18 at 8:29 pm Reason: moved to exisiting thread
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Old Jan 22, 18, 8:21 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Kapi1904 View Post
A few months ago I cancelled my flight due to a schedule change. Unfortunately the change was too minor to get a full refund. UA allowed me to use the ticket value for future travel waiving the change fee.
Talking back then with UA agents I understood that I have to complete all travel for the new itinerary within 1 year of the original ticketing date. However I am not too sure anymore if this is really the case. I have found other rules that state that I have to do the change (reissue) within 1 year from the original ticketing date and then all travel has to be completed within 1 year from the date when the ticket was reissued. That means that in the best case I would have 2 years from the original date of ticketing to complete all travel. It is an international ticket from Germany to US. Could anybody give me advice or is there any official policy that applies to this case?
Assuming this is a full ticket reschedule and not a partially taken trip, you have to rebook within a year of the original purchase date, and the travel can be as more as 11 months in the future. So, yes, you have nearly a one year window.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 22, 18 at 8:28 pm
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Old Jan 23, 18, 3:07 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Assuming this is a full ticket reschedule and not a partially taken trip, you have to rebook within a year of the original purchase date, and the travel can be as more as 11 months in the future. So, yes, you have nearly a one year window.
Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes it is a fully unused ticket. Just to be sure: So in this case if the original purchase date was 9. June 2017 I have to call to change the ticket until 8. June 2018 and the actual flight even could be in May 2019 ? Is there there an official policy where I can find that?

Also when trying to change the ticket online and searching for new flights I don't get all the search results I am getting when using the search function for a completely new ticket. Are there any restrictions changing the ticket? My understanding was that I am able to buy any itinerary sold by UA and my old ticket counts as payment (same as cash).
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Old Jan 23, 18, 10:53 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Kapi1904 View Post
Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes it is a fully unused ticket. Just to be sure: So in this case if the original purchase date was 9. June 2017 I have to call to change the ticket until 8. June 2018 and the actual flight even could be in May 2019 ? Is there there an official policy where I can find that?
You are summarizing correctly but best not to push it to the last second to make the change. Not aware of any explicit statement / policy addressing this specific situation -- it is a combination of standard policies. Some agents confused the changing of a partially used ticket and the changing of a ticket that has not been used -- leading to the inncorrect advice you received.

Originally Posted by Kapi1904 View Post
Also when trying to change the ticket online and searching for new flights I don't get all the search results I am getting when using the search function for a completely new ticket. Are there any restrictions changing the ticket? My understanding was that I am able to buy any itinerary sold by UA and my old ticket counts as payment (same as cash).
The online change tool is limited and commonly has this problem, better to call.
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Old Feb 3, 18, 2:06 pm
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Cancel after check in??

Thank you. This is a very useful thread.
Can one cancel after check in (but before departure) and still be able to use the residual on the ticket after change fees?

thank you
Lurker

Last edited by Lurker; Feb 3, 18 at 2:33 pm
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Old Feb 3, 18, 5:53 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Lurker View Post
Thank you. This is a very useful thread.
Can one cancel after check in (but before departure) and still be able to use the residual on the ticket after change fees?

thank you
Lurker
yes, you can (though they’ll cancel you’re checkin first, since you can’t get value back if the coupon is ‘used’). Actual time limit is when the GA closes the flight at the gate without you onboard - that can vary and could be a little earlier than actual departure, or possibly a little afte the aircraft actually departs, as well.
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Old Feb 4, 18, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post


yes, you can (though they’ll cancel you’re checkin first, since you can’t get value back if the coupon is ‘used’). Actual time limit is when the GA closes the flight at the gate without you onboard - that can vary and could be a little earlier than actual departure, or possibly a little afte the aircraft actually departs, as well.
Thank you emcampbe

Lurker
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Old Feb 13, 18, 4:07 pm
  #8  
 
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Buy cheap ticket using credit from cancelled ticket

Had to cancel a flight and can use the credit for a year with change fee of $200

But the ticket was for someone who rarely flies and I paid for ticket
I remember previously I was able to buy a cheap ticket plus $200 in the persons nsme
and I was able to get refund (or credit?) for myself

think I bought s one way ticket from Dallas to Houston which was really cheap

so basically Im trying to get some of the money back that I paid for this ticket. I doubt the person I bought ticket for will fly within the year

Is this possible?? Thanks for any help
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Old Feb 13, 18, 4:18 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
Had to cancel a flight and can use the credit for a year with change fee of $200

But the ticket was for someone who rarely flies and I paid for ticket
I remember previously I was able to buy a cheap ticket plus $200 in the persons nsme
and I was able to get refund (or credit?) for myself

think I bought s one way ticket from Dallas to Houston which was really cheap

so basically Im trying to get some of the money back that I paid for this ticket. I doubt the person I bought ticket for will fly within the year

Is this possible?? Thanks for any help
Yes, the wiki (top post) of this thread has the step-by-step for do this.

The cheap throwaway ticket is discussed on Cheapest possible flight (How do I redeem this flight credit?)

Ways to aviod the change fee are also discussed in the wiki and Changing/Canceling/Replacing a ticket costing less than the change fee?

and if there is any medical reason for the cancellation, see the link in the wiki for Medical refunds
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Old Feb 13, 18, 4:35 pm
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Thanks for info and thanks to moderator who moved to this thresd
I didn’t remember the term residual value
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Old Feb 16, 18, 1:39 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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How Can I find the lowest cost ticket available on United???
im buying this ticket only so I can realized some of the value in a $1500 ticket that had to be cancelled
the person will not be flying sgain
I know I’ll need to pay the $200 change fee
thanks for any help
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Old Feb 16, 18, 1:45 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by jerseygirl View Post
How Can I find the lowest cost ticket available on United???
...
Always changing (expect about $75-ish) but
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
.... The cheap throwaway ticket is discussed on Cheapest possible flight (How do I redeem this flight credit?)....
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Old Mar 31, 18, 8:40 am
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I hope this is a simple question. Can't find it answered anywhere else.

I bought a $1400 nonrefundable ticket from the US to Japan last July but was unable to go on the trip so I called and had the rep cancel the trip but preserve the ticket's value so I could use it in the future.

I now want to use that ticket toward an $800 ticket to Japan. I know that I'll pay the $300 change fee. What happens to the remaining $600? Can I use that toward a different international itinerary, and if so, does the clock reset on that use? Or does that amount expire in July. I assume that I would pay $300 again.

I hope that I've made this clear, thanks!

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 31, 18 at 12:08 pm Reason: Moved to master thread
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Old Mar 31, 18, 10:03 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by JNelson113 View Post
I bought a $1400 nonrefundable ticket from the US to Japan last July but was unable to go on the trip so I called and had the rep cancel the trip but preserve the ticket's value so I could use it in the future.

I now want to use that ticket toward an $800 ticket to Japan. I know that I'll pay the $300 change fee. What happens to the remaining $600? Can I use that toward a different international itinerary, and if so, does the clock reset on that use? Or does that amount expire in July. I assume that I would pay $300 again.
Upon paying the $300 change fee, you will receive a $600 voucher (known as an Electronic Travel Certificate, or ETC) good for purchasing another UA ticket one year from the date of issue. This voucher can be used for you or for another traveler, you do not need to pay another change fee to use it, and the only restrictions are that travel needs to be on United or United Express -- it can be used domestically or internationally. The ETC will retain residual value if you use it to purchase a ticket that costs less than $600.

In theory, they're supposed to email you with the ETC information, but in practice I've never had it arrive. If you don't receive it, make a note of the PNR for your Japan trip. You can then call UA and make a new booking -- just say "I have some residual credit on PNR XYZ123 and I'd like to use it to book a new flight." If they ask you to pay a telephone booking fee, you should request that they waive it since you never received the ETC information in the first place. If you do receive the ETC, it can be used during the purchase flow on United.com -- as long as all of your flights are operated by United, you'll see an option for "United Payment Types" on the payment screen.

Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Upon paying the $300 change fee, you will receive a $600 voucher (known as an Electronic Travel Certificate, or ETC) good for purchasing another UA ticket one year from the date of issue. This voucher can be used for you or for another traveler, you do not need to pay another change fee to use it, and the only restrictions are that travel needs to be on United or United Express -- it can be used domestically or internationally. The ETC will retain residual value if you use it to purchase a ticket that costs less than $600.

In theory, they're supposed to email you with the ETC information, but in practice I've never had it arrive. If you don't receive it, make a note of the PNR for your Japan trip. You can then call UA and make a new booking -- just say "I have some residual credit on PNR XYZ123 and I'd like to use it to book a new flight." If they ask you to pay a telephone booking fee, you should request that they waive it since you never received the ETC information in the first place. If you do receive the ETC, it can be used during the purchase flow on United.com -- as long as all of your flights are operated by United, you'll see an option for "United Payment Types" on the payment screen.

Hope this helps.
Thanks, extremely helpful!
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