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How to get residual value from non-refundable flight

How to get residual value from non-refundable flight

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Old Oct 21, 19, 6:45 am   -   Wikipost
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Steps in using the credit from a canceled non-refundable ticket. Note this is the cancellation of an entire ticket -- the process is different for canceling part of a 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 year of the original ticket's purchase date
  • The new ticket will be good for one year from the exchange/re-scheduled date
  • 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.
- If an ETC is issued, it must be used within one year of issuance.
  • The ETC can be used by anyone.
  • The one-year limitation only limits purchasing, not travel - travel may be outside the 1-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 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.
Unitedís 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.

Other related threads
Changing/Canceling/Replacing a ticket costing less than the change fee?
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Old Aug 17, 13, 2:57 pm
  #1  
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How to get residual value from non-refundable flight

I have a non-refundable IAH-LGA (Houston - New York City) roundtrip booked for next weekend. Unfortunately, I no longer need to go to New York.
Is there any residual value I could get out of it?

I have 1K status. Booking classes are L and T.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 2:59 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingExplorer View Post
I have a non-refundable IAH-LGA (Houston - New York City) roundtrip booked for next weekend. Unfortunately, I no longer need to go to New York.
Is there any residual value I could get out of it?

I have 1K status. Booking classes are L and T.
You can cancel the ticket and pay the change fee to change it at a later date but if the ticket cost is less than the change fee it doesn't make sense to do that.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 2:59 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by FlyingExplorer View Post
I have a non-refundable IAH-LGA (Houston - New York City) roundtrip booked for next weekend. Unfortunately, I no longer need to go to New York.
Is there any residual value I could get out of it?

I have 1K status. Booking classes are L and T.
Cancel before the first flight departs. You get the value you paid minus the change fee.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:00 pm
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Or SDC it a few times - hope for a schedule change.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:03 pm
  #5  
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Hope for a weather cause free cancellation waiver. (You can if you want to spend the time and daily pushing the flight out 1 day via SDC until such an event happens, but may take many weeks -- gets messy if the return needs to be pushed also).

Otherwise, cancel prior to departure and you will have available a credit in traveler's name a future credit. Depending on when purchased it will costs $150 to $200 in new money to get access to the credit.

When, if ready, to use the credit, call and book new itin. This is the point the change fee is required. If there is an residual, you will receive a vouchure good for future flight credit, no fee, can be used by anyone.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:13 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Cancel before the first flight departs. You get the value you paid minus the change fee.
This is not correct. You must pay the change fee, and then you will have a credit for the value you originally paid, usable within one year for the same traveler.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:15 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
This is not correct. You must pay the change fee, and then you will have a credit for the value you originally paid, usable within one year for the same traveler.
Over all the same amount. The amount you paid minus a change fee. The value you can use is the same out of your pocket no matter how you word it
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:17 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
Quote:





Originally Posted by Baze


Cancel before the first flight departs. You get the value you paid minus the change fee.




This is not correct. You must pay the change fee, and then you will have a credit for the value you originally paid, usable within one year for the same traveler.
Not my experience. I simply canceled. No cash required. Big difference - no cash required to cancel a trip.

If canceling and simultaneous rebooking of course they grab the change fee plus fare difference right away.

Or else they give an allowance of fare paid - $200 later when you decide to use the canceled itinerary.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Over all the same amount. The amount you paid minus a change fee. The value you can use is the same out of your pocket no matter how you word it
Yes, it's the same amount, but there are two differences. 1) You pay the change fee in cash upfront, and the entire value you can use later is then in the form of a voucher valid only on a specific airline. 2) If you're unable to use the value for a later ticket, you lose the change fee as well as whatever you paid for the original ticket.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:29 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by JPG3392 View Post
Yes, it's the same amount, but there are two differences. 1) You pay the change fee in cash upfront, and the entire value you can use later is then in the form of a voucher valid only on a specific airline. 2) If you're unable to use the value for a later ticket, you lose the change fee as well as whatever you paid for the original ticket.
Huh??? Not in my experience. Cancel a ticket. Get a credit on file with UA for the amount of that ticket. When you book a new ticket they apply that amount minus the change fee. Done it dozens of times. Don't get any vouchers. Never had to pay the change fee in cash up front, never! Oops, used that word, never. I have not at any time had to pay the change fee in cash up front.

Edit to add, just did it this past Tuesday.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:31 pm
  #11  
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How to get residual value from non-refundable flight

Baze is correct. Was a cash grab at point of cancel a PMCO policy? Certainly not PMUA policy and certainly not current UA policy.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
Baze is correct. Was a cash grab at point of cancel a PMCO policy? Certainly not PMUA policy and certainly not current UA policy.
I think the only time I've gotten any credits that are close to this scenario was when I cancelled, made a new flight booking from the cancelled itinerary (including paying the change fee), and then my new booked flight was less than I paid for the original, and an electronic credit was then issued to me. Did this several times in the past year.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:44 pm
  #13  
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How to get residual value from non-refundable flight

Just to clarify Turtle:

Old itinerary $500
New itin $250
You were issued e-voucher for $50? ($500 original fare paid - $200 change fee - $ $250 new itin)

Thanks
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:50 pm
  #14  
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the change fee must be paid in new money at the time of reusing the credit.

if you have a $300 round trip fare booked, and cancel it, then reapply it to a new $300 round trip fare, you will be charged $150 at the time of rebooking the new itinerary. this new itinerar will have the same PNR locator as the old itinerary.

if you have the same $300 round trip fare booked, and cancel it, then reapply to a new $200 fare, you will still be charged $150 and will get back a $100 e-cert with an expiration date 12 months from the date of new itinerary issue.

if you have a $300 round trip fare booked, cancel it, and then reapply the funds to a $400 fare, you will have to pay $250 ($150 change fee and $100 fare difference) at the time of issuing the new ticket.

in all cases you have 12 months from the date of cancel to reuse the credit. if you dont reuse the full credit, the ecert will have a date of expiration that is 12 months from the date of using the partial credit:

$300 round trip canceled today, residual credit expires one year from today
reapply $150 of the $300 credit tomorrow, the remaining $150 is refunded on an ecert and that ecert expires a year from tomorrow. in this way you can prolong a cancelation credit for up to two years by booking a cheap one way throw away ticket (think MIA-GNV or similar) the day before your residual credit expires.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 4:23 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Baze View Post
Huh??? Not in my experience. Cancel a ticket. Get a credit on file with UA for the amount of that ticket.
A sort-of credit that you can't use for anything.

When you book a new ticket they apply that amount minus the change fee.
This is not correct.

To use the credit, you have to pay the change fee. Once the change fee is paid, you will have a credit to use worth the original ticket price.


This works out the same if the cost of the new ticket exceeds the cost of the old ticket. But if the new ticket is less than the old ticket, you're going to have to pay the $150 and will then get another certificate for the difference in value between the new and old tickets.
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