United Voucher for Fare Price Change?

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Old Jan 3, 17, 1:40 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Inventory is dynamic, people change plans, ... it happens. Without better evidence the statement "false advertising" just shows a misunderstanding of air travel booking. Never assume inventory only goes in one direction
Indeed. I think a lot of us vastly underestimate the number of SDCs, outright cancels, and last minute ticket purchases that occur less than 24 hours before departure. Most flights I take see the load fluctuate at least +/- 10 in the last 24 hours.
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Old Jan 3, 17, 4:01 pm
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Wouldn't it make sense then to offer free fare class changes instead of a $200 change fee to stay on the same flight?

Why should I be penalized because I happened to purchase a ticket early to help them gauge the demand?
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Old Jan 3, 17, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by JCrew7384 View Post
Wouldn't it make sense then to offer free fare class changes instead of a $200 change fee to stay on the same flight?

Why should I be penalized because I happened to purchase a ticket early to help them gauge the demand?
It's not about punishing you, any more than it's not about rewarding someone because they could take advantage of an inexpensive fare. It's simply a screwy revenue management system in which sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The less-flexible your travel requirements are, the more likely you'll lose.... if losing means paying a higher fare than someone else.

The worst time to buy a fare is probably several days ahead of the flight. Walk-up fares are often considerably lower. Not always, but often.

You don't mention if you're elite on United, but as I mentioned previously, the best "protective" strategy might have been to book an award fare and then cancel it if you saw an attractive paid ticket. If non-elite, you'd be paying a close-in fee plus redeposit, which would come to $200 total ($150 if silver, $100 if gold, $50 if plat, free if 1K).

United doesn't discriminate in their desire to extract more revenue from customers. It's not personal. The chance that Y=2 was intentionally designed to fool anyone into paying a higher fare is very, very low.
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Old Jan 3, 17, 4:35 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by JCrew7384 View Post
Wouldn't it make sense then to offer free fare class changes instead of a $200 change fee to stay on the same flight?

Why should I be penalized because I happened to purchase a ticket early to help them gauge the demand?
United used to give free downfares (issuing a voucher for the fare difference), but did away with it years ago. IIRC it was right around the time when an automated tool came out to check for downfares.

To answer your question, no one system makes "sense." The rules are whatever United says they are. In this case, you're buying a non-refundable ticket. Part of the gamble you are taking is that the price could drop on you. If you want the peace of mind of a fare drop, United offers refundable tickets -- at a higher cost, of course.
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Old Jan 3, 17, 4:45 pm
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I needed 2 tickets on Jan 2 from PVR-ORD that for months was showing $1900 per person one-way, no matter the routing. I found this egregious, but also understand that it's a super peak travel date from a popular vacation destination and that the flights were nearly full so they could get away with it. So I booked a standard award instead, as I don't consider the 37.5k miles worth $1900 (heck I can buy them for $787).

On Saturday, I checked again and the price had dropped to $166. Redeposited the awards and booked 2 tickets with money. No brainer (and a head start on 2017 PQMs!).

Point is, there's nothing moral or fair about any of it. The flights used to be full, and then for whatever reason they weren't. So prices went down.
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Old Jan 3, 17, 4:57 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by JCrew7384 View Post
United.com said 2 seats remaining on plane in general, Y2, confirmed with Expert Mode. And that the price I saw said 2 seats remaining at that price. That would imply completely sold out.

Not sour grapes. That is false advertising to encourage a customer to purchase now at that price, when in fact it may not be true, as in my case...
Y2 doesn't mean 2 seats remaining on the plane. It means 2 seats for sale at the Y price, right now. Could be more or less, even without anyone booking or cancelling, an hour later.

Everything UA said was true. You made up some implications that weren't true.
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Old Jan 3, 17, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by villox View Post
I needed 2 tickets on Jan 2 from PVR-ORD that for months was showing $1900 per person one-way, no matter the routing. I found this egregious, but also understand that it's a super peak travel date from a popular vacation destination and that the flights were nearly full so they could get away with it. So I booked a standard award instead, as I don't consider the 37.5k miles worth $1900 (heck I can buy them for $787).

On Saturday, I checked again and the price had dropped to $166. Redeposited the awards and booked 2 tickets with money. No brainer (and a head start on 2017 PQMs!).
Exactly what I was saying earlier. Of course, as a 1K, there were no fees involved. But worst-case scenario, the fees would have been $200 as a GM, and that GM still would have saved over $1500.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 11:27 am
  #38  
 
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Is UA's practice of providing an ETC in the amount of any fare drop, if requested, an official policy? Or is it just something they do unofficially on a case-by-case basis? Twice in recent weeks I've absentmindedly checked fares for upcoming routings and found significant price drops since my purchase. In each case UA provided an ETC to account for the drop, but in both cases it took over 20 minutes on hold. I've since tried to find the policy in writing on UA's website and come up blank.

If it's not official, is it perhaps something they do only for elites?
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Old Jul 21, 17, 11:30 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by RandomBaritone View Post
Is UA's practice of providing an ETC in the amount of any fare drop, if requested, an official policy?
The old policy was to provide an ETC on any fare drop. The current policy (triggered by yapta.com) requires you to pay the change fee. If you're getting the ETC without a change fee, you're getting lucky.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 12:38 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by RandomBaritone View Post
Is UA's practice of providing an ETC in the amount of any fare drop, if requested, an official policy? ....
There have been numerous recent reports of folks getting the fare difference of a price change within 30 days of original purchase for $50 change fee.

Appears this may be a unpublished benefit.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 21, 17 at 12:48 pm Reason: typo
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Old Jul 21, 17, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
There have been numerous recent reports of folks getting the fare difference of a price change within 30 days of original purchase for $50 change fee.

Appears this may be a unpublished benefit.
Interesting. In each case I got back a roughly $150 ETC, and both times the "premier desk" phone agent readily offered to process the credit without mentioning or assessing any fee. But each case required an extraordinarily lengthy period on hold after the initial chat, which made me wonder if some portion of the transaction was manual and/or unofficial.

Perhaps they waive the fee for elites?
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Old Jul 21, 17, 4:11 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by RandomBaritone View Post
Perhaps they waive the fee for elites?
If they do, it's new.
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Old Jul 21, 17, 6:00 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
If they do, it's new.
Seems that way. If there is stil a fee, it's odd that it was waived for me twice in as many weeks, without my requesting it, and with neither phone agent mentioning it.

Those reading this thread should look for an upcoming reservation of theirs with a fare drop to try it on!
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Old Jul 21, 17, 11:57 pm
  #44  
 
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On the other thread, ETCs can now be combined. This is too friendly. I wonder what we have to give up for these new benefits ???
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Old Jul 22, 17, 6:15 am
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Originally Posted by username View Post
On the other thread, ETCs can now be combined. This is too friendly. I wonder what we have to give up for these new benefits ???
Don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth! Still, I'd be much more comfortable if they'd outline the policies online. But maybe they're trial balloons to see how much these newly relaxed rules end up costing the company?
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