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Advice needed: Buying throw-away tickets on UA

Advice needed: Buying throw-away tickets on UA

Old Feb 5, 17, 7:04 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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Advice needed: Buying throw-away tickets on UA

I am planning a trip to Europe this summer. I have managed to get to London on FF but on the return there doesn't seem to be any availability. I am considering buying a RT and not using the return and see if I can get credit or refund on the unused portion. One way tickets seems to be about 3x as a RT.

My question is if I buy on UA with the the return on a "Economy Flexible" can I get a refund when I cancel? That is, I'll use the out-bound segment and look to get a refund on the return. I can't seem to locate what the cancellation fee would cost.

Any advice?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 5, 17, 7:11 am
  #2  
 
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While there may be very rare exceptions (and these would depend on the city pair), I would not expect a refund. If you call and say you're cancelling your return leg and ask them to calculate the difference, they will instead re-fare your ticket to one of those 3x-the-cost one way tickets, causing a hefty balance due when you refare.

I'd let sleeping dogs lie, if I were in your shoes. Just don't take the return.
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Old Feb 5, 17, 7:50 am
  #3  
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Before you cancel, read the fare rules carefully and then do the arithmetic. "Flexible" fares may still carry penalties.

When you change a ticket, UA will issue a new ticket at the new fare. Thus, if you purchase a $2,000 round-trip and cancel the return, you may or may not get a $1,000 refund. If you get a $1,000 refund, you likely could have purchased a $1,000 one-way in the first place.

UA will reprice your ticket as a one-way. If that one-way cost $1,500 and there is a $300 change fee, you will receive a $200 refund (or credit - all depending on taxes and fare rules). Or if the one-way costs $2,100, UA will ask for $400 from you ($100 fare difference + $300 change fee).

It is more likely that if the RT is cheaper than the OW, that you simply book the return segment for some time in the future when you might possibly use it and if you do, so much the better. If you don't, than you've lost nothing. But, not likely that you will see anything back other than perhaps some European departure taxes.
Often1 is online now  
Old Feb 5, 17, 7:58 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Before you go ahead with buying a R/T, maybe wait and see if UA will open up award seats on you desired return flight (I would also check *A hub-hub flights for award availability). If not, I would also check and see if your credit card has airline partners that has award availability on the dates you're looking for.
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Old Feb 5, 17, 9:06 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by RedShirt View Post
I am planning a trip to Europe this summer. I have managed to get to London on FF but on the return there doesn't seem to be any availability. I am considering buying a RT and not using the return and see if I can get credit or refund on the unused portion. One way tickets seems to be about 3x as a RT.

My question is if I buy on UA with the the return on a "Economy Flexible" can I get a refund when I cancel? That is, I'll use the out-bound segment and look to get a refund on the return. I can't seem to locate what the cancellation fee would cost.

Any advice?

Thanks.
1) why not save the miles and purchase a round trip starting in the us?

2) if you opt for your plan, scheduled to return far into the future and for a route that often sees seasonal major schedule changes. This can increase your leverage if you want to negotiate the ticket at some point.
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Old Feb 5, 17, 9:19 am
  #6  
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There are super cheap RT business class fares from Europe to the US right now. For example Star CDG-NYC $1512.
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Old Feb 5, 17, 9:52 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
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If only they were available in the reverse... Super cheap US to europe.. That I can't seem to find.
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