Cancel int'l W fare

Old Apr 17, 17, 7:46 pm
  #1  
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Cancel int'l W fare

I booked a W fare (with confirmed GPU) in a few months from LAX-SYD ... I may have to cancel. I see there is a $300 + fare difference for a change fee... Trying to assess what the cancellation fee is and what can get refunded. Also, the GPU would be re-deposited, correct? Apologies if there is already a thread for this -- I couldn't find it!
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Old Apr 17, 17, 7:57 pm
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Best way is to call United Reservations and ask.

Second best way is to use expertflyer to look up the specific fare basis you got (use "historical fares" tool) and look at the rules under the "refunds" provision. Can figure out your fare basis from your original email receipt (sometimes it's not always there) or by asking United or by looking up your detailed eticket info on saudiairlines.com "manage my booking". Can look up a specific fare basis as though it were purchased on a specific past date ("historical fare lookup") on expertflyer.com with a straightfoward web ui.

Third best way is to hit the "cancel" button online and see what it says you will be given if you cancel your flight. I always find this kind of scary, what if you accidentally click cancel and then confirm?. It worries me.

Fourth best way is to try to make a brand-new booking on United's web site that books into the same fare class and "view rules" and hope you got the same kind of fare (the same letter may have MANY fares with vastly different rules, so this is a bad idea).

Merely knowing "W" isn't enough to know exactly what your T&C are, probably not even if we know the market (LAX-SYD).

Some fares are refundable (can get back the $ you paid to your original form of payment possibly minus a cancel/refund fee). Many fares are nonrefundable but changeable (can use the $ you paid to make a new booking but might have to pay a cancel/refund fee, after a change, rest of value goes to an electronic voucher). Some fares are nonrefundable and nonchangeable (use it or lose it). Hard to say exactly what you have without asking UA what the rules are or looking them up yourself.

Unfortunately post purchase there is no way to use United's web site directly to just see the full rules you agreed to when you bought the ticket. Sad but true.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by nycflyer222 View Post
I booked a W fare (with confirmed GPU) in a few months from LAX-SYD ... I may have to cancel. I see there is a $300 + fare difference for a change fee... Trying to assess what the cancellation fee is and what can get refunded. Also, the GPU would be re-deposited, correct? Apologies if there is already a thread for this -- I couldn't find it!
Fare rules govern what you can get refunded. However, the fare is very likely non-refundable, meaning you will never see a cash refund regardless of what you do. You would get your GPU redeposited, but it might take a phone call/email or two.

However, you can use the credit less a $300 fee to book different travel. If you book a new fare that is less than the difference between your original fare and the $300 change fee, you will get the residual credit in the form of an e-certificate, which will likely have an expiration date of 365 days from re-ticketing.

Example:

Paid $1700 for W LAX-SYD RT

Cancel and use the credit for $1000 ticket round trip LAX-EWR

You would have a residual credit of $400 in an e-cert that expires 365 days from when you re-ticketed ($1700-$300-$1000=$400)

Been awhile since I've done this as I don't fly UAL anymore, so things may have changed. And as mentioned above, w/o knowing the fare rules of your specific fare, this is all speculation.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 8:04 pm
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Originally Posted by nycflyer222 View Post
I booked a W fare (with confirmed GPU) in a few months from LAX-SYD ... I may have to cancel. I see there is a $300 + fare difference for a change fee... Trying to assess what the cancellation fee is and what can get refunded. Also, the GPU would be re-deposited, correct? Apologies if there is already a thread for this -- I couldn't find it!
+1 for calling Reservations being the fastest way to resolve this. If I recall, most ANZ fares S and higher are refundable, so if I had to take a shot in the dark I would guess it's refundable less $300 penalty. But in fact I just was on a mixed trip where one W fare to SYD was refundable and from MEL was not, so you should call.

The GPU will re-deposit if the flight is changed or canceled, yes.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 8:04 pm
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Just called. Also a $300 cancellation fee (v. change), and I'd get the rest back. Thanks for help!
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Old Apr 17, 17, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by nycflyer222 View Post
Just called. Also a $300 cancellation fee (v. change), and I'd get the rest back. Thanks for help!
Cool. Note that if you don't need the money back right away and you're willing to wait a few months, you could try keeping the reservation as-is and "hoping" there is some kind of schedule change so severe that United is willing to cancel + refund the reservation for free.

No promises that that will happen (I tend to find the reservations where I am most flexible are never schedule-changed and the ones I am definitely taking as booked are always schedule-changed) but worth considering as long as you do eventually cancel+refund before booking.
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Old Apr 17, 17, 8:12 pm
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Originally Posted by mherdeg View Post
Cool. Note that if you don't need the money back right away and you're willing to wait a few months, you could try keeping the reservation as-is and "hoping" there is some kind of schedule change so severe that United is willing to cancel + refund the reservation for free.

No promises that that will happen (I tend to find the reservations where I am most flexible are never schedule-changed and the ones I am definitely taking as booked are always schedule-changed) but worth considering as long as you do eventually cancel+refund before booking.
Good to know -- thanks. I'm not planning on canceling at moment, but if I need to, I'll consider this!
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Old Apr 17, 17, 8:45 pm
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Just a note: Some W fares are refundable (with a cancellation fee); some W fares are not (with changing fee). Once I found the two W fares are only differing for a couple of bucks, with the same amount of fees ($300).
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