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Why do I have a cancel option for Basic Economy Ticket

Why do I have a cancel option for Basic Economy Ticket

Old Aug 3, 19, 7:26 am
  #1  
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Why do I have a cancel option for Basic Economy Ticket

A little on me and then a little on the situation.

Former long term 1K (even made GS a few times) and MM so have gold status due to that. But no longer fly much with united and in general (hence my login and my lack of knowledge of UAs new products).

Flying with party of 3 to LHR from SFO. Bought Basic economy because it was 1200 for *all* of us round trip.

A few weeks ago there was a slight schedule change involving just a 15 minute delay on the return leg.

One person now probably can't make it. Out of curiosity I checked the booking and each person has a cancellation button next to the ticket.

But I thought this was Basic Economy and no changes beyond 24 hours were allowed.

Is this a mistake? Or did something about my situation (MM, Flying to Europe, Schedule change) cause the button to be available.


Thanks.

Last edited by usedtobeimportant; Aug 3, 19 at 7:34 am
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Old Aug 3, 19, 7:48 am
  #2  
 
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You would cancel for a variety of reasons, it just has no residual value. For example if you wanted to take a different flight, or decided to eat the cost and book a higher fare.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 7:51 am
  #3  
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Okay but why?

Originally Posted by villox View Post
You would cancel for a variety of reasons, it just has no residual value. For example if you wanted to take a different flight, or decided to eat the cost and book a higher fare.
Thanks. But why would I cancel the earlier ticket if it gets me no residual value. I can't claim the value of the cancelled ticket against the different flight can I?

So why wouldn't I just book the different flight and hope there is a schedule change for the first booking of more than 3 hours and I am offered compensation. At least that way I have a small chance of getting some value form the ticket.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 7:54 am
  #4  
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Welcome to FT!, usedtobeimportant
Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant View Post
... Is this a mistake? Or did something about my situation (MM, Flying to Europe, Schedule change) cause the button to be available. ...
The only one that could be a factor is the schedule change but 15 minutes is below the normal threshold even for a non-BE ticket.

If one of your party will not be making the trip, give the button a try and see what happens. The best I would have expected is a rescheduling opportunity but it would be interesting to see if you are offered a future credit (doubt it, but maybe)

More likely than not, this is just an IT glitch and no credit will be offered.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 8:10 am
  #5  
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Thanks. When I click the button it warns me that if I continue the person will be put on a separate PNR.

If I hit OKAY to the warning is there another screen? Or will it just say thank you for the cancellation! The person is 95% unlikely to go, but not 100% sure.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Welcome to FT!, usedtobeimportant
The only one that could be a factor is the schedule change but 15 minutes is below the normal threshold even for a non-BE ticket.

If one of your party will not be making the trip, give the button a try and see what happens. The best I would have expected is a rescheduling opportunity but it would be interesting to see if you are offered a future credit (doubt it, but maybe)

More likely than not, this is just an IT glitch and no credit will be offered.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 8:13 am
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If I remember correctly, it will split the PNR in one step, and then ask you to confirm the cancellation in the next.

However, what is the point in splitting now if you're not going to cancel now?

In this case I would wait until 100% sure the person needs to cancel. You have nothing to lose; maybe there will be more schedule changes, for instance.

edit: and welcome to flyertalk, by the way!
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Old Aug 3, 19, 8:55 am
  #7  
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welcome to ft!

unless I’m missing something, it’ll allow you to cancel the ticket, but that’s not the same thing as allowing you to cancel the ticket and get a refund for it. Sure, you can cancel...but that doesn’t mean there will be residual value for doing so.

i’d agree with previous posters—no need to cancel now, wait until closer to date of travel and hope for schedule change.

edited to add: I have a transcon BE itinerary coming up as well, and just checked—there is a cancel option, but I have no reason to believe I’d get anything back for canceling. quite the opposite.
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Last edited by karenkay; Aug 3, 19 at 9:10 am
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Old Aug 3, 19, 10:12 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by karenkay View Post

unless Iím missing something, itíll allow you to cancel the ticket, but thatís not the same thing as allowing you to cancel the ticket and get a refund for it. Sure, you can cancel...but that doesnít mean there will be residual value for doing so.
This - canceling and getting a refund (or keeping the value in the PNR to use on a future itinerary) are two different things. You can do the cancelation without refunding, for example. At least thats what agents have told me when, for example, Iíve canceled in 24 hours for a full refund, but been told I did the cancelation but not requested the refund (agent finished it up, but told me I never did it, even thought im sure I did).

There may be no changes/cancel on a BE ticket, per the rules, but all that means is that you wonít get $/value back (if you try to make a change). This is different from other tickets sold, most of which arenít refundable but are changeable/cancelable, where you pay a fee and keep he rest in the PNR which can be used later. On BE, you get nothing. UA would probably prefer you cancel your reservation if you arenít traveling, since theyíll know they have an extra seat to sell.

Domestic BE also is marketed as you canít put a bag in the overhead bin. But again, thereís no real enforcement of this. The point is you canít bring a rolerboard/full size carry on onboard, but only the smaller items that fit in the seat in front of you. FAs donít know which passengers have BE and Ďaccessí to the overhead. However, itís generally assumed the smaller bags onboard are going to go under the seat in front, so thatís one way it makes sense. Sure, if youíre taking up the space in a bin that can be occupied by a rollerboard, especially if someone is looking for that space and canít find it, youíll likely be asked to move it. I frequently put my small backpack in an overhead - I just typically wait until there isnít any more room for the bigger carryons in the bin above me or across from me, but there is for my backpack. Canít remember a time ever where I havenít been able to find that space - or sometimes less full flights, and particularly UAX where rollerboards get checked, where there isnít 1/2 or a full empty bin to put it in. FAs arenít going to stop BE ticket holders from doing that, either.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 10:16 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant View Post
Thanks. But why would I cancel the earlier ticket if it gets me no residual value. I can't claim the value of the cancelled ticket against the different flight can I?
If you have overlapping/impossible reservations, UA could randomly cancel the one you want to fly. You would cancel a BE ticket if you want to change it to something else on the same day -- you get no residual value from the BE ticket but now your record is clean.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 12:08 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant View Post
But why would I cancel the earlier ticket if it gets me no residual value.
To be courteous to others who might want to book that flight?
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Old Aug 3, 19, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
If you have overlapping/impossible reservations, UA could randomly cancel the one you want to fly. You would cancel a BE ticket if you want to change it to something else on the same day -- you get no residual value from the BE ticket but now your record is clean.
This is what I was going to say. While the risk is low that they would cancel if you had another flight you decided you wanted to take a couple hours later, itís there. And if you decided you wanted to say, take a first class seat on the same flight (lottery win? Inheritance?) youíd have no choice but to cancel your original ticket in order to rebook.

Point is there are legitimate reasons why someone would want to cancel a BE ticket and thatís why they allow you to.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 12:29 pm
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It is normal to have a cancel option for non refundable airline tickets and hotel reservations even if you get absolutely nothing back. This is useful if you have to file a travel insurance claim. Most insurers require proof that you actually cancelled your booking and that you got absolutely nothing back from them.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 12:59 pm
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The specific fare rules are :

CHANGES/CANCELLATIONS
ANY TIME
TICKET IS NON-REFUNDABLE. CHANGES NOT PERMITTED.
NOTE -
-------
NO UNUSED TICKET MAY BE USED TOWARD THE PURCHASE
OF ANY FARE TICKET
-------
NO RESIDUAL VALUE MAY BE USED TOWARD THE PURCHASE
OF ANY OTHER FARE TICKET
-------
So there's absolutely nothing saying you can't cancel your ticket. Just don't expect a refund/residual value/anything else in return.

(FWIW, $35 each-way airfares plus $120 YQ. Nice fare, if not for the conditions...)
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Old Aug 3, 19, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
To be courteous to others who might want to book that flight?
uh yeh as soon as UA is courteous to paying customers and give them reasonable credit in this case then I would then no about doing THEM a favor.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 4:45 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant View Post
...

A few weeks ago there was a slight schedule change involving just a 15 minute delay on the return leg.
...
Don't have much experience with basic fares, but maybe this triggered something?
Have you tried calling and asking what your options are?
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