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Understanding/Using UA Electronic Travel Certificate(ETC) & Future Flight Credit(FFC)

Understanding/Using UA Electronic Travel Certificate(ETC) & Future Flight Credit(FFC)

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Old Jul 2, 22, 6:47 am   -   Wikipost
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***************************************
* In mid-2021, UA started a process that unify ETCs/FFCs and expand their usability, jointly they are called "travel credits"
* There are still a few differences - transferability and expiration are different
* Conversion of FFCs to ETCs are no longer an option
* See this UA announcement (27 Sept 2021) for some insight
**************************************

FFC -- Future flight Credit issued when you voluntarily cancel or change a non-refundable flight
ETC -- A credit issued generally for a service related issue, broken seat, a significant delayed flight due to UA issues, ....
Refunds due to significant schedule changes or cancellations are different, see Schedule Change(Back to 2hrs)/Cancelation Refund,New DOT ruling,UA processing refunds

United travel credits
We have two types of travel credits, and both can easily be used to shop for flights and amenities on our website or app. Get to know future flight credits and travel certificates.

How do I redeem my travel credits?
Shop for your flight as you normally would. Once you get to checkout, all unused travel credits that are connected to your MileagePlus account will automatically appear once you select “Travel Credits” as a payment option. All you have to do is select the checkbox next to the credit and it will automatically be applied to your reservation.

If you don’t see one of your travel credits listed, or don’t have a MileagePlus account, you can also look up your credit directly from checkout and apply it to your cart.
Can anyone use my credits?
Who can actually use a travel credit varies based on credit type.

Future flight credits
Normally, a future flight credit is non-transferrable and therefore must be used by the same traveler it was issued to. However, all future flight credits that were issued for tickets purchased on or before August 31, 2021, can now be used to book travel for anyone, including yourself, friends, or family. If you have trouble using a future flight credit, please contact Reservations at 1-800-864-8331.
Travel certificates
These credits can be used by anyone.
What can I use my travel credits?
  1. All travel credits can be used to buy tickets on United, United Express and partner-operated flights. You can also apply travel credits toward non-ticket items, like Economy Plus® seating, Basic Economy seat assignments and preferred seating. (and pre-paid checked bags?)

To use travel credits with PlusPoints, you’ll need to book your ticket using your travel credit and then request a PlusPoints upgrade.
Do travel credits expire?
All travel credits do expire, but the expirations work differently for the two types of credits.

Future flight credits
Future flight credits have a “travel by” date as their expiration. This means the itinerary you apply a future flight credit toward must begin travel before the expiration date. In most cases, this date is one year after your original ticket was issued.

Please note, future flight credits issued on or before December 31, 2022, have had their “travel by” date extended to December 31, 2023.

Travel certificates
Travel certificates have a “book by” date as their expiration. Meaning, you must book your flight using this credit before the expiration date. In most cases, these credits expire up to one year after the date they were issued.

Please note, travel certificates set to expire on or before December 31, 2022, or issued before December 31, 2022, have had their “book by” date extended to December 31, 2023.
Where do I find my travel credit info?
MileagePlus members can find a summary of their travel credits in their account. If you aren’t a member or can’t find your credit in your account, you can also use the lookup forms provided on this page to find your travel credit information, including the value and expiration date.
Can I use multiple credit info?
Yes, you can use multiple credits of the same type in a single purchase. Future flight credits and travel certificates cannot be combined. {Although in Sept 2021 UA hinted this was coming}
What if I have a travel credit issues for a flight originally booked through a travel agent?
You can still use your credit, but you’ll need to do it through the travel agency you used to book the original flight.
(ETC) Terms and conditions
Certificate terms and conditions
  1. Travel certificates are redeemable toward transportation on any flight operated by United Airlines, Inc., United Express, and partner airlines sold on United digital channels.
  2. You may redeem or view travel certificate details at united.com by clicking on Deals & Offers, Promotional certificates, and entering the promotion code and PIN in the offer code box. You can also call United at 800-UNITED-1 (800-864-8331). A fee may apply for redemption via telephone. You will be asked to enter the last name of the certificate recipient. Certificates may not be redeemed through a travel agency.
  3. The promotion code and PIN must be presented at time of ticket purchase and expire 24 months from original date of issue, unless otherwise noted.
  4. Travel certificates have no cash value.
  5. Travel certificates will not be honored in conjunction with prepaid tickets, fee-waived tickets, MileagePlus awards, tour packages or other service charges. You must pay for outstanding fees and ancillary purchases with a credit or debit card at time of purchase.
  6. If the face amount of a travel certificate exceeds the cost of the ticket for which it is surrendered, any residual amount will be applied to the same PIN for use toward another ticket until either the original issued amount is depleted, or the expiration date has been reached, whichever comes first.
  7. Travel certificates are not transferable and may not be sold, traded or bartered. However, the original recipient of a certificate may arrange travel for another person if done without selling or bartering the certificate. Any sale or barter of a certificate, or any offer to sell or enter into such a transaction, shall render a certificate null and void such that the certificate shall no longer be redeemable by any person, including the original recipient.
  8. Positive identification may be required when using a certificate toward the purchase of a ticket. United is not liable for loss, theft or unintended use of a certificate by a person other than the original recipient.
  9. United's Contract of Carriage applies to all travel on United Airlines and United Express.
Can I convert a FFC to ETC? Can I get an ETC instead of FFC?
You can not longer do either.
Occasionally, if there is an problem using your FFC, the agent will convert it to an ETC for immediate use. These are rare and at the agent;s discretion. Calling to ask converting an FFC to ETC for use by another traveler will likely not work -as the FFC was never intended for transfer
What if I only use part of the credit, what happens to the rest?
For both FFCs/ETCs the remainder of the credit is available for future use
But these credits must be fully used before the use of a credit card payment
Can FFCs or ETCs be used to pay award fees?
No
What happens if I cancel a ticket purchased with FFC or ETC in 24 hours?
Payment goes back to original form of payment, Note this can take some time -- a week or more, especially for the ETC.
What happens if I cancel a ticket purchased with FFC or ETC after 24 hours?
This becomes a new FFC (including the ETC value). This generally happens immediately.
ETC
ETCs can be used for internet access, E+, subscriptions, upgrades, bag fees




Other useful threads
Extending a Credit/Travel/ETC Voucher by booking a refundable fare?

Now See All Your Electronic Travel Credit(s) (ETCs) on Your United.com Account!
Future Flight Credits (FFC) Available on My Trips page?
Issues with UA's online rebooking: Missing flights, higher prices, changed cabin, ..
Is UA enforcing No Residual Value restriction found in some fare rules?

UA Electronic Travel Certificates (ETC): General Q&A, ... now 2 year life ...Closed
UA Electronic Travel Certificate & Codeshares/partner flights ...Closed
How to get residual value ("future flight credit") from non-refundable flight ...Closed

Archive:
Understanding/Using UA Electronic Travel Certificate & Future Flight Credit {Archive}
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Old Jan 3, 22, 2:56 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Tried searching a few pages back and didnt see. Can someone remind me, are ETCs TRAVEL by expiration date or BOOK by expiration date? Same with FFC?
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Old Jan 3, 22, 11:27 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Filler03 View Post
Tried searching a few pages back and didnt see. Can someone remind me, are ETCs TRAVEL by expiration date or BOOK by expiration date? Same with FFC?
ETCs are solely a form of payment, and always have been - so those are definitely book by.

FFCs are supposed to be ‘begin travel by’ - typically that begin travel by date used to be 1 year from date of issue of the original itinerary, but those have been extended during the pandemic - and the ones issued prior to this year were all extended so the begin travel date is 12/31/22. However, while those are the published rules, I do wonder how the system would handle someone trying to enter them in the payment page, since you can do that now, for a travel date later than that. The schedule isn’t open past that date yet (I don’t think), so I don’t know that there has been real world experience, but would be interesting to figure that out. Wonder if this will be tried a lot more closer to the fall of 22 and beyond.
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Old Jan 4, 22, 10:28 am
  #18  
 
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I want to use an FFC with Plus Points to upgrade into business.

Trouble is that when I go in thru the FFC re-book option, I am not allowed to chose 'upgrade with points'. So, if I am looking to upgrade with PPs, is it the same thing if I buy the fare and then go back in and apply points, or should I make sure to apply the PPs at the time of booking?

Will it even allow me to go in afterwards and apply points?
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Old Jan 4, 22, 10:51 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by pretzlaff View Post
I want to use an FFC with Plus Points to upgrade into business.

Trouble is that when I go in thru the FFC re-book option, I am not allowed to chose 'upgrade with points'. ...
The two are not compatible -- long time issue

Originally Posted by pretzlaff View Post
So, if I am looking to upgrade with PPs, is it the same thing if I buy the fare and then go back in and apply points, or should I make sure to apply the PPs at the time of booking?

Will it even allow me to go in afterwards and apply points?
Doing afterwards should work fine and is the only choice in this situation.
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Old Jan 4, 22, 12:05 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Doing afterwards should work fine and is the only choice in this situation.
can’t you just put apply pluspoints as a new booking, then enter the FFC in as a form of payment now vs. rebooking inside of the existing PNR…shouldn’t that work as well?
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Old Jan 4, 22, 12:14 pm
  #21  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
can’t you just put apply pluspoints as a new booking, then enter the FFC in as a form of payment now vs. rebooking inside of the existing PNR…shouldn’t that work as well?
Doing the Advance Search upgrade option was one of those things that prevented applying ETCs in the past, have not tried it with the FFC option.
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Old Jan 4, 22, 12:33 pm
  #22  
 
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Just tried applying it during 'payment'. It does not work. I tried three FFCs. One gave an error message that I needed to call. The other two just cycled back to the same travel credit payment screen.
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Old Jan 4, 22, 3:26 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
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How to intentionally get ETC rather than FCC?

Hoping for a helping hand here. ETCs are far more useful to me than FCCs (24 vs 12 mos; can be used for me + any companions; can be used for Econ+ seat selection).

Have multiple Amex cards with airline credits, and looking to convert those to ETCs (rather than using more restrictive Travel Bank or FCCs, since I almost always book United using miles not cash). I don't love Travel Bank because I can only use it on fares, and not on Econ+, and FCCs don't last very long. So intentionally converting my Amex airline credits to ETCs will allow me 24mos to use those for Econ+ upgrades rather than only being able to do so during current calendar year using the Amex airline credits themselves. Just trying to buy myself some more time and extend my ability to get Econ+ from 12 to 24 mos.

What's the best way to do this, as I'm not sure how United decides to issue an ETC vs FCC? Don't want to accidentally trigger a FCC when my goal is to end up with ETC. I was thinking I could book a refundable ticket that has high probability of being cancelled by United due to inclement weather. Live in Denver and we have plenty of winter storms where I could foresee an opportunity do this.

Would this work? Other options? As I understand it, if I book a refundable flight and cancel it myself (whether within 24 hr window, or outside of it) then I will end up with FCC, and I'd rather just hang on to the Amex airline credit on the card itself than be stuck with a more difficult to use FCC.

Thanks for ideas!
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Old Jan 4, 22, 6:37 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by FoCo Finch View Post
What's the best way to do this, as I'm not sure how United decides to issue an ETC vs FCC? ...
For the most part, UA has stopped issuing ETCs for voluntary flight changes / cancellations.

ETCs are now principally just service related issues.

Originally Posted by FoCo Finch View Post
....
As I understand it, if I book a refundable flight and cancel it myself (whether within 24 hr window, or outside of it) then I will end up with FCC, and I'd rather just hang on to the Amex airline credit on the card itself than be stuck with a more difficult to use FCC. ..
Flights cancelled by UA, refundable flights and flights cancelled in 24 hours are refunded to original method of purchases.
If those flights were funded from non-refundable funds, they stay non-refundable
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Old Jan 4, 22, 7:28 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by FoCo Finch View Post
Hoping for a helping hand here. ETCs are far more useful to me than FCCs (24 vs 12 mos; can be used for me + any companions; can be used for Econ+ seat selection).

Have multiple Amex cards with airline credits, and looking to convert those to ETCs (rather than using more restrictive Travel Bank or FCCs, since I almost always book United using miles not cash). I don't love Travel Bank because I can only use it on fares, and not on Econ+, and FCCs don't last very long. So intentionally converting my Amex airline credits to ETCs will allow me 24mos to use those for Econ+ upgrades rather than only being able to do so during current calendar year using the Amex airline credits themselves. Just trying to buy myself some more time and extend my ability to get Econ+ from 12 to 24 mos.

What's the best way to do this, as I'm not sure how United decides to issue an ETC vs FCC? Don't want to accidentally trigger a FCC when my goal is to end up with ETC. I was thinking I could book a refundable ticket that has high probability of being cancelled by United due to inclement weather. Live in Denver and we have plenty of winter storms where I could foresee an opportunity do this.

Would this work? Other options? As I understand it, if I book a refundable flight and cancel it myself (whether within 24 hr window, or outside of it) then I will end up with FCC, and I'd rather just hang on to the Amex airline credit on the card itself than be stuck with a more difficult to use FCC.

Thanks for ideas!
no way to specifically have this done anymore. For a while this was specifically an option (fairly early in pandemic), but even fare differentials from rebooking lower fares, which used to go to ETCs, now go to FFCs.

Agents have sometimes honored requests to turn FFCs into ETCs, but it’s far from a given. Not a lot of reports more recently, but success seemed to be less common as time went on when there were. I wouldn’t expect it.

i don’t think it makes sense to get into too detailed a discussion on Amex credits here - that’s going to get kicked back into the Amex thread, but I’m sure you’re aware that this isn’t what the credit is meant for. If you want to use it for E+, that does seem to be eligible for the credit, so just use it for that (after you already have a ticket). IMO, what you are proposing is just too much work.
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Old Jan 5, 22, 2:39 pm
  #26  
 
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United needs to extend the life of FFC's being issued here in 2022. I had to cancel a business trip today (Jan 5 2022) due to client's Omicron concerns and the FFC still has the begin travel by 12/31/2022 date on it.
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Old Jan 5, 22, 3:18 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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I booked travel for a work trip through my organization's Concur platform (we use AmEx Global Business Travel). However, I do have control over my reservation through my MileagePlus account. The conference I was gonna attend has now been cancelled, so if my trip is cancelled through the booking platform will I still get the future travel credit or will that somehow go to my organization? Anyone know how that works?
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Old Jan 6, 22, 12:34 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by paule123 View Post
United needs to extend the life of FFC's being issued here in 2022. I had to cancel a business trip today (Jan 5 2022) due to client's Omicron concerns and the FFC still has the begin travel by 12/31/2022 date on it.
FFCs have generally always required rebooking within 1 year of the original date of issue. So unless you booked your trip for today within the past week, that date is still an extension. UA has extended the validity a couple of times during COVID, IIRC.

If things are still in flux closer to the end of the year, I suspect they will extend again. But I don’t see that happening anytime too soon - they will want these to be used by some point, and if things are more back to ‘normal’ closer to then, they won’t want to do it. I suspect if they extend again, it will be at least late summer or fall until they do it.
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Old Jan 6, 22, 7:44 am
  #29  
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Originally Posted by lebsam11 View Post
I booked travel for a work trip through my organization's Concur platform (we use AmEx Global Business Travel). However, I do have control over my reservation through my MileagePlus account. The conference I was gonna attend has now been cancelled, so if my trip is cancelled through the booking platform will I still get the future travel credit or will that somehow go to my organization? Anyone know how that works?
I cannot re-use Concur reservation FFCs myself in most instances. I can make changes in certain waiver circumstances. For my company at least they are re-using FFCs for other travelers in the company.
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Old Jan 8, 22, 12:15 pm
  #30  
 
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I just used an existing FFC to book a trip to australia for august 2022 as I saw PZ1 on one of the routes. it was an add-collect of ~$2k. I booked it through IAH, my reasoning being if covid gets worse again and/or australia doesn't open to foreigners they'll likely axe that route or have a big schedule change which would usually result in a refund. Let's say the schedule does change and as a result I say I don't want to fly anymore, in this case, is the prior FFC amount retained in there and then the add-collect refunded, the whole thing refunded, or the whole thing stays in the FFC?
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