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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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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 Jul 2, 22, 6:50 am
  #346  
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Originally Posted by Passportinonehand View Post
Based on the wording they use, I would think I can book any flight on a United codeshare partner, but this seems highly improbable. There's a certain itinerary I would like to book which is BRU-DPS and contains the following flights: BRU-MUC (Lufthansa), MUC-SIN (Singapore Airlines), SIN-DPS (Singapore Airlines) - all flights on United codeshare partners, but as this isn't an itinerary that's bookable on the United website, I believe it's impossible to book with a United Travel Certificate, correct? Or is there a workaround?
You can't use an ETC for an itinerary like that. I mean you can ... but you'd be paying full fare Y or J less $1k and that will require someone at UA willing to do it (unlikely). Not worth it.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 8:57 am
  #347  
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Originally Posted by sokolov View Post
Is there a way to cancel a refundable fare (booked with fresh money from a credit card) into a form of credit that can be used for other passengers but is not a refund to the credit card? The Wiki at the top of this thread tells me that the Wiki's content is outdated.

I want to book two refundable economy class fares (different dates) from Canada to the US for myself, paying through the United website in Canadian Dollars with my credit card. I will likely have to cancel one of these itineraries, maybe both.
  • Do I understand correctly that, if I do not want a refund to my credit card, such a cancellation will result in an FFC, and that I still can not use the FFC for any other passenger?
  • Or have recent changes by UA made it possible to use FFC for other passengers?
  • Is there a way to put the refund into a Travelbank rather than an FFC, so that I can use the funds for a different passenger?
  • Assuming I can put the refund into a Travelbank, will the refund be converted to USD or will it it stay in CAD?
  • Is there a better solution?
  • Is the situation different if the fare is non-refundable Economy (but not Basic Economy)?
Thank you!
All your questions boil down to one: Is there a way to transfer FFC to another passenger?

The answer is no. It used to be possible by converting FFC to ETC but UA has stopped doing that.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 10:15 am
  #348  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The ETC can only be used on UA.com but it can be used for any flight (s) found on UA.com including partner flights (native or codeshares).

Sometimes you can use Google Flights find additional combinations and transfer to UA.com to book.
I’m (pleasantly) surprised that you can use ETCs for partner flights. I’m pretty sure that’s new since my last ETC in 2019.

For an itinerary like BRU-DPS, where UA didn’t offer any relevant flights, united.com used to offer a variety of partner flights (mostly *A). They appear to have stopped doing that.

OP: When UA says “United codeshare partners,” they do not mean “an airline where UA has a codeshare agreement.” Rather, they mean “a United codeshare flight.” In this case, based on these new ETC terms, I agree that you could buy that flight iff you could get it on the United website.

The only workaround I can think of is to buy an itinerary that United does return, apply the ETC, and then call to change to the flights you actually want — but (a) there’s no guarantee that an agent will cooperate, and (b) I think cfischer is correct; SQ, in particular, is extremely reluctant to allow its long-haul flights to be sold on another airline’s ticket except at full-fare prices. So, I suspect the fare would be much more expensive than it would be to buy through SQ directly.

Would you be looking to travel in Y or J? One-way or round-trip?
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Old Jul 2, 22, 10:32 am
  #349  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I’m (pleasantly) surprised that you can use ETCs for partner flights. I’m pretty sure that’s new since my last ETC in 2019.

For an itinerary like BRU-DPS, where UA didn’t offer any relevant flights, united.com used to offer a variety of partner flights (mostly *A). They appear to have stopped doing that.

OP: When UA says “United codeshare partners,” they do not mean “an airline where UA has a codeshare agreement.” Rather, they mean “a United codeshare flight.” In this case, based on these new ETC terms, I agree that you could buy that flight iff you could get it on the United website.

The only workaround I can think of is to buy an itinerary that United does return, apply the ETC, and then call to change to the flights you actually want — but (a) there’s no guarantee that an agent will cooperate, and (b) I think cfischer is correct; SQ, in particular, is extremely reluctant to allow its long-haul flights to be sold on another airline’s ticket except at full-fare prices. So, I suspect the fare would be much more expensive than it would be to buy through SQ directly.

Would you be looking to travel in Y or J? One-way or round-trip?
Perhaps the OP can purchase an inexpensive positioning flight to an airport that will get them to their final destination at a reasonable expense with the ETC (OP) I’m not sure if you’re aware that if you don’t use the full amount of the ETC on one ticket, you will have a residual balance to use on another ticket.

I had followed this OP in the EU 261 thread. I believe they took the ETC rather than €600 or 50,000 miles. So I’m sure that if this itinerary doesn’t work they will find another use for this ETC (bear in mind he has another potential ETC coming for his girlfriend) Hopefully this will work out well for them!
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Old Jul 2, 22, 10:55 am
  #350  
 
Join Date: May 2020
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Does future travel credit retain the original currency it was booked in? Or does it convert to USD?

Last edited by Denguin; Jul 2, 22 at 11:33 am
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Old Jul 2, 22, 11:27 am
  #351  
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Originally Posted by Denguin View Post
Looking to get some help with a prospective booking. I never fly UA, so I'm unsure of how to navigate their systems.

Here's the situation:
1) I'm looking to book a RT flight from Canada to the USA, so I will not qualify for any free changes/cancellations back to future flight credit.
2) I MUST make the purchase in CAD, unfortunately.
3) The flight I'm wishing to book is advertised as $480 USD... but if I select I want to pay in CAD, it jumps to $1000 (~775 USD). Upon taking a closer look, it looks like Economy (G) is not being advertised to Canadians, as the minute I switch currency, it shows Economy (K).

My questions:
1) Is there a particular reason why the price increases so much when paying in a foreign currency? I can understand giving an unfavourable exchange, but $300 more is clearly not due to FX currency factors.
2) Any ideas for workarounds?
3) One potential idea I've thought of - does future flight credit retain the original currency of purchase, or does it convert to USD? If the latter, I figure I can book a domestic US itinerary in CAD, cancel to future flight credit, and then snag the USD price with the credit. Would this work?

Thanks - appreciate any advice!
1) Sort of. It’s increasing because the point of sale changed, not because of the currency difference.
2) Use a US-based travel agent, but then note that you need to work with that agent to make any future changes, and I don’t know if they’ll let you pay in CAD.
3) You said you had to make the purchase in CAD. If you try this, even if it does work, your receipt will be in USD.

You’ve actually hit the nail on the head — you’re paying more because the G bucket is zeroed out for a Canadian point of sale. When you change currency on the United website, you’re actually changing the point of sale. (Well, as a matter of fact, UA will set it based upon the billing address of your credit card, but since you said you need to bill in CAD, you’re probably going to be forced to use a Canadian card). AFAIK, UA is unique in doing this; most airlines will base the point of sale on either (a) the origin country or (b) the specific website you’ve selected.

You can only avoid this by purchasing through a US point of sale, but, as I stated, I’m not sure how many US sellers will accept CAD.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 11:51 am
  #352  
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Have completely reworked the wiki due the significant rule/ process changes for ETCs / FFCs.
Additions are welcome.

Will be closing a number of outdated threads and consolidating ETC and FFC discussion into this thread. As they are now more alike than different. The main differences are transferability and expiration which are cover in the wiki. And they are not usable as credits at the same time.

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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 2, 22 at 1:17 pm
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Old Jul 2, 22, 2:25 pm
  #353  
 
Join Date: May 2020
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
1) Sort of. It’s increasing because the point of sale changed, not because of the currency difference.
2) Use a US-based travel agent, but then note that you need to work with that agent to make any future changes, and I don’t know if they’ll let you pay in CAD.
3) You said you had to make the purchase in CAD. If you try this, even if it does work, your receipt will be in USD.

You’ve actually hit the nail on the head — you’re paying more because the G bucket is zeroed out for a Canadian point of sale. When you change currency on the United website, you’re actually changing the point of sale. (Well, as a matter of fact, UA will set it based upon the billing address of your credit card, but since you said you need to bill in CAD, you’re probably going to be forced to use a Canadian card). AFAIK, UA is unique in doing this; most airlines will base the point of sale on either (a) the origin country or (b) the specific website you’ve selected.

You can only avoid this by purchasing through a US point of sale, but, as I stated, I’m not sure how many US sellers will accept CAD.
Sorry, I had edited my post since I found an old thread from 2014 that echoed what you said prior to your reply. I appreciate you taking the time to explain it to me and offer suggestions though - thanks!

The only reason I need to make the purchase in CAD is due to a promo, where I get $250 credit if I purchase $500+ with UA... only caveat is that the transaction has to be in CAD. So, a third party agency won't help me in this instance, I guess I was hoping to find a workaround by booking a domestic USA flight in CAD, refunding to FFC (hoping it was issued in USD), then re-booking my desired route at their published USD rates. I suppose this won't work if they are going to use my billing address as a Canadian one though, so I've resigned myself to picking a different date/routing with a G fare bucket available.

A bummer that UA does this, but I guess they're in the business of making money. Shrug.
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