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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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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, 11:27 am
  #346  
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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
  #347  
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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.

WineCountryUA
UA coModerator

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 2, 22 at 1:17 pm
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Old Jul 2, 22, 2:25 pm
  #348  
 
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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Old Jul 8, 22, 10:23 am
  #349  
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Originally Posted by Denguin View Post
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.
Also be aware that FFC and ETC don't go well together. That's a nice promo
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Old Jul 10, 22, 8:41 am
  #350  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 237
I have a few questions regarding the FFC that need some expert clarifications.

First, let's forget about the validity to end of 2023 for a minute and assumes that it's only valid for 12 months since it's a generic question. Say I buy a ticket on 1/1. I cancel it on 5/1. And change it to a more expensive ticket on 6/1. (I use the word "change" since the last time I called United to do it, they kept the same confirmation number even though I canceled the ticket before and the itineraries are completely different.) Let's say I cancel the new ticket again on 7/1. Is the expiration of the FFC now one year from 6/1, or is it still one year from 1/1?

Second, another unrelated question. Let's say I buy a changeable United ticket through an OTA. (United website gives an error, I think it couldn't price the particular partner flight at the fare Google quoted, even though Google flights gives a price and clickable link.) Let's say I cancel it later. I suppose I have to call OTA to cancel? Afterwards, do I get a FFC that shows up on United's website that I can use directly with United later, or do I get some credit that I can only use with the same OTA to book the United flights?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 9:28 am
  #351  
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
That's a nice promo.
It's a standard Canadian Amex cash-back promo, though definitely one of the better ones.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 1:06 pm
  #352  
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Originally Posted by fttc View Post
I have a few questions regarding the FFC that need some expert clarifications.

First, let's forget about the validity to end of 2023 for a minute and assumes that it's only valid for 12 months since it's a generic question. Say I buy a ticket on 1/1. I cancel it on 5/1. And change it to a more expensive ticket on 6/1. (I use the word "change" since the last time I called United to do it, they kept the same confirmation number even though I canceled the ticket before and the itineraries are completely different.) Let's say I cancel the new ticket again on 7/1. Is the expiration of the FFC now one year from 6/1, or is it still one year from 1/1?
For tickets purchased directly through United and wholly unused, as in this scenario, you should get FFC on 5/1. If you then use that FFC on 6/1 to book a new ticket, starting from scratch and applying the FFC during checkout, you’ll definitely have a new ticket (and a new PNR, for that matter), and so, when you cancel again, the resulting FFC should be valid until 6/1. Even if you follow the specific set of steps that you set out here, in such a way that you keep the same PNR, a wholly unused ticket will have to be exchanged and reissued on 6/1, and so the FFC that results on 7/1 should be relative to the new ticket issuance date (6/1).

The only time that the FFC would still be tied to the original ticket issue date of 1/1 would be if (a) the ticket was partially used before you changed it, or (b) the ticket were not reissued when you made the changes. (b) would require that there’d been no change of fare or ticketed destination — think schedule change, or you cancel one ORD-DTW flight for a different one in the same fare class one week later.

Originally Posted by fttc View Post
Second, another unrelated question. Let's say I buy a changeable United ticket through an OTA. (United website gives an error, I think it couldn't price the particular partner flight at the fare Google quoted, even though Google flights gives a price and clickable link.) Let's say I cancel it later. I suppose I have to call OTA to cancel?
Yes.

Originally Posted by fttc View Post
Afterwards, do I get a FFC that shows up on United's website that I can use directly with United later, or do I get some credit that I can only use with the same OTA to book the United flights?
You would not get FFC that appears on the United website. You’d have to deal with the OTA for rebooking, and apparently UA is holding travel agents to the fare rules — so if your new ticket doesn’t allow for residual credit when changing to a cheaper flight, an OTA isn’t allowed to give you any.
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Old Jul 10, 22, 7:27 pm
  #353  
 
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Just realized ecert has to fully cover economy plus cost

also e certs from 2019 can’t be added online, have to call in

Last edited by slickvik; Jul 10, 22 at 7:33 pm
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Old Jul 11, 22, 10:41 am
  #354  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
For tickets purchased directly through United and wholly unused, as in this scenario, you should get FFC on 5/1. If you then use that FFC on 6/1 to book a new ticket, starting from scratch and applying the FFC during checkout, you’ll definitely have a new ticket (and a new PNR, for that matter), and so, when you cancel again, the resulting FFC should be valid until 6/1. Even if you follow the specific set of steps that you set out here, in such a way that you keep the same PNR, a wholly unused ticket will have to be exchanged and reissued on 6/1, and so the FFC that results on 7/1 should be relative to the new ticket issuance date (6/1).

The only time that the FFC would still be tied to the original ticket issue date of 1/1 would be if (a) the ticket was partially used before you changed it, or (b) the ticket were not reissued when you made the changes. (b) would require that there’d been no change of fare or ticketed destination — think schedule change, or you cancel one ORD-DTW flight for a different one in the same fare class one week later.
Yeah, that would be my expectation. But I'm always worried about wording like "original" in "original ticketing/issuing date". Seems to me there is only one date anyway for each ticket. And airlines are know to be purposely vague. Thanks for the confirmation,

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
You would not get FFC that appears on the United website. You’d have to deal with the OTA for rebooking, and apparently UA is holding travel agents to the fare rules — so if your new ticket doesn’t allow for residual credit when changing to a cheaper flight, an OTA isn’t allowed to give you any.
Yeah, that's the part that I'm worried about. That does seem a little unethical, at least it's not well spelled out on the webpages, while all those "permanently removed change fees" is just as misleading. It's counter to most common business practices, like saying you can only service your car from the dealer you bought it. Thanks for the clarification. People on these forums pay attentions to these details, but I do wonder how many people who don't buy tickets often fall prey to this.
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Old Jul 13, 22, 5:30 pm
  #355  
 
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Guys - to get either type of credit, is there a time limit to when the ticket must be canceled or as long as it's before the flight, thats fine?
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Old Jul 13, 22, 6:02 pm
  #356  
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Originally Posted by sam007 View Post
Guys - to get either type of credit, is there a time limit to when the ticket must be canceled or as long as it's before the flight, thats fine?
To be on the safe side at least a couple hours before scheduled departure. The strict answer is before the gate agent closes the flight which is 15-30 minutes before departure but best to leave some buffer.
Discussed in detail in Minimum latest time to cancel (cash) UA ticket for credit?
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Old Jul 13, 22, 6:12 pm
  #357  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Thank you and as I understand, I don't have to choose the type of credit right away or United will simply default to a kind of credit with the remote possibilty I can convert the credit type in the future right? No guarantees of course and I get that
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Old Jul 13, 22, 7:11 pm
  #358  
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Originally Posted by sam007 View Post
Thank you and as I understand, I don't have to choose the type of credit right away or United will simply default to a kind of credit with the remote possibilty I can convert the credit type in the future right? No guarantees of course and I get that
No, for a flight cancellation you will get an Future Flight Credit (FFC). There is no other choice or conversion to ETC option
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Old Jul 13, 22, 7:14 pm
  #359  
 
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Do they give me a code on the phone or email it to me print gets deposited under my frequent flyer account?
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Old Jul 13, 22, 7:18 pm
  #360  
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Originally Posted by sam007 View Post
Do they give me a code on the phone or email it to me print gets deposited under my frequent flyer account?
The code is the same as the PNR Locator for the canceled reservation and it is listed as a credit in you UA MP account (if you have a MP account).. If cancelled before 31 Dec 2022, the credit is good until 31 Dec 2023. Otherwise, it is good for 1 year after initial purchase.
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