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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 dont see one of your travel credits listed, or dont 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, youll 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 arent a member or cant 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 youll 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?
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.
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

Understanding/Using UA Electronic Travel Certificate & Future Flight Credit {Archive}
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Old Aug 6, 22, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
If I use a FFC (either from a cancelled PNR or a change refund) to book a new flight, then cancel it again, is the expiration extended to a year after the booking date of the NEW flight?
At the moment FFC and ETCs are good to until 31 Dec 2023 which is more than a year away, so it is not presently possible to determine. UA has said that for cancellations in 2023, the expiration will be 12 months from booking.
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Old Yesterday, 12:12 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If the credit is for a wholly unused ticket, call. The automated system doesnt always find the lowest fare.
I had another saga related to this. I wanted to move the dates of another existing ticket and found a suitable itinerary a couple of weeks later. So I canceled the original ticket, and tried to apply it to a new booking. Again, the FFC option in the payment section did not find it even given the confirmation #. And starting from the cancelled ticket did not find the routing I wanted. So I called, and gave the agent the exact flight numbers. Except this time, the agent couldn't find one leg. She said she had many choices showing up, except the one I wanted which was a partner flight. But she merrily told me that I could just buy the new ticket and ask for the refund of the original FFC. She confidently stated that the refund dept understands as long as I explained. Out of options since my original had already been cancelled, and the only way to get the new routing is buying the ticket on the website without any FFC, i took that advice and bought the ticket with new money, and filed for a refund request of the FFC with explanations.

The next day, I got an email that the refund was rejected. So I called, and the agent talked to the refund dept and came back and told me that the request was rejected automatically without human review. So she's going to file it for manual review. After a while, she found out she didn't have authority though and transferred me to another agent. The second agent was adamant that it's not refundable no matter what. So I asked for a supervisor. After repeating my story the third time to the supervisor, she was quite understanding and went ahead and filed the refund request for me.

I then went to check the refund webpage the next few days. I found more fishy stuff going on there. Every day I checked, the refund process by date is shifted later, and it's always 14 days after the date I checked. I can't imagine they can't keep track of date of the request. Again I think it's done on purpose. So after more than a week, I called in again. The agent talked to the refund dept for a while and told me it's rejected again. But he miraculously offered to connect me with the refund dept. I of course insisted on the opportunity. (The previous agents all told me that refund dept doesn't talk to anyone other than their own agents.) Then he went to talk to the refund dept again for a long while, and came back telling me that it's still under manual review. The next day I finally got an email saying the refund of the FFC will go back to my CC.

I have been seriously considering filing a DOT complaint on this against United. It certainly is pushing the boundary and semi-scamming people. Not showing valid FFC (which I have been 0 for 2) when buying new tickets will force people to spend new money while leaving old money potentially to waste. Only allowing FFC to be used from a change perspective, which means the IT knows that you are using FFC, thus only providing limited and less optimal routing/pricing means people are getting less value out of FFC than what free change claimed by United should be.

I'm not sure anything will happen if I file the complaint now though. DOT will just forward it to United for comment, and United will just reply that it's resolved since they are refunding my money.
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Old Yesterday, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by fttc View Post
I'm not sure anything will happen if I file the complaint now though. DOT will just forward it to United for comment, and United will just reply that it's resolved since they are refunding my money.
But it isn't resolved. The issue is that United made it very difficult to accomplish what should have been simple, and provided misleading and contradictory information along your journey. In other words, don't complain that United hasn't refunded your money; complain that United gave you the runaround, multiple times.
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