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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 16, 22, 6:01 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 138
Originally Posted by Unmaxdemax View Post
If i cancel my flight online, is the future flight credit issued right away?
Following on from this question, how long does it take for FFC to be credited when changing a flight to a cheaper flight? Booked in November, took outbound flight mid-Dec, changed return date ($90 cheaper) and flight now completed.

sorry if this is repetitive... I’ve searched the forum but don’t see this answer. Thanks!
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Old Jan 16, 22, 7:22 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by Ismilee View Post
Following on from this question, how long does it take for FFC to be credited when changing a flight to a cheaper flight? Booked in November, took outbound flight mid-Dec, changed return date ($90 cheaper) and flight now completed.

sorry if this is repetitive... I’ve searched the forum but don’t see this answer. Thanks!
FFC should be credited instantly when change made, tied to original PNR.
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Old Jan 16, 22, 2:29 pm
  #48  
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
FFC should be credited instantly when change made, tied to original PNR.
my experience as well. Mine is that you receive an email with the residual FFC info pretty much immediately, and simultaneously with the re-issued ticket with changed itinerary.
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Old Jan 16, 22, 8:57 pm
  #49  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Multiple FFCs can now be applied at payment time.
If I'd realized this, I never would have called in! I knew I could use multiple ETCs, but the last time I tried with FFCs, I could only use one...

Still easier to have them consolidated than to have to apply multiples.
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Old Jan 17, 22, 5:53 am
  #50  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
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Thanks for the info fumje and emcampbe! I've gotten nothing, so contacted United. Hopefully they'll resolve it quickly :-)
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Old Jan 17, 22, 2:50 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Ismilee View Post
Thanks for the info fumje and emcampbe! I've gotten nothing, so contacted United. Hopefully they'll resolve it quickly :-)
Have you tried looking in the 'wallet' section of your profile, under travel credits to see if its there? Alternatively, have you tried a dummy booking, and using the FFC as payment, using the original PNR. If it can't find it that way, probably the 'system' screwed up and it needs intervention - usually, these are issued immediately
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Old Jan 19, 22, 1:12 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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​​​​​​FROM UNITED AIRLINES CANCELLATION POLICY
  • A refund may be requested for any fare that allows refunds. Depending on the rules of the fare purchased, a cancellation fee may apply. Most fares are nonrefundable, and are not eligible for voluntary refunds. However, the value of your ticket may be eligible to be applied toward the price of a new ticket for a fee. Tickets are valid 12 months from the day of ticket issuance, except for tickets purchased on or before December 31, 2021, which are extended from original date of issue to December 31, 2022. Travel must begin by December 31, 2022. Once travel begins, travel must be completed within 12 months from the outbound travel date.

MY QUESTION:
I have from ETC from 2020, with expiration date of 12/31/2022. I am thinking of using it to book EWR-YYC trip. I am debating if it make sense to spend extra $50 for refundable tickets? If I book a non-refundable ticket using the ETC, then I cancel the trip (for example $300), am I able to use the refund (the $300) for any trip or just the EWR-YYR route?

Thank you.
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Old Jan 19, 22, 1:29 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by opus2002 View Post
​​​​​​FROM UNITED AIRLINES CANCELLATION POLICY
  • A refund may be requested for any fare that allows refunds. Depending on the rules of the fare purchased, a cancellation fee may apply. Most fares are nonrefundable, and are not eligible for voluntary refunds. However, the value of your ticket may be eligible to be applied toward the price of a new ticket for a fee. Tickets are valid 12 months from the day of ticket issuance, except for tickets purchased on or before December 31, 2021, which are extended from original date of issue to December 31, 2022. Travel must begin by December 31, 2022. Once travel begins, travel must be completed within 12 months from the outbound travel date.

MY QUESTION:
I have from ETC from 2020, with expiration date of 12/31/2022. I am thinking of using it to book EWR-YYC trip. I am debating if it make sense to spend extra $50 for refundable tickets? If I book a non-refundable ticket using the ETC, then I cancel the trip (for example $300), am I able to use the refund (the $300) for any trip or just the EWR-YYR route?

Thank you.
If you cancel a non-refundable fare, it essentially stays in your current PNR, now commonly referred to as an FFC, and can be used as $300 towards a new itinerary - same route or completely different. There are very limited exceptions where fare rules might be more restrictive, but practically never on an unflown itinerary originating in the US.

if you buy a refundable fare, canceling will throw the value back to original form of payment - so in your case a new ETC. Not sure what the recent data is, but I think in the past it generally went to a new ETC, with potentially a new expiry date. Note the refund to an ETC can take time - maybe 21 days, so you will not have use until then. You’d also have the option to get the value back as FFC (same as above), which generally arrives immediately.
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Old Jan 20, 22, 12:20 pm
  #54  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
If you cancel a non-refundable fare, it essentially stays in your current PNR, now commonly referred to as an FFC, and can be used as $300 towards a new itinerary - same route or completely different. There are very limited exceptions where fare rules might be more restrictive, but practically never on an unflown itinerary originating in the US.

if you buy a refundable fare, canceling will throw the value back to original form of payment - so in your case a new ETC. Not sure what the recent data is, but I think in the past it generally went to a new ETC, with potentially a new expiry date. Note the refund to an ETC can take time - maybe 21 days, so you will not have use until then. You’d also have the option to get the value back as FFC (same as above), which generally arrives immediately.
Thank you.

At this point, it sounds to me there is no point in getting a refundable ticket since the expiration date is still quite far away. Also, if I make speculative bookings, I got nothing to lose since the money (ETC) is already sitting there.
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Old Jan 21, 22, 3:50 pm
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Programs: UA
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I've read through this forum to understand my options for the 3 credits I have (amounts rounded for simplicity):
$1,500 in an ETC Exp. 2/11/23
$50 in an ETC Exp 3/30/23
$7,600 in a FFC Exp 12/31/22
I'm ready to book flights for December 2022. The ticket cost will be about $1,300. I tried purchasing this ticket from the FFC link on the Travel Credits page, but then it showed the ticket cost as $0, so I went no further. I then used the direct method to price the flights, assuming I'd have to call United to book using the FFC. Now from this forum, I understand that when I get to the payment page, it will offer me all my credits. Now, what credit to choose?

I could choose the FFC because it has the earliest expiration date. The system would take the $1,300 air fare from the FFC and the difference will remain on that FFC (different from in the past when you would lose the residual). The expiration date on the FFC will remain 12/31/22.

Before the end of the year, I would convert the residual on the FFC to an ETC, thereby extending the expiration. My only reason for waiting to convert is in case it extends the expiration date that much longer. But the risk is as always, how long United will allow conversion of an FFC to a ETC. Even now, apparently, you must phone United to request that.

So when I convert the FFC to an ETC, the expiration date would then be beyond that of the other 2 ETC's. That being the case, maybe I ought to buy the $1,300 tickets using the ETC that expires the soonest.

Does anyone know what the Expiration Date of the ETC will be upon conversion from FFC? That might help me to decide how to proceed. (BTW, my next trip is planned for March 2023, so I plan to use the ETC promptly, but of course best laid plans can go awry.)
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Old Jan 21, 22, 9:36 pm
  #56  
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Originally Posted by ValleyOfTheMoon View Post
I've read through this forum to understand my options for the 3 credits I have (amounts rounded for simplicity):
$1,500 in an ETC Exp. 2/11/23
$50 in an ETC Exp 3/30/23
$7,600 in a FFC Exp 12/31/22
I'm ready to book flights for December 2022. The ticket cost will be about $1,300. I tried purchasing this ticket from the FFC link on the Travel Credits page, but then it showed the ticket cost as $0, so I went no further. I then used the direct method to price the flights, assuming I'd have to call United to book using the FFC. Now from this forum, I understand that when I get to the payment page, it will offer me all my credits. Now, what credit to choose?

I could choose the FFC because it has the earliest expiration date. The system would take the $1,300 air fare from the FFC and the difference will remain on that FFC (different from in the past when you would lose the residual). The expiration date on the FFC will remain 12/31/22.

Before the end of the year, I would convert the residual on the FFC to an ETC, thereby extending the expiration. My only reason for waiting to convert is in case it extends the expiration date that much longer. But the risk is as always, how long United will allow conversion of an FFC to a ETC. Even now, apparently, you must phone United to request that.

So when I convert the FFC to an ETC, the expiration date would then be beyond that of the other 2 ETC's. That being the case, maybe I ought to buy the $1,300 tickets using the ETC that expires the soonest.

Does anyone know what the Expiration Date of the ETC will be upon conversion from FFC? That might help me to decide how to proceed. (BTW, my next trip is planned for March 2023, so I plan to use the ETC promptly, but of course best laid plans can go awry.)
Slow down there…how are you planning on converting the FFC to an ETC? UA was doing this for a time, but that practice ended probably at least a year ago, before the end of 2020, IIRC. There were a handful of reports of people successfully asking/receiving conversions after that ‘officially’ stopped, but unless I missed a whole lot of stuff, have not heard about any conversions taking place in the last several months.

id expect the FFC, and all the ETCs, to expire as noted, short of another global extension, which is certainly possible at some point, but I’d say not a guarantee.
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Old Jan 22, 22, 9:41 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Slow down there…how are you planning on converting the FFC to an ETC? UA was doing this for a time, but that practice ended probably at least a year ago, before the end of 2020, IIRC. There were a handful of reports of people successfully asking/receiving conversions after that ‘officially’ stopped, but unless I missed a whole lot of stuff, have not heard about any conversions taking place in the last several months.

id expect the FFC, and all the ETCs, to expire as noted, short of another global extension, which is certainly possible at some point, but I’d say not a guarantee.
Hi emcampbe, thanks so much for your reply, although of course I wish it had been better news. (I did a conversion of an FFC to at ETC on 2/11/21, so apparently, I got in just under the wire!) It seems the only way not to lose the value of the FFC is to use it to book travel for 2022. Let's say we do, and I have to cancel because the destination country is still quarantining foreign visitors at that time (as they have done since March 2020). If we cancel those tickets, would United issue a new FFC with a new expiration date, or the 12/31/22 date of the FFC used to pay for the tickets?
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Old Jan 22, 22, 1:11 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by ValleyOfTheMoon View Post
Hi emcampbe, thanks so much for your reply, although of course I wish it had been better news. (I did a conversion of an FFC to at ETC on 2/11/21, so apparently, I got in just under the wire!) It seems the only way not to lose the value of the FFC is to use it to book travel for 2022. Let's say we do, and I have to cancel because the destination country is still quarantining foreign visitors at that time (as they have done since March 2020). If we cancel those tickets, would United issue a new FFC with a new expiration date, or the 12/31/22 date of the FFC used to pay for the tickets?
the ‘expiration’ date is now a ‘first flight must be flown by’ date. So you can use it into 2023 as long as the first flight departs by 12/31/22. I’m not sure how that applies when applying it as a form of payment vs. booking within the PNR…I don’t have direct experience in trying it since the use of FFC as a form of payment is relatively new, and the ability to book flights past 12/31/22 Only occurred in the few weeks. You can always try applying as a form of payment toward a flight for Jan. 2023 on a dummy booking and seeing what happens - maybe that works?

that said, typically, FFC expiry has been based on original date of issue, with it being valid for only 1 year from the original date of issue. The 12/31 current expiry is a result of at least one, and probably two or three different extensions of those on a global scale due to the pandemic (I’ve lost track). So given that, I’d expect it to revert to that expiry for now with a cancelation. Given the continuing challenges in the industry, and the state of affairs in general, Id expect there may be additional global extensions to these expiry dates, though IMO I wouldn’t be certain - Delta recently extended expiry for theirs through the end of 2023, which may budge UA to do the same, but I can also see them waiting until late summer/fall to see what the situation/outlook is by then. I’ve also seen other (non-travel) programs do extensions for their expiring loyalty currencies now - Starbucks is a giant one that comes to mind.
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Old Jan 22, 22, 1:18 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
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Originally Posted by ValleyOfTheMoon View Post
Hi emcampbe, thanks so much for your reply, although of course I wish it had been better news. (I did a conversion of an FFC to at ETC on 2/11/21, so apparently, I got in just under the wire!) It seems the only way not to lose the value of the FFC is to use it to book travel for 2022. Let's say we do, and I have to cancel because the destination country is still quarantining foreign visitors at that time (as they have done since March 2020). If we cancel those tickets, would United issue a new FFC with a new expiration date, or the 12/31/22 date of the FFC used to pay for the tickets?
If United cancels the future flight you are likely to get more time or a ETC to replace the ticket, but only if United cancels. Otherwise back to original form of payment if you cancel.
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Old Jan 22, 22, 1:26 pm
  #60  
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Did a within 24 hour cancellation that used a FFC (decided on a different routing). Card was refunded and new FFC was issued. Took a week to refund, manual review.
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