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

Old Apr 9, 2020, 2:37 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
***************************************
The ability to extend FFCs and ETCs is a dynmaic situation and what work in the past is not working now
See the thread for most recent reports. Some paths do appear to exist but things are changing frequently.
**************************************


* 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? never implemented)

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?
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

Comparison of TB, ETCs, & FFCs
  • They all have different pluses and minuses
  • TB can only be used on an all UA operated itin but can be used to book anyone. Deposited TB funds have up to 5 year expiration (special promos are funds are much shorter) and need to be used for a booking before expiration but travel can be later (up to 11 months)
  • ETCs can be used for any itin bookable by United and can be used by any traveler, Trips funded by ETC need to be booked by expiration but travel can be later (up to 11 months)
  • FFCs can be use for any itin bookable by United but can only be used by the named traveler, Trips funded by ETC need to be started before expiration
  • Only one of these can be used in a single booking, but multiple ETCs or Multiple FFCs can be used for a single booking
  • TB and ETCs can be converted to FFCs. FFCs can not (in general) be converted to ETCs (but occasionally will be if a legitimate FFCs usage fails).
  • FFCs or ETCs can not be deposited in TB.
Not working as-of April 2024.
Further changes in May 2024. See thread
However, you can follow the below to book a flight, then change it to a different flight after the expiration date.
Originally Posted by wiki
If you want to extend an FFC, the most reliable process is:

Purchasie a new non-refundable (non-BE) itin, for same passengers as the FFC. Do not use change of flight, start a new booking without using the FFC.
When you get to the payment page, then use the FFC as a form of payment
Wait a bit over 24 hours and then cancel.
You then will receive, essentially instantaneous, a new FFC with an expiration 1 year from the booking date.
The new FFC must be used for a trip starting before the new expiration
Deviations may not be successful
This will not work for FFC from a partial flown trip.

This works for extending ETC also except the ETC with be converted to a FFC and locked to the named passenger.

There is no guarantee this process will work in the future


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

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

Old Jan 23, 2024, 10:52 am
  #706  
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Originally Posted by dcpdxtrans
My bolding. Incorrect. I stated I was recently out of the country when they (and I) were viewing the website.
Still sounds like they were hitting the US website. And anyway, running to its illegal every time something unfortunate happens just cheapens the occasions that are actually against the regulations when they do happen.
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 12:00 pm
  #707  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 931
Originally Posted by jsloan
Still sounds like they were hitting the US website. And anyway, running to “it’s illegal” every time something unfortunate happens just cheapens the occasions that are actually against the regulations when they do happen.
Point well taken. IIRC, I stated that I simply "wonder[ed]" if UA's conduct was somehow unlawful. And I still do.

For FT folks, we know how these things work. We are deemed savvy travelers. But for everyday folks, especially those not fluent in English, had I not had the occasion to have a conversation about United, they might have thrown away not insignificant dollars. I highly doubt this is the first time this issue has happened with UA, and if not, that is where the exposure transforms from the inchoate.

I have already sent a note to have the site preferences changed, and I will report back if that remedies the issue. I hope it does.

Update: That was fast: the change in preferences to DD MONTH had no impact on how the deadline read, which remained as MM/DD/YYYY. I saw the screenshots of the change to preference and the certs. Structural problem with .Bomb I agree with other poster that if UA wants to be a respected global airline, it should act like one
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Last edited by dcpdxtrans; Jan 23, 2024 at 12:24 pm Reason: update
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 8:06 pm
  #708  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Using a FFC for multiple travelers?

I have a fairly significant Future Flight Credit (not ETC) sitting in my account from a trip to Europe trip that I unexpectedly needed to cancel last year. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a way to use this credit for multiple travelers on the same itinerary -- i.e. use it to cover the cost of the ticket for both traveler A and traveler B.

Thanks in advance for any insight
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 8:15 pm
  #709  
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Originally Posted by aero219
I have a fairly significant Future Flight Credit (not ETC) sitting in my account from a trip to Europe trip that I unexpectedly needed to cancel last year. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a way to use this credit for multiple travelers on the same itinerary -- i.e. use it to cover the cost of the ticket for both traveler A and traveler B.

Thanks in advance for any insight
FFCs are only valid for the named traveler.

in other words, if the flight credit came from a trip that was only for you, you can only use it to cover the cost of a ticket for you. If you are not traveler A or B, you can not use it at all.
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Old Jan 23, 2024, 8:22 pm
  #710  
 
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That's kind of what I remembered -- I am traveler A in this scenario -- so it's better than nothing. Thanks!
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 1:01 am
  #711  
 
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
Book a ticket with travel bank, cancel after 24 hours to create a FFC.
Also book a ticket in the same name as before with the ETC, cancel after 24 hours to create a FFC.
Use both FFCs for a new itinerary, cancel after 24 hours.
So just making sure here.

I have $200 TravelBank and $22.60 ETC. I want to buy a $250 ticket.

The right way to do this is book a placeholder with TB, cancel after 24 hours to get FFC. Do the same with the ETC to get another FFC (but I would need a super cheap ticket to use the ETC on?). Then combine FFC?
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Old Jan 26, 2024, 9:51 am
  #712  
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Originally Posted by lowkeyflyer
So just making sure here.

I have $200 TravelBank and $22.60 ETC. I want to buy a $250 ticket.

The right way to do this is book a placeholder with TB, cancel after 24 hours to get FFC. Do the same with the ETC to get another FFC (but I would need a super cheap ticket to use the ETC on?). Then combine FFC?
Basically correct but using the ETC, your cheapest flight may be more than $50
Cheapest possible flight (How do I redeem this flight credit?)
Also getting a flight for exactly the $200 for the TB flight could mean you may need to put more new money than the ETC is worth. Perhaps save the ETC for a future flight just use the TB now.

Also you do not need to combine the FFC as you can use multiple FFCs to make a purchase.
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Old Jan 28, 2024, 8:46 am
  #713  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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ETC use for nephew instead of husband ?

My husband and I were each given an ETC -- certificate terms and conditions # 7 state ...... may not be sold trade or bartered ...... however original recipient may arrange travel for another person if done without selling or bartering the certificate.

Husband does not want to go to London with me but my nephew does. How do I apply Husband ETC to nephew ticket ? just add in husband promo and pin code when buying nephew ticket ? could it be that simple or am i missing something ?

thanks
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Old Jan 28, 2024, 9:07 am
  #714  
 
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Originally Posted by Lindae3213
My husband and I were each given an ETC -- certificate terms and conditions # 7 state ...... may not be sold trade or bartered ...... however original recipient may arrange travel for another person if done without selling or bartering the certificate.

Husband does not want to go to London with me but my nephew does. How do I apply Husband ETC to nephew ticket ? just add in husband promo and pin code when buying nephew ticket ? could it be that simple or am i missing something ?

thanks
Yes, that simple.
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Old Jan 29, 2024, 1:44 pm
  #715  
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Still can't use an FFC to pay for a farelock reservation online. Thankfully there was no charge to ticket it through the call center and it appears it was done correctly. Of course, she had to convert it to an ETC.

Pleased to have zero airline scrip now except for WN.
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Old Jan 29, 2024, 2:07 pm
  #716  
 
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Trying to understand UA policy as it relates to itinerary changes since I'm an AA flier. To me it seems that if you buy a US domestic non-BE ticket, then you can voluntarily cancel the ticket and get a FFC for the full value of that ticket. When one books a ticket after the cancellation, you enter the FFC details and the value is applied. I don't want to book a UA ticket without that option. No status on UA. Thanks...
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Old Jan 29, 2024, 2:55 pm
  #717  
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Originally Posted by headinclouds
it seems that if you buy a US domestic non-BE ticket, then you can voluntarily cancel the ticket and get a FFC for the full value of that ticket. When one books a ticket after the cancellation, you enter the FFC details and the value is applied. I don't want to book a UA ticket without that option.
All correct, though if you're logged in, there's no need to enter any details - you will be given the option to use the FFC as (partial) payment whrn booking.
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Old Jan 30, 2024, 4:19 pm
  #718  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I made the poor decision to use 3 FFCs (for 3 people) in a booking this morning and then reconsidered and canceled; it's been arduous trying to get the credits back from United so I can use them. I finally got the credits reissued but I was just informed I can't make a new booking with a 4th person on the reservation. Is that a thing? Only people named on the credits can be on the reservation? The credits now require contacting United to be used for some reason.

Edit: Chat agent earlier said she could rebook me, but could not add someone. Called in now, and agent says I need to wait 72 hours. So I think I'm just stuck. Hopefully I don't get burned on the pricing of the flight I want.

Edit 2: How long should it take to get an FFC back for a reservation canceled in the 24 hour window? Is this normally a multiple day thing? I don't really care about timing for the credit card refund but I (naively) assumed the FFC would come right back and be ready to use immediately.

Edit 3: FYI, just under 48 hours for the FFCs to return to my account.

Last edited by ucdtim17; Feb 1, 2024 at 3:32 pm
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 4:16 pm
  #719  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Cancelled tickets

How do I use nonrefundable, cancelled ticket values for passengers other than those originally booked?

I had to cancel 5 tickets the other day and have zero use for United but would like to use the value for a friend.

Can I? If so, how?
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 4:25 pm
  #720  
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Originally Posted by michaelaeaston
How do I use nonrefundable, cancelled ticket values for passengers other than those originally booked?
You can't.
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