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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 Jan 22, 22, 5:29 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Programs: UA
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
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.
You mean, you paid for flight with a combination of FFC and credit card? What expiration was assigned to the new FFC?
ValleyOfTheMoon is offline  
Old Jan 22, 22, 6:05 pm
  #62  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
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Originally Posted by ValleyOfTheMoon View Post
You mean, you paid for flight with a combination of FFC and credit card? ...
Yes
Originally Posted by ValleyOfTheMoon View Post
What expiration was assigned to the new FFC?
Use the canceled PNR code and Begin travel by 01/16/2023
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 22, 22, 8:58 pm
  #63  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Having various issues with the UA site when trying to book flights using future flight credit. All works fine till I get past search form, and then just get the following:

We are unable to process your request. Please see the message below for details.

  • No flight schedule could be retrieved using your search criteria. Please use the form below to start a new search.

I know the message is wrong as there are flights (UA and *A) that I was able to see earlier in the day using the same search. And there are several options so very unlikely they’re all full suddenly.

UA chat seems clueless. Just told me to try a different browser but it’s the same across browsers, app, etc. Then told me it’s because I’ve made multiple changes on the booking and that it would have to be done manually.

Anyone else experienced this issue? Anyway to report this to UA IT so they can actually try to fix?
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Old Jan 22, 22, 9:37 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by samplat View Post
Having various issues with the UA site when trying to book flights using future flight credit. All works fine till I get past search form, and then just get the following:

We are unable to process your request. Please see the message below for details.

  • No flight schedule could be retrieved using your search criteria. Please use the form below to start a new search.

I know the message is wrong as there are flights (UA and *A) that I was able to see earlier in the day using the same search. And there are several options so very unlikely they’re all full suddenly. ...
Others have reported this issue, it may eventually self-resolve

Originally Posted by samplat View Post
l Then told me it’s because I’ve made multiple changes on the booking and that it would have to be done manually.....
This also has come up from time to time

Suggest working out your desired itin online first and then calling versus hoping to get it to work online eventually.

Originally Posted by samplat View Post
Anyway to report this to UA IT so they can actually try to fix?
It has been ongoing for sometime so probably best not to have high expectations
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WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 23, 22, 12:08 am
  #65  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Others have reported this issue, it may eventually self-resolve

This also has come up from time to time

Suggest working out your desired itin online first and then calling versus hoping to get it to work online eventually.

It has been ongoing for sometime so probably best not to have high expectations
WineCountryUA thanks, will try the suggestion!
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Old Jan 23, 22, 9:02 am
  #66  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
. . . 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? . ..
At this point (1/22/22), you can only select travel dates up to 12/25/2023, so I can't yet do your suggested experiment of attempting to book for 2023 using a credit that says "Begin travel by 12/31/22).

Meanwhile, based on the posts in reply to my query, I booked a Dec 2022 trip, using a portion of the huge FFC. I went in through the Travel Credits page. The process shows the total cost of the tickets (but only once you get to the payment page) as well as the remaining Flight Credit. (I confirmed the total cost was the same as what I'd priced going through the Reservations page.) Once you pay, you get 2 emails, one with the reservation and one with the Flight Credit showing your "Begin Travel By" (same as before, i.e., 12/31/22), Confirmation (the same PNR as the new reservation), and the Traveler Names, showing half the FFC total amount for each passenger.

So I'll just watch and wait to see what happens this year. The trip I would prefer to make in March 2023 could be booked for September 2022 if need be.

Thanks again to everyone who supports this forum.
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Old Jan 24, 22, 10:21 am
  #67  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
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As mentioned a few days ago, I have both a large FFC with "Begin travel by 12/31/22" and 2 smaller ETCs with Expiration Dates in early 2023. Two days ago, I booked flights for December 2022 using PART of the FFC ($1,100 of $7,600), because it has the earlier usage date. Then yesterday, I walked through booking international flights for September 2022. The fare would be more than the FFC. At the Checkout screen, I discovered I could apply EITHER the FFC OR the ETCs, but not both types. "Please note, future flight credits can't be combined with travel certificates. To use multiple credits, select either all flight credits or all travel certificates to pay for your booking." Aargh! Foiled again! I bailed out on the transaction. Then I cancelled the $1,100 flight that I had paid for with the FFC and rebooked using the ETC, so at least I'd have that amount added back to the FFC.

I thought I had read here that one could apply BOTH FFC's and ETC's to a booking? Apparently not, unless perhaps you can do by phone, which I did not try.
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Old Jan 24, 22, 1:14 pm
  #68  
 
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-----

Last edited by BangkokTraveler; Feb 3, 22 at 2:41 pm
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Old Jan 24, 22, 3:15 pm
  #69  
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Originally Posted by ValleyOfTheMoon View Post
As mentioned a few days ago, I have both a large FFC with "Begin travel by 12/31/22" and 2 smaller ETCs with Expiration Dates in early 2023. Two days ago, I booked flights for December 2022 using PART of the FFC ($1,100 of $7,600), because it has the earlier usage date. Then yesterday, I walked through booking international flights for September 2022. The fare would be more than the FFC. At the Checkout screen, I discovered I could apply EITHER the FFC OR the ETCs, but not both types. "Please note, future flight credits can't be combined with travel certificates. To use multiple credits, select either all flight credits or all travel certificates to pay for your booking." Aargh! Foiled again! I bailed out on the transaction. Then I cancelled the $1,100 flight that I had paid for with the FFC and rebooked using the ETC, so at least I'd have that amount added back to the FFC.

I thought I had read here that one could apply BOTH FFC's and ETC's to a booking? Apparently not, unless perhaps you can do by phone, which I did not try.
There have been lots of changes over the last several months - mostly with UA being more flexible with the ability to use credits, including the ability to temporarily get an ETC instead of an FFC (2020 mostly), the ability to use FFCs in other people's names for those issued prior to 8/31/21, the ability to add FFCs as a form of payment (before this, you could only use them by going into the FFC/old PNR, and booking from within that), and combined with that last change, the ability to use multiple FFCs to cover a single new booking, as well as the ability to use ETCs on partners. In addition to extending all types of credits. However, AFAIK, there has never been the ability to combine multiple types of credits, like FFC and ETC, and don't recall seeing that reported here.

UA has 100% improved the ability to use all types of credits, and also improved the visibility of them (before the pandemic, there was no way to see anything other than canceled PNRs in one's account - if you had an ETC or other type of credit, and didn't have the Number/PIN, it was pretty difficult to even know what you had or be able to use it without keeping your own records of what you had, and if you didn't receive an ETC email - was almost impossible to track down at all). The interface, however, could use some improvement though - I think many people who have both ETCs and FFCs probably assume because they are both lumped in the generic 'credits' type, they can be combined. That last part unfortunately, is still not true. Ideally, they should probably separate into an FFC and ETC type, much like 'Travelbank' is separated from 'Credits', so that it's clearer you can only use one type. Not sure how much of a priority this would be though - I suspect that in the scheme of things, the amount of pax this might affect is probably pretty minimal.
emcampbe is offline  
Old Jan 25, 22, 11:54 pm
  #70  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Are there any recent DPs on the expiration date on residual FFCs? Wondering if it's still a viable method to extend part of the FFC.
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Old Jan 26, 22, 9:15 am
  #71  
 
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A friend is a UK based traveller. In May 2020, when non-citizens could not enter the US directly from Europe, he had to cancel a purely domestic US itinerary. He accepted an ETC which he says will expire in May 2022.

Problem is, he hasn't been anywhere UA flies since then, and won't be anywhere UA flies before the ETC expires.

Is there any chance they would let him prolong the expiration date until he goes somewhere that UA flies?
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Old Jan 26, 22, 10:19 am
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by nexusCFX View Post
Are there any recent DPs on the expiration date on residual FFCs? Wondering if it's still a viable method to extend part of the FFC.
I applied an FFC to a new ticket last night and the new FFC with the residual amount is showing a 12/31/2022 expiration date.
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Old Jan 26, 22, 11:09 am
  #73  
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Originally Posted by ExpatExp View Post
A friend is a UK based traveller. In May 2020, when non-citizens could not enter the US directly from Europe, he had to cancel a purely domestic US itinerary. He accepted an ETC which he says will expire in May 2022.

Problem is, he hasn't been anywhere UA flies since then, and won't be anywhere UA flies before the ETC expires.

Is there any chance they would let him prolong the expiration date until he goes somewhere that UA flies?
UA extending on an individual basis, unlikely. UA doing a system wide extension, perhaps

But in May 2022, purchase a future USA domestic flight with the ETC (anytime in the next 11 months) and wait a few days and then cancel. They will then get a credit for a trip starting by May 2023 (no change fees for domestic flights). This credit can be used for partner flights or flights originating from Europe.
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WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Jan 26, 22, 3:28 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
…in May 2022, purchase a future USA domestic flight with the ETC (anytime in the next 11 months) and wait a few days and then cancel. They will then get a credit for a trip starting by May 2023 (no change fees for domestic flights). This credit can be used for partner flights or flights originating from Europe.
Excellent advice. Thank you.
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Old Jan 27, 22, 3:39 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Looked at this thread, and I know the answer must be buried in here somewhere, but couldn't find it.

If I have a FFC for $1,600, can I use that to buy a ticket for $1,000, and later another ticket for $600? Or can I only get full value if I buy one ticket that is at least $1,600?

Thanks!
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