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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?
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 Feb 13, 22, 9:41 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Singapore, Vancouver
Programs: UA MP 1K, Marriott Bonvoy Plat
Posts: 188
Had an odd one yesterday. I've had a FFC in my account since the 2020s -- reflected in my account as US$900+ ever since they started showing up on united.com. This amount is reflected on My United under Travel Credits, and also appears in the Checkout Page as a travel credit. If I select the credit it is applied to the fare as US$900+.

Tried to book a trip with this yesterday. The website errored out (not unusual given Singapore POS) so I held the itinerary using the "pay in person" option which I was previously told to do. Called 1K desk which saw and acknowledged the US$900+ credit but priced out the itinerary differently from what was on my new PNR (US$1000+ vs US$800+). Agent couldn't take the FFC on the old PNR and apply it to the new PNR so I suggested converting to ETC and applying it that way.

Here's where it gets weird. Agent calls supervisor to convert to ETC and is told the FFC value is in fact US$325. Said something about ticket being partially used. Quite a shock -- shouldn't this have been factored into the FFC value shown on the website?

Was told the conversion cannot be reversed and that original flight was >12 months back so can't rebook the same origin and destination without repricing. Told to contact customer care, agent agreed it was odd since he was prepared to process US$900+ FFC on the US$1000+ fare.

I wrote to 1K Voice but wanted to ask if FTers here have encountered similar situations where FFC dollar values are appearing wrongly on united.com... And I guess fair warning that what you see might not be what you apparently have!
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Old Feb 13, 22, 10:39 pm
  #107  
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Originally Posted by kohswisscheese View Post
.... wanted to ask if FTers here have encountered similar situations where FFC dollar values are appearing wrongly on united.com... ...
For a partial flown ticket? Believe that has been reported before

What was the original cost of the ticket? Was it international? What was flown and was not?
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Old Feb 14, 22, 4:39 am
  #108  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Singapore, Vancouver
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
For a partial flown ticket? Believe that has been reported before

What was the original cost of the ticket? Was it international? What was flown and was not?
Frankly I don't quite know. It might be. Quite sure it was international since I had several FFCs from when all the Asia flights cancelled. I just don't know which one this is and its now gone from My United so I can't check. I just found it odd and very disconcerting that (i) the value indicated on united.com is different from the alleged value by a factor of 3x, it's not a currency conversion issue; and (ii) the agent was prepared to apply the value indicated on united.com to the ticket, and would have if there was no need to convert it to an ETC.
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Old Feb 14, 22, 10:50 am
  #109  
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Originally Posted by kohswisscheese View Post
Frankly I don't quite know. It might be. Quite sure it was international since I had several FFCs from when all the Asia flights cancelled. I just don't know which one this is and its now gone from My United so I can't check. I just found it odd and very disconcerting that (i) the value indicated on united.com is different from the alleged value by a factor of 3x, it's not a currency conversion issue; and (ii) the agent was prepared to apply the value indicated on united.com to the ticket, and would have if there was no need to convert it to an ETC.
The problem is the value of an unflown segment depends. Was it a voluntary or a UA cancellation? if voluntary, you are still bound by the original fares (but not if UA cancelled or whole ticket unflown), And if voluntary, how you change the ticket will affect the residual value. Determing the residual vlaue can be difficult and most frontline agents will need to turn to the rate desk to get an answer.

Confusing, yes. Misleading, perhaps. But not really possible to put a simple value on the ticket. This is due to the partial flown nature. Perhaps no value would be better -- call UA.

Realize folks had a lot of cancelled plans and many may have not realized partial flown trips were going to be handled differential than unflown trips (but that has always been true)
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Old Feb 14, 22, 11:13 am
  #110  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Singapore, Vancouver
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The problem is the value of an unflown segment depends. Was it a voluntary or a UA cancellation? if voluntary, you are still bound by the original fares (but not if UA cancelled or whole ticket unflown), And if voluntary, how you change the ticket will affect the residual value. Determing the residual vlaue can be difficult and most frontline agents will need to turn to the rate desk to get an answer.

Confusing, yes. Misleading, perhaps. But not really possible to put a simple value on the ticket. This is due to the partial flown nature. Perhaps no value would be better -- call UA.

Realize folks had a lot of cancelled plans and many may have not realized partial flown trips were going to be handled differential than unflown trips (but that has always been true)
Thanks for this. Pretty sure it was a UA cancellation since they completely stopped flying to Singapore. The FFC was then extended a couple of times. I appreciate that determining residual value is complicated. But I think the more critical issue is that if united.com shows that my FFC is worth $X and allows me to apply it to a ticket, and the 1K desk also acknowledged that my FFC is worth $X and was prepared apply it to a ticket, I don't understand how it suddenly becomes $X/3 when the agent tries to convert it to an ETC. Surely whatever United determines to be the value of the Credit they can show it on united.com. Bad tech perhaps.
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Old Feb 14, 22, 11:27 am
  #111  
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Originally Posted by kohswisscheese View Post
Thanks for this. Pretty sure it was a UA cancellation since they completely stopped flying to Singapore. ....
If a UA cancellation then it should have been a refund, not a FFC. And while the rate desk will need to determine the exact value, the refund would have been based on the fare of the return -- not a FFC.

Unfortunately with a lack of travel records this may be hard to resolve.

Originally Posted by kohswisscheese View Post
...Surely whatever United determines to be the value of the Credit they can show it on united.com. ...
Not really for a partial flown trip as the value depends on how you plan to modify the original trip. Note that is a problem of partial flown trips and not wholly unflown trips.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 14, 22 at 12:01 pm Reason: more
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Old Feb 14, 22, 12:07 pm
  #112  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: United MileagePlus, Southwest RapidRewards
Posts: 50
Are my ETCs / FFCs worthless?

I have two FFCs - $47 and $16. I have an ETC for $46. Was on the horn with United the other day and the person at the premier desk said that the amount of the FFC/ETC has to cover the full amount of a purchase - otherwise it cannot be applied. For example, I couldn't use any of these vouchers to buy an E+ seat for my son (I only get +1 as UAG) as the cost was $65.

If this is true - these are essentially worthless as I will never have small enough purchases from United to cover those values.
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Old Feb 15, 22, 11:38 am
  #113  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by DonnieZ View Post
Are my ETCs / FFCs worthless?

I have two FFCs - $47 and $16. I have an ETC for $46. Was on the horn with United the other day and the person at the premier desk said that the amount of the FFC/ETC has to cover the full amount of a purchase - otherwise it cannot be applied. For example, I couldn't use any of these vouchers to buy an E+ seat for my son (I only get +1 as UAG) as the cost was $65.

If this is true - these are essentially worthless as I will never have small enough purchases from United to cover those values.
Absolutely not true. Haven't tried using them to buy E+ but when purchasing a flight the system lets you select the future flight credit and then also select a credit card to cover the balance. If the online system doesn't let you do this it may be a glitch requiring you to call in but it definitely doesn't need to cover the full value.
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Old Feb 15, 22, 11:42 am
  #114  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Programs: UA GS | Marriott Titanium / LT Platinum
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Originally Posted by travels007 View Post
I booked 2 domestic tickets with cash on United Economy for my boyfriend and I. Boyfriend has Silver Plus. We saw that the price went down by $40 per person for the flight so we cancelled the flight for future flight credit. We were issued flight credit for each of us and rebooked at the cheaper fare using flight credit.

Then the hiccup begins..
When we rebook to the cheaper fare, the United ticketing system issued $80 in flight credit to my name instead of issuing $40 of flight credit to each of us. However, when I try to use the flight credit on my account and book a flight for myself, the system will not let me and says the credit can only be used for the person it is issued to. I am not able to use the flight credit for my boyfriend either.

Has anyone come across this issue? Seems like a programming bug.
I had a slightly different but possibly related bug where I was booking new flights for my partner and myself. Both of our flight credits automatically appeared however my flight credit was greyed out with the error saying it can only be used for the person it was issued to. Only difference between us is that he doesn't store a middle name when booking whereas I do so my name is always concatenated first-name-middle-name. However, I used the exact same default travel profile with my full name when booking the ticket so it's odd that it wouldn't recognize (and I previously didn't have this issue come up last time I used a FFC in December/January).

Had to call in and have them book with a manual override. Oddly the agent said normally a popup appears saying the names don't match but has an option for the agent to override and it didn't appear this time. She had to go into another system to use it in a very manual override. Suspect they've recently tweaked programming on middle names or FFC and broken something.
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Old Feb 15, 22, 1:35 pm
  #115  
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Originally Posted by DonnieZ View Post
Are my ETCs / FFCs worthless?

I have two FFCs - $47 and $16. I have an ETC for $46. Was on the horn with United the other day and the person at the premier desk said that the amount of the FFC/ETC has to cover the full amount of a purchase - otherwise it cannot be applied. For example, I couldn't use any of these vouchers to buy an E+ seat for my son (I only get +1 as UAG) as the cost was $65.

If this is true - these are essentially worthless as I will never have small enough purchases from United to cover those values.
If I'm following correctly, the agent said this while you were trying to use the vouchers to pay for E+ seats only, not as part of a combined transaction for a new reservation as well as the E+ seat fee (for additional fees for beyond +1).

It is not true that your purchase has to be the same price as any FFC or ETC, however, typically, FFC and ETCs can not be combined (IIRC), and also, they can only be used to purchase new travel, or add-ons (E+, bundles, etc.) as part of a new reservation. If you were trying to use these to simply purchase an E+ seat on an existing itinerary, the agent was already trying to do you a favor, and probably didn't have any flexibility. With new travel, the system limits one to two form of payments (ie, FFC and card, ETC and card, etc.), but I wonder if this kind of ancillary purchase over the phone only allows a single form of payment, which would be consistent with the agent explanation. Perhaps this was the agent thought 'it has to be the same amount' was the easiest way to explain it, perhaps they didn't explain it well, or perhaps you misunderstood what they were saying (or maybe some combo of these). I'm not saying this is for sure what happened, but definitely a likely possibility.

For the record, I have used multiple FFCs, including multiple small residuals, in combo with a card payment for a new online reservation in the not too distant past. So definitely not universally true that FFCs/ETCs need to cover the entire amount of a purchase. Otherwise, I've definitely got a bunch of residual FFCs that will be thrown out eventually.
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Old Feb 15, 22, 2:48 pm
  #116  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Washington, DC
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Originally Posted by n8-the-gr8 View Post
I had a slightly different but possibly related bug where I was booking new flights for my partner and myself. Both of our flight credits automatically appeared however my flight credit was greyed out with the error saying it can only be used for the person it was issued to. Only difference between us is that he doesn't store a middle name when booking whereas I do so my name is always concatenated first-name-middle-name. However, I used the exact same default travel profile with my full name when booking the ticket so it's odd that it wouldn't recognize (and I previously didn't have this issue come up last time I used a FFC in December/January).

Had to call in and have them book with a manual override. Oddly the agent said normally a popup appears saying the names don't match but has an option for the agent to override and it didn't appear this time. She had to go into another system to use it in a very manual override. Suspect they've recently tweaked programming on middle names or FFC and broken something.
Same bug here today. Agent kept insisting there was a box I should see that allows me to edit the name, but there was no such option. In my case it was not the middle name, but the suffix after my name, even though I used the same stored profile for the booking so it should have matched exactly.

Last edited by InHouseCounsel; Feb 16, 22 at 12:52 pm
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Old Feb 17, 22, 7:46 am
  #117  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: HOU, IAH
Posts: 194
Higher Ticket Price to Use FTC

Sorry I haven't been following the thread so perhaps someone has already experienced this or provided a solution. I have a FTC of $2450/person on IAH-PRG 2021 flight canceled due to COVID. I want to re-book same flight for 5/21-5/28. The lowest published fare on United is $4371. So I'd expect to pay $1921 difference/ticket. But when I talk with United agent, the best deal they offer is to pay an additional $3350.32. Why am I being penalized over $1400 in trying to use the FTC? At that rate, I could book the fare on THY and come out ahead, albeit forfeiting the credit. What is United's justification for doing this????
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Old Feb 17, 22, 8:08 am
  #118  
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Originally Posted by roneyc View Post
Sorry I haven't been following the thread so perhaps someone has already experienced this or provided a solution. I have a FTC of $2450/person on IAH-PRG 2021 flight canceled due to COVID. I want to re-book same flight for 5/21-5/28. The lowest published fare on United is $4371. So I'd expect to pay $1921 difference/ticket. But when I talk with United agent, the best deal they offer is to pay an additional $3350.32. Why am I being penalized over $1400 in trying to use the FTC? At that rate, I could book the fare on THY and come out ahead, albeit forfeiting the credit. What is United's justification for doing this????
Was the FFC due to a completely unflown trip or did you use part of the ticket and then cancelled the rest?
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Old Feb 17, 22, 8:20 am
  #119  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: HOU, IAH
Posts: 194
Completely canceled more than 30 days out. Credit is available to use until 12/31/22. I think the correct terminology I should use is "Open Reservation"
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Old Feb 17, 22, 8:26 am
  #120  
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The FFC rebooking tool tool has known issues.

Suggestion do not start with the FFC to do the rebooking.
Start a fresh new booking
Wait till the payment page to use the the FFC
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