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Change Fees "Gone For Good"(WW ex-USA,non-BE), credit for lower fare!, Intl&BE waiver

View Poll Results: What do you think of the recent UA changes in Changes fees?
Good idea: No Domestic Change fee w/ no rebooking residual AND No Standby fee/Free SDC all elites
148
64.35%
Good idea: No Domestic Change fee w/ no rebooking residual but NOT No Standby fee/Free SDC all elite
25
10.87%
Good idea: No Standby fee/Free SDC all elite but NOT No Domestic Change fee w/ no rebooking residual
18
7.83%
Neutral /dont care about either
30
13.04%
Dont like / think either is a good idea
9
3.91%
Voters: 230. You may not vote on this poll

Change Fees "Gone For Good"(WW ex-USA,non-BE), credit for lower fare!, Intl&BE waiver

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Old Jul 25, 22, 5:43 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: DELee
Wiki Link
Latest Update: 23 December 2021:

"Change fees are gone" (change fee waiver): https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...ngefeesaregone
We've permanently gotten rid of change fees for most Economy and premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S., or between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean. There also won't be change fees for other international travel originating in the U.S. Learn more

For all other standard Economy and premium cabin tickets, change fees are waived through January 31, 2022. Basic Economy tickets can only be changed if theyre issued by December 31, 2021, for travel commencing by December 31, 2021. See terms and conditions
(change fee waiver) Terms and Conditions: https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...ChangeFeeTerms

Tickets: Applies to standard fare tickets issued between March 3, 2020, and January 31, 2022, and Basic Economy fare tickets issued between March 3, 2020, and April 30, 2021, or Basic Economy tickets issued between May 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 for travel commencing between August 11 and December 31, 2021.

Changes/Cancellations: Customers with Basic Economy fare tickets issued between March 3, 2020, and April 30, 2021, or between May 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 for travel commencing between August 11 and December 31, 2021, or standard fare tickets issued between March 3, 2020, and January 31, 2022, will be permitted to change without paying a change fee. If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no change fee but must pay the fare difference. If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change without paying a change fee, and standard fare tickets may be given residual value in the form of a future flight credit. If you purchased your ticket from a third-party agency, please check with the issuing agency for the rules of your ticket. Contract fares such as special bulk fares sold by travel agencies (e.g., opaque) may not be eligible for free changes. Any changes or cancellations must occur prior to ticketed travel date.

Please note: As of August 30, 2020, we no longer have change fees for most Economy and premium cabin tickets for flights within the U.S., or between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean. We also no longer have change fees for international travel originating in the U.S. For more information visit united.com/changefee.

Fare validity: This applies to all standard fare tickets issued through January 31, 2022, all destinations, all points-of-sale, all travel dates available for sale, provided ticket number starts with 016. It also applies to Basic Economy fare tickets issued through April 30, 2021 or Basic Economy tickets issued between May 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 for travel commencing between August 11 and December 31, 2021, all destinations, all points of sale, provided the ticket number starts with 016.

Miscellaneous: Fares, fees, rules and offers are subject to change without notice. Seats are capacity-controlled and may not be available on all flights or days. Some fares are nonrefundable except during the first 24 hours after purchase. Other restrictions may apply.

New fine print (1 April 2021)
  • You can change Basic Economy tickets without change fees if the ticket is issued by April 30, 2021,
  • and all other international travel without change fees if the ticket is issued by May 31, 2021.
  • If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change without paying a change fee, and may be given residual value in the form of a future flight credit.
Updated 30 Sept 2021
Tickets: Applies to standard fare tickets issued between March 3, 2020, and December 31, 2021, and Basic Economy fare tickets issued between March 3, 2020, and April 30, 2021, or Basic Economy tickets issued between May 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 for travel commencing between August 11 and December 31, 2021.

Changes/Cancellations: Customers with Basic Economy fare tickets issued between March 3, 2020, and April 30, 2021, or between May 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 for travel commencing between August 11 and December 31, 2021, or standard fare tickets issued between March 3, 2020, and December 31, 2021, will be permitted to change without paying a change fee. If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no change fee but must pay the fare difference. If the new flight is priced lower, the customer may change without paying a change fee, and standard fare tickets may be given residual value in the form of a future flight credit. If you purchased your ticket from a third-party agency, please check with the issuing agency for the rules of your ticket. Contract fares such as special bulk fares sold by travel agencies (e.g., opaque) may not be eligible for free changes. Any changes or cancellations must occur prior to ticketed travel date.

Please note: As of August 30, 2020, we no longer have change fees for most Economy and premium cabin tickets for flights within the U.S., or between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean. We also no longer have change fees for international travel originating in the U.S. For more information visit united.com/changefee.

Fare validity: This applies to all standard fare tickets issued through December 31, 2021, all destinations, all points-of-sale, all travel dates available for sale, provided ticket number starts with 016. It also applies to Basic Economy fare tickets issued through April 30, 2021 or Basic Economy tickets issued between May 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 for travel commencing between August 11 and December 31, 2021, all destinations, all points of sale, provided the ticket number starts with 016.

Miscellaneous: Fares, fees, rules and offers are subject to change without notice. Seats are capacity-controlled and may not be available on all flights or days. Some fares are nonrefundable except during the first 24 hours after purchase. Other restrictions may apply.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
I just went through the process on a post-April 1st itinerary and was issued the new FFC vs ETCs. The agent tried to explain the new FFCs in detail:

The Bad:
1. No more ETC
2. No transferability
3. No combinability
4. Given there is no combinability, there is no more date-pushing (meaning new expiration date is most favorable of combined cert dates)

The Good:
5. Can use multiple towards a single itinerary (up to 10 she said)
6. Can pull from multiple accounts (3 from yours, 3 from spouse), so you don't have to split the locator to use from multiple accounts
7. Can be used on partner itineraries as long as one segment is UA
8. The FFCs show up in the account of the recipient and the booker. So I can see my spouse's FFCs if I booked the itenerary
9. FFCs now show up as a payment method in the app booking flow. For multi-passenger FFCs, both passengers show up!

I can live with all this, in exchange for no change fees, and reclaiming residual!
The fine-print on the change rules:
  1. If the new ticket costs less, the residual value from the old ticket is lost
  2. Multiple cancelled reservations cannot be combined to pay for a more expensive ticket
  3. Strictly U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean only (excludes Canada) and excludes Basic Economy and International flights
    1. Worldwide until Dec 31, 2020
United Airlines Permanently Eliminates Change Fees
Applies to all Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S.;
Airline also announces complimentary standby travel, becomes only U.S. airline that will let all customers in all classes of service fly same-day standby for free
With these new options, United gives more flexibility than any other U.S. carrier when customers' travel plans change
Video(1) Photos(1)

CHICAGO, Aug. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The only thing constant is change and at United Airlines, some of the fees associated with changes related to flying are gone for good. The carrier announced today that it is permanently getting rid of change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S., effective immediately. And starting on January 1, 2021, any United customer can fly standby for free on a flight departing the day of their travel regardless of the type of ticket or class of service, a first among U.S. carriers, while MileagePlus Premier members can confirm a seat on a different flight on the same day with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket if a seat in the same ticket fare class is available.

United is also extending its waiver for new tickets issued through December 31, 2020, to permit unlimited changes with no fee. This policy applies to all ticket types issued after March 3, 2020 and is valid for domestic and international travel. With these improvements, no U.S. airline gives their customers more flexibility when booking and changing their travel plans than United Airlines.

"Change is inevitable these days but it's how we respond to it that matters most. When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of this fee is often the top request," said Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, in a video message to customers. "Following previous tough times, airlines made difficult decisions to survive, sometimes at the expense of customer service. United Airlines won't be following that same playbook as we come out of this crisis. Instead, we're taking a completely different approach and looking at new ways to serve our customers better."

The new change fee policy applies to all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and customers will not be limited in the number of times they adjust their flights.

Additionally, United is giving customers more flexibility to change their flights on the day of their travel so they can head home if a meeting ends earlier or enjoy a few more hours on vacation. With the ability to list for same-day standby for free, customers will now have an option to take a different flight with the same origin and destination airports as their original itinerary if space is available at departure. This enhanced option will be available to all customers for travel within the U.S. and to and from international destinations beginning on January 1, 2021. Customers who want to switch flights will be able to add themselves to the standby list through United's award-winning mobile app, on united.com or at the airport no later than 30 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and one hour before departure on international flights.

The carrier is also improving the travel experience for its MileagePlus members including waiving all redeposit fees on award travel for flights changed or cancelled more than 30 days before departure and allowing all MileagePlus Premier members to confirm a different flight on the day of their travel. As a way to thank MileagePlus Premier members for their loyalty, beginning January 1, 2021, all Premier members will be able to confirm a seat for free on a different flight with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket. This expanded option will allow MileagePlus Silver members and above to confirm a new seat in the same ticket fare class if space is available. Earlier this year, United announced that it will extend status for MileagePlus Premier and Global Services members through January 2022. United also reduced thresholds for Premier qualification by 50 percent for each status level, to make reaching an even higher status tier easier.

For more information on United's new flexible travel policies, visit https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...hange-fee.html.

......
Related Threads
AA Eliminates Many Change Fees, Other Benefits 31 Aug 2020
Delta to Eliminate Change Fees on Domestic Tickets [Consolidated Thread]
Alaska Eliminates Change Fees (9/1/2020)

UA will extend BE/International change fee waiver (In response to AA?)
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Old Aug 31, 20, 6:51 pm
  #166  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: NYC
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I added a :"You know, I was wondering if they take one more step (i.e. you have a non-refundable "bank account" where you can put in the money to be used for a longer period of time and cancellations go back to the account), then how many of us won't mind putting some money in that bank with a small discount and occasional promotion?
Id definitely consider giving UA some money upfront in exchange for ease of using canceled ticket funds along with some miles and/or perks. A revamped PassPlus Flex with a lower initial buy in?
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Old Aug 31, 20, 7:02 pm
  #167  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Not necessarily. There is a huge advantage to booking RTs if you expect to change the return flight and might need to pay a fare difference -- you get to calculate advance purchase from the date of the original purchase. So, if you have a RT G fare, there is a K fare in the market (say, +$20 each way), and you need to change the return, inventory is K1 G0, and the 0-advance purchase fare is an E (+$400 each way), booking an RT will save you $380 on this change. The numbers are made up, but the scenario isn't -- I've been on both sides of it (a RT, and a cheap change, and two one-ways, and an expensive change).
Even if you don't need to pay a fare difference it seems that if one is fairly confident of taking the outbound, then booking a RT makes a whole lot of sense.

Seems like it would almost be like an open return (pending fare class availability). Or at the very least, you're not constrained by the SDC window.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 7:16 pm
  #168  
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I added a :"fine-print" section to the Wiki. Help me edit/keep it current (or take it out if not appropriate....
This is not new or changed from pre-COVID practice
2. Multiple cancelled reservations cannot be combined to pay for a more expensive ticket
COVID era, if you were able to cancel to ETC, then you could combine but I think we all realized cancel to ETC was a temporary COVID policy.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 7:21 pm
  #169  
 
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
At the very least include Canada! (selfishly)
I'm going to guess the revenue sharing JV on transborder routes with Air Canada is the holdup. AA doesn't have a partner to negotiate with.

But hey the guys running Aeroplan are from UA so let's see!

Removing elite qualifying from basic economy but adding elite benefits is shrewd by AA. I'm guessing all 3 had these no change fee plans in the works - the copies came out too quickly.
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Old Sep 1, 20, 5:19 am
  #170  
 
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
I'm going to guess the revenue sharing JV on transborder routes with Air Canada is the holdup. AA doesn't have a partner to negotiate with.

But hey the guys running Aeroplan are from UA so let's see!

Removing elite qualifying from basic economy but adding elite benefits is shrewd by AA. I'm guessing all 3 had these no change fee plans in the works - the copies came out too quickly.
Correct. This is why most international flights are excluded from these changes: JVs make it impossible to move independently.

I suspect these changes are driven, in part, by political pressure linked to campaigns for increased support.
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Old Sep 1, 20, 6:10 am
  #171  
 
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Smile

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
So, if you have a RT G fare, there is a K fare in the market (say, +$20 each way), and you need to change the return, inventory is K1 G0, and the 0-advance purchase fare is an E (+$400 each way), booking an RT will save you $380 on this change.
I'm lost here. It seems really important, so could you please clarify in English?
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Old Sep 1, 20, 7:16 am
  #172  
 
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Originally Posted by shdflyer View Post
I'm lost here. It seems really important, so could you please clarify in English?
Changing flights after you have flown the first leg have different rules than changing flights before you start flying.

If you change before you start, you reprice the entire trip as if you refunded and started new. Plus whatever change fee. So, if it's the day before, you pay the "close-in" fare.

If you change after you start (mostly when you get to your destination but before you return home), you pay a change fee, but you price your trip as if you have bought it back when you originally did. So you can potentially pay the "discounted" early purchase fare.

The actual details of pricing are rather complex, and jsloan is an expert on these. But it's likely that not all fare buckets have fares "close-in", so even though there are fare buckets open, there is no fare for you to buy, and you end up purchasing a more expensive ticket than if you bought a week (or 30 days) prior.
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Old Sep 1, 20, 7:44 am
  #173  
 
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One change I LOVE is being able to waitlist myself for standby on the app, vs. having to have an agent waitlist me. I hope that this rolls out very quickly.
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Old Sep 1, 20, 8:41 am
  #174  
 
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I like this change. It gives me more flexibility, and I'm a lot more willing to book tickets if I know I can change them without the fees.

It also leverages a "resource" United has on hand -- empty seats -- and lets passengers fill them up when they need them. That may end up being more efficient for the airline.
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Old Sep 1, 20, 8:49 am
  #175  
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
Correct. This is why most international flights are excluded from these changes: JVs make it impossible to move independently.
Not buying it, AA is including Caribbean - what joint ventures does UA have to the Caribbean?
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Old Sep 1, 20, 9:20 am
  #176  
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Originally Posted by ryman554 View Post
Changing flights after you have flown the first leg have different rules than changing flights before you start flying.
Actually, in many cases, as long as you don't touch the first leg of a trip, you can benefit from the more relaxed rules even prior to travel. However, once travel commences, you never have to worry about exceptions. I generally recommend that people hold off on making changes until travel has commenced just to make sure that they don't inadvertently trigger a reprice.

Originally Posted by ryman554 View Post
If you change before you start, you reprice the entire trip as if you refunded and started new. Plus whatever change fee. So, if it's the day before, you pay the "close-in" fare.
Right, that's exactly what I was getting at.

Originally Posted by ryman554 View Post
If you change after you start (mostly when you get to your destination but before you return home), you pay a change fee, but you price your trip as if you have bought it back when you originally did. So you can potentially pay the "discounted" early purchase fare.
Correct.

Originally Posted by ryman554 View Post
The actual details of pricing are rather complex, and jsloan is an expert on these.
:blush:

Originally Posted by ryman554 View Post
But it's likely that not all fare buckets have fares "close-in", so even though there are fare buckets open, there is no fare for you to buy, and you end up purchasing a more expensive ticket than if you bought a week (or 30 days) prior.
Exactly. Advance-purchase rules serve as a form of (legal) price discrimination. On many routes, the close-in fare is high not because there isn't available inventory, but because the airlines don't want to sell a discount fare to a traveler who might be willing to pay more. (Close-in bookings are often made by business travelers who are relatively price-insensitive).

Because of the different rules that you mention, it can be far, far cheaper to change the return flight of a round-trip ticket than it would be to change a one-way ticket on the exact same flight.

Originally Posted by shdflyer View Post
I'm lost here. It seems really important, so could you please clarify in English?
I apologize. ryman554 did an excellent job of explaining what I meant. I'd give this basic rule of thumb for making purchases In a no-change-fee, no-residual-value world (so, BE excluded):
  1. If either the round-trip ticket or two one-ways are substantially cheaper, buy that. (The latter is very rare for domestic travel but happens sometimes on short-haul international travel)
  2. If two one-ways and a round-trip ticket are about the same price
    1. If you are more likely to cancel the entire trip than move either leg, and you fly UA several times per year, buy two one-ways (breaks the FFC into smaller chunks)
    2. If you are more likely to move the outbound than the return, buy two one-ways (with a round-trip, the return leg would be re-priced when you changed the outbound)
    3. Otherwise, buy a round-trip.
Hope this helps.
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Old Sep 1, 20, 9:58 am
  #177  
 
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UA is really looking behind the curve now that AS will allow banking paid tickets and free award redeposits for both domestic and international flights.

Full details on my blog: https://www.dansdeals.com/points-tra...ees-worldwide/
FT disclosure: This link is to an online source in which I have a financial interest.

DL also tells me they are still looking into how to implement these changes. My guess is they will at least match AA.

Will UA respond? Can they afford not to?
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Old Sep 1, 20, 10:10 am
  #178  
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
Will UA respond? Can they afford not to?
I suspect that they will have to respond, although I agree with your post; I don't think that no-change-fees will immediately be rolled out to international destinations where they don't compete head-to-head with AS. I don't know that they will return to the FFC->ETC conversion online; I actually sort of believe them when they said that there were problems (I'm thinking fraud -- somebody hacking somebody else's account, cancelling their tickets, and immediately using the ETCs for travel). But I could see them dropping the no-residual-value rule now that both AA and AS have done so.
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Old Sep 1, 20, 10:53 am
  #179  
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
Correct. This is why most international flights are excluded from these changes: JVs make it impossible to move independently.
But UA could unilaterally allow INTL changes that only use UA metal. If it wanted to, that is.
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Old Sep 1, 20, 11:03 am
  #180  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I suspect that they will have to respond, although I agree with your post; I don't think that no-change-fees will immediately be rolled out to international destinations where they don't compete head-to-head with AS. I don't know that they will return to the FFC->ETC conversion online; I actually sort of believe them when they said that there were problems (I'm thinking fraud -- somebody hacking somebody else's account, cancelling their tickets, and immediately using the ETCs for travel). But I could see them dropping the no-residual-value rule now that both AA and AS have done so.
I'd be happy with matching AA on the residual value and dropping BE E+/CPU restrictions on premiers.
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