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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 /don’t care about either
30
13.04%
Don’t 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 Jun 28, 22, 1:53 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 they’re 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 30, 20, 3:21 pm
  #31  
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Very customer friendly changes.

Though this cuts into the benefits of being a high tier elite -free confirmed SDC was one of the benefits I valued the most.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:26 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
any United customer can fly standby for free
You might want to reword that.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:36 pm
  #33  
 
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Bravo! A change that is extremely Customer Oriented.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:47 pm
  #34  
 
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Another 1K/GS perk gone. Will be impossible what used to be easy
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:50 pm
  #35  
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Wow, this is kind of crazy and you wonder, other than the "If your new flight costs less, you’ll be able to change for free but will not receive a refund of the fare difference." and given UA's past good news/bad news tactics, what is the bad news that is to come.

Award change fee is also gone for domestic and redeposit fee is also gone if refunded > 30 days in advance for all tickets.

I am definitely glad I did not try to do mileage runs to get to 1K last year.

Let's see how "permanent" this is.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:51 pm
  #36  
 
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Posts: 2,197
It was obvious with the waivers that they had no revenue from the change fees and competitive analysis likely revealed forward bookings were lost to wn when they looked at the historical downtown/shock periods. To say it is only customer friendly is half right. The change fees originated out of scarcity. They are now vanishing in a sea of surplus seats. Supply and demand
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:53 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Plane-is-home View Post
Another 1K/GS perk gone. ...
How?
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:53 pm
  #38  
 
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As someone that already had that perk I hate the change because it will now be impossible to make that standby when you need it.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:54 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Ok who took over Kirby’s body?

seriously though.. amazed to see this, but happy. Hopefully seen as a good way to build back trust and loyalty to buy tickets. Think of All the forum posts lately on following nuances of change fee stuff

Last edited by hscottm; Aug 30, 20 at 5:08 pm
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Old Aug 30, 20, 3:56 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
How?
because before when it was costing money for most, it was easy do make last minute changes or get GS to rebook you. Now there will be longer lists.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 4:00 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Plane-is-home View Post
because before when it was costing money for most, it was easy do make last minute changes or get GS to rebook you. Now there will be longer lists.
Perhaps GS agent were waiving change fees but that was not happening for 1Ks
And if you worry about standby list, GS will be at the top and the others will not affect GS options

And Gold and Plat had free SDC already.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 4:01 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by UA Insider View Post
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.
Good news, glad to see UA taking the initiative here...will be nice to see a “UA does [ x ], when will DL follow” posted by our friends over on the DL forum.

...and there it is! https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...ta-follow.html

Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
You can thank Southwest and the govt for this one.

Little intl travel = Southwest is your biggest competitor.

And airlines asking for more bailout $$$ = cleaning up the act is part of the grooming.

Hopefully flight credits will still work like today - residual value if you book a flight less than the face value.
Well said. Also would note Alaska, the donut-hole-airline [read: too big to be small and too small to be big] effectively offered this for their mid tier and above elites.
Originally Posted by prestonh View Post
To say it is only customer friendly is half right. The change fees originated out of scarcity.
Said something similar back in February prior to the full on awareness of what we were in for with COVID. Basically it boils down to a macro demand problem that the carriers have no tools to address.

edited to add - COVID19 / Best Assessment as to "Secondary" Impacts on UA/M+ in 2020 from Black Swans

Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
FWIW here's my take, much of it stemming from a central philosophy I have: the person who holds power in a relationship is the person who holds the power to walk away.

1. If demand falls, UA will have to increase its attractiveness. Whether that's cheaper fares, more miles, better upgrades, I do not know. But this strikes me as being different than management's stance during 2017/18/19 where you saw UA adopting a less customer-friendly stance (rising thresholds for PQDs/PQPs), dynamic award pricing, pushback against Chase, etc. Big picture take away: if UA all of sudden finds it needing customers MORE than customers needing UA, the power dynamic shifts in favor of the customer meaning UA's going to have to offer more, not less.
Originally Posted by JHake10 View Post
The devil in in the details...These are the types of things that ordinary folks don't know and will find out the hard way.
Yeah...but on the whole how will the average customer benefit more: getting a residual voucher back or paying $200 for a change fee.

Let me say it another way: looking back to 2019 - the last “normal” year - what amount do you think was higher: 1. Change fees, or 2. Residual values. I’m not saying there’s no nuance here, but for the average customer this will produce an positive outcome the majority (note: not ALL) the time.

I’ll also note change fees are were a material source of income for the carrier. Don’t know what will be done to offset this - and to be fair, maybe UA doesn’t know either - but ALL carriers right now have a massive revenue problem and sooner or later this will have to be addressed. Maybe it’s higher fares, maybe it’s more subsidies, maybe [ → they ← ] will change monetary policy/reset the currency...I really don’t know. But sooner or later the economic reality of operating any airline will have to be balanced. I just hope we can find a path forward that allows the carrier to operate with pay/service levels/benefits/products that work for all...but for now, a win is a win and glad to see UA making the best of a bad situation.

Originally Posted by Plane-is-home View Post
As someone that already had that perk I hate the change because it will now be impossible to make that standby when you need it.
One would assume standby lists would retain a status component.
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Last edited by J.Edward; Aug 30, 20 at 4:09 pm
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Old Aug 30, 20, 4:06 pm
  #43  
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It will be interesting to see how this impacts UA and WN stocks.

So, does the UA system allow multiple trips in 1 PNR? For example, LAX-EWR-LAX-EWR-LAX? If your new trip costs less, can you add additional segments / trips so you don't lose the residual value?

His video also said route structure and more to come. Maybe they are going to have more of those focus-city type of seasonal routes?
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Old Aug 30, 20, 4:06 pm
  #44  
 
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Well done, United! I'm sure in the current circumstance this benefits United as well as customers. Nice job leading with a shared win for customers and company. Kudos on leaving the other airlines scrambling a bit during the hardest times the industry has known, not an easy task for sure!
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Old Aug 30, 20, 4:12 pm
  #45  
DEN
 
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As a 1K:

The no change fee is nice, but the lack of credit for reduction of fares could be costly.

Otherwise the same day standby is something I already have and and I hope they prioritize it by status, not time of request, fare class, ticket price paid or the position of the moon and stars.

As a 1K, United has offered me little for just passing the reduced 1K 2020 threshold besides some PP. If I’m going to change airline loyalty, now is probably the time to do it. I’ve got 16 months to earn status with another airline or Airline alliance before my 1K benefits expire.

United has traditionally tried to inspire low level status fliers to move up....many times at the expense of their premium customers.
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