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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, 5:31 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,424
This is a great move and will cause me to book UA when I am only 80% sure of my plans instead of waiting till I am 95% sure. Previously I had often booked WN if I was concerned I would have to change my plans.

Maybe next weekend UA will announce open seating policy and two bags fly free?
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Old Aug 30, 20, 5:32 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
No residual is a BIG difference from Southwest -- less stress over fares potentially dropping...
The way I read that is when a customer is within the 24hr check in window SDC, or whatever it evolves into, allows one to confirm the change as long as the underlying booking class is open, ignoring any fare difference. I am not familiar with WN’s policy, but I don’t think (?) WN offers the same flexibility within the 24hr check in window. In other words even on WN, if you change a flight within 24hrs of the flight taking off, and even if the corresponding fare class is open, you are still liable/eligible for the fare due/fare refunded.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
To date, Kirby's management team has made smart operating moves. Raising cash aggressively, launching point-to-point domestic routes, and brilliantly monetizing MP was impressive.
Caught that in the YouTube video. It’s worth a watch. Also agree with your 8 points.


I do think UA’s got an exposure point on the international tilt of the carrier. Setting aside the contentious political climate in the country right now, US / China relations are deteriorating and if the trend continues for dis-integration with China (i.e. supply chains relocating away from China), one of the main drivers of UA’s international network will suddenly loose its luster. If one considers the amount of international lift UA dedicated to PEK/PVG/CTU (and possibly HKG) that may be rendered commercially unviable if the underlying business that supported the routes wanes, UA’s going to be left figuring out where to fly those expensive widebodies too. Maybe domestic picks up some of the slack, maybe new secondary cities open up once we get past the current medical concerns, maybe existing routes are beefed up...who knows. At the risk of repeating myself, the issue here is macro demand. I think UA is well positioned to take advantage of this when things bounce back but at the downside of having to bear the carrying costs of parking planes, RIF’s, etc.

Originally Posted by EWRSNA View Post
To avoid the issue with losing residual value couldn’t one cancel the ticket instead of changing it? That would presumably result in a future flight credit that could be used the next time you want to book an equal or more expensive fare. Then to accomplish the change you just book a new ticket.
Yeep. Although the carrier may introduce something to a “redeposit to your travel bank with us fee” to do so.

If UA Insider returns to this thread a point to be clarified is what happens at the 24hr mark when the check in window opens?

It seems self evident any change prior to this would be a confirmed change, a/c charged if applicable. However when one is within the 24 hour window and standby / SDC-with-no-a/c is in play, what happens then if someone wants to confirm a change vs standby vs [ ? ].
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Old Aug 30, 20, 5:33 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
This is a great move and will cause me to book UA when I am only 80% sure of my plans instead of waiting till I am 95% sure. Previously I had often booked WN if I was concerned I would have to change my plans.

Maybe next weekend UA will announce open seating policy and two bags fly free?
Remember, UA's pattern has been good news followed by bad news. So, bad news is what I am waiting for.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 5:40 pm
  #64  
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Argh. Paid redeposit fee on two award cancelations just this morning at 4am. Both over 90 days out.

But it's okay. I want UA to make it through this mess. Don't mind doing my part. I want planes back in the skies.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 5:43 pm
  #65  
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Huge, and it's hard to see how AA & DL don't match.

As far as the price drop, it seems you could cancel and then use part of the credit to get a new ticket to recoup the difference. Or if they don't allow that, buy the new ticket with new money and save the credit for a later, pricier trip.

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...hange-fee.html

Do I have to choose a new flight right away?

No. If you cancel your flight and don’t choose a new one right away, you’ll get a flight credit that you can use up to one year from your original ticket issue date.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 5:55 pm
  #66  
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
We’ll find out - the FAQ doesn’t state or imply this - other than saying you won't get a *refund* of the difference. I interpret refund as a cash refund, but maybe they mean no voucher residual either. It is explicit that if you don’t have a new flight you can turn it into a full credit for later.
No voucher residual.

Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
Which is how it works today. And then you can apply partial credit until it’s exhausted.
You will not be able to apply partial credit from these fares until it's exhausted.

Originally Posted by Doppy View Post
Very customer friendly changes.
Actually, IMO, this is a consumer-unfriendly change, unless you're able to buy a lot of $100 tickets, which never would have had any residual value anyway.

Originally Posted by Doppy View Post
Though this cuts into the benefits of being a high tier elite -free confirmed SDC was one of the benefits I valued the most.
That doesn't really seem to have changed much. Confirmed SDC is going to be a big improvement over same-day standby.

Originally Posted by EWRSNA View Post
To avoid the issue with losing residual value couldn’t one cancel the ticket instead of changing it? That would presumably result in a future flight credit that could be used the next time you want to book an equal or more expensive fare. Then to accomplish the change you just book a new ticket.
Yes, that's the only way to work the system. Which is fine, as long as you book flights frequently in your own name. But woe to the traveler who books their once-in-a-lifetime trip somewhere only to find that they need to change it. (And, if this is successful domestically, expect to see it extend internationally as well, where residual values are even more common).

There's an entire thread on "how to get residual value from future flight credit" that has just become mostly impossible.

Originally Posted by username View Post
Remember, UA's pattern has been good news followed by bad news. So, bad news is what I am waiting for.
This is the bad news.


I think people are really, really underestimating this no-residual-value thing. The no-residual-value policy is the primary reason that I haven't booked a flight with United in the COVID era, even speculatively. I don't change flights frequently, but when I do, I frequently have some residual value left over. I don't really like the idea of having multiple vouchers sitting around waiting for the next time I find an expensive enough fare to use it on.

Originally Posted by swag View Post
As far as the price drop, it seems you could cancel and then use part of the credit to get a new ticket to recoup the difference.
Not possible, unless you can convince UA to continue to issue ETCs, which I don't think they will.
Originally Posted by swag View Post
Or if they don't allow that, buy the new ticket with new money and save the credit for a later, pricier trip.
Yes, that's the only approach that would work.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:13 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by LAXOGG View Post
Game changer. Others (DL and AA) will be forced to follow.
Indeed! AA and DL will be forced to match. Now, please block middle seats through the end of the year as many are still not comfortable with airline travel.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:15 pm
  #68  
 
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If a one-way ticket prices on a half RT basis, is there any reason to book RT? Change fee savings were the only previous benefit I could think of and with the no-residual rules it’ll be advantageous to have 2 cheaper tickets vs. 1 pricier one.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:19 pm
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Not possible, unless you can convince UA to continue to issue ETCs, which I don't think they will.
ETC cancel option is officially gone after end of July. If they were to keep it, or (better yet) offer some travel-bank refund similar to Alaska, then this would be truly awesome. Now, with the residual value loss, it's somewhat of a mixed bag as you pointed out (maybe more positive than negative, but certainly some amount of negative).
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:27 pm
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by kevflyer View Post
Wow! That's excellent news. Though I wish this also applies to Canada.

So basically nothing changed with SDC except it's also available to Silvers now?
I hope that's true. The way the statement is worded, I was wondering if they were going to the AA/DL model of only allowing SDC within the same calendar day. The +/-24 hour UA SDC policy is vastly more convenient and a reason I've maintained my status. But it may just be that explaining the (admittedly confusing) SDC system in a general press release is a bad idea.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:41 pm
  #71  
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Good move, just wish it was free date changes to intl awards as well.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:50 pm
  #72  
 
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Sorry if I missed this, but I read through the entire thread and didn't see this: does no change fee include no penalty for just cancelling a flight outright (presumably as travel wallet funds and not a refund to the original form of payment)?

Originally Posted by okrogius View Post
If you change to a cheaper fare on Southwest, do you get to keep residual value of the ticket? You don't on United. So this seems like marketing over relatively little changes.

It's a pretty large incentive not to book premium-cabin tickets occasionally, since you won't be able to change to a coach fare without loosing noticeable amounts.
I'm not sure how the change works on Southwest, but with Southwest you can also just cancel and rebook using the travel voucher you just got for cancelling.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:54 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I think people are really, really underestimating this no-residual-value thing...
It's mice nuts for most folks.

1. Frequent flyers can easily use it for an upcoming flight of equal or greater value.
2. Infrequent flyers won't care that their $330 flight is now $310 and they're leaving $20 on the table. They're ecstatic they can easily change dates and that they're not incurring the $150 change-fee gut-punch.

Also, if you're making a date change, it's usually close-in. How many times are fares materially cheaper close in...
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Old Aug 30, 20, 6:56 pm
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by Eurynom0s View Post
Sorry if I missed this, but I read through the entire thread and didn't see this: does no change fee include no penalty for just cancelling a flight outright (presumably as travel wallet funds and not a refund to the original form of payment)?
You can cancel and get "Future Flight Credit" (previous ticket number retains value). Wallet funds/ETC are not an option.
This means the value cannot be used for another person, and you loose residual value if the new ticket is cheaper.

(This is indeed very different than how it works on Southwest. Southwest is very traveler friendly comparatively, whereas this is an improvement for most, but with some downsides.)
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:03 pm
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Eurynom0s View Post
Sorry if I missed this, but I read through the entire thread and didn't see this: does no change fee include no penalty for just cancelling a flight outright (presumably as travel wallet funds and not a refund to the original form of payment)?
It would remain as future flight credit, not aggregated into a travel bank.

Originally Posted by Eurynom0s View Post
I'm not sure how the change works on Southwest, but with Southwest you can also just cancel and rebook using the travel voucher you just got for cancelling.
That will not be useful in this case, because the residual amount would still be lost.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
1. Frequent flyers can easily use it for an upcoming flight of equal or greater value.
Everybody has a most expensive flight that they've taken during some particular period of time, no matter how frequently they fly.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
2. Infrequent flyers won't care that their $330 flight is now $310 and they're leaving $20 on the table. They're ecstatic they can easily change dates and that they're not incurring the $150 change-fee gut-punch.
Until they try to change destinations from Hawaii to Florida and find that they're still paying Hawaii prices.

Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
Also, if you're making a date change, it's usually close-in. How many times are fares materially cheaper close in...
If I'm making a date change, I'm often making a destination change also.
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