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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 Apr 29, 22, 10:22 am
  #826  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Originally Posted by bob12403 View Post
Thanks to those who offered advice on changing a flight and changing back to take advantage of lower fares after the initial booking. I just completed the exchange>exchange back for both legs, and it was very simple. TravelBank $$ that had been used in the initial booking were not a complicating factor at all.

Outbound I saved a total of $54 on both tickets by exchanging for the less-expensive earlier flight, then making an even exchange back to my original flight.

The return I initially saved $134 exchanging for the earlier flight, but had to pay $60 to get back on the original flight as that cost was higher than the earlier flight. Using the newly issued FFC was not an option for payment of the differential. However, the total cost for the return leg was still less than we initially paid. My out of pocket savings was $74 for the return with a net savings of $128 for the round trip. FFC's issued for $188 and travel must start 12/31/23, which is hardly going to be a problem. Greatly appreciate your information!
I had a somewhat similar experience -- checking the day before the same flight was $200 less. I changed to another flight that day that was the same lower price (happened to be the same 2nd flight with an earlier 1st), but by the time I went to change back the original flight was $50 higher (still $150 lower than I paid originally). I also couldn't see a way to use the FFC for that, so I paid that in "new money". Not the end of the world with extended time to use the $200, but I realize now it would have been better to find a temporary flight closer to the original price (even if a different day/route).

Just a risk to be aware of. I thought about just staying on the new flight, as it was only a 90 minute earlier/longer connection, but it was the difference between having lunch with family or not so paid up.
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Old Apr 30, 22, 7:37 am
  #827  
 
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Two follow-up questions on the exchange>exchange back process to take advantage of a price drop on your original flight:

1. In order to find the exchange flight that is as close as possible in cost to the new lower fare on your current flight, can you move between fare classes, i.e. Current flight #1 drops from original purchase price of $300 E+ to $250. You find a different flight #2 with regular economy fare for $250. Can you change to the #2 flight, collect the $50 FFC, then turn around and change back to flight #1, doing an even exchange for the same $250 fare but now back to E+? (Same question would apply if going in the other direction, from regular economy to E+ and back again.)

2. Can you later redeem a portion of an FFC towards a fare and retain the balance, i.e. You have a $200 FFC, you want to purchase a $150 fare, will you still have $50 left in that FFC for later use?

Thanks again to everyone on this board for their knowledge and insight, greatly appreciated.
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Old May 4, 22, 2:59 pm
  #828  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: SNA
Posts: 87
It's interesting to learn that you can't cancel a flight and then book the same one again with the FFC money. Thanks for that education.

Can someone explain the 'modify flight' option online? Specifically, why will there be $0 refunded despite there being a fare difference shown in the change summary?
More specifically, I -- like others -- see that my flight combination on a RT has decreased in price (in my current example, it's been less than 30 days since purchasing). When I go through the motions to change the ticketed flights, the same flights do not show the same option as when I search for a 'completely new' RT ticket. (one question; Why is this the case?). But, some of the options show going from an economy non-refundable to economy refundable ticket (which shows that it's the same fare class) for $0. When I click that option, the actual price is something like $30 less than the original ticket, but the amount refunded is $0.

I hope this makes sense, but I don't understand how this is working.

(in case it matters, I'm UA Gold)
Also, in the last 3 days, I've had 2 different situation for this RT ticket. When I saw the price decrease by $30, i called and the person gave a FFC for $30 with no mention of a $50 fee. Now, I see a $125 decrease (from that already $30 decreased amount), and called. The person and the manager (who i didn't ask for but was transferred to anyway) both said it would be a $50 fee. (and the fee does not count towards PQP) Why is there a fee?

Finally, if i change my ticket from a non-refundable to a refundable ticket on the same flight with no difference in money, can i then cancel the ticket and get the money back to my credit card? Or would it still go to a FFC?

Many thanks for looking through all my questions. If it's not clear, please let me know! Thanks in advance. (and nice to be back on the forum. the auto-loading has kept me away for years, but this forum might be the only place to learn the truth about how UA does these changes/modifications)
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Old May 4, 22, 5:10 pm
  #829  
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Originally Posted by uiucsb View Post
Finally, if i change my ticket from a non-refundable to a refundable ticket on the same flight with no difference in money, can i then cancel the ticket and get the money back to my credit card? Or would it still go to a FFC?
The nonrefundable part remains nonrefundable; otherwise, there'd be no reason to have nonrefundable fares in the first place.
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Old May 4, 22, 5:15 pm
  #830  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
The nonrefundable part remains nonrefundable; otherwise, there'd be no reason to have nonrefundable fares in the first place.
Thanks jsloan.
Although, let me give an example. Let's say it's just a 1 way ticket. And, prices drop and now the non-refundable can be changed to a ticket that's in the refundable for $0. After that change of tickets goes through, where does the money go for the ticket?

I guess fundamentally, I'm not understanding what you mean by the non-refundable part remains.
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Old May 4, 22, 6:02 pm
  #831  
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Originally Posted by uiucsb View Post
Thanks jsloan.
Although, let me give an example. Let's say it's just a 1 way ticket. And, prices drop and now the non-refundable can be changed to a ticket that's in the refundable for $0. After that change of tickets goes through, where does the money go for the ticket?

I guess fundamentally, I'm not understanding what you mean by the non-refundable part remains.
This has been extensive discussed in Making a non-refundable flight credit refundable? (Can not do)

If you change to a "refundable" fare ticket that is less expensive, two things will happen -- the fare difference will go to a nonrefundable FFC and if you decide to cancel the refundable ticket, that will become another nonrefundable FFC

Refundable means refunded to the "original method of payment". A refundable ticket purchased by a non-refundable credit will to return to a non-refundable credit if you cancel the refundable fare ticket.

The nonrefundable credit used to purchase a refundable fare effective negatives the refundablity.
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Old May 4, 22, 6:45 pm
  #832  
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Originally Posted by uiucsb View Post
I guess fundamentally, I'm not understanding what you mean by the non-refundable part remains.
to me, the simplest and easiest way to say it is that once you use money to buy a non-refundable fare, it ALWAYS remains non-refundable.

Using non-refundable credit to buy a refundable ticket doesnt change this. that credit still remains non-refundable. If you combine non-refundable credit and add cash to buy a refundable fare, and you try to refund it, the non-refundable amount will go to an FFC, and the cash will be refunded to the original form of payment - presumably your card.
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Old May 4, 22, 8:20 pm
  #833  
 
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Thank you, WineCountryUA and embampbe. Appreciate the patience and explanations.

Do you know why modifying flights that should return a few tens of dollars results in $0 being returned (what should be a FFC). Something is changing because the PQP decreased but there is no money put into a FFC.
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Old May 4, 22, 8:25 pm
  #834  
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Originally Posted by uiucsb View Post
... Do you know why modifying flights that should return a few tens of dollars results in $0 being returned (what should be a FFC). Something is changing because the PQP decreased but there is no money put into a FFC.
Change to same flights are you already are booked on, if so, that is what UA does to discourage rebooking on price drops. You will have to change to another flight and then change back. Just a roadblock UA is putting into place.
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Old May 6, 22, 1:48 am
  #835  
 
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I don't believe this has been asked or answered yet: if I have a confirmed instrument upgrade on a flight but the underlying coach fare decreases after booking, is there any way to capture the savings as a residual FFC while maintaining the upgrade? I've done this once with AA (partial refund within the 24-hour cancellation window pre-Covid), but not sure if it's possible on UA.
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Old May 6, 22, 2:23 am
  #836  
 
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
I don't believe this has been asked or answered yet: if I have a confirmed instrument upgrade on a flight but the underlying coach fare decreases after booking, is there any way to capture the savings as a residual FFC while maintaining the upgrade? I've done this once with AA (partial refund within the 24-hour cancellation window pre-Covid), but not sure if it's possible on UA.
If PZ/PN space still available, switch out, switch back, save money, re-apply upgrade.

If CPU upgrade or no PZ/PN available, you're rolling dice, I wouldn't do it.
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Old May 6, 22, 2:26 am
  #837  
 
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
If PZ/PN space still available, switch out, switch back, save money, re-apply upgrade.

If CPU upgrade or no PZ/PN available, you're rolling dice, I wouldn't do it.
Oh yeah, I would only do it via an agent who assured me I'd be keeping my upgrade. I guess I should've asked more specifically if agents can do this and/or if anyone has successfully done it with an agent.
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Old May 6, 22, 10:37 am
  #838  
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Oh yeah, I would only do it via an agent who assured me I'd be keeping my upgrade. I guess I should've asked more specifically if agents can do this and/or if anyone has successfully done it with an agent.
As has been discussed, UA will not allow change to a lower re-fare if staying on the same flight / cabin except in the first 24 hours or in the first 30 days for a $50 fee. Otherwise you have to change to a different flight and change back. An agent is unlikely to help with the latter.
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Old May 7, 22, 1:23 pm
  #839  
 
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Just for clarification, is this really a cancel the original flight, get FCC. book a new reservation using FCC on different flights (does it have to be only 1 or both ways if roundtrip?), but since flight is less you should get some residual FCC remaining, then you could use the Change flight option to get back to your original date/time?

I am wondering if it is 2 cancel in rebook, or if it is 1 cancel and rebook, followed by 1 change?

Sorry if I missed it in the 56 pages, search did not yield a simple answer.
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Old May 7, 22, 1:32 pm
  #840  
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Originally Posted by vandesa View Post
Just for clarification, is this really a cancel the original flight, get FCC. book a new reservation using FCC on different flights (does it have to be only 1 or both ways if roundtrip?), but since flight is less you should get some residual FCC remaining, then you could use the Change flight option to get back to your original date/time?

I am wondering if it is 2 cancel in rebook, or if it is 1 cancel and rebook, followed by 1 change?

Sorry if I missed it in the 56 pages, search did not yield a simple answer.
you can not just cancel and then rebook using the same FFC. The two ways to do it are:

1. Completely cancel, then start a new booking from scratch (dont start within the cancelled itinerary), and use the FFC to pay when presented with FFC as a payment option. Residual value will remain.
2. Change to a different flight. Once it is confirmed, you can immediately change back. The residual value will be sent to you in an FFC when whichever flight you change to is a lower fare. Should be immediate.

what you cant do is change to the same flight when you are already on it. It will say not available when you attempt.
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