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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 /donít care about either
30
13.04%
Donít 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 theyíre 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 Ė and changing Ė their travel plans than United Airlines.

"Change is inevitable these days Ė 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 Ė 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 Jun 7, 22, 2:50 pm
  #856  
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Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
So I called United about an upcoming SFO -> CDG -> SFO trip. I asked if there were any change fees these days for changing that flight, and they said there weren't.

However, I just checked, and any change I make to the return flight, if it's any week after the week it currently is in, there is a minimum $130 cost difference.

Is this something United has done in lieu of change fees? Charge something for a different day, even if there's "officially" no change fees?

The return flight is in early September, and even if I move the return date to the middle of October - typically not a high-price time of year - it's still minimum $130 price difference.

Anyone know of a way I can avoid what amounts to a change fee with this?

- Tim
There are no change fees but there may be a fare differential -- up or down. This is likely what your are seeing

A change fee is a flat fee regardless of fares. A fare differential will depend on what a new ticket would cost various your present ticket. You can not find a cheap ticket and transfer that to a more expensive ticket fare / day -- you will be charged a fare differential.
Note this can and does work in the reverse, finding a cheaper ticket and you will get a future flight credit (if a non-refundable fare)

You can check to see what the ticket cost for a brand new ticket would be and compare to the cost of your original ticket. That is the fare differential.

Different days may be priced differently and lower cost fares may be sold out.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 2:50 pm
  #857  
 
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The change fee is indeed waived - fare differences are not. In the old days you pay a $300 Change Fee + the $130 fare difference.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 2:51 pm
  #858  
 
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The $130 is probably the fare difference. In the past, they would have charged you a change fee ($200+) plus the fare difference.

Odds are that theyíve raised fares across the board since you booked to offset fuel costs.

If you want the ability to change your flight without any risk of future add collect, then youíll have to buy a full fare ticket in your cabin of choice.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:23 pm
  #859  
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Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
However, I just checked, and any change I make to the return flight, if it's any week after the week it currently is in, there is a minimum $130 cost difference.
So, if it's changing for $0 during the week you're currently scheduled to return, but $130 after, that suggests that UA is (correctly) using historical fares, and (correctly) using the historical date for the purposes of advance purchase calculation, but that your original return fare is not valid for your new flight. The most likely reasons are that (a) your original flight has a maximum stay that you're now exceeding or (b) the original return flight was a seasonal fare with an expiration the week that you wanted to travel.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
You can check to see what the ticket cost for a brand new ticket would be and compare to the cost of your original ticket. That is the fare differential.
Not necessarily; that would not use historical fares or historical advance purchase information.

Of course, it's still a good idea to check it, because if the total for a new ticket is cheaper than the old fare + fare difference, just cancel the old one and use the credit to buy a new ticket.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:42 pm
  #860  
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If you are changing flights before departure of outbound, fares generally require using current fares and measuring advance purchase from the current date and you will pay any fare difference between what you paid and what is currently showing on flights.

They can generally use historical fares and ticketing date to measure advance purchase when you are changing return after departure, but there also has to be original fare bucket inventory in fare class you booked on the flight you want to change to in order to not have to pay a fare difference (in addition to continue to meet minimum stay requirements of original fare). If there is no longer inventory in original booking class, they will upfare you to whatever lowest fares that have bucket availability. Also, for TATL fares, there are often different fares for mid-week departures vs. weekend departures (with cheaper fares requiring mid-week departures). So even if there original fare class inventory, you may have to pay somewhat more to upfare to a fare that allows weekend departures if you purchased a fare that requires weekday departures. There are also often seasonally restricted fares on TATL routes which is a whole other issue.
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Last edited by xliioper; Jun 7, 22 at 3:57 pm
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Old Jun 7, 22, 3:46 pm
  #861  
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Voluntarily changing your itinerary always subjects you to a potential fare differential. if UA were charging a change fee, that would be a flat fee (historically $200 domestic/$300 international) on top of any fare differential. Note that the fare differential also works the other way, such that when fares drop, you can rebook and get the difference as a travel credit.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 4:55 pm
  #862  
 
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Thanks for all this info, folks! A lot of stuff to learn and know!

Incidentally, I do know the difference between change fees and price differences when rebooking; I was more wondering if United was being "sneaky" by saying "no change fees" but enforced a price differential when I rebook anyway, to get back what would have been part of a change fee.

The explanations above make things clearer for me, at any rate. :-)

- Tim
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:00 pm
  #863  
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Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
Thanks for all this info, folks! A lot of stuff to learn and know!

Incidentally, I do know the difference between change fees and price differences when rebooking; I was more wondering if United was being "sneaky" by saying "no change fees" but enforced a price differential when I rebook anyway, to get back what would have been part of a change fee.

The explanations above make things clearer for me, at any rate. :-)

- Tim
They are taking a price differential - thatís it. Old price + $800, new price = $950 (these are just examples), youíre going to pay $150 at time of change. Itís always been this way, as noted upthread, with change fees in addition.

this is basically the same thing Southwest has been doing all these year. If you buy a Wanna Get Away fare in advance, then decide the day before travel to switch, those fares are likely much higher and you end up paying that.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:08 pm
  #864  
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
If you are changing flights before departure of outbound, fares generally require using current fares and measuring advance purchase from the current date and you will pay any fare difference between what you paid and what is currently showing on flights.
It depends upon the fare, but many (most?) UA fares allow you to change the return if the outbound is not affected, even prior to the date of travel. I think somebody finally realized that it was silly to charge someone the walk-up fare if they made a (return) flight change the morning of their outbound, or potentially $0 if they made the same change the next morning.

You'll see it in the fare rules, something like this:

Code:
BEFORE DEPARTURE
...REPRICE USING CURRENTLY TICKETED/HISTORICAL FARE
          PROVIDED ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS ARE MET -
          --
          1. NO CHANGE 1ST FLIGHT COUPON / NO CHANGE TO
             FARE BREAKS
There will be more conditions than just the first one, but when you look at them in total, you'll generally find that they cover most situations.
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Old Jun 7, 22, 5:44 pm
  #865  
 
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I'd like to thank the smart people of FlyerTalk here.

I had one way tickets (x3) booked a month ago for a December trip. Checking the fares today, they are about $36 cheaper. I chatted with the agent and simply asked for a $36 FFC, got the following response:
"Thank you. Upon checking here even if I reprice the ticket on my end, we cannot refund the $36 because this is the updated amount of your ticket."

I have absolutely no idea what that means, but after lurking this forum, I knew exactly what to do! Changed the flight to an earlier one, got $9 FFC immediately. Then changed it back to the originally booked itinerary, and to my nice surprise the fare had dropped about $13 further. I am guessing their pricing algorithm dropped the fares further after my 3 seats moved out of that specific fare class. I netted out to getting 3 $49 FFCs instead of the 3 $36 FFCs I thought I would get.

I now feel like a million bucks
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Old Jun 9, 22, 2:23 pm
  #866  
 
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By the way, as a follow-up - I changed my return flight, paid the flight difference, and had to select a seat upgrade to be in the same seat (exit row, Economy Plus).

No problem there. But then after I finished the change, I saw that the seat upgrade was charged both for the old return flight AND the new return flight.

I called United support, and they issued a refund on the extra charge.

Weird that their site didn't automatically remove the old charge... ;-/

- Tim
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Old Jun 9, 22, 2:34 pm
  #867  
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Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
By the way, as a follow-up - I changed my return flight, paid the flight difference, and had to select a seat upgrade to be in the same seat (exit row, Economy Plus).

No problem there. But then after I finished the change, I saw that the seat upgrade was charged both for the old return flight AND the new return flight.

I called United support, and they issued a refund on the extra charge.

Weird that their site didn't automatically remove the old charge... ;-/

- Tim
not weird at all if you paid attention to how this works.

if you buy an E+ seat, and then change flights, the fee gets refunded after that [orginal] flight takes off. So it would have done it automatically at that time. Would have happened the same way if you switched E+ seats on the same flight - they charge the extra, then auto-refund the existing purchase after the flight departs.

Plenty of reports of folks calling and getting it done earlier successfully, but that is not the normal process.
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Old Jun 9, 22, 2:43 pm
  #868  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
not weird at all if you paid attention to how this works.
Actually, it is weird. We're just inured to it through experience.
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Old Jun 9, 22, 8:10 pm
  #869  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Actually, it is weird. We're just inured to it through experience.
this is not just experience of pax. Itís the stated policy UA has for E+ refunds. Yes, itís different than many refund policies for other companies or items, sure. And not ideal, sure. But this is the published way that UA refunds E+ purchases with changes.
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Old Jun 9, 22, 10:05 pm
  #870  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
this is not just experience of pax. Itís the stated policy UA has for E+ refunds. Yes, itís different than many refund policies for other companies or items, sure. And not ideal, sure. But this is the published way that UA refunds E+ purchases with changes.
Didn't mean to imply otherwise. It's just, if we weren't familiar with that published policy, we'd probably find it weird. I certainly would.
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