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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 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 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, 7:10 pm
  #76  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,224
Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
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.
Right -- changing a flight time within the same day (SDC) is something UA and the legacies actually had better options for than WN -- on WN there isn't really an SDC concept -- you have to upfare to the currently available fare (which almost always is going to be the more expensive Anytime fare, never a Wanna Get Away fare).

I was talking about when you book today for a flight in 3 months, and later this week the fare drops. On WN, it's easy and online to rebook and get the residual as a credit, so there's less of a feeling of losing out if the fare drops.

Or when you are rebooking a flight to another date farther out (e.g. the day before the December trip changing it to March) -- on WN if the March flights are cheaper you get that back, on UA you don't. And if you then have to change March to more expensive June, you'll have to fork over new money to UA even if cheaper than the original December.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is a step in the right direction -- if nothing else, having a $200 penalty for a sick person to move their trip is really a $200 incentive to just board anyway, which seems not ideal in a pandemic. But I think it's important to be aware of the nuances that are different (better and worse) between the airlines policies.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:12 pm
  #77  
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unimpressed unless they cover all flights with this new policy. This will take care of 10% of any change fees that I pay; 90% are international and often $400 a piece.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:17 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
unimpressed unless they cover all flights with this new policy. This will take care of 10% of any change fees that I pay; 90% are international and often $400 a piece.
Does anyone offer no change fees for international flights?

At the end of the day it doesn't really help me either - it helps my employers and my customers since they pay the change fees - but I still think it is a good change
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:24 pm
  #79  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 177
still a major rip off! 50,000 for domestic one way coach that cost aorund $150 in cash or and 200,000 miles for asia one way coach award that cost$800 in cash most of the time is still a major rip off. so called saver awards almost NEVER exist. so this doesnt help on awards.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:26 pm
  #80  
 
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I am utterly amazed at the number of people who seem to insist on finding some negative slant to take on any news from United (yet seem to stay with the airline as elite MP members). I didn't worry about change fees when I was traveling for the government because GSA fares were GSA fares but I have had to stick with original flight schedules even though I've wanted to leave earlier or later on a comparable flight simply because of the change fees involved. I had one case where I did make the change to a cheaper flight but after the change fees I netted $10 back (I would have made the change anyway since the new flight was more convenient and loaded more lightly).

Of course United isn't going to introduce changes that aren't in their best interest but we should be happy that the airline's interest and customer interests intersect this time.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:27 pm
  #81  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
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Posts: 382
I am delighted by this news! Although I am not currently traveling, whenever I feel it is safe to resume, most of my travel will be domestic, as it was pre-Covid. Especially since UA received a taxpayer bailout, I am very happy with this consumer-friendly decision! I can't wait to return to the friendly skies!
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:30 pm
  #82  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
I am utterly amazed at the number of people who seem to insist on finding some negative slant to take on any news from United (yet seem to stay with the airline as elite MP members). I didn't worry about change fees when I was traveling for the government because GSA fares were GSA fares but I have had to stick with original flight schedules even though I've wanted to leave earlier or later on a comparable flight simply because of the change fees involved. I had one case where I did make the change to a cheaper flight but after the change fees I netted $10 back (I would have made the change anyway since the new flight was more convenient and loaded more lightly).

Of course United isn't going to introduce changes that aren't in their best interest but we should be happy that the airline's interest and customer interests intersect this time.
United could cure cancer today and still be the enemy. I appreciate the change though. Not likely to travel much but still a nice change.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:40 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
Of course United isn't going to introduce changes that aren't in their best interest but we should be happy that the airline's interest and customer interests intersect this time.
I just don't think that they do.

I haven't gone out of my way to try to find a negative aspect. It's just that this inability to retain residual value is a very big deal for me, and I promise that it's going to be a very big deal for a lot fo other people also, because they're not going to understand it and they're going to get caught off-guard. (There was a post along those lines within the last week, actually).

Furthermore, it feels unfair in a way that the old policy didn't. And keep in mind, there were all sorts of ways to get change fees waived -- from weather waivers to illnesses to schedule changes, etc., and that's not even counting the "one-time exception" that many people seemed to get. So, the $200 saved wasn't always $200 -- sometimes it was $0.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:51 pm
  #84  
 
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Wow, looks like the pendulum just swung pretty far the other way.

What's next? Change back to BIS EQM with no $ thresholds?
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Old Aug 30, 20, 7:56 pm
  #85  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Does anyone offer no change fees for international flights?
Southwest
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Old Aug 30, 20, 8:03 pm
  #86  
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
unimpressed unless they cover all flights with this new policy. This will take care of 10% of any change fees that I pay; 90% are international and often $400 a piece.
UA's taking the lead on doing away with change fees to better compete w/ WN. I think UA won't do anything internationally in this respect unless one of their long-haul competitors does something.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 8:04 pm
  #87  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I just don't think that they do.

I haven't gone out of my way to try to find a negative aspect. It's just that this inability to retain residual value is a very big deal for me, and I promise that it's going to be a very big deal for a lot fo other people also, because they're not going to understand it and they're going to get caught off-guard. (There was a post along those lines within the last week, actually).

Furthermore, it feels unfair in a way that the old policy didn't. And keep in mind, there were all sorts of ways to get change fees waived -- from weather waivers to illnesses to schedule changes, etc., and that's not even counting the "one-time exception" that many people seemed to get. So, the $200 saved wasn't always $200 -- sometimes it was $0.
I don’t get this either. Most people on FT will know this and work around it (buying one ways). However, some once a year traveler may get hit with this and learn the hard way. You’d think United would just give you “United Bucks” that expire in a year. This way they have a chance at breakage and they get you to come back to United to spend that credit.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 8:05 pm
  #88  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Does anyone offer no change fees for international flights?
Beats me. 90% of my flying is intl. so if UA offered this then I would sure enough buy UA exclusively. I understand this is a nice chance for domestic flyers and I wish UA would stop advertising this new policy incorrectly. I am close to filing a DOT complaint for deceptive advertising. 'Change fees are gone, we are getting rid of change fees for good' ... no disclaimer, no nothing. You click through and you just get to their booking engine where you can book intl. flights without any warning that the bait and switch you just clicked through comes with tons of strings attached. Unsurprising and typical UA.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 8:29 pm
  #89  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: SFO
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I think people are really, really underestimating this no-residual-value thing.
IMO the no-residual-value thing is fair game. UA collects so much change fee, that I don't think they can just eliminate it forever, with no strings attached (maybe during the pandemic, but definitely not forever). If they did allow residue value, then I'd certainly expect some other major bad news, either soon or once the pandemic is over.

Even with no residual value, it's still a great deal for me: (1) I rarely change a domestic ticket with the new fare being $200 or more cheaper; (2) I often book well in advance, and then want to change the dates of my trips for various reasons. This would save me a lot of money.

If they do the same for international trips, then that might be an issue for me - I do sometimes change expensive international trips to much cheaper domestic ones.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 8:31 pm
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by ezefllying View Post
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.
This was my first thought after reading the release. I think the elimination of domestic change fees is tremendous, but if I look at a feature that I continually use ALL THE TIME, it is the current 24-hour SDC option. My big reason for choosing UA over AA is the UA implementation of "same day" changes. I hope that this doesn't change to a literally "same calendar day" option.
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