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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, 8:32 pm
  #91  
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First, let's avoid commenting on other poster(s), never leads to a useful outcome.

But as there does seem to be a split of opinions, have added a poll to this thread. Please forget the awkward phrase -- lots of limitations in character length in options and there are probably a few corner cases not included, but think this should capture the thinking of the community

WineCountryUA
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Old Aug 30, 20, 8:59 pm
  #92  
 
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I'm impressed! Brings UA in line with Southwest for no changes, which is one of the biggest draws to WN for me.

I don't really understand the survey but for a change I have praise for UA and won't hold it back.
​​​​
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Old Aug 30, 20, 9:04 pm
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Please forget the awkward phrase -- lots of limitations in character length in options...
Very complicated to understand. Proposed simplification:

1. I prefer what UA did: No US change fee, no residual, no standby fee, free SDC all elites

2. I prefer what UA did, minus the no standby fee and minus the free SDC all elites.

3. I prefer what UA did, minus no US change fee and minus no residual.

4. I'm indifferent to what UA did.

5. I don't like anything UA announced.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 9:28 pm
  #94  
 
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"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."

Just to be clear; "permanently" here for United means "until we change our mind and make enhancements".
Anyone here care to guess how long this will last?
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Old Aug 30, 20, 10:34 pm
  #95  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
...

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.
...
There's an entire thread on "how to get residual value from future flight credit" that has just become mostly impossible.
...
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.
I guess we now have to find other "workarounds"

Some questions for our experts:
  1. So, it sounds like you can still merge the values from different reservations into a single more expensive one to use?
  2. Does UA allow PNRs with multiple trips? For example: LAX-EWR-LAX-EWR-LAX? If yes, adding segments in to get over the residual values might be a way to get around this?
  3. What happns if you have a non-refundable and you added more money to a new reservation. Then the new flights are cancelled?
Thanks.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 10:47 pm
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Does anyone offer no change fees for international flights?
Most carriers do. They're rarely the cheapest fares available, however.

Perhaps we'll start to see more international fares without change fees further down the fare class table (e.g. E,U,H), but I'm not counting on it.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 11:23 pm
  #97  
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Very impressed and hope Delta and American follow. Just wish they got rid of the bag fee but know that they make a lot of money off of it so that's not going to happen LOL.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 11:37 pm
  #98  
 
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When it says that "no residual value will be given" if you change to a cheaper flight, does that mean that the value of the underlying ticket stays the same in this scenario, or does UA pocket the residual value from the ticket once the change is made?

For example, if you change from a flight that had a fare of $250 to one that was $200, do you earn PQP based on the $250 fare or the $200?

Or if the new flight later gets cancelled or has a significant schedule change, do you get $250 back or $200?
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Old Aug 30, 20, 11:37 pm
  #99  
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Waiting for the other shoe to drop - what perk, amenity or feature will be taken away next week? That is, after all, how things are done.

As for the change, we all know how "forever" is interpreted by United, as in "subject to change", just like "lifetime".
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Old Aug 30, 20, 11:43 pm
  #100  
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Originally Posted by econ View Post
When it says that "no residual value will be given" if you change to a cheaper flight, does that mean that the value of the underlying ticket stays the same in this scenario, or does UA pocket the residual value from the ticket once the change is made?....
The latter. Once the change is done the "residual" is gone and no way to get it back.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 11:48 pm
  #101  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The latter. Once the change is done the "residual" is gone and no way to get it back.
Thanks. Kind of what I suspected.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 11:56 pm
  #102  
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Originally Posted by username View Post
  1. So, it sounds like you can still merge the values from different reservations into a single more expensive one to use?
  2. Does UA allow PNRs with multiple trips? For example: LAX-EWR-LAX-EWR-LAX? If yes, adding segments in to get over the residual values might be a way to get around this?
  3. What happns if you have a non-refundable and you added more money to a new reservation. Then the new flights are cancelled?
1. No. This has never been possible with FFC and likely still isn't.
2. In general, this isn't going to work. The entire trip has to be combinable in order for pricing to work, and UA doesn't offer an LAX-EWR RT fare that can be combined, end-on-end, with another LAX-EWR trip. (Or, at least, not a discount one). There may be some specific scenarios where you could use this technique, but it shouldn't be considered any sort of panacea.
3. If the new flights are cancelled voluntarily, you'll end up with non-refundable FFC for the entire amount. If the new flights are cancelled involuntarily, you'll end up with a refund to your original form of payment, also for the entire amount.

Originally Posted by econ View Post
When it says that "no residual value will be given" if you change to a cheaper flight, does that mean that the value of the underlying ticket stays the same in this scenario, or does UA pocket the residual value from the ticket once the change is made?
The latter.

Originally Posted by econ View Post
For example, if you change from a flight that had a fare of $250 to one that was $200, do you earn PQP based on the $250 fare or the $200?
No. However, keep in mind that there are multiple prices for every flight. If you are in a situation where you have a $250 ticket, and you want to change it to a flight that only costs $200, and you don't want to bank the existing ticket and buy a new one with fresh money, then you should research other fare classes to see if you can find out that's closer to $250. For example, you might find that the K fare is $200, the L fare is $220, and the S fare is $240. In that case, buy the S fare.

Originally Posted by econ View Post
Or if the new flight later gets cancelled or has a significant schedule change, do you get $250 back or $200?
Technically, the answer here should be $200, but in practice it might be $250, as they may trace the refund request back to the original ticket. I think we'll have to wait and see.

If you cancel the second flight voluntarily, you'd have FFC for $200, not $250.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
The latter. Once the change is done the "residual" is gone and no way to get it back.
Exactly.
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Old Aug 30, 20, 11:59 pm
  #103  
 
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I was really surprised when I opened the email today. Well done UA! They made a positive move to pull domestic business away from/retain business going to WN. Personally, the change fees always wrankled me because of the punitive feeling that I was giving UA $200 for no effort on their part (I understand the load management issues, just never bought that argument).
What I REALLY want to know is how will SDC work? Is it now only -24 hours or is it still +/- 24 hours? That is a huge difference. UA Insider; care to weigh in?
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Old Aug 31, 20, 1:05 am
  #104  
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Echo post 2. Wow! Very good news. Addresses the only reason I ever booked on WN...being unsure about a certain trip.

i wish they reinstated the early 00’s PMUA no change fee on INTL tickets policy as well. That policy required the new ticket be $1 or more higher. I once changed a net $12 US-SIN RT fare difference for.....$12!
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Old Aug 31, 20, 4:13 am
  #105  
 
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This also helps solve the 2021 and beyond issue of what happens when someone is sick or claims they are sick and unfit to fly.

Not sure if any other legacy carrier have addressed how this will work once the waivers that are now in place go away.
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