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Unique FFC Situation Advice Wanted (Have FFC but not longer employed by purchaser)

Unique FFC Situation Advice Wanted (Have FFC but not longer employed by purchaser)

Old Mar 17, 21, 11:57 am
  #1  
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Unique FFC Situation Advice Wanted (Have FFC but not longer employed by purchaser)

I'm currently Premier 1K. I have 2 separate FFCs from corporate travel booked and cancelled a year ago in March 2020. It's a big corporation who uses a popular travel agency to book with the employee's corporate credit card.

I was notified that I'm getting laid off. My card will be getting cancelled. I'm looking to possibly book a personal flight on United metal for myself and my husband.

United.com allows me to use the FFC to book another flight. However, I would like to know if there are workarounds in getting these credits issued as ETCs. I called the 1K line and the rep wouldn't do it since it's tied to the travel agency. I have read here that big companies don't really care if ex-employees use credits after leaving as they are tied to the traveler. Once I'm no longer an employee, it seems I might as well use the credits for personal travel? If they come asking me to reimburse later, that's fine too. But thinking that's unlikely, so worth trying.

What happens if I book a flight with each FFC and cancel it within 24 hours? Where does the refund go?
What if I book a flight and there is a schedule change? Where does the refund go?
Would it be possible to get ETC in either of these scenarios? Ideally, I want to book flights under 2 different names. If I can't, then considering just booking my fare once I'm no longer an employee.

Last edited by smartcookie; Mar 17, 21 at 12:43 pm
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Old Mar 17, 21, 12:20 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by smartcookie View Post
...What happens if I book a flight with each FFC and cancel it within 24 hours? Where does the refund go?...
It remains in form of a FFC, I believe. You have to be careful here - if within 24 hours, I believe you'll get full credit back. Anything longer, and it might be for value of new ticket. I'm not sure about this, but thinking like UA, that might be the way it goes. Maybe someone else has experience cancelling a flight beyond 24 hours for a ticket with less value than original FFC.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 12:28 pm
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United allows companies with corporate contracts to change the name on tickets and future flight credit. Many opt not to, but you should definitely check with your employer to make sure you don't accidentally steal from the company. For my company, we explicitly allow employees who depart on (reasonably) good terms to use any tickets or flight credit that is in their name, but that's likely not the case everywhere.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by smartcookie View Post
United.com allows me to use the FFC to book another flight. However, I would like to know if there are workarounds in getting these credits issued as ETCs. I called the 1K line and the rep wouldn't do it since it's tied to the travel agency. I have read here that big companies don't really care if ex-employees use it after leaving as credits are tied to the traveler. Once I'm no longer an employee, it seems I might as well use the credits for personal travel? If they come asking me to reimburse later, that's fine too. But thinking that's unlikely, so worth trying.
Before leaving the company, I would send a note to the responsible department, and inquire about existing travel credits; how other companies may approach this may be different than the process of your employer. There are no harm in checking first.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
It remains in form of a FFC, I believe. You have to be careful here - if within 24 hours, I believe you'll get full credit back. Anything longer, and it might be for value of new ticket. I'm not sure about this, but thinking like UA, that might be the way it goes. Maybe someone else has experience cancelling a flight beyond 24 hours for a ticket with less value than original FFC.
Thanks.The new flight is a bit more expensive than the FFC, so I'm not concerned about losing any value. I'm more curious about the specifics of that credit. Is it still tied to the agency if "refunded" as FFC? And what happens if I quality for a cash refund due to a schedule change? Can that be issued as ETC? I'm basically trying to see if there is a way to get rid of the association with the travel agency via these actions, especially since I will no longer be an employee. Would love to hear from anyone from experience with corporate bookings or agency bookings.

Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Before leaving the company, I would send a note to the responsible department, and inquire about existing travel credits; how other companies may approach this may be different than the process of your employer. There are no harm in checking first.
My concern with asking first is calling this out when it might not even be noticed or something they care about considering it's a huge corporation with many rounds of recent layoffs. If they decide they want the money back once I'm no longer an employee, I'm happy to repay it. Just feel like it's unlikely, so not sure shining a light on it in advance is the best course of action. They haven't been very flexible with the severance package. It's such a big company that things are pretty standardized across the board and they don't seem to make exceptions often.

Thanks. Delta and AA are the preferred carriers at my company and United bookings are generally discouraged (they allow them if the price of the flight is similar to AA/Delta, but also don't actively police online bookings). So I'm thinking they may not have a corporate contract with United?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 17, 21 at 1:33 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Mar 17, 21, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by smartcookie View Post
My concern with asking first is calling this out when it might not even be noticed or something they care about considering it's a huge corporation with many rounds of recent layoffs. If they decide they want the money back once I'm no longer an employee, I'm happy to repay it. Just feel like it's unlikely, so not sure shining a light on it in advance is the best course of action. They haven't been very flexible with the severance package. It's such a big company that things are pretty standardized across the board and they don't seem to make exceptions often.
In my view, unless you have been informed otherwise, this is not your funds to use, even after separation.

With regards to the inquiry, I think you are over-thinking it. No one is going to bat an eye for asking questions about various exit items such as how to deal with travel credits. And, as you have alluded to, the company has standardized policies across the board, so it should be easy to get a response. Personally, I don't want to burn a bridge over some travel credits, and hoping/expecting no one would notice.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 1:13 pm
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There are any number of threads on FT about exactly this situation. The answer is always the same and the reasons people are ask are the same (because they know the answer).

1. The value of the credit belongs to one's (former) employer, not the traveler. The fact that one is able to use the credit does not have anything to do with ownership.
2. Many (most) corporate contracts permit the employer to use credits for other employees. That is a relatively unique benefit for corporate customers. Thus, the suggestion that the credit will go to waste is generally false.
3, If the funds were paid by the (former) employer and used by the employee for non-business travel for that employer, the employee must report the value of the credit (when used) as income.
4. Before using the (former) employer's property, one should have a written confirmation that the employer approves this. Anything short of affirmative approval is somewhere between theoretical and actual theft / wire fraud.
5. The (former) employer may be required to issue a 1099 to the (former) employee for the value. This is a manual & time-consuming process and is generally the real show-stopper.

Rinse, wash, rinse wash. The answers don't change.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 1:38 pm
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There is no 24 hour cancellation clause for rebooked FFCs -- that is only available once, at booking, per PNR. And when rebooking at FFC, it is considered a rebooking of the original ticket

Ethics of doing this aside, you may get a 1099 or request for repayment for using these funds. The company has not forgotten about them and it will depend on there internal policies how there want to handle. The safest approach is to query them pointing out it is in your name. Asking puts you on record having checked first. However they may be able to change the name. You may need a favorable reference in the future from them.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
There is no 24 hour cancellation clause for rebooked FFCs -- that is only available once, at booking, per PNR. And when rebooking at FFC, it is considered a rebooking of the original ticket

Ethics of doing this aside, you may get a 1099 or request for repayment for using these funds. The company has not forgotten about them and it will depend on there internal policies how there want to handle. The safest approach is to query them pointing out it is in your name. Asking puts you on record having checked first. However they may be able to change the name. You may need a favorable reference in the future from them.
Who would you ask at a huge company with thousands of employees? The no-name email address for the travel/corporate credit cards? HR (mine is pretty useless), the travel agency? Things often get lost in the shuffle at this place, so I'm not sure how they're handling this.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 2:10 pm
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Originally Posted by smartcookie View Post
Who would you ask at a huge company with thousands of employees? The no-name email address for the travel/corporate credit cards? HR (mine is pretty useless), the travel agency? Things often get lost in the shuffle at this place, so I'm not sure how they're handling this.
All the better it gets lost.
Sent a letter to your previous supervisor and cc HR -- stating unless otherwise directed, you will be using these credits. Active / actual notice -- while the company could still try to recover the funds, you have protected yourself accusations of theft.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by smartcookie View Post
Who would you ask at a huge company with thousands of employees? The no-name email address for the travel/corporate credit cards? HR (mine is pretty useless), the travel agency? Things often get lost in the shuffle at this place, so I'm not sure how they're handling this.
HR.
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Old Mar 17, 21, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by IluvSQ View Post
HR.
Presumably OP had a manager / supervisor and that person has a manager/supervisor and so on.

Even at a Fortune 10, one must have reported to someone. If I did not know who to contact, that is who I would contact and ask them to approve or at least supply the name of the person who can.

Who would OP have asked if they needed something when they worked there?
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Old Mar 17, 21, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Sykes View Post
United allows companies with corporate contracts to change the name on tickets and future flight credit. Many opt not to, but you should definitely check with your employer to make sure you don't accidentally steal from the company. For my company, we explicitly allow employees who depart on (reasonably) good terms to use any tickets or flight credit that is in their name, but that's likely not the case everywhere.
+1. OP need to ask who paid for these flights? If OP paid out or pocket and wasn't reimbursed by the employer, then by all means use it. If these are paid by the employer, then name changes are likely allowed on corporate tickets and you will end up embezzling if you use them for personal travel by falsely assuming the employer can’t use the value.

Similar thread came up recently on DL forum and that poster reported they got a call from the CFO asking for reimbursement.
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Last edited by seawolf; Mar 17, 21 at 4:39 pm
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Old Mar 17, 21, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Presumably OP had a manager / supervisor and that person has a manager/supervisor and so on.

Even at a Fortune 10, one must have reported to someone. If I did not know who to contact, that is who I would contact and ask them to approve or at least supply the name of the person who can.

Who would OP have asked if they needed something when they worked there?
My manager is useless. I usually inform them of the corporate policies. The head of the department is also useless. They never book their own travel. They will just shrug and ask if HR knows. HR is generally also useless and ignores most emails, but I guess that might work in my favor. Since they've had a lot of layoffs in the last year, maybe there is an actual policy for this in place somewhere. Or she'll ignore it and I'll be fine either way.

I just emailed HR.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
All the better it gets lost.
Sent a letter to your previous supervisor and cc HR -- stating unless otherwise directed, you will be using these credits. Active / actual notice -- while the company could still try to recover the funds, you have protected yourself accusations of theft.
I'm afraid it might sound presumptuous phrased this way. I did just email HR and asked if there is policy for this or if I can use it for personal travel. Let's see if she responds.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 17, 21 at 2:38 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Mar 17, 21, 3:21 pm
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1. Your company's agency will be notified when a credit is used by someone other than the agency (including directly by the airline).
2. If your company paid (even through reimbursement) for the ticket, then it is company property. As Often1 said above, companies are allowed to make name changes. Any large company has a travel department and they've had plenty of time to get a good list of outstanding tickets that need to be used when travel resumes.

It is true that some companies don't do anything, but it is also true that they can come after former employees. I have seen it happen. Emailing your manager or HR will not help your case because you can't claim that you didn't know stealing was wrong. It isn't worth the risk. I can't believe we're even talking about it.

Last edited by TBD; Mar 17, 21 at 3:37 pm
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