Old Oct 4, 22, 12:12 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: jcturnbull
With a price drop, the most obvious approach, change flight to the same flight and get a credit, does not work. UA blocks this approach (May 2023, is this still true?)
Exception -- if the original booking was in the last 30 days, you can call UA and ask for a repricing. Normally there is a $50 service fee for this.

The next obvious approach to cancel, get a FFC and use the FFC to make a new booking. That also is blocked. The FFC can not be used for the same flights in the same cabin. 2023 update: this seems to work in my experience, already done for several trips this year as of March 2023.

So with those roadblocks
Cancel, get a FFC and use that to book a similar priced flight -- different day or time or even route.
Then cancel this new booking, get a new FFC and use the new FFC for the lower priced desired booking. That should work and you should get a FFC for the price drop.

Another approach is to cancel the original booking and get a FFC and save for a different future trip. The using other credits or cash rebook the priced decrease trip. This does leave you loaning UA some funds but for frequent travelers that may not be for that long

***NEW***
Originally Posted by RoseB
Earlier this morning I got a Google Flight alerts letting me know that the price of a flight I'm tracking had dropped by $40. With 4 of us on the flight, that made it worth my while to look at repricing. I was a little surprised when I went into my flight, chose Change Flight, saw that the flight I was on was available for selection and it showed the refund amount. I was able to go through the whole flow and get the difference refunded. I did have to select new seats but that's fine. Is this something new, or is it because this particular ticket was booked as Fully Refundable instead of my normal booking of non-refundable flights? I just don't recall ever being able to select the flight that I'm already booked on and getting any difference back (either refunded or as a credit).

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Best way to handle UA price drop please

Old May 5, 21, 8:06 pm
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POI
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Best way to handle UA price drop please

Recently purchased two OW TUS-HNL UA First Class for June. United changed equip to wide body: bigger plane = more first class seats = dropped prices. The difference is about $300 per ticket. Do I:
1) Call to beg to get a refund credit and are there any processing fees (used to be $50, sometimes waived)
2) Is this a strategy?: Change itinerary to a different date and then a few minutes later, change again, back to the date I want, at the lower rate? (Will United's computers know what I have done?)
Thanks I'm a UA newbie.
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Old May 5, 21, 8:27 pm
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Welcome to FT, POI

Originally Posted by POI
Recently purchased two OW TUS-HNL UA First Class for June. United changed equip to wide body: bigger plane = more first class seats = dropped prices. The difference is about $300 per ticket. Do I:
1) Call to beg to get a refund credit and are there any processing fees (used to be $50, sometimes waived)
2) Is this a strategy?: Change itinerary to a different date and then a few minutes later, change again, back to the date I want, at the lower rate? (Will United's computers know what I have done?)
Thanks I'm a UA newbie.
You can not flight change to the same flight online. You could change to another and the change back or you can call where the agent can process the request.

For a non-refundable flight you will get a FFC (Future Flight Credit) for the decrease (1 year to use). You will not be eligible for a refund to the original form of process.

As change fees have been dropped, there will be no fee for doing this.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 5, 21 at 8:34 pm
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Old May 6, 21, 7:27 am
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If the 'recent' purchase is within 30 days then the not so well-known UA rule should apply where you can get a refund of the fare difference less $50. Not heard that this was discontinued. I have even gotten a full refund before ... but YMMV. I have also been offered an ETC for the full difference. Definitely call and ask what options they can offer w/ the price drop; getting $250 back per ticket should be one of the options.
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Old May 6, 21, 7:32 am
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Originally Posted by cfischer
If the 'recent' purchase is within 30 days then the not so well-known UA rule should apply where you can get a refund of the fare difference less $50.
I can confirm that this practice continues. I asked a 1K agent about this about two weeks ago.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 11:36 am
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Does this policy still exist despite fare rules indicating forfeiting residuals on a cheaper itinerary or does the forfeit provision not apply if ticketed itinerary drops in cost? Thanks.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf
Does this policy still exist despite fare rules indicating forfeiting residuals on a cheaper itinerary or does the forfeit provision not apply if ticketed itinerary drops in cost? Thanks.
UA seemingly never went back and updated their fare rules, leading to angst for those of us who actually read them.

I can confirm that as recently as last week, I was able to get FFC for a flight change despite the 'residual is forfeit' language. In my case, I cancelled the trip, which generated an FFC, and then I started from scratch and added that same FFC during the booking process. If canceling and rebooking isn't an option, changing to an alternate flight, and then changing back, should also work.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer
If the 'recent' purchase is within 30 days then the not so well-known UA rule should apply where you can get a refund of the fare difference less $50. Not heard that this was discontinued. I have even gotten a full refund before ... but YMMV. I have also been offered an ETC for the full difference. Definitely call and ask what options they can offer w/ the price drop; getting $250 back per ticket should be one of the options.
Likewise, I have had them recently wave the $50 fee and received full refund. This is not that uncommon a scenario. I had the price drop massive on a TATL and got a big refund and rebooked, I think that time they DID hit me with the $50 fee.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan
I can confirm that as recently as last week, I was able to get FFC for a flight change despite the 'residual is forfeit' language. In my case, I cancelled the trip, which generated an FFC, and then I started from scratch and added that same FFC during the booking process.
They're enforcing the "residual is forfeit" rule for most travel agency-issued tickets and seem to be just waiving the rule for directly-booked tickets. It's pretty obnoxious.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Sykes
They're enforcing the "residual is forfeit" rule for most travel agency-issued tickets and seem to be just waiving the rule for directly-booked tickets. It's pretty obnoxious.
Sounds like a good incentive to book directly.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Sykes
They're enforcing the "residual is forfeit" rule for most travel agency-issued tickets and seem to be just waiving the rule for directly-booked tickets. It's pretty obnoxious.
Maybe they can't claw back the commissions or something to that effect
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Old Jun 17, 22, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Sykes
They're enforcing the "residual is forfeit" rule for most travel agency-issued tickets and seem to be just waiving the rule for directly-booked tickets. It's pretty obnoxious.
FWIW my tickets were all direct booked and yes fees also usually waved.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 4:38 pm
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I just sent my feedback.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by milepig
I just sent my feedback.
What was that?

Asking UA to make it easier to decrease its revenues probably will not get a positive reaction
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Old Jun 17, 22, 11:36 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
What was that?

Asking UA to make it easier to decrease its revenues probably will not get a positive reaction
agreed. They are clearly not incentivized to make it simple. The slightly more time consuming change and change back, or cancel and use the FFC to rebook are the best options. A small PITA to do the extra steps but easy enough to do online without any help needed. Sometimes better to do the easy thing with no agent interaction then to work to convince an agent about something that should be pretty common sense, but they wont do by default.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 5:32 pm
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What is best practice for rebooking a United paid fare when the price drops significantly, please?

We have tickets that cost $430 each that are now $330 each. I would "change" the flight to the new ticket, but it only lets us upgrade from economy to refundable economy, wiping out most of the savings.

TIA for your help, and sincere apologies if I missed a post on this!
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