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Understanding/Using UA Electronic Travel Certificate & Future Flight Credit {Archive}

Understanding/Using UA Electronic Travel Certificate & Future Flight Credit {Archive}

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Old Jul 2, 22, 3:21 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: WineCountryUA
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More details on use of ETCs : UA Electronic Travel Certificates (ETC): General Q&A, ... now 2 year life

More details on use of FFCs : How to get residual value ("future flight credit") from non-refundable flight
Issues with UA's online rebooking: Missing flights, higher prices, changed cabin, ..

***************************************
* In mid-2021, UA started a process that seems headed to unify ETCs/FFCs and expand their usability
* This is still in process but much of this wiki is out-of-date and will need to be rewritten once the dust settles
* Conversion of FFCs to ETCs are no longer an option
* Most FFCs can only be used by original traveller (some older ones have more flexibility)
* See this UA announcement (27 Sept 2021) for some insight
* However presently there are still reports of issues, inconsistencies
**************************************

In early 2020, UA changed the 1-year life of tickets and ETCs to 2 years and also change rebooked flights had to "commenced" in the original ticket's life vs the older, but unenforced "complete travel.

1) Canceled ticket credit / future flight credit (FFC) -- this is where the flight is canceled but the ticket is left open. In effect when you use this credit, it is a ticket change.
This change must be made within 1 2 years of the original purchase date. The present COVID-19 waivers state "Rebooked travel must commence within 12 24 months from the original ticket issue date". Previously there is some uncertainty if the new flight needs to be completed in the same 1-year window. In the recent past that was not true but same agents are claiming it is now required. (this may be a factor on how the ticket is changed, a simple change of date is probably limited to the original purchase 1-year window but a more significant change should be a new ticket and a new full-year window.)
The new ticket can be any itinerary that can be booked on United.com (BE tickets have additional restrictions). The online re-booking / change tool is flaky and best to re-book with an agent.
The future flight credit will be listed online as a canceled flight. The new booking has to be in the same name as the previous booking but if the future booking is cheaper (and not originally booked after 2 March 2020) you will receive an ETC for the difference. For tickets purchased after 2 March 2020, there was a no-residual phrase in the fare rules, but an ETC option in place of the FFC was readily available until 1 August 2020. Generally, pre-1 August tickets continue to have the conversion to ETC if you called. Recent reports suggest this conversion may be again available (YMMV) for some post 1 August FFC tickets. Also one recent report the ETC residual practice may be re-instated.
Future flight credit cannot be combined. You need to convert them to ETC if you want to combine more than one FFC for a new ticket.
Note: there is no 24-hour "flexible booking" for new tickets made with flight credit -- although all purchases today have no change fees.
As of 16 April 2020, appears FFC for cancellation 3 March and later, may be convertible to ETCs, check your ticket in Cancelled Flights (if any United payment types were used to book the ticket (an ETC, TravelBank credit, etc.) or purchased with Chase points, the ETC option may not be available)

Multiple reports (in Feb 2021) of FFCs have been extended to 31 March 2022

2) Electronic Ticket Credit (ETC)-- this is where the ticket is converted is a cash value credit and you have 1 2-year from ETC issuance to book a new flight and that future new flight to be completed with-in 1-year of the new booking's date. So up to a total of two three-year window.
You will / should receive a voucher code to use in the future booking (you need to keep track of this but agents can look it up).
The ETC can be used by anyone but is limited to UA/UX operated flights ( a complicated workaround may work to book partner flights).
Fairly simple to use the ETC online and multiple ETCs can be combined if needed -- but the same ETC can not directly be used by multiple passengers on the same PNR.
Note if ETC covers the entire cost of the new flight, you can not use a credit card for the flight purchase and will not receive any of the benefits that come from using a credit card.
Appears for multi-passenger PNRs, ETCs go back to the "first traveler" and not the individual traveler (as FFC). "Note: If there are multiple travelers on a reservation, the total value will be issued in one certificate to the first traveler." Unknown what happens on split PNRs.

(Unverified thought) FFC of tickets purchased 3 March or later do not have residual value, so far as we know, that does not apply to ETCs at all, so ETCs are better than FFC if canceling new ticket purchases starting 3 March 2020 (till at least 30 April).

UA's -- What’s the difference between electronic travel certificates and future flight credit?
Electronic travel certificates are travel credit given to customers from a United employee for situations including denied boarding instances, customer goodwill, a fare difference during an exchange, and for irregular operations. Future flight credits are credit for the same value of your ticket for the original route given to the same customer(s) who has canceled their flight.

Future flight credits are valid for the same amount as the original ticket purchased and can be applied to new flights. They have a lot of flexibility in routes as they can be used for travel on any United, United Express, or partner-operated flights. Future flight credits must be used for travel within 12 months of the date your original ticket was purchased.

Electronic travel certificates also offer a lot of flexibility. You can use them to book a flight for anyone you’d like, and they can be used for travel up to 24 months from the date they’re issued. Electronic travel certificates must be used for United- or United Express-operated flights.

Note the Must rebook by 12 months for FFC is presently overridden by waivers stating
Cancellations: If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked before March 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 24 months from the original ticket issue date. If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked between April 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.
A process for converting an ETC to Refund if the original situation nows qualifies for a refund
Originally Posted by LimeyFlyer View Post
....
Please visit united.com/refunds
Select Request Refund
Add all required information
Under purchases > Enter Receipt details
Customer should enter their ticket number in the 'Document Number' field
In details reason for request > "Cancel ETC and refund to original form of payment"
Enter email address
Submit ... .

Other useful threads
Extending a Credit/Travel/ETC Voucher by booking a refundable fare?
UA Electronic Travel Certificate & Codeshares/partner flights
Now See All Your Electronic Travel Credit(s) (ETCs) on Your United.com Account!
Future Flight Credits (FFC) Available on My Trips page?

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Old Dec 11, 21, 11:26 pm
  #826  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
I unfortunately don’t have a lot of experience with fully refundable tickets - my experience with canceling during the initial 24 hour window where a non-refundable ticket is still refundable - it doesn’t give an option anymore - it just goes back to original form of payment (it used to give you a choice of refunding or putting the value in FFC) - I suspect refundable tickets are the same.

an agent may be able to do this for you though - so I’d try calling and tell them you’d like it as an FFC (in this case, it would also be faster, as $ back to a TravelBank account takes time and the FFC would be instant). Online, you can probably also change it to something non-refundable vs cancel, then go back and cancel to have the FFC value.
Just to confirm with my experience here - yes refundable ticket is the same. It has both the options to go back to the original payment or to FFC.
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Old Dec 13, 21, 12:12 pm
  #827  
 
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I have a future flight credit of $423. I am changing a flight to one that is more expensive by $23. If I apply the future flight credit, do I get a new flight credit of $400?
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Old Dec 13, 21, 1:39 pm
  #828  
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Originally Posted by azfanboy View Post
I have a future flight credit of $423. I am changing a flight to one that is more expensive by $23. If I apply the future flight credit, do I get a new flight credit of $400?
I'm assuming you are planning on entering the FFC on the payment page for an existing flight you are changing. If so, I believe the existing FFC will remain with the balance still there ($400), and it won't be a new one (ie, PNR will remain the same).

IME, at time of change, you'll get simultaneous emails - one with the updated itinerary for your changed flight, and another noting the FFC with remaining balance.
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Old Dec 23, 21, 8:46 am
  #829  
 
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weird UA-server and great agent

Today I tried to book a flight, paid with 4 FFC's and by CC. But when I clicked the paybutton ist appeared a message; "your bank can't be reached"
So I called and learned that this is a known problem with the UA-Server that connects to the bank. So the agent combined my 4 FFC's to one ETC.
With this one ETC and the CC the booking (paying) worked.
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Old Dec 24, 21, 4:55 am
  #830  
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I have a United itinerary for early February 2022. If I cancel it now, I receive FFC that expires December 31, 2022. If I wait until next month to cancel, will the expiration date move to December 31, 2023?
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Old Dec 24, 21, 6:31 am
  #831  
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Originally Posted by MileageAddict View Post
I have a United itinerary for early February 2022. If I cancel it now, I receive FFC that expires December 31, 2022. If I wait until next month to cancel, will the expiration date move to December 31, 2023?
no, technically related to the date the ticket was booked. UA has set all of them to be valid till 12/31/22 whether they extend this further we'll have to see. No difference wrt when you cancel the reservation.
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Old Dec 28, 21, 9:54 am
  #832  
 
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Hi,

United just cancelled my Awards booking and issued a FFC (why not just refund me the $ and miles).
When I try to use it only the $ are applied but it says 0 Miles are in the FFC (they are not refunded either) .... what is going on.
When I go to future flight credit a "cancel" option is shown > that sounds as if they should refund $ and Miles but I'm not sure what the United IT thought up > does anyone have insight
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Old Dec 28, 21, 11:06 am
  #833  
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Originally Posted by blitzen View Post
... United just cancelled my Awards booking and issued a FFC (why not just refund me the $ and miles). ...
Because for some there is a fee to redposit / refund. The choice to "hold" or redposit for awards has been there for years.

Originally Posted by blitzen View Post
...
When I go to future flight credit a "cancel" option is shown > that sounds as if they should refund $ and Miles but I'm not sure what the United IT thought up > does anyone have insight
if the flight qualifies for free redeposit, then that is probably the best choice

To learn about when the redeposit is free, see Award tkt change/cancellation/redeposit/fees Q&As: no fees up to 31 days pre-travel
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Old Dec 28, 21, 11:07 am
  #834  
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Originally Posted by blitzen View Post
Hi,

United just cancelled my Awards booking and issued a FFC (why not just refund me the $ and miles).
When I try to use it only the $ are applied but it says 0 Miles are in the FFC (they are not refunded either) .... what is going on.
When I go to future flight credit a "cancel" option is shown > that sounds as if they should refund $ and Miles but I'm not sure what the United IT thought up > does anyone have insight
Was this a cancelled route/flight?

if this was done automatically, I suspect is they canceled the flights but not the itinerary - though it’s a bit strange as they should have either refunded everything automatically or left it in there - not mileage but not fees, or vice-versa.

you can try canceling and see what it is saying is due back, but personally, I’d reach out to MPSC and have them look into it. I’d say to hold off for a bit if possible to avoid long hold times - probably busy right now with all the cancelations the past few days.
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Old Dec 28, 21, 11:12 am
  #835  
 
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Was this a cancelled route/flight?

if this was done automatically, I suspect is they canceled the flights but not the itinerary - though it’s a bit strange as they should have either refunded everything automatically or left it in there - not mileage but not fees, or vice-versa.

you can try canceling and see what it is saying is due back, but personally, I’d reach out to MPSC and have them look into it. I’d say to hold off for a bit if possible to avoid long hold times - probably busy right now with all the cancelations the past few days.
Tried the “cancel” option shown in the FFC and it showed that $ and miles would be refunded in full.
was apprehensive using the option as one never knows if the next screen will show “your FFC is cancelled “ without any details.
and as you said I was not going to call this week as the CSR have more important call to take


so after cancelling it and refreshing everything is still shows as FFC and no miles refund …. United IT was very buggy the last few days, but this is something new for me ….
wait and see
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Old Dec 28, 21, 1:07 pm
  #836  
 
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So I am slightly confused. I cancelled a flight as the price had come down. I received a FFC since there had apparently been a change in my itinerary. The requirement for no additional fees was I could not book to leave one day earlier or later and the same for the return.

I ended up making the booking to leave two days earlier.

They reissued the ticket with the same confirmation number. All good.

However, the residual is confusing me. It is a FFC. That is fine as I will be flying somewhere but it kept the same confirmation number as the original flight and the reticketed flight. That makes me slightly nervous.. It is showing up as a FFC in my account I am just nervous about the same confirmation number. Anybody else experienced this and had no issues?
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Old Dec 28, 21, 10:10 pm
  #837  
 
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Cancelling flight booked with ETC

What happen if I cancel or change a flight booked with ETC?
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Old Dec 28, 21, 11:01 pm
  #838  
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Originally Posted by Cookie2102 View Post
What happen if I cancel or change a flight booked with ETC?
What do you want to happen?

David
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Old Dec 28, 21, 11:26 pm
  #839  
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Originally Posted by Cookie2102 View Post
What happen if I cancel or change a flight booked with ETC?
If non-refundable, if cancelled, the entire purchase amount will go to a FFC.
If a change, if original purchase (with ETC) was higher, the extra will go to a FFC,

The value of the ETC is not lost.
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Old Dec 29, 21, 9:30 am
  #840  
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
However, the residual is confusing me. It is a FFC. That is fine as I will be flying somewhere but it kept the same confirmation number as the original flight and the reticketed flight. That makes me slightly nervous.. It is showing up as a FFC in my account I am just nervous about the same confirmation number. Anybody else experienced this and had no issues?
That's just the way it works, as they track FFCs in the PNR. I currently have three FFCs with the same confirmation number.
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