Yet another ambiguous notification from UA

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Mai

May 4, 2020
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Hello everyone, brand new user here and hoping for some assistance (seeing as how UA isn't being helpful at all).
A few days ago, my husband and I received a notice from UA stating that ‘every customer now has until May 31 to make changes to current reservations or book new flights that can be changed or canceled without a fee and you’ll be able to reschedule your trip for any time in the next 12 months’.

My question is: we have Business Class non-refundable tickets to Spain in SEPTEMBER. Not sure if the above paragraph means we can avail of a refund if we cancel by May 31?

I intend to get in touch with UA myself, but am expecting them to give me the run around so I thought I’d run this by you and your team first since you once helped me out tremendously with Qatar Airlines.

Thanks so much, be safe and well.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,052
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www.promalvacations.com
No. You won't get a refund if you cancel the flight - only if they cancel it. What they are telling you is that you can change your plans and receive a credit with no cancellation fees if you cancel your flight now.

Basically, it's a game of chicken - do you wait and see if they cancel so you can receive a refund, or do you cancel now if you really don't want to travel and get a credit with no cancellation fees that is good for two years?
 

Mai

May 4, 2020
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Thanks for the quick response, Neil. Wish UA were as quick with their responses.

I figured as much, but wanted to verify with an expert. I'll play UA's game of chicken.

Thanks again and be safe!
 
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Mai

May 4, 2020
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One final question, Neil and I promise I won't bother you again.

If we were to wait until September and choose not to travel at that time, do you think we could use the value of the ticket plus change fees for travel at a later date?
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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I do not see the airlines reinstating their cancellation fees any time soon, at least not this year. This is just my opinion but they need to be as consumer friendly as possible considering they are in a world of hurt financially right now. People are apprehensive of purchasing airline tickets; to encourage them to continue to do so, they will need to be move flexible than they have in the past.
 
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Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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One final question, Neil and I promise I won't bother you again.

If we were to wait until September and choose not to travel at that time, do you think we could use the value of the ticket plus change fees for travel at a later date?
Question for you: when did you purchase the tickets? Before the pandemic, the rule was that you had one year from the date of purchase to use the value of the credit and pay a change fee. But that all depends on the fare class as Neil mentioned. I am unaware of any business class tickets that have a fare class of 'use it or lose it' but you need to check on the terms of your ticket to be sure.
 
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Mai

May 4, 2020
5
1
3
59
Question for you: when did you purchase the tickets? Before the pandemic, the rule was that you had one year from the date of purchase to use the value of the credit and pay a change fee. But that all depends on the fare class as Neil mentioned. I am unaware of any business class tickets that have a fare class of use it or lose it but you need to check on the terms of your ticket to be sure.
I believe we purchased the tkts sometime in January. Will double check the fare class as you and Neil point out and then deal with UA. Thank you so much for the information, Patina. Much appreciated.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,052
23,012
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Question for you: when did you purchase the tickets? Before the pandemic, the rule was that you had one year from the date of purchase to use the value of the credit and pay a change fee. But that all depends on the fare class as Neil mentioned. I am unaware of any business class tickets that have a fare class of use it or lose it but you need to check on the terms of your ticket to be sure.
But that has changed with all of this and United is now allowing rebooking up to 24 months from the date the tickets were originally booked.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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But that has changed with all of this and United is now allowing rebooking up to 24 months from the date the tickets were originally booked.
Hence the reason why I said "Before the pandemic...." I am trying to give the OP some understanding as to what the terms were like before the pandemic and how they may or may not revert back to those terms. As I stated in a previous post, I doubt the airlines will rush back to pre-Covid terms. It appears the airlines are trying to get their customers to commit to changes NOW based on the notice the OP received, rather than play the game of chicken. The airlines want to stop the bleeding of cash and if they can do that by getting their customers to make changes first, then they are not on the hook to make refunds for cancellations.
 
Sep 11, 2019
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United has recently extended the ticket validity to 24 months on wholly unused tickets issued prior to 03/03/2020. They are taking a month to month approach with waivers, but I would imagine those will be extended as well. I have spent 20 years in the industry, worked 9/11, 2 crashes and after this I can't do it anymore. I love this Forum and will still pop in to answer questions, but as of the end of May I'm retired!
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
Hence the reason why I said "Before the pandemic...." I am trying to give the OP some understanding as to what the terms were like before the pandemic and how they may or may not revert back to those terms. As I stated in a previous post, I doubt the airlines will rush back to pre-Covid terms. It appears the airlines are trying to get their customers to commit to changes NOW based on the notice the OP received, rather than play the game of chicken. The airlines want to stop the bleeding of cash and if they can do that by getting their customers to make changes first, then they are not on the hook to make refunds for cancellations.
Absolutely agree with you, Patina. We are going to see the airlines, and most travel providers, behave like they're interested in our business for quite some time. Once life gets back to normal, anyone booking an airline tix will need to verify their understanding of the rules that day. It's going to be lovely while it lasts, but brutal when airlines start torturing us again. Please let it be a long, long time!
 
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