Is United attempting to limit refundability of tickets purchased within a week of departure?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by HeathrowGuy, Sep 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    I noticed the following recent revision to "Our United Commitment":

    "When you book and ticket a reservation through United Reservations, united.com, at our ticket counters or city ticket offices, or if you use MileagePlus® miles to book an award ticket on United, we will allow you to cancel the ticketed reservation without penalty and receive a 100 percent refund if you cancel the reservation within 24 hours of purchase and if the reservation is made one week or more prior to scheduled flight departure."

    http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/customerfirst.aspx
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Ummm....this change is actually a DIRECT result of the government setting this as the policy airlines must comply with. The UA policy was more generous before the DoT decided this is the bare minimum.
     
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  3. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    I know, but United is never required to only do the bare minimum on anything. ;)
     
  4. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Amusing URL.
     
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  5. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    So does UA no longer offer us 24 hours to cancel for tickets bought within 7 days, unless they are fully refundable fares?
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    So what's the policy now if I buy a ticket today for Friday and then, five hours later, decide to cancel. Do the regular cancelation policies as per fare rules apply (vs. the 24 hr cancellation policy)? Is the same true for awards (ignoring that I am a 1K for the moment)
     
  7. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    It sounds like you would not be allowed to cancel the ticket since United doesn't say it will refund tickets purchased less than 7 days before departure. It doesn't say that explicitly, of course, but it's omitted from what they WILL refund.

    I imagine award tickets are still refundable as a 1K. If you're not a 1K, it's the same rule would apply. You'd not only face a close-in booking fee but also a cancellation fee.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Seems to be what the policy change is.

    Sure, but pretending that government regulation is going to help is ludicrous when it is actually what has precipitated the issue you're complaining about in the first place. :rolleyes:
     
  9. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    Government regulation didn't cause the problem, United's policy change caused the problem.
     
  10. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    HeathrowGuy is right. The government has always allowed really anyone to provide more than the minimum standard. This change claiming that this rule is what the government requires, is dishonest.
     
  11. snod08
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    snod08 Gold Member

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    Last week, I canceled an award ticket (ticketed for travel next day)....no cancellation fee...as the rules for award tickets prevailed.
     
  12. ClarkyBoy
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    ClarkyBoy Silver Member

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    yet another customer service ding...
     
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  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Government policy gave UA cover to say "We're complying with the DoT-mandated rules." Prior to that it was up to every airline to do whatever they wanted and most were more generous. There are lots of places the airlines could do more than the mandated minimums but where there are minimums defined for a particular scenario I wouldn't expect many to go beyond that.

    Had the DoT not instituted the rule it is highly unlikely UA would have changed to this version of a policy on its own.

    I'm not saying that the DoT requires UA to only offer the minimum. But once the minimum is defined - previously it wasn't - why wouldn't they change their policy to match it?
     
  14. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    Gives 'em another potential income stream!;)
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Because they don't want to be perceived to participate in every race to the bottom? I guess they don't care or they didnt think many people would notice.

    Not a big deal for me at the moment as I rarely book last-minute (week?) tickets, and if I do, it's probably an award ticket. Nevertheless, thanks to the OP for pointing out this change.
     
  16. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    So does the gov't regulation also cover within 7 days or just the 24 hours??? :confused: I don't think that I have ever cancelled a flight but it would be another piece of info to stre away for future reference
     
  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Both.

    The new minimum standard from the DoT is that any ticket booked more than 7 days in advance of departure must be fare-guaranteed with 24 hours for the customer to change their mind. This can be via free refund or a free hold but if a hold the fare must be guaranteed, not just the inventory.
     
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  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  19. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    This doesn't make any sense.
     
  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    What is so confusing?

    Before the DoT came along United (and most other airlines) set up rules on their own which they felt were appropriate for the customer. Now the DoT comes along and changes the requirement. So United reverts to that requirement. United basically guessed at what the DoT wanted. Once they found out they were giving more than they had to they backed it down.

    Where is your confusion?
     
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  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  22. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    UA could have simply put out a statement that it was in compliance with the DOT policy and be done with it, which it was. The government didn't cause this, UA did.
     
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  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The government has given UA cover to reduce the benefit. Just like the government gives them cover for canceling very delayed flights now with the 3-hour tarmac rule. The reason the airlines established the 24-hour refund policy in the first place was an effort to preclude government regulation on the issue. It failed.

    Yes, they could offer a more generous policy. They could do a lot of things. But once the government set the minimum standards it doesn't surprise me at all that the company dropped to that point.

    The feds didn't force them to change the policy. But once the feds set a standard I think it is a pipe dream to wish that the airline would offer more than that minimum without some outside motivation. I expect that the others will fall back soon enough.
     
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  24. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    That's the point right there. you keep trying to shoehorn in that the government caused this and it just isn't working. It is just UA screwing us...again.
     
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  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    But UA won this round of the race to the bottom. :)
     
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