December 23, 2021

How to Hold Flights on United Airlines? Using Fare lock

United Airlines FareLock

United FareLock is the system that lets you hold your reserved flight and complete your purchase at a later time. You’ll have peace of mind that the price of your flight won’t go up and it won’t sell out while you take your time with your purchase.

FareLock is available only through United.com, the United app, or the Customer Contact Center. FareLock allows you to reserve an itinerary and then complete your purchase later.

United offers a proprietary feature called FareLock. With this feature, you can hold your fare for either 3, 7, or 14 days. The price of your itinerary is guaranteed until you decide to buy it.

Like other airlines, FareLock is available on select flights. The fee you’ll pay is based on the flight details and length of the hold. Also, the FareLock service charges are nonrefundable and will not be applied toward the price of your ticket.

United FareLock Terms and conditions

  • United FareLock allows customers to lock in the price of their United flight by purchasing a FareLock Guarantee. FareLock is available for reservations booked through united.com, the United app or through the United Customer Contact Center. The charge is per reservation and applies only to flights operated by United and United Express®
  • FareLock service charges will not be refunded in the event of cancellation or delay.
  • Customers can reserve a fare with FareLock™ and then complete the transaction on united.com or by calling the United Customer Contact Center at any time prior to the end of the FareLock hold period.
  • If a reservation is not ticketed before the FareLock expiration, it will be canceled. If the user has chosen to make all future reservations automatic purchases, the reservation will remain in place and automatically paid for.
  • FareLock is subject to availability.
  • FareLock is a service that allows a passenger to reserve a ticket for travel at a future date, but lock in the fare for today. If the ticket is not used, it can be refunded or changed to another travel itinerary within 24 hours of purchase

United FareLock Pros:

The only way to hold a United fare for 7 days is to book through the United app. The fee is reasonable and gives you time to transfer miles or price shop. It’s a small price to pay if your plans aren’t certain or you think there may be a fare war leading to even lower fares.

United FareLock Cons:

The fee is not credited toward your flight, even if you book it (as with any option or insurance), Advance purchase only; not offered for flights close to your day of departure (so forget trying to game the system and circumvent 14-day advance purchase fare policies), Not offered for Star Alliance, other partner flights or codeshares; only United, You may not be offered the 7 day hold period if you have enough miles in your account

Keep in mind, that you do have other options:

  • You can cancel a purchased united ticket within 24 hours of purchase with no penalty
  • If it’s a United award ticket, you can cancel and redeposit your miles for free as a top Global Services member (Premier 1K, Premier Platinum), or pay $150 to do so as a non-elite ($125 as Premier Silver, $100 as Premier Gold).
  • It is still possible to hold a United fare for free until midnight of the following day (up to 48 hours) by selecting the Phone Booking option.

How to Hold a United Fare for Free

  1. To get a free hold, don’t select United FareLock, and instead proceed to the payment page. instead of paying with a credit card, select the phone order page link
  2. On the Phone Order Page, you’ll see your confirmation number.
  3. You can now go to the Reservations drop down, select “Change/View Existing Reservations,” and see your held reservation. You can also see how long it’s held for. If you held it shortly after midnight, you’ll be able to hold it 48 hours, until midnight the following day. You can click the “More” link to purchase it online
  4. After clicking “More” you’ll be able to click on the link “Complete this purchase now” to finish purchasing online, with no fee.

Next, Call United Airlines (888) 217-5079 or (1-800-864-8331) 

Four very important Tips to keep in mind:

Holding off as long as you can before canceling or changing a flight helps you if the airline changes or delays the schedule or cancels your flight. If United does so, you may be entitled to a refund or change with no fees. The policy is especially helpful if you book far in advance. If you are looking to book a flight on the same day, the MileagePlus change fee is $75. However, if you are a MileagePlus elite member, most of the award ticket fees will be waived (see below).

If you are planning a trip and want to avoid paying change/cancel fees, make sure to check the fee before booking two one-way flights instead of a round-trip. The United change/cancel fee is $200 for paid domestic flights (it’s as high as $400 for international travel), and up to $100 for award flights. If you want to change or cancel a domestic round-trip flight, you will pay $200. If you want to change or cancel two one-way flights, you will pay $200 for each – or $400!

If you have a special circumstance, like illness or a death in the family, call United to see if they will waive fees and change your flight. If you do not have trip cancellation or interruption insurance through your credit card or a policy, United may be willing to help you.

Seeking Assistance from United Airlines Customer Service! 

  • United Airlines Booking, Flight Change & Cancellations: (888) 217-5079
  • Contact Information: 
  • United Airlines Baggage Tracking: +1(800)-335-2247 

Holds, Changes, and Cancellations for Paid Tickets:

  • United’s 24-hour Complimentary Flexible Booking policy allows customers to make changes or cancel their tickets within 24 hours of purchase. This excludes group tickets and those purchased using Western Union, cash, or e-certificates.
  • The fee to hold your flight is usually $9.99 for a 72-hour hold and $14.99 for a 7-day hold per reservation for most flights booked directly with United online or by phone
  • United FareLock fees will not be refunded ,if you exercise United’s 24-hour Complimentary Flexible Booking option. If your fare is increased within 24 hours of ticketing, the FareLock fee will not be refunded.
  • FareLock is only available on flights operated by United and United Express with no partner segments
  • The FareLock logo will appear next to eligible flights when you choose your itinerary on united.com, or after selecting flights, you can buy FareLock, if available, in the Purchase Options section on the Review Trip Itinerary page.
  • A FareLock hold can be placed on a flight for up to two hours before departure. Holds are subject to the FareLock cancellation policy, which states that the hold may be cancelled at any time within the two-hour window before departure. If you do not purchase your fare or change your itinerary within this timeframe, your flight will be cancelled and the ticket refund
  • A change or cancellation of a paid ticket will incur up to $400 fee ($200 for domestic and up to $400 for international travel) per ticket plus any fare difference. Change fees on paid tickets are not waived for elite members.
  • When non-refundable tickets are changed or cancelled, any excess value will be issued as a credit to be used by the same person within 12 months. A refundable ticket allows a refund to the original form of payment.

United Airlines Hold, Booking, Change and Cancellation Fees for Award Tickets (including upgrades) and Partner Airlines:

Saver and Standard Award tickets with the same terms outlined above for paid tickets, are available for a 72-hour or 7-day FareLock hold.

There is no fee for booking an award ticket online, but if booking through the United Customer Contact Center there will be a $25 fee (this will be waived for Global Services, Premier 1K and Premier Platinum members)

Booking an award ticket through any channel within 21 days of travel will result in these fees:

  • $75 for General and non-MileagePlus members
  • $50 for Premier Silver members
  • $25 for Premier Gold members

The fee is waived for Global Services, Premier 1K, and Premier Platinum members

For award ticket changes more than 21 days before departure (with the same origin and destination), general and non-MileagePlus members will incur a fee of $75 (the fee is waived for all MileagePlus members with Silver status and above)

For award ticket changes with a departure within 21 days, or if making an origin, destination, cabin, award type, carrier, date or time change any time:

  • General and non-MileagePlus members will incur a fee of $100
  • Premier Silver members will incur a fee of $50
  • Premier Gold members will incur a fee of $25

The fee is waived for Global Services, Premier 1K, and Premier Platinum members

To cancel an award ticket or upgrade and have the miles reinstated to your account within one year:

  • General and non-MileagePlus members will incur a fee of $200
  • Premier Silver members will incur a fee of $125
  • Premier Gold members will incur a fee of $100

The fee is waived for Global Services, Premier 1K, and Premier Platinum members

United Airlines Same-Day Changes to Paid and Award Flights:

  • Same-day changes to routing and departure times with the same origin and destination can be made for $75, which is waived for MileagePlus Premier Gold, Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members.
  • The itinerary must be operated by United or United Express, and the ticket number must begin with 016
  • Changes can be made to your scheduled flight up to 24 hours before your departure, which may provide the opportunity to travel the day before or after if within 24 hours of your departure time.
  • If the original ticketed fare class is not available, you can change to an available class by paying a same-day change fee and either pay a fare difference or receive a refund for the difference in price

United FareLock Faqs

What is the benefit of the United FareLock service?

United FareLock allows you to hold your flight itinerary and price for either three, seven or 14 days. This allows time to finalize your travel plans without worrying about flights selling out or the price of your ticket increasing.

Is United FareLock available for award reservations using miles?

Yes. United FareLock is offered for both Saver and Everyday Award tickets on United- and United Express-operated flights.

Is United FareLock offered on every flight?

United FareLock is available on select flights operated by United and United Express.

How can I hold an itinerary using United FareLock?

When booking a United Flight online, you can purchase United FareLock, if available, in the Purchase Options section on the Review Trip Itinerary page. When booking a flight through the United app, you can purchase FareLock, if available, after choosing your flights.

How can I change my flights after purchasing the United FareLock service?

United FareLock reservations cannot be changed before you purchase them. You may cancel your United FareLock hold and buy new flights if your plans change, but you’ll need to re-purchase FareLock for the new itinerary.

Please note that United FareLock may not be offered on your new itinerary. If you have already purchased the ticket, please visit Manage Reservations to change your flight. Normal change fees and fare differences may apply.

What happens if I do not purchase my ticket before my United FareLock hold period expires?

If you don’t purchase your ticket before your United FareLock period expires, the reservation will be canceled unless you have selected the automatic purchase option. If you’d still like to travel, simply return to United.com or the United app to create a new reservation.

What is the Automatic Purchase feature?

Automatic Purchase is a feature where the system automatically books the ticket for the chosen flight before the end of the FareLock hold period, but only if the customer selects this option while purchasing FareLock. The system will use the same credit card used to buy FareLock. However, if the passenger’s plan gets changed after the automatic purchase of a ticket, they get a 24-hour window to cancel the ticket and get a full refund under United Airlines’ 24-hour flexible booking policy.

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