United FareLock Fee: Worth It, or Use a Free Hold?
Avatar_160_hilary
Hilary Stockton
Google+

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Peninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Belmond Bellini Club, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

GOT A BLOG POST IDEA?
Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

United FareLock Fee-Worth It or Use a Free Hold?

 

Is United FareLock worth it? FareLock allows you to hold a great fare or award ticket you've found and purchase it either 72 hours or 7 days later, for a fee. The actual fee varies, depending on the flight and your hold period, but is usually in the $5-$20 range. I considered it briefly for a United award flight I'm taking later this year, but decided against it in favor of a free hold, which I'll describe later.

FareLock Pros:

  • Only way to hold a United fare for 7 days
  • Reasonable fee
  • Gives you time to transfer miles or price shop
  • Small price to pay if your plans aren't certain or you think there may be a fare war leading to even lower fares

 

FareLock Cons:

  • 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 metal
  • 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:

1. You can cancel a purchased fare within 24 hours of purchase with no penalty

2. If it's a United award ticket, you can cancel and redeposit your miles for free as a top United elits (Global Services, Premier 1K, Premier Platinum) or pay $150 to do so as a non-elite ($125 as Premier Silver, $100 as Premier Gold)

3. It's 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 FareLock and instead proceed to the payment page. instead of paying with a credit card, select the phone order page link

United FareLock or Free Hold? Click Phone Order Page Link

 

2. On the Phone Order Page, you'll see your confirmation number. 

United FareLock or Free Hold - Phone Order Page 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

FareLock Fee or Free Hold"

 

4. After clicking "More" you'll be able to click on the link "Complete this purchase now" to finish purchasing online, with no fee.

United FareLock or Free Hold? Up to 48 hours for free hold

 

Since in this case I didn't have a need for a long hold, the free 2 day hold was fine for my needs. Have you used this, or United FareLock? What was your experience?

 

Related Posts

Airline Hold Policies: Tips and Tricks

United Continental Merger Integration: What Frequent Flyers Need to Know

Best United Miles Bonus Offers

How to Find Star Alliance Award Space

 

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.

If you enjoyed this, join 90,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book Your Hotel with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred VIP Amenities!

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Comments
Avatar_60_matt Matt B. commented 20 Oct 2012
Doesn't sound like it's worth it for only seven days. For two or three weeks would be a better deal.
Picture?type=large Matthew R. commented 16 Jul 2013
Does the phone order trick still work? I was testing it out and can't seem to find the link to the "Phone Order Page". Thanks for your help!
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 16 Jul 2013
Matthew, I tried it just now and still see it, after I get to the final payment page (you must enter in traveller details and select a seat). Which route are trying to put on hold?
Picture?type=large Richard H. commented 24 Sep 2013
You are awesome Hillary! Best travel booking advice I have gotten in surely a decade! Sure enough each screen matched yours in your post above.
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 24 Sep 2013
Thanks Richard, so glad it worked well for you!
User_avatar_default Bobby H. commented 19 Mar 2014
It defintely is worth it you happen to spot a good price on an overseas flight where United's prices tend to fluctuate wildly like BKK. I spotted a very cheap ticket to BKK and used 7 day farelock while I decided whether I wanted to go or not. Good thing too since the same ticket was over $700 when I checked a few days later.
Picture?type=large Nathan M. commented 28 Oct 2014
Tried the free 2-day hold at 12:15am on October 28; allowed me to hold until midnight on October 30, so that seems to be approximately 60 hours of hold time. Is that correct, or is it midnight (like 12:00am on October 30), which would only be approximately 36 hours? Thanks Hillary!
Picture?type=large Jessica B. commented 09 Dec 2014
If you do the phone order option but don't end up booking that flight are you charged at all?
Leave a Comment
Comment
Facebook-logo
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_best_premium_economy-seat_pitch_41_inches
4/3/2016
  I had my best Premium Economy flight today. Granted, I normally try to fly at least business class for international flights, but this was a relatively short international flight and I decided Premium Economy was all my son and...
Square_amex_platinum_airline_fee_credits_posted-400_off_american_airlines_flights
5/14/2016
Our 2016 AMEX Platinum Airline Fee Credits have posted, which will give us $400 off American Airlines flights. My husband and I both have the AMEX Business Platinum card, so we each were reimbursed $200 for our American Airlines e-gift...
Square_75k_mercedes_benz_platinum_amex_bonus_offer
4/30/2016
  A 75K Mercedes-Benz Platinum AMEX bonus offer is available, for $3000 minimum spend, so I've updated our Best Travel Credit Cards page and made it 4th on that list. Recently I wrote about the semi-targeted 75K AMEX Business Platinum...
Square_review-american_a321_first_class_seat_2f
4/5/2016
  This American Airlines A321 First Class Review is part of a trip report on Bora Bora, Tahiti and New Zealand luxury resorts, dining and activities. For the prior posts, please see: Review: American A321 Business Class New York to Los...
Square_50k_lufthansa_miles_and_more_bonus_offer_returns
4/5/2016
  A 50,000 Lufthansa Miles & More World MasterCard bonus offer has returned, and I've added it to the Best Travel Credit Cards page.   Here are the offer details: 20,000 Miles & More miles after first purchase Additional 30,000 Miles & More...
Square_japan_airlines_jal-no_seat_selection_online_for_aa_award_tickets
4/26/2016
  Update: JAL online seat selection is again available, perhaps thanks to my and others' complaints about the system update that had eliminated it. -----Original Post----- JAL Seat Selection Online is No Longer Available for AA Award Tickets and other...
Square_ritz-carlton_stars_benefits_and_top_stars_exclusive_offers-ritz-carlton_pudong-3rd_night_free
4/24/2016
Ritz-Carlton STARS Benefits are the perks of the Ritz-Carlton's preferred partner program, and can only be reserved through TravelSort, as a TravelSort Client, or via another STARS member luxury travel advisor. Here are the benefits: Guaranteed 4pm late check-out, when...
Square_review-lax_international_lounge_at_tbit-view_of_terminal
3/30/2016
This Los Angeles International Lounge Review at LAX TBIT before an Air Tahiti Nui flight is part of a new trip report on Bora Bora and Tahiti luxury resorts, dining and activities. For the prior posts, please see: Review: American A321 Business...
Square_march_expiring_deals-_35k_spg_amex-chase_cobrand_cards-buy_alaska_miles_with_40_percent_bonus_
3/27/2016
Several March Deals are worth mentioning before they expire soon: the 35K SPG AMEX offers, Chase cobranded cards such as the British Airways Visa, and the Alaska Mileage Plan buy miles up to 40% bonus offer. Here are the details:...
Square_british_airways_first_class_from_1984_roundtrip
5/12/2016
  British Airways First Class Can Be Booked for as little as $1998 roundtrip today, May 12, thanks to a BA first class and business class fare sale combined with an AARP discount and an extra 10% British Airways Visa...