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.
- 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
- 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
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.
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?
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
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