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United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

San Diego
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United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

I tried to schedule a trip today on United.com using the FareLock service. Unfortunately, this service is not available when booking less than 17 days of planned departure. When I called the customer service number, I was told that the FareLock service must be down. The second answer was that it is a randomly available service. And the third and final answer was that it is not available unless booking 17 days in advance. Thanks Jeff Smisek for deceptive marketing practices. How come you omit this from the FareLock FAQ's? What is your objective?

Sign, a frequent United Traveler - soon to be American Airlines Frequent Flyer.

Edited: 02 May 2012, 22:57
Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
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1. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

So you are moving to AA because you were unable to use Farelock for your reservation? AA will allow you to hold a ticket only for 24 hours.

After you choose your flights it states:

"Farelock is a service that allows you to hold your itinerary and fare for 72 hours or seven days, for a fee, and is available on select flights."

I guess the key word here is "select" flights. It's never offered on all flights, and all legs of the flight must be on UA metal. It does appear, from the dummy bookings I tried, that it's not offered if your flight is less than 17 days away.

Edited: 02 May 2012, 23:09
Portland, Oregon
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for Air Travel
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2. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

No need to rant, and you can leave the Smisek-bashing over on FlyerTalk.

Farelock was introduced by Continental at the end of 2010, and it's been taken on by the merged reservations system. So, for "old" United flyers like the OP (and me), it's a new feature. It would also, therefore, be new to most of the reservations agents (more of them came from old UA) and perhaps they're just unfamiliar with it.

I haven't booked any flights on united.com since 3/3, so haven't had the option of trying it. But, I did some googling, and it's discussed here on the "old" CO FT pages - flyertalk.com/forum/continental-onepass-pre-…

It looks like the rationale behind "17 days" is to prevent people gaming the system by farelocking a 14 day advance purchase fare and then ticketing it after the fare has become unavailable, or speculatively locking a reservation and denying that ticket, and hence possibly that fare, to other customers at T-16/15/14. I suspect there are also other exclusions to Farelock covering other AP cut off periods.

That seems perfectly reasonable to me. And, although not spelt out explicitly or verbosely, the T+C's does say "Advanced booking periods apply" which is a somewhat general way of covering the above.

united.com/CMS/…FareLock.aspx

And no I don't work for United.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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3. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

FARE LOCK IS SCAM

Recently I reserve my reservation and lock fare through fare lock. I got a confirmation email that states "Your FareLockSM reservation will be automatically purchased using the credit card provided on Tue., Mar. 19, 2013, at 11:00 p.m. in" but didn't happen anything. When I called Customer service they keep asking me for ticket or receipt number. I told them that if I would have bought the ticket I would had it. But my ticket was not bought as stated above. She also told me that I need to call after fare lock, and then purchase reservation, where as there are no instructions for that any where... my United Confirmation Number is G01CXY... and no one can even find it in the system... when I call her customer support I happen to talk with a Chinese person who do not even understand what I am saying and put me on hold several times to run to his super wiser to talk and come back and tell me answer... eventually the super wiser came on line and asked me for ticket # and receipt # which is completely non-sense because my ticket was not purchased automatically as notified in the Fair Lock confirmation e-mail... I will never use this air line again...

New York City, New...
6 posts
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4. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

FareLock service is available on certain fare types and not on every fare.

It is similar to that of PriceLock which is offered by Farestore on FlightOmart . com

Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
94 reviews
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5. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

I have never seen any such message that your ticket would be automatically purchased if you had FareLock. I think you misread something. I found this awfully funny:

"when I call her customer support I happen to talk with a Chinese person who do not even understand what I am saying and put me on hold several times to run to his super wiser to talk and come back and tell me answer... eventually the super wiser came on line and asked me for ticket # and receipt # which is completely non-sense because my ticket was not purchased automatically as notified in the Fair Lock confirmation e-mail... I will never use this air line again..."

Great, more seat selection availability for those of us who will fly UA. Have fun with the other carriers, which don't even allow such a long hold for ticket prices.

on the lake
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196 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

I used Farelock to hold our groups tickets until they could get home and purchase them...and until payday. It was my understanding that you had to call back and purchase the ticket or lose it. Thats the way ours worked. One couple in our group waited about 4 days and it was still locked in at that price even though the fare had gone up. Worked great for us.

on the lake
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196 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

Your FareLockSM reservation is being held until Fri., Mar. 1, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. in XXXX, (XXX). Please visit manage my reservation on united.com when you are ready to purchase this ticket.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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8. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

There is an option with FareLock to automatically purchase the tickets at the end of the lock. IT's in the FAQs on the link below. I've never used it that way so can't comment as to how reliable it is.

https:/…

"What is the automatic purchase option?

Customers may choose to have their reservations automatically purchased at the end of the FareLock hold period. If this option is selected, our system will automatically process your ticket purchase with the same credit card used to pay the FareLock service fee. You may choose this service when making your FareLock reservation. If your plans change after the automated purchase, you have an additional 24 hours from the time of ticketing to receive a full ticket refund, based on our 24-hour flexible booking policy."

++++++

ksolemon - if you have it in writing that the flight(s) would be automatically purchased at the end of the lock, and that email should suffice, then call United again, and forward them the email. or, use the feedback form on united.com to file a complaint. But .... make that complaint POLITE and FACTUAL. Do not rant in the way you have in post #3, you'll get nowhere. Explain what you would like from them. If you have had to pay more because the fare is now higher, ask that they help make up the difference in fare and refund your farelock. You may get e-certs for a future flight that go some way to making up the difference.

Edited: 20 March 2013, 22:23
San Francisco...
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9. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

My wife just had an extremely unpleasant experience with United and the FareLock service :

She tried to buy a ticket and when she pressed the last button that read "purchase this ticket" she received a confirmation of purchase of the FareLock service at a fee of $9.99,

she did not need or want this service and Cistomer Service refused to reimburse her .

Very frustrating .....

UK
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92 reviews
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10. Re: United Airlines - FareLock is a broken service

Your wife has had a charmed life if accidentally purchasing something for the grand sum of $9.99 counts as "extremely unpleasant".