United Airlines will automatically display flight credits as a payment option during the checkout process.
The new functionality goes into effect for MileagePlus members this week. The carrier said it is working to roll it out for all customers who hold flight credits in the near future.
“Unlike most airlines where travel credits are difficult to use, at United we’re doing something different,” chief customer officer Toby Enqvist said in a prepared remark. “We’re showing our customers they have credits — and we’re making them easier than ever to use.”
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United customers can combine multiple flight credits when booking flights. The carrier said that flexibility will soon include the ability for customers to use electronic travel certificates in conjunction with future flight credits. Electronic travel certificates and future flight credits are similar, though they vary on specifics such as expiration rules.
Credits can also be used for bookings made on United partners via the United app or United.com.
In a new wrinkle, next week United will also begin allowing customers to use travel credits to pre-pay bag fees and to buy seats with extra legroom. In addition, the carrier will begin allowing customers who have wholly unused travel credits that were issued by Aug. 31 to share those credits with another traveler by applying them as payment on the checkout screen.
U.S. airlines have issued an unprecedented number of credits during the Covid-19 pandemic, due in part to the unpredictability that the virus has caused for travel planning and also to the carriers’ decision to do away with change fees.
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