One of the best things to receive on a trip is a electronic travel certificate…it’s free money! However, any time we use any such instruments, we should consider the terms and conditions associated with them, so that we’re not surprised after the fact. Two key areas that I leverage and keep an eye on always are the 24-hr cancellation policy and the premier points earnings. So naturally when using a travel certificate, the two are among the first things to come to mind. So then, when using United travel certificates, does the 24-hr cancellation policy apply still for the value of that voucher? When using a travel certificate for a partial or full ticket purchase, do you still earn the standard premier points for the fare type purchase?
Here’s the skinny…
24-hr cancellation policy – when using a travel certificate with promo code ##TCVA, you can leverage the 24-hr cancellation policy as you do in a regular paid or award booking. The amount will be refunded to the pin of your certificate for use at a later time.
Premier points earnings – when using a travel certificate with promo code ##TCVA, you’ll earn the standard amount premier qualifying miles, segments, and dollars as you would if the fare was paid fully out of pocket.
Another cool fact about e-certs is that the recipient doesn’t need to be a passenger, so you can use the e-cert to purchase a ticket for someone else.
How to get an e-cert
The most common way is to get bumped on an oversold flight. To increase your chances:
- use Expert Flyer at the time of booking and at the time of check-in to book yourself in the fullest flight that best matches your schedule.
- arrive early at the airport and ask at the counter if there’s any need for volunteers to take a later flight.
Another way to get your hands on an e-cert is when you have a bad experience in your travels with the airline, as I detailed here. There’s no increasing your chances on this one – it just has to happen. Needless to say, be truthful in your complaint when it’s warranted and don’t make a habit of finding problems in every trip when there aren’t. Also, do write kudos when deserved. I’m sure this is a good way to avoid giving the impression that you’re a complainer who’s just trying to get e-certs from their every trip. Here’s a link to the Customer Service Contact Form.
In conclusion, e-certs allow for some flexibility that you can leverage depending on the situation. May 2017 bring e-certs your way.