No More Phone Holds
Originally this post was going to be about how to put a United Award on hold via United.com but unfortunately it seems like United has finally taken that option away once and for all : (
For those of you not familiar with this trick, what you use to be able to do was select your Award online and then when it came time to pay, there was an option to call in and provide your Credit Card information (aka Pay By Phone). This option I suspect was primarily for people who weren’t comfortable submitting their Credit Card information online.
If you opted to Pay By Phone, instead of making you start all over again with an Agent, United.com would allow you to put the Award or Revenue Ticket on hold while you called into United. The hold was only suppose to be for 24 hours but in practice it usually held your ticket for a good 3 days.
To make sure people would actually call in and complete their Purchases, United provided a special United.com Support Number instead of the normal United Customer Service Number. This United.com Support Number for some reason or the other, never had any wait! When you would call, literally an Agent would pick up and then you would just provide your Confirmation Number and they would process your ticket.
When I booked my First Class Extravaganza last month on United, I used this “trick” to first nail down all my Segments online and then phoned United.com Support to tag on the last few Segments that the Website wasn’t allowing me to add.
The reason why this was useful is because I could pick all my Segments and Flights online and then not have to manually feed each Flight Number to the Phone Agent.
Additionally, this trick was useful if you had to transfer in Points from Ultimate Rewards, since you could first reserve your Ticket and make sure there was availability before transferring in tens of thousands of Points.
As I said earlier, I was going to lay out this process in detail BUT it seems United has taken away the ability to put Awards on hold via the Phone Trick.
Surprisingly, as you will see below, they have also taken away the option to pay by Western Union. I suspect United may have been fooled by one too many Sons of the Deposed King of Nigeria.
Instead of the Phone Option to place Tickets on Hold, United has introduced Fare Lock which basically does the same thing but not surprisingly, United charges you for this “new service”. Umm no thanks!
I thought maybe the lack of a Phone Option was just a glitch, so I tried with a few of my other United Accounts and the Phone Option is no more!
United Direct Phone Number
While not having the ability to do Phone Holds is the bad news, the good news is that the direct line to United.com Support STILL WORKS!
Although the number doesn’t seem to be posted online anymore at United.com (I tired to search for it), I had saved the number in my Phone because I realized a while ago that United.com Support has the same abilities to book and change Award Tickets as normal Agents, I just didn’t have to wait when I called!
As I was writing this, I just tried calling again and making a “dummy booking”, the only automated prompt I got was to ask if I was flying Internationally or Domestic, and then it automatically connected me to an Agent. All in all, it took less than 20 seconds to get connected to an Agent!
The number is 1-800-396-1751
This IS NOT an Elite Number, so don’t worry 1Ks!
I’d recommend saving the number in your Phone under United.
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