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Tonight I was booking some award tickets on United operated flights and I noticed something I had not seen before – the option to hold reward tickets when you don’t yet have enough miles in your account was gone. I posted back on March 13th that it looked like the old Continental policy of allowing you to hold award tickets for three days for free if you didn’t have enough miles in your account had survived the merger. At the time I wrote that post, it was true.
However, three months later, the tides seem to have turned. Now, it seems that neither the old Continental policy of allowing free three day holds if you don’t have enough miles in your account, or the old United policy of allowing free holds for three days if you had enough miles survived. More accurately, it seems that neither option is currently available online. I am hoping (perhaps against hope) that free holds of some sort are still allowed over the phone. Though we all know how long it can take to get through to United on the phone, so that would be a somewhat cumbersome consolation prize.
I tried many different dates and routings and came up with the same result. No free hold online for award tickets. You can still purchase a hold using the Fare Lock option (which I do appreciate very much), but free was better!
Are you seeing the same thing as me? Have you recently been able to secure a free hold for a United award ticket over the phone?