How I Used My $300 United Credit From A Flight Cancellation

United CreditBack in early 2014, Kim, Lucas and I took our first trip of the year to Norway.

Our flight home got cancelled due to an approaching winter storm back in the NYC area. I then wrote more about the situation in the post, Hey United, I want my $158+ back. And then there was a update on that post. As the situation progressed there was even a second update.

After waiting a bit, United got back to me asking for the original receipts for my expenses due to the flight cancellation which I did not have.

In the end, since I didn’t have all of the receipts I was given a $300 electronic travel certificate which had a one year expiration date. This came out to a few dollars more than our hotel and meal expenses for our extra day…

While I would’ve much preferred the cash back, a $300 certificate was definitely better than nothing. My only problems were- I would only have one year to use it and $300 wouldn’t go far when booking a trip for 3.

I thought of a variety of scenarios where we could use the certificate for a domestic trip without costing us too much additional money or miles out-of-pocket. Nothing seemed ideal and the expiration was inching closer.

Rather than stress over it, I wanted to make sure to use my $300 credit rather than lose it.

United Credit

I then came up with a great plan.

An event was coming up at the end of April that I really wanted to attend. When searching for flights, it turned out that I could purchase one there for $20 more than the value of my certificate!

I decided to book a flight from Newark to Atlanta so that I could attend the Freddie Awards which is taking place at the amazing Delta Flight Museum. (Make sure to check out my review of the Delta Flight Museum. Kim, Lucas and I had a great time visiting before it officially re-opened last year.)

I’ll be attending the Freddie Awards and spending a little time in Atlanta with my brother since Kim didn’t have much interest in attending. I guess when work gets in the way and kids are probably not allowed, that could be an issue too!

We’ll be flying from Newark EWR to Atlanta (ATL) in economy class. The flight came out to a total of $320.20 so my additional cost for the flight came to $20.20. Not bad at all… (I tried my hardest to find something as close as possible to $300 so I feel that I was pretty successful in doing so.)

This won’t be a pricey trip since we’re using points for our hotel stay and my brother did a good job in coming up with a cheap car rental for part of our visit.

I’m looking forward to this short trip to Atlanta. The Freddie Awards should be a fun time!

4 thoughts on “How I Used My $300 United Credit From A Flight Cancellation

  1. I have $100 certificate that expires at the end of next month. I don’t really fly United very much (Exec Plat), but don’t want to lose out on $100. Any suggestions on what options I could use it on? Does it have to be on a flight I’m flying?

  2. Douglas- I’m pretty sure that it is only good for purchasing a flight. To be sure, take a closer look at the terms. Maybe you could buy a refundable ticket and then cancel it. This should extend your expiration by a year however I can’t guarantee that it works that way. Another idea might be to sell it to someone or pay it forward by giving it away…. Let me know what you come up with.

    1. @Michael, I think many of us have certificates that we would like to sell (even at a 30-40% discount) but really don’t know how. Craigslist just feels shady specially how do you trust a random person with money transfer. I wish there was some kind of middleman here that both can trust.

  3. Grad- Definitely a good point. I’d think by possibly making contacts on boards like MilePoint and FlyerTalk you could make connections with people you could trust. Tough call though…

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