United Airlines

Booking and ticketing policy

Last updated: December 2014

Table of Contents

    Article I – Purpose

    This Booking and Ticketing Policy ("Policy") sets forth procedures that must be followed by any Travel Service Provider booking and/or ticketing air transportation on United Airlines, Inc. or any carrier d/b/a United Express as applicable (hereafter collectively referred to as "United", unless the context otherwise requires that the provision should reference only United Airlines, Inc.).

    This Policy is incorporated by reference and is a part of any applicable Authorizing Agreement or arrangement pursuant to which Travel Service Provider is authorized to act on behalf of United, including but not limited to, the IATA Agent Agreement and the ARC Travel Service Provider Reporting Agreement, to which this is a Supplement. United may, from time to time, provide Travel Service Provider with information United deems appropriate for Travel Service Provider’s use and/or knowledge in booking and/or ticketing air transportation on United and such information will supplement this Policy.

    Terms and conditions of transportation on United are also contained in United’s Contract of Carriage. Travel Service Providers should conduct business within the parameters of the Authorizing Agreement, this Policy and the Contract of Carriage. In the event of any conflict between such documents, the foregoing documents shall be given priority in reverse order, such that the provisions of United’s Contract of Carriage control, where applicable.

    This Policy applies to all Travel Service Providers, who maintain the responsibility to ensure all of its employees and contractors, in all of its locations, comply with this Policy, including future updates and amendments.

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    Article II – Definitions

    1. Accredited Subscriber – A Travel Service Provider, including a corporate travel department (CTD), appointed by ARC or IATA to issue airline traffic documents.
    2. Administrative Booking – bookings created for administrative or accounting purposes such as for printing itineraries or invoices.
    3. ADP – Alternative Distribution Provider.
    4. Ticketing Subscriber – An Accredited Subscriber that issues United or other airline tickets on behalf of, or based upon bookings made by, any other Travel Service Provider.
    5. Agency Debit Memo (ADM) – An invoice issued to a Travel Service Provider to collect additional monies owed to United for ticketing outside the Fare Rules or any other violation of United’s Booking and Ticketing Policy.
    6. Approved Industry Designator – Verified Travel Counselor (VTC) number assignment by ARC or Travel Service Intermediary (TSI) number assignment by IATA to a Non-Accredited Agency located within the US, US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, or Travel Industry Designator Service (TIDS) number assigned by IATA to a Non-Accredited Agency located outside the US, US Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico.
    7. ARC – Airlines Reporting Corporation.
    8. ATA – Air Transport Association
    9. Authorizing Agreement(s) – The applicable agreement(s) setting forth the terms of the relationship(s) between United and Travel Service Provider and under which Travel Service Provider is authorized to act as an agent for the sale of United’s services or to perform services to the benefit of United.
    10. Back Date Ticketing – The issuance of a ticket with an indicated date of issuance that is earlier than the actual date of issuance.
    11. Back-to-Back Ticketing – The booking and/or issuance and/or use of Flight Coupons from two or more different Tickets at round trip fares for the purpose of circumventing applicable tariff rules (such as advance purchase/minimum stay requirements or other restrictions).
    12. Churning – Excessive or constant book/cancel activity.
    13. Corporate Travel Department (CTD) – The ARC Approved CTD is intended for the purpose of purchasing carrier transportation and services for its own employees, owners, and officers. (i.e. in–house travel department).
    14. CRS/GDS – Computer Reservation System/Global Distribution System.
    15. Duplicate Booking – Booking more than one reservation for the same passenger traveling on or about the same date to one or more of the same or nearby airport destinations (such as, IAHMIA and IAHFLL or EWRSNA and EWRLAX), or creating another PNR for a passenger when one already exists in United’s internal reservation system or in a different CRS/GDS. Duplicate Bookings also include, but are not limited to, a similar or same itinerary booked on both United and another air carrier.
    16. Fare Rules – Applicable requirements or restrictions associated with a particular fare, including, but not limited to, non-refundability, Ticket Time Limits, class of service requirements, minimum/maximum stay requirements, or advance purchase ticketing requirements.
    17. Flight Coupon – A portion of the Ticket that indicates travel points between which the coupon is good for carriage.
    18. Group Booking – Booking 10 or more passengers on at least one common flight segment within their itinerary to a common destination in a single PNR or multiple PNRs.
    19. Hidden Cities Ticketing or Points Beyond Ticketing – The booking and/or issuance and/or use of a reservation or ticket from an initial departure point on the ticket which is before the passenger’s actual point of origin of travel, or to a more distant point(s) than the passenger’s actual destination being traveled even when the booking or purchase and use of such tickets would produce a lower fare.
    20. IATA – International Air Transport Association.
    21. Impossible/Illogical Booking – Includes, but is not limited to, bookings for the same passenger on concurrent flights that fly in the same time period, on or near the same day; multiple bookings for the same passenger between the same origin/destination; duplicate bookings; or, bookings with connections that depart before the arrival of the inbound flight.
    22. Inactive Segments – Flight segments within the CRS/GDS PNR with status codes HX, NO, SC, TK, UC, UN, US or WK.
    23. Married Segments – An itinerary that contains at least two connecting flight segments where United requires such segments to be processed (i.e., booked or canceled) as a single unit.
    24. Metasearch Site – An Internet website (or material portion thereof) that obtains fare data from air carriers and/or other travel services companies and aggregates such fare data into an integrated display based upon user searches, and then directs customer referral traffic to such air carriers and/or such travel services companies for booking on such air carriers and/or travel services companies own web sites. For the avoidance of doubt and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following are Metasearch Sites: Kayak.com, TripAdvisor.com, Bing, FareCompare and Fly.com. The Parties intend that any future internet websites that fall within this definition if they are substantially similar to those in the foregoing list shall be included under this definition. For avoidance of doubt, Metasearch Site shall not include any GDS, United internal distribution channel or OTA.
    25. Non-Accredited Subscriber – A Travel Service Provider not appointed by ARC or IATA to issue airline traffic documents. For the avoidance of doubt, any Travel Service Provider whose bookings do not contain a valid ARC/IATA number of an Accredited Subscriber in the United PNR point of sale information will be deemed a Non-Accredited Subscriber.
    26. No-Show – Inventory spoilage caused by the failure to issue tickets and/or cancel ticketed or un-ticketed reservations.
    27. Off Plating/OA Plating – Validating a United itinerary on another airline’s ticket stock.
    28. Online Travel Agency (OTA) – An entity that processes over 1,000,000 one-way airline tickets (across all air carriers, including United) per calendar year (a roundtrip airline ticket equals 2 one-way airline tickets) and at least 50% of its air travel reservations via the Internet, not including corporate self-booking tools. Upon the Execution Date, examples of OTAs include Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity and Travelong/Cheapoair.
    29. Passive Bookings – These are listed in the Travel Service Provider’s CRS/GDS system under passive segment status codes. Passive segments do not decrement United’s inventory and are only to be used to ticket reservations booked directly with United.
    30. PNR – Passenger Name Record.
    31. Prohibited Practices – Travel Service Provider’s actions in violation of this Policy or the applicable Authorizing Agreement, including but not limited to Travel Service Provider’s violations with respect to any Back Date Ticketing, Back-to-Back Ticketing, Churning, Duplicate Booking, Group Booking in violation of Article V below, Hidden Cities/Points Beyond Ticketing, Impossible/Illogical Booking, No-Show, Off Plating and Throwaway Ticketing, circumvention of United’s Married Segment control logic, United inventory access violations and any violation of United’s Contract of Carriage.
    32. Secure Flight Passenger Data (SFPD) – As defined by TSA, this includes full name, date of birth, gender and Redress Number if applicable.
    33. Throwaway Ticketing – The booking and/or issuance and/or use of connecting and/or roundtrip tickets for the purpose of one–way or partial travel only.
    34. Ticket – The record of agreement, including electronic tickets, e.g., "United electronic tickets" or "e-tickets," for the carrier(s) to provide transportation and related services under certain terms and conditions to the passenger named on the Ticket in accordance with applicable governing tariffs and regulations.
    35. Ticket Time Limit – Date or time deadline required for ticket issuance as set forth in the applicable Fare Rule.
    36. Travel Service Intermediary (TSI) – Approved Industry Registration Number issued by IATAN.
    37. Travel Service Provider – Any travel agency, Accredited Subscriber, Non-Accredited Subscriber, CTD, CRS/GDS subscriber, and any other person or entity accessing United’s internal reservation system content via the Internet or any other electronic means.
    38. Unsuitable Web Page – A web page that (i) is designed to disparage United, (ii) contains sexually explicit or obscene materials, (iii) advocates discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, age or other legally impermissible basis or (iv) promotes or engages in illegal activities.
    39. Verified Travel Consultant (VTC) – A Travel Service Provider that is engaged in the sale or brokerage of travel-related services or the provision of such services to the general public but is not appointed to issue airline tickets or travel-related documents.

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    Article III – Booking and Ticketing Policy Terms

    1. Administrative Bookings – Travel Service Provider must utilize auxiliary segments or non-billable status codes to produce invoices and itineraries or for administrative or accounting purposes. For example, non-billable status codes include the following: AMADEUS – GK, GALILEO – BK, SABRE – YK, WORLDSPAN – use a TVL Air Segment.
    2. Cancellations – If a customer cancels his or her reservation with Travel Service Provider, Travel Service Provider must immediately cancel the reservation and release United’s inventory. Otherwise, it may result in a No-Show for which Travel Service Provider will be responsible. Travel Service Provider must not re-use the canceled inventory for another customer, even if the other customer desires the identical itinerary; a new PNR must be created.
    3. Churning – Travel Service Provider must not engage in Churning to circumvent ticketing time limits of the Fare Rules.
    4. Claiming Reservations – Travel Service Provider must use CRS/GDS claim functionality wherever possible to issue a ticket for a reservation booked directly with United instead of passive segments. A Travel Service Provider is not permitted to claim PNRs between agencies, branches and/or CRS/GDS systems.
    5. Class of Service – The Travel Service Provider must not issue a ticket unless the requested class of service is available for sale and confirmed in United’s internal reservation system.
    6. Compliance with Applicable Laws and/or Regulations – Travel Service Providers must comply fully with all applicable laws and regulations in connection with the issuance and sale of United tickets. It is the Travel Service Provider’s responsibility to be familiar with all applicable laws and regulations and to ensure that its conduct is in full compliance with those laws and regulations at all times.
    7. CRS/GDS Migration – If Travel Service Provider changes from one CRS/GDS provider to another, Travel Service Provider must notify United at ua-distribution-gds@united.com at least thirty (30) days prior to the migration.
    8. Customer Name/ID – Customers’ full first and last names are required in all bookings. Additional security information about the customer may be required by government agencies and Travel Service Provider should ensure that the PNR satisfies the applicable government requirements, including that the customer’s name in the reservation matches customer’s name as it appears on customer’s passport or government-issued photo identification.
    9. Duplicate Bookings – Travel Service Provider must not create a Duplicate Booking for any reason, or duplicate any reservation booked by another agency or that exists in another CRS/GDS or United’s internal reservation system. It is the responsibility of the Travel Service Provider to determine if the customer already made a reservation.
    10. Fare Rules – Travel Service Provider must adhere to all Fare Rules. United prohibits, and Travel Service Provider is liable for, any booking or ticketing practice that circumvents the applicable Fare Rules, including but not limited to Back-to-Back Ticketing, Hidden Cities, Points Beyond, or Throwaway Ticketing. Travel Service Provider must issue a valid ticket or cancel the PNR by the applicable Ticket Time Limit. United reserves the right to use an automatic program to cancel segments when ticketing has not occurred by the applicable Ticket Time Limit, however, the Travel Service Provider is responsible for adhering to ticketing time limits.
    11. MileagePlus – Travel Service Providers shall not engage in selling, purchasing, brokering, or bartering any mileage, certificates, awards, or benefits (collectively, the “Awards”) under United’s MileagePlus Program. Travel Service Providers also shall not book any reservation with United or any of its Star Alliance member airlines by using sold, purchased, brokered, or bartered Awards. Additionally, Travel Service Providers shall comply with all MileagePlus rules in effect for the MileagePlus Program.
    12. Disclosures to Customers – Travel Service Provider must inform Customer with respect to all of the terms and conditions applicable to any United product or service offered. In connection with the above, Travel Service Provider must clearly disclose all significant conditions applicable to the product or service, including any unique branded fare attributes. The omission of a term that could reasonably influence the decision of Customer to purchase a United product or service is deemed material and in violation of this Policy. To verify compliance with this section, Travel Service Provider is encouraged to include in any such presentation of a United product or service a link to the source of the information on United.com.

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    Article IV – Non-Accredited Subscribers

    1. Non–Accredited Subscriber – Any Travel Service Provider whose bookings do not contain a valid ARC/IATA number in the point of sale of the PNR is deemed a Non-Accredited Subscriber by United. It is the Travel Service Provider’s responsibility to ensure that its CRS/GDS provider transmits the correct point of sale information.
    2. Adherence to Policy – Although many Non-Accredited Subscribers are affiliated with an Accredited Subscriber that issues tickets on their behalf, each booking source and Travel Service Provider, whether accredited or not, is considered unique and is required to comply with all United policies, including but not limited to this Policy and the Contract of Carriage. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Ticketing Subscriber will be responsible for any Prohibited Practices committed by another Travel Service Provider when ticketing on behalf of, or based upon bookings made by, the other Travel Service Provider.
    3. Approved Industry Registration Number – Each Non-Accredited Subscriber must obtain an approved industry registration number. United currently accepts the following approved industry registration:
      • Verified Travel Consultant (VTC) issued by ARC, see www.arccorp.com
      • Non-ticketing entity status issued by IATAN, see www.iatan.org
      • Travel Industry Designator Service (TIDS) issued by IATA, see www.iata.org/tids
      • Any Non-Accredited Subscriber that is not located in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico must obtain a TIDS number from IATA.
    4. Notice to United – Upon receipt of an approved industry number, the Non-Accredited Subscriber must send the VTC, TSI or TIDS number to United at ua-distribution-gds@united.com. The following information must be included in the notice: Non-Accredited Subscriber name and address, CRS/GDS provider and pseudo city code, phone and fax numbers, email address and affiliated ticketing travel agency’s name, ARC/IATA number and pseudo city code.
    5. Point of Sale Information – Each Non-Accredited Subscriber must advise its CRS/GDS provider(s) to update its point of sale information with the approved industry registration number. All Travel Service Providers are encouraged to check their point of sale to ensure that current and accurate information is transmitted to United (contact CRS/GDS for verification).
    6. Enforcement – Failure to obtain an approved industry registration number, notify United and update the CRS/GDS point of sale may cause the loss of access to view and book United’s inventory whether or not a policy violation has occurred. The Non-Accredited Subscriber will remain inhibited until the approved industry registration number is obtained and updated in the subscriber profile so that it is transmitted automatically in the point of sale of a PNR. Un-ticketed PNRs are subject to cancellation.
    7. Reinstatement – Access to the United internal reservation system may be reinstated only if the Non-Accredited Subscriber obtains an approved industry registration number and pays any fee required by United as provided below. A Non-Accredited Subscriber that has been restricted should contact United at ua-distribution-gds@united.com. The Non-Accredited Subscriber will be responsible for payment of any booking violation contained in this policy. Persistent violations of the Policy will result in permanent restriction from United’s inventory.

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    Article V – Group Bookings

    1. Groups and Meetings Desk –Travel Service Provider must make all Group Bookings for travel on United directly through United’s Groups and Meetings Desk at 1-800-426-1122.
    2. Violation – Violation of United’s Group Booking Policy may result in cancellation of bookings and assessment of fees against Travel Service Provider as stated in Article VI of this Policy. Travel Service Provider may be required to provide proof of ticketing for all customers in any associated Group Booking that United deems to be a No-Show. In addition, United and Travel Service Provider may be parties to a Group Booking contract that provides for additional or alternative fees.

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    Article VI – Fees and Penalties for Non-Compliance

    United strictly prohibits and will hold Travel Service Provider responsible for any losses due to actions in violation of this Policy, the applicable Authorizing Agreement or United’s Contract of Carriage. For the avoidance of doubt, the Ticketing Subscriber will be responsible for any Prohibited Practices committed by another Travel Service Provider when ticketing on behalf of, or based upon bookings made by, the other Travel Service Provider.

    1. Fees – In addition to other legal or equitable remedies available to United for Travel Service Provider’s violation of this Policy, United reserves the right to charge Travel Service Provider, and Travel Service Provider agrees to pay, a fee per passenger, per PNR for each Policy violation. In addition, United reserves the right to assess additional fees if the applicable Policy violation(s) involve First Class or BusinessFirst inventory.
    2. Loss of Access/Termination – Frequent violations of this Policy and/or failure to pay any outstanding fee(s) may result in the loss of access to view, book and ticket United inventory. United may assess an additional fee to restore access capabilities through a CRS/GDS if the Travel Service Provider is reinstated. Travel Service Provider also must pay any other outstanding monies owed to United at the time of termination, including any such amounts identified by United following such termination.
    3. Damages – In addition to the other remedies United may charge Travel Service Provider, and Travel Service Provider agrees to pay, for any losses incurred by United arising out of or in connection with any violation of this Policy. These damages could include, but are not limited to, loss of revenue and the difference between the fare charged and the actual fare available at the time of the violation or booking, use or issuance of the ticket.
    4. Other Remedies – United reserves the right to offset from any available source any amount owed to Travel Service Provider by United in order to satisfy any of the fees, costs, damages or other remedies owed to United as a result of Travel Service Provider’s violation of this Policy. United reserves the right to terminate any and all applicable agency appointment(s) of any Travel Service Provider that does not comply with this Policy.

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    Article VII – Miscellaneous

    2. Notices to Travel Service Provider by United - In addition to the methods for sending notice provided by the applicable Authorizing Agreement with respect to Accredited Agencies, any notices authorized or permitted to be given by United to Travel Service Provider under this Policy or any applicable Authorizing Agreement may be given to any accredited Travel Service Provider by posting on united.com/agency. Additionally, United shall have the right to provide Travel Service Provider, via email, any information United deems appropriate for Travel Service Provider’s use and/or knowledge in booking and/or ticketing air transportation on United.
    3. Right to Inspect and Audit – United shall have the right to enter any of Travel Service Provider’s office locations upon reasonable notice for the purpose of inspecting Travel Service Provider’s books and records relating to air transportation sold directly or indirectly on United and to ensure Travel Service Provider’s compliance with the provision of the applicable Authorizing Agreement, this Policy and/or United’s Contract of Carriage.
    4. For all regions outside the United States, posting of local ADM policy and distribution of ADMs will be handled through BSPLink in accordance with the timelines outlined in IATA Resolution 850m.
    5. Compliance with Laws – Travel Service Provider, in booking and/or ticketing pursuant to this Policy, will comply with all applicable laws, including, but not limited to, those set forth in 14 CFR 257.5(d) and 14 CFR 399.

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