United Airlines

Residual miscellaneous charge orders (MCOs)


A miscellaneous charge order (MCO) is a document available for use by ARC accredited agents. The most common reasons for the issuance of an MCO are:

  • residual value of a fare difference as a result of a ticket exchange
  • collection of a group deposit

An MCO can be issued when exchanging a wholly unused 016 ticket in the following circumstances:

  1. Ticket is applied toward the purchase of a new ticket of lower value.
    • Original ticket can include codeshare or other airline space.
  2. Prior to departure of the originating flight, the exact ticketed flights qualify for a lower fare
    • Must be a United published fare
    • Must meet fare rules of new fare

Change fee, if applicable, must be paid separately.


Only ARC-accredited travel agencies are currently able to issue an MCO.

  • U.S. travel agents: Refer to the ARC industry agent’s handbook for instructions on how to complete and report MCOs

MCOs are issued in the ticketed passenger’s name.

Terms and conditions

  • Valid for one year from the date of issue
  • MCOs can be used toward:
    • the purchase of a ticket as defined in “rules for tickets issued using MCO” below
    • Add-collection for a fare difference on a ticket exchange
    • Group deposit
  • Only one MCO can be used per transaction.
  • Travel agencies cannot use MCOs issued by United or another travel agency.
  • Expired MCOs cannot be extended.
  • Not transferable
  • Not replaceable if lost or stolen
  • Whenever an exchange coupon of an MCO is reissued, all prior endorsements or restrictions from the original MCO must be carried forward to the new MCO.

Rules for tickets issued using MCO

  • If the MCO value is greater than the ticket price, an MCO can be issued for the remaining value.
  • If the new ticket price is greater than the MCO value, an additional form-of-payment will be required to complete the transaction.
  • May be used to purchase tickets for travel on
    • United (UA) / United Express-operated and marketed flights only
    • UA-marketed and Joint Venture (JV)-operated (trans-Atlantic JV-operated by Air Canada or Lufthansa Group and trans-Pacific JV-operated by All Nippon) flights
  • Endorsement box must include non-refundable amount (including taxes) of original ticket.
  • Ticket will be valid for one year from the date of ticket-issuance.
  • The MCO should be cross-referenced with the ticket number in the "reason for exchange" line.
  • MCO used to purchase refundable ticket: If the ticket is subsequently refunded, a residual MCO will be issued with all prior endorsements and restrictions, including original validity date.

Agency exception guidelines for transfer of MCO

Individual MCO

An individual MCO may be transferred to another passenger as follows:

  • The agency that issued the MCO agency must get written consent from the passenger named on the MCO.
  • The agency should keep the consent document and a completed MCO Transfer Consent Form for the lifespan of the MCO and associated tickets in the event of an audit.
  • Violations of the above guidelines could result in a debit memo and/or penalty fee.

Corporate MCO

An MCO is a “corporate MCO” if it was issued for a passenger who was an active employee of a United corporate account at the time the MCO was issued.

  • A corporate MCO can be transferred to another employee of the same company without the passenger’s written consent.
  • The new ticket must be issued using the corporate account’s unique ticket designator code and unique tour codeww from the original ticket that resulted in the MCO.

United has the right, at its sole discretion and cost, at any time upon reasonable notice, to audit any use and handling of MCOs. Agencies will be required to provide the signed MCO transfer consent form to United during an audit.

Agencies in violation of the MCO policy may also be subject to penalties up to and including the permanent loss of ticketing privileges on United as outlined in United’s Booking and Ticketing Policy.