In this week’s air travel developments, United Airlines introduces new flexibility and transparency for customers holding travel credits; the Biden administration will reopen the country to vaccinated international travelers in November, with new entry rules that also affect U.S. citizens; United says it’s ready to check vaccine certificates if a mandate is extended to domestic flights; the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports that 10,000 of its workers have tested positive for COVID; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defends its efforts to curb unruly behavior from passengers, as Congress holds a hearing on the issue; American Airlines and JetBlue say they’ll fight a new Justice Department lawsuit aimed at blocking their Northeast Alliance; low-cost Avelo Airlines adds another Northern California route; international route news from United and Turkish Airlines; and San Francisco International Airport will require all airport workers to be vaccinated.
Are you holding travel credits on United Airlines for flights you paid for, but didn’t take during the COVID pandemic? The airline said this week that it is changing its rules and procedures to make those credits easier to use. Most significantly, United said that when customers booking new flights get to the checkout process, they will automatically see their travel credits displayed as a payment option. “This functionality will be available for MileagePlus members first, and the airline is working to roll it out to all customers in the near future,” the company said. United is also making the travel credits more flexible, allowing customers to use them for flights on partner airlines, and to apply the value of the credits toward extra-legroom seats and prepaid checked baggage. Credits can also be combined for future bookings. “Customers can now combine multiple Future Flight Credits (FFCs) or Electronic Travel Certificates (ETCs) and will soon be able to combine ETCs and FFCs together,” United said. In addition, the carrier is allowing customers to share credits issued before Aug. 31 of this year with friends and family. For more information on how to use travel credits, visit the airline’s site.