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United Wait List -- Mean Anything?

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For complicated reasons, we used a travel agent for our upcoming trip to London. Between the time we decided on flights and the time the tickets were actually run, United said, "Ha, ha. We've increased the fare on the return flight and if you want to fly home for that fare on that particular day, you'll have to take the later flight." So, we're confirmed on the later flight but "wait-listed"on the earlier one.

Fast forward to now, about 2 weeks before we leave, and I asked the travel agent about the wait list. She said, in essence, forget about it but you can pay $75 each on check-in to get the earlier flight.

I'm going to double-check with United, but thought I would ask Fodorites: Does this sound right that we can pay $75 at check in when we leave the US to get the earlier flight when we return? Does "wait-list" mean anything?

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