Cancellation Policy of United Airlines
Nobody books a flight with the thought of canceling it. Yet sometimes you are left with no option but to cancel a booking. Health complications, family emergencies, and work are some of the common reasons why trips get delayed. And when you must postpone a trip, the first thing that comes to your mind is the Cancellation charges for hotels and flights. You cannot predict the future, but is there nothing you can do to save your hard-earned money? Is there a way to get a complete refund after canceling a flight ticket with United Airlines? Yes, you can cancel a trip for free, but there are several rules and regulations. That’s why it is important to understand the Cancellation policy of United Airlines before you proceed with your booking.
Can I cancel a United Airlines flight without paying a penalty?
How to cancel a flight ticket with United Airlines and avoid paying a penalty fee?
The flight change policy of United Airlines describes the rules and steps to change to a different flight. It also gives an estimate of the maximum amount you can get refunded by the airline.
- Irrespective of the fare, it is possible to cancel a reservation for free – up to 24 hours from the time you have booked the flight (if you have booked your air ticket at least one week before the scheduled departure of the flight).
- If United Airlines cancels a flight due to unavoidable circumstances, passengers have the option to:
- Board the alternative flight that the airline offers
- Cancel the trip and get a refund
- Postpone the trip and get a travel credit from the airline
You will also get flight Cancellation compensation under the following circumstances:
- If your flight with United Airlines is about to depart from Norway, Switzerland, the European Union, or Iceland, but it gets delayed by 5 hours or more – penalty-free Cancellation is available. After canceling the ticket, you should ask for a refund and compensation. If the flight gets delayed by more than 3 hours, the airline will offer compensation to passengers if the reason behind the delay was within United Airlines’ control.
- In case of jury duty, death, and certain kinds of sicknesses, United Airlines doesn’t charge any fee if the passenger cancels the booking (irrespective of the type of ticket you have bought). It includes air tickets purchased by credit card/ cheque/ cash, promotional fares, award tickets, net fares, and bulk fares.
- As per the Cancellation policy of United Airlines, you cannot cancel a Basic Economy ticket as it is non-cancelable. But if you cancel your ticket within 24 hours of booking, you will get a refund (if the scheduled departure of the flight is after a week from the date of booking).
- The Cancellation policy of United Airlines depends on the billing address of the passenger as there are different policies for Columbia, Taiwan, and Argentina.
- You can be eligible to ask for a refund in the form of an e-Credit if you booked tickets for a flight scheduled between March 1, 2020, and June 6, 2020. Filling out the refund form properly is necessary for getting the refund.
- The refund of partially used tickets depends on the discretion of United Airlines. This type of refund happens on a prorated basis as per the rules that apply to the specific ticket.
- If you have used a Credit Card to pay for your ticket, the processing time is generally 7 business days. It may take up to 20 days to process other refunds.
- Refunds are credited back by United Airlines to the traveler’s original form of payment.
- If you have depended on a travel agency or any third party to book your air ticket and you want a refund after Cancellation, you have to contact that agency instead of United Airlines.
Keep reading to learn how to cancel flight tickets under the Cancellation policy of United Airlines in different scenarios.
Cancellation Policy of United Airlines for COVID-19
What is the Cancellation policy of UA for COVID-19?
Just like any other airline, United Airlines had to revise its Cancellation policy during the outbreak of the global pandemic, COVID-19. As per the Cancellation Policy (for COVID) of United Airlines, travelers can cancel their tickets and apply to get a refund. They can also postpone their travel without paying the Cancellation fee.
24-Hour Cancellation Policy of United Airlines
Can I get a refund if I cancel my ticket within 24 hours of booking?
The 24-hour Cancellation policy of United Airlines gives travelers a chance to change their minds without suffering any losses. Under this policy, you can cancel your flight ticket within a day of purchase and get a full refund – as long as you have made the booking at least a week (7 days) before the scheduled date of travel. This applies to all types of tickets – including Basic Economy fares which are non-refundable in general.
You can refer to the ‘Reservations’ section of United Airlines to manage all bookings and book new tickets through the mobile app or the website. As per the terms of the Cancellation policy of the airline, when a passenger cancels a United ticket, the refund gets credited to the actual payment method.
Things to Note:
- If you did your booking with a Gift Certificate from United Airlines, you would get your refund in the form of an electronic travel certificate.
- If your reservation has been held with FareLock, United Airlines will not refund the reservation fee.
- If you have purchased a ticket with an e-certificates, it won’t qualify for a refund.
The Cancellation Policy of United Airlines for Deaths, Jury Duties, or Illnesses
The ticket Cancellation policy of United Airlines gives full refunds to passengers in case of death (either of the passenger or a close family member), jury duty, or certain kinds of diseases. This policy is for all types of tickets (bulk fares, promo fares, net fares, award tickets, as well as tickets purchased by credit card, cheque, or cash).
Cancellation Fee of United Airlines for Basic Economy Tickets
As per the Cancellation policy of United Airlines, the airline will not be able to refund Basic Economy tickets unless they are canceled within a day/ 24 hours from the booking (and the ticket was bought at least a week before the date of travel.
The Cancellation Fee of United Airlines for Non-Refundable Tickets
If a passenger cancels a non-refundable ticket once the 24-hour risk-free window closes, they must pay USD 200 as the Cancellation fee (if it is a domestic flight). For international flights, the Cancellation fee can be up to USD 400. The exact amount you have to pay depends on your class of travel. It will be mentioned on your ticket, or you can check with United Airlines.
According to the Cancellation policy of United Airlines, after the airline deducts the Cancellation fee, you will get the unused value of the ticket which you can utilize while booking flights in the future, as long as:
- You canceled the original ticket before the departure of the flight.
- You travel with United Airlines within 1 year from the date on which you booked the original ticket.
United Airlines gives a full refund for a non-refundable ticket only if one of the following situations arises:
- If the main traveler or a co-traveler passes away
- If the passenger works in defense services and receives a sudden jury duty/ military order (the person must be able to show supporting documents to prove that his reason for Cancellation qualifies for a refund.)
Cancellation Fee of United Airlines for Refundable Tickets
How much is the Cancellation fee of United Airlines for Refundable Tickets?
According to the Cancellation policy of United Airlines, if a passenger has purchased a refundable ticket, he can cancel his booking anytime before the flight takes off. United Airlines will credit his refund to the actual form of payment. As per the airline’s policy, payments done by credit cards take 7 business days to be processed. So, the credited amount will be visible on your account statement within 1-2 billing cycles. For other modes of payment, it may take up to 20 days for the money to get refunded.
The Cancellation Fee of United Airlines for Award Tickets
Is there any Cancellation free for United Award tickets?
The Cancellation policy of United Airlines for award tickets is different from the policy applied to other types of tickets, as is elaborated below:
- The Cancellation fee of United Airlines for Award ticket Cancellation made up to 31 days before the flight’s scheduled departure is:
- For General Members – USD 0
- For Silver Members – USD 0
- For Gold Members – USD 0
- For Premier Platinum Members – USD 0
- For Premier 1k Members – USD 0
So, the Cancellation policy of United Award tickets depends on the flyer’s membership status.
- The Cancellation fee of United Airlines for Award ticket Cancellation made within 0- 30 days before the flight’s scheduled departure is:
- For General Members – USD 125
- For Silver Members – USD 100
- For Gold Members – USD 75
- For Premier Platinum Members – USD 50
- For Premier 1k Members – USD 0
- The Cancellation fee charged by United Airlines for No-Show Award tickets is USD 125, irrespective of the membership level of the passenger.
- For same-day changes, USD 75 is the fee charged by United Airlines for Award tickets (for General and Silver members). There is no same-day change fee for Cancellation of Award tickets done by 1k, Platinum, and Gold Members.
Refund of United Travel Options
If the fare rules applicable to your ticket allow, United Travel Options will be refunded by default if you cancel your booking. If you have utilized a part of the ticket during the refund, you get a refund as per the unused value of your Premier Access and Economy Plus features. As these rules are determined by United Airlines, the airline is entitled to give a full or partial refund to the passenger as per the company’s fare rules.
The Process to Cancel a Flight Ticket with United Airlines
How can you cancel your United Airlines flight ticket?
You can cancel your United Airlines ticket(s) in one of the following ways:
- By phone
- Via a travel agent
- Online (on the website or the mobile app)
To cancel your United Airlines flight ticket by phone, call the toll-free number of the company, namely, + 1-844-933-2065.
If you have done your booking through a travel agency, you have to contact your travel agent and ask him to cancel the ticket.
As per the Cancellation policy of United Airlines, if you have purchased your air ticket directly from United Airlines and without the involvement of any third party, you can cancel the reservation online by following the simple steps given below:
- Open United.com on a browser of your choice
- You will find the ‘My Trips’ tab on the homepage, click on it
- Enter your last name and the confirmation number to be able to access your trip
- Take the help of the search button to find the trip
- Select the trip/ flight to cancel a specific trip
- After you have selected the trip, you need to cancel, click on the option that says ‘Cancel flight’
- The airline will require you to confirm if you want to proceed with the Cancellation. Once you click on the ‘Confirm’ button, your ticket booking will be canceled.
After United Airlines deducts the Cancellation fee (whatever is applicable for your ticket), you will get an e-Credit based on the remaining value of the ticket. If you face any issues while trying to access your reservation on the official website of United Airlines, report the issue to Customer Care. They will guide you accordingly.
United Airlines: Refund of Cancellation
- As per the 24-hour booking policy of United Airlines, a traveler can get a complete refund on his booking provided that
- He cancels the booking within 24 hours from the time of booking
- He booked the ticket at least 1 week before the scheduled departure of the flight
- Here’s how you can check the refund status of your canceled ticket:
- Go to the ‘Refunds’ page
- You will find the ‘Check Status’ tab and you have to click on it
- Enter your name and the tracking number to be able to view the status of your ticket
- Select the ‘Check Status’ option and the refund status will reflect on your screen
The Refund Policy of United Airlines
- If you buy a ticket at least 1 week before the scheduled departure of the flight and cancel it within a day/ 24 hours of booking, United Airlines doesn’t charge any Cancellation fee. So, the entire amount will be refunded to you.
- If yours is a Basic Economy ticket, you won’t get any refund if you cancel it after the 24-hour window closes. You also need to book your ticket at least 7 days before the departure date of the flight to get the refund when you cancel within 24 hours.
- If your ticket is eligible for a refund, you won’t have to visit the airport to cancel it. You can cancel your booking by phone or request a refund via My Trips.
- The exact Cancellation fee is determined by the Airline as per the rules applicable to your ticket type.
- Voluntary refunds aren’t provided for non-refundable fares. However, you will be able to use the value of your ticket and get a discount while booking a flight with United Airlines in the future. This is called Future Flight Credit as the airline credits the amount in the form of an e-Credit.
- The validity period of flight tickets is of 2 months (from the date of issue).
- The amount you get as a refund depends on various factors. United Airlines cancels the refund amount for partially used air tickets on a prorated basis (as per the segments flown and the rules applicable to your fare type). Fees and surcharges collected by the airline for the ticket will be credited to you only if rules allow.
- United Airlines requires 7 business days to give refunds for tickets bought by credit cards. Once you claim a refund, the money will be credited within a week. Other refunds usually take 20 days to be processed.
- The airline will credit all refunds to the actual form of payment.
- Visit the ‘Refunds’ page on the website of United Airlines to check the status of a refund. Select the option ‘Check Status’ and it will be displayed on the screen.
- All requests for refunds are subject to audit as well as final approval by United Airlines.
For certain foreign locations, refund policies are different:
- As per the Right to Withdrawal, a passenger has the right to cancel a ticket (promotional fares are exempted) up to 24 hours before the scheduled departure. United Airlines may deduct 10% of the fare and return the remaining 90% to you.
- Right to Retraction: If a traveler has bought an air ticket directly from United Airlines (call center or website), he has permission to cancel his booking with 2 days (48 hours) after buying the ticket. After the 24-hour window closes, you have to cancel your booking at least 15 days prior to the flight’s scheduled departure. If the booking is canceled, United Airlines may cut USD 50 or 10% of the fare and service charges (for non-refundable tickets).
- If you haven’t bought a refundable ticket, all other tickets are non-refundable.
- The 7-day refund policy of Taiwan as per Article 19’s Taiwan Consumer Protection Act is not applicable.
- When your ticket is not valid anymore, but you could not board the flight, you can fill out the refund request to get the fees reimbursed. United Airlines will give you your dues within a month/ 30 days. No administrative fee will be charged by the airline in this case.
How to apply for a refund for your canceled flight?
Once you have canceled a flight, asking for a refund is simple if you follow these steps:
- Fill out the Refund form for United Airlines
- The airline will let you know whether your ticket qualifies for a refund
The amount of refund is not constant. It is decided by United Airlines based on the fare type as well as the reason behind the Cancellation. In some cases, you will get the amount credited to your actual payment mode. In other cases, you will get it in the form of an e-Credit (which you can utilize during future bookings).
Tips to Avoid Paying the Cancellation Fee for Your Canceled United Airlines Flight
- Buy a completely refundable ticket.
- Try to cancel the ticket within the grace period of 24 hours and you won’t have to pay the penalty. However, this isn’t for group bookings and tickets bought with e-certificates.
- When a flight gets delayed by more than 6 hours, you can claim a refund which will be given as a travel credit by United Airlines. You must use the e-Credit within one year to book a flight to any destination.
- When a flight is canceled by the airline due to harsh weather conditions or low demand, you will qualify for a complete refund.
- If you are a Gold Member or any higher status member, you are allowed to cancel your Award ticket free of cost (anytime before the scheduled departure of the flight).
- Have you canceled your booking because of an unavoidable emergency (like the sudden demise of a co-passenger or a jury duty order)? In that case, your ticket qualifies for a refund.
Ways of getting credit for a canceled flight ticket
3 kinds of credits are offered by United Airlines. They are:
- United Travel Bank Credits
- Future Flight Credits
- ETCs (Electronic Travel Credits)