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How to make United Airlines Flight Change, Cancellation, Same-day change, Standy, Policy & Fee for Domestic International Tickets: All you need to know

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How to change or cancel a United flight – Same-Day Change, Standy, Policy & Fee

United Airlines Flight Change Policy: United Airlines will allow you to change certain eligible flights but if your fare is not unrestricted you will be forced to pay a fee that will depend on your route. Most flights will not allow you to make a change for free.

At this moment (January 2021) United has waived change fees on both international and domestic flights. You still cannot change basic fare tickets though.

Coach/economy, business or first. The type of fare and destination will determine the minimum fee to make a voluntary change. There is also the possibility of a fare increase should that fare not be available on the new date/time you would prefer.

FYI – Change fees range from $120 to $800 depending on market and fare.

If you decide to change your flight on your own, you can do this in two ways:

  • Go to the United Airlines official website and click on “My Trips” to find the flight you wish to change.
  • Click on “Change flight.” When you decide on what you want to change about your reservation, you can search for new flights.
  • Here, you’ll find information on the differences in fare and if you’ll have to pay a change fee.
  • You can also do this via United’s mobile app. When you find your flight, tap on “Change flight.”

If your ticket might not be eligible to be changed, and if you try to change it, you’ll receive a message telling you that you can’t do this. The tickets that can’t be changed after you book them are the Basic Economy ones. These are the cheapest tickets available. You can only cancel them in accordance with the 24-hour policy.

For domestic flights, you will likely be paying about $200 for the United Airlines flight change, and for some United international flights change you could be paying up to $400.

United Airlines eliminated change fees on Aug. 30 for standard economy and premium tickets within the U.S. states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico, and the Caribbean. This does not apply to basic economy tickets. Customers have to pay the difference in the new fare.

United’s same-day flight change rules

United Airlines Same-day policy changes is breathtakingly short by airfare-rule standards. The key things to know are:

  • You and everyone on your reservation must be traveling on a domestic/international Flight ticket (with a number starting “016”) on a United or United Express aircraft (although on my last international flight, United’s app offered alternate UA-metal flights to get me to the same connection to a Brussels Airlines flight).
  • The policy includes award tickets but not basic economy fares or certain bulk, group and consolidator tickets.
  • You can request a same-day change starting 24 hours before your scheduled departure. You can change to a flight departing the day before or day after your original flight, so long as it’s leaving within 24 hours from the time your request is made.
  • Origin and destination airports must remain the same, but you can add or remove a connection. Unlike Delta, co-terminal swaps (i.e., switching from a flight out of Newark to a flight out of LaGuardia) are not allowed.
  • You can same-day change if you checked bags so long as the change is completed at least 60 minutes before your new flight’s departure.
  • Those rules already grant more choices than American (which yokes you to the original routing) and Delta (which doesn’t let you drop a connection and limits same-day changes to flights within the U.S., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada).

Can you cancel a flight on the same day?

You can cancel your flight within 24 hours of purchasing it and receive a full refund. After the 24 hour period is up, cancellations are typically not eligible for a refund.

If you cancel a flight on the same day that you are scheduled to travel you may receive a refund or a travel credit depending on the type of ticket you purchased. You can find this information by going to the “manage reservations” page in your United account.

Fee for same-day flight changes

Non-elite travelers owe a $75 fee for confirmed same-day flight changes, but effective Jan. 1, 2021, same-day changes are free to Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Platinum, 1K, and Global Services elites — making this a non-trivial advantage of even lower-tier United Airlines status.

You must also pay the fare difference if your original fare class isn’t available. However, what United’s site doesn’t spell out — but which a FlyerTalk wiki does — is that you can usually avoid this. UA opens up many previously closed fare classes by the time the same-day change countdown starts, and if you wait until a few hours before departure, even the cheapest fare buckets often reappear.

United Airlines Customer service phone number to change or cancel your reservations

If you have any questions about pursuing a refund or a change fee then you can reach out to United Airlines customer service — their phone number is 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) or (1-833-584-0869).

United Airlines flight change & cancellation policy

United Airlines is no exception to the 24-hour flexible booking policy. You may cancel or change any flight within 24 hours without incurring additional costs. If you cancel, you should get a full refund. One thing to bear in mind is that not all tickets are eligible for change. If you purchased a Business Economy class ticket, you cannot change your reservation. You can only cancel it and book another flight.

How to Cancel a Flight on United Airlines Flight

  • Step 1: Log into your account on United’s Airlines homepage and select “My Trips.”
  • Step 2: Once you’ve selected the trip you want to cancel, select “Cancel Booking.”
  • Step 3: The next screen will ask you to confirm that you want to cancel your booking. After you click “confirm” then your booking will officially be canceled, and you’ll receive an eCredit for any remaining funds after any potential cancellation fees.

United Airlines cancelation Fee

United Airlines cancellation fees are pretty much the same as change fees. If you cancel any flight within the flexible booking time, you’ll get a full refund. If this grace period is over, and you want to cancel your flight, there’s another thing to worry about aside from fees — the type of your ticket.

  • For Refundable Ticket: Domestic Flight (No fee), International Flight (No fee)
  • Business Economy: Domestic Flight (Not permitted), International Flight (Not permitted)
  • Nonrefundable Ticket: Domestic Flight (Around $200), International Flight (Around $400)

United Airlines 24-hour flexible change and cancellation policy

United’s 24-hour flexible booking policy gives you the freedom to make changes to select reservations within 24 hours of booking and ticketing, without being charged change fees if you made your purchase one week or more before the flight was scheduled to depart. This includes canceling your reservation and requesting a full refund of the ticket price.

Although Basic Economy reservations aren’t eligible for changes within 24 hours, they’re still eligible for a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours and you made your purchase one week or more before the flight was scheduled to depart. 

What is United Airlines’ 24-hour flexible booking policy?

United Airlines has a 24-hour flexible booking policy that allows for a full refund of the fare if a ticket is cancelled or changed within 24 hours of booking. For example, if you book a ticket on United at 8 p.m., you have until 8 p.m. the next day to cancel the ticket and get a full refund.

How to Cancel a Flight on United Airlines Flight

  • Step 1: Log into your account on the United Airlines homepage and select “My Trips.”
  • Step 2: Once you’ve selected the trip you want to cancel, select “Cancel Booking.”
  • Step 3: The next screen will ask you to confirm that you want to cancel your booking. After you click “confirm” then your booking will officially be canceled, and you’ll receive an eCredit for any remaining funds after any potential cancellation fees.

The United Airlines cancellation policy depends on the type of ticket that was purchased through the airline, read and understand the United Airlines cancellation policy associated with the fare you book.

  • United Airlines Refundable Tickets: When you purchase a refundable ticket on United Airlines, you can cancel your flight at any time without paying a penalty. You will get a full refund for the original ticket price. Keep in mind that refundable tickets often cost a lot more than nonrefundable tickets. What you get in return for the higher fare is the peace of mind that you will get your money back if you cancel your flight. Be prepared to wait up to seven days for a refund. According to Frommer, the U.S. Department of Transportation has a regulation in place requiring airlines to credit you within seven days of receiving an application for a refund.
  • United Airlines Nonrefundable Tickets: When you cancel your flight on a nonrefundable United Airlines ticket, you will not get a refund. You can put the cost of your canceled ticket toward a new ticket, but you will be charged a change fee of between $50 and $150, at the time of publication, depending on your destination and the type of change you are making. In the case of certain unplanned events, such as the death of a traveling companion or an immediate family member, or jury duty, United Airlines will provide a refund. According to its refund policy, an application can be made in those circumstances, and a refund will be issued, minus a processing fee of $50 at the time of publication.

United Airlines Change Flight Fee:

United Airlines allows its passenger to change certain eligible flights but if your ticket is restricted, you will have to pay a fee for making changes that will depend on your route and destination. Most of the flights include a fee for the asked change.

You will have to pay $200 for the flight change under the domestic flight category and $400 for the flight change under some united international flight category according to the United Airlines change flight fee.

Some of the reservations which are allowed to be changed can be changed online through the official website of the airline or the mobile app of airlines. Select the option of “Change Flight” from the reservation section of the official website or mobile app. Any fee difference and change fees will be reflected as you search and select for a new flight.

Check How United Airlines Same Day Flight Change works:

  • The itinerary must be operated by United or United Express®, and the ticket number must begin with 016.
  • The same-day flight change option will be available within 24 hours before your originally scheduled flight. The requested flight must be departing within 24 hours from the time the request is made and can include any fare class, though you may be required to pay the difference in fare. Changes must be made prior to your original scheduled flight.
  • When the original ticketed fare class is available on the requested flight within 24 hours of departure, the same-day flight change fee (instead of the change fee stated in the fare rules) will apply.
  • When the original ticketed fare class is not available on the requested flight within 24 hours of departure, the same-day flight change fee (instead of the change fee stated in the fare rules) will apply, as well as any additional payments or refunds for the difference in fare.
  • You may stand by if seats are not available in the purchased fare class. In these cases, the same-day change fee will apply, but will not be charged unless you are assigned a seat on your alternate flight. Changes in routing are not allowed when standing by. Standby may be requested on the day of departure at an airport kiosk or with a United representative at the airport. Once you are added to the flight standby list, you can check your real-time standby status at united.com/flightstatus or on your mobile device at mobile.united.com/info.
  • Upgraded tickets will be automatically added to the upgrade standby list at your applicable upgrade priority. Once you are added to the upgrade standby list, you can check your real-time upgrade status at united.com/flightstatus or on your mobile device at mobile.united.com/info.
  • Changes are only available for the exact origin and destination airport. Connection points may be changed provided the new routing is permitted by the fare purchased.

United Airlines Basic economy restriction

If you have purchased a basic economy ticket you will not be allowed to make changes to that itinerary. Basic economy tickets are the cheapest type of tickets but they also come with the fewest amount of benefits (no free carry-on, etc.) and other restrictions.

United Airlines illness situations:

Change fee refunds require a letter (on letterhead) from a licensed physician confirming that travel was not recommended due to the customer’s illness. Ticket refunds require a letter (on letterhead) from a licensed physician confirming that travel was not recommended within the validity of the ticket (one year of ticket’s issued date) due to illness. If the request is due to the illness of an immediate family member, the request must contain the family member’s name and relationship to you.

United Airlines Standy request

If there are no seats available in the purchased fare class, you can still stand by. In such a case the same-day change fee will apply but you will not be charged unless you are actually assigned a seat on your alternate flight.

When choosing to do a standby you are not allowed any changes in routing. You can make a standby request on the day of departure at an airport kiosk or with a United representative at the airport. And once you are added to this standby flight list you can check your real-time status here or on a mobile device.

You cannot avoid the same day change discounted fee by doing a standby unless you have a ticket that has no penalties for making changes or you are standing by do to involuntarily due to a flight irregularity.

Upgraded tickets will automatically be added to the upgrade standby list at your applicable upgrade priority.

Can you fly standby on United for free?

1, 2021, all United customers will be eligible for free standby, eliminating the current $75 fee to confirm a standby seat. Flyers can add their name to the standby list up to 30 minutes before departure for domestic flights and up to one hour for international flights via United’s app, website, or the airport.

Some of the most common types of United Airlines standby customers are:

Involuntary standby customers – Customers who did not travel on their original flight because a flight is canceled or an itinerary is changed by United.
Voluntary standby customers – Customers on eligible fares who are voluntarily standing by for a different flight from their original flight.
Pass riders – United employees or their eligible dependents standing by on a space-available basis. Pass riders are prioritized last, and are only assigned seats after all other standby customers are accommodated.

United Standby List: How To Check Airport Standby Position

  • Click on Flight Status from the home page of United.com. The above screen will be shown. Now enter either your flight number and dates or your city pair and dates.
  • Once you enter a city pair, you will see the screen above. Choose the flight on which you will be traveling.
  • You will then be presented with the flight status information for that flight.
  • The Flight Standby Tab shows you all the names on the standby list; those with a seat will see their names on the left side with a seat assignment next to it. You can tell if the cabins are full by the words “Full” and “Available” next to the appropriate cabin.
  • The “Upgrade Standby List” tab will show all the passengers waiting for an upgrade to the forward cabin(s). You will also see the capacity, booked and check-in numbers as well. Note that some airplanes do have First, Business so you will see that reflected here.
  • Here you will see the actual seatmap of the flight in question. Use the key to advise the types of seats available. Note that this shows seats that are assigned. It is not necessarily an indication of how empty the flight is. So don’t use it for that purpose.

At The Airport: At the airport you will be able to see the same screens as the Web site on the screens that are at the gate.

United Airlines Same-day change vs. standby

There are two types of last-minute flight changes: same-day flight change and standby. The key difference between a same-day change and waiting on standby for another flight is that same-day changes are confirmed changes, while standbys don’t clear until shortly before departure. When standing by, you retain your original ticket in case a seat doesn’t open up on your desired flight.

How do you change your seat on United Airlines?

If you want to change your seat assignment after you’ve booked your flights, go to United Airlines’ website and enter your reservation number. You can then go to your seat reservations and make new selections. In some cases, all the free seating (the white boxes) will be taken for a flight.

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