How to Cancel Your United Flight – The United Airlines Cancelation Policy, Refund Policy and 24-hour Booking Policy
Cancelation is usually the last thing on a passenger’s mind when booking an air ticket. After all, no one books tickets to cancel them. But sometimes, there are situations and certain unavoidable circumstances due to which people are forced to cancel their reservations with an airline. Therefore, a robust cancelation policy is required to address this issue, safeguard passengers’ interests in the event of a genuine cancelation and prevent subsequent revenue loss for the airlines at the same time. The United Airlines Cancelation policy is a strategy in the right direction, the different aspects of which are discussed in detail below.
The United Airlines Cancellation Policy
The United Airlines Cancellation Policy is a set of principles and guidelines that allow passengers to smoothly cancel their tickets in the event of sudden changes in travel plans due to unavoidable circumstances. The policy touches upon various aspects of air ticket cancelation, discusses the cancelation fees and refunds policies and provides clear guidelines regarding the process of United Airlines flight ticket cancelation.
To understand the United Airlines cancellation policy clearly, let us first know the different fare and ticket types and the United Airlines cancelation norms pertaining to them.
In simple words, Refundable tickets are those on which passengers are eligible to get refunds in the possible event of air ticket cancelation. On such tickets, passengers are guaranteed to get their booking amounts back if they cancel their tickets in accordance with the cancelation norms and guidelines of the airlines. The amount of refund passengers receive on such tickets depends on the extent to which cancelation norms are adhered to, the percentage of the travel utilized and the number of additional services purchased and used. United Airlines refunds booking amounts to the original modes of payment used by the refundable ticket owners during booking. The airline issues refunds within 7 business days if credit cards were used by passengers for original payment. The refund time may extend if other modes of payment are used. United Airlines also doesn’t charge any cancelation fees on refundable tickets.
Non-refundable tickets are those on which passengers don’t get their booking amounts back if they cancel their United air ticket reservations. Instead, United Airlines issues travel credits on such tickets if such cancelations are requested for genuine reasons. The travel credits issued can be used in the future by passengers for purchasing air tickets or other non-ticket items and additional services. Under the United Airlines cancellation policy, passengers are not charged any cancellation fees for canceling their non-refundable tickets. The two types of travel credits issued by United Airlines are as follows:
Future Flight Credits: These travel credits are issued when passengers cancel their flights or change to a lower-priced alternative. Such credits are non-transferable and can be used to purchase flight tickets from United, United Express and partner airlines in the future. These types of credits can also be used to purchase non-ticket items and services such as preferred seating, extra baggage, onboard meals, etc.
Travel Certificates: These types of travel credits can be used almost the same way and to purchase almost the same things as the Future Flight Credits. The difference is that these travel credits can be used by anyone apart from the passengers on whose names these were issued by United Airlines.
Award tickets are those tickets that have been purchased by passengers using reward points gathered through the accrual of miles. There may be two types of award tickets - first, where passengers use only miles to purchase the tickets and second, where passengers use miles and money to purchase the tickets. United Airlines allows passengers to cancel both and redeposit their miles back to their MileagePlus accounts without any fees under the United Airlines Cancellation Policy. The cancelation and redeposit fees for award tickets have been waived for all MileagePlus classes.
Please note that United Airlines has 7 different types of fare classes which are,
- 1. Polaris
- 2. First Class
- 3. Business Class
- 4. Premium Plus
- 5. Economy Plus
- 6. Economy
- 7. Basic Economy
Except for Basic Economy, all these fare types have tickets with both refundable and non-refundable varieties. Refundable tickets are generally a bit more expensive than their non-refundable counterparts across fare classes. United Airlines charges approximately $30-$40 more for refundable tickets in the same fare class. Also, United Airlines abolished all change and cancelation fees for most economy and premium tickets for certain routes in 2020. So, whether it’s a cash refund or a credit refund or miles redeposit, passengers are no longer required to pay cancelation charges for canceling their United Airlines tickets on most routes and fare classes under the United Airlines Cancelation policy.
The United Airlines Cancelation Policy Guidelines
The terms and conditions for United Airlines Cancelation policy are a few and simple.Study the following guidelines for understanding.
- i. All United passengers are allowed to cancel their tickets anytime they want before scheduled departure, but whether they will get their money or award miles back, receive travel credits, or get nothing at all depend on how well they adhere to the cancelation policy guidelines.
- ii. The United Airlines Cancelation Policy permits passengers to cancel their reservations without paying any cancelation fees for most routes and fare types.
- iii. The routes where United passengers are no longer required to pay cancelation fees include all domestic flights within the US, Flights between the US and Mexico or the Caribbean. For international travel, this includes all United travel originating in the US.
- iv. Passengers with refundable fares are eligible to get full cash refunds barring the taxes and fees as per the cancelation policy guidelines.
- v. The cash refunds are transferred back to the original modes of payment.
- vi. Passengers, who paid with their credit cards during bookings, get refunds back to their credit card accounts within 7 business days from the day of submitting the refund requests.
- vii. For all other modes of payment, refunds are made within 20 business days.
- viii. United passengers who cancel their non-refundable tickets are given flight credits for future ticketing and non-ticketing use.
- ix. Passengers who cancel their award tickets also get their miles redepositedto their MileagePlus accounts without any fees across all membership classes under the United Airlines cancelation policy.
- x. Passengers who pay with United Gift certificates or Travel certificates for their next bookings also get their refunds against cancelations within 20 business days from the day of submitting the refund request.
- xi. The United 24-hour Booking policy which works in accordance with the United Airlines General Refund policy and is discussed in detail later, allows passengers to cancel their reservations with United absolutely free of cost and get full refunds within 24 hours of booking.
- xii. For the 24-hour Booking policy to be applicable, the booking must have been made at least 7 days or more before departure.
- xiii. The 24-hour cancelation time frame begins from the time of booking.
- xiv. United Basic Economy tickets which are non-cancelable, non-changeable and non-refundable as per the United Airlines Cancelation policy can also be canceled by passengers within 24 hours of booking. Passengers also get full refunds in such cases.
- xv. Tickets purchased using both money and miles can be canceled too within 24 hours of booking provided such bookings are made seven or more days from departure. Passengers also can get their miles redeposited to their accounts free of cost.
- xvi. Passengers are charged a redeposit fee of $125 per ticket to get their miles back to their MileagePlus accounts in case of no-shows. United Airlines automatically cancels those tickets when passengers fail to show up for travels and miss their flights.
How To Cancel United Airlines Flight?
Air ticket cancelation may not be the most desired thing, but is often a reality due to various circumstances. Therefore, passengers should at least be aware of the cancelation process to proceed without any hassle in the possible event of a booking cancelation. The process of canceling a United Airlines flight ticket is very easy. There are different ways to do that. Mentioned below are a few different ways to cancel United air tickets along with the step-by-step procedures.
Online Ticket Cancelation
Online ticket cancelation is a self-reliant process where passengers can complete the cancelation formalities through the official website of the airline from the comfort of their homes in a few easy steps discussed below.
- i. First, visit the United Airlines official website, www.united.com. On the home page click on the second menu ‘My Trips’ on the menu bar.
- ii. This would open a dropdown box with many submenu options. Click on the first option called ‘My Trips.’ This would open a new page with the same name where you will find a verification form called “Find a trip.”
- iii. Enter your confirmation number and your last name on the verification form and click on the ‘Search’ button to retrieve your trip information and flight details. You also have the option to verify yourself and find your trip details with your MileagePlus number if you have an account.
- iv. Once your flight details are retrieved, select the “Cancel Flight” option from the top of the screen. Now, confirm your request by clicking on “Confirm cancellation.”
- v. You’ll receive options to choose between different forms of travel credits or refunds depending on your fare type after you’ve confirmed your cancelation.
- vi. Now, provide your contact details like your email address and confirm your refund request.
If your ticket is eligible for a refund, you’ll receive the same to the original mode of payment within the next 7 business days provided that your payment was made through a credit card and 20 business days if other modes of payment were used. You’ll receive travel credits if your United Airlines ticket is not eligible for a refund.
Ticket Cancelation ViaPhone Call
Cancelation and subsequent refund requests can also be made via phone calls to United Airlines. You can contact the helpdesk number +1- 800-241-6522 or +1-888-261-0054 to talk to a United Airlines representative and submit your cancelation request. Keep your booking confirmation number handy which you’ll be asked to provide during phone call verification at the beginning of the call.
Visiting Airports To Cancel Tickets
United Airlines passengers can also cancel their tickets from the airports by physically visiting the United Airlines kiosks or counters. They will be required to provide their booking details to the airline representatives and proceed with filing cancelation and refund requests.Responses at the airports areusually prompt but ticket cancelation requests can be made up to 3 hours prior to departure according to United Airlines cancellation policy.
United Airlines Miles Cancelation Policy
Frequent United fliers with MileagePlus accounts get the benefit of mileage accrual with each travel undertaken. The accrued miles can be redeemed in the form of award tickets. The United Airlines cancellation policy separately addresses the miles cancelation and redeposit norms.The key points are mentioned below.
- i. With effect from January 2023, United Airlines has removed all cancelation and redeposit fees on award tickets which are applicable to all Mileage Plus segments and classes.
- ii. This means passengers with MileagePlus accounts across classes like General, Premium Silver, Premium Gold or Premium Platinum who have booked award travel with United Airlines no longer need to pay any fee for the cancelation of their award tickets or re-depositing of their miles.
- iii. But passengers are charged a service fee of $125 per ticket for getting their miles redeposited after a no-show though they are still not charged any cancelation fee for the same.
The United 24-hour Booking/Cancellation Policy
Under the United 24-hour Booking policy, passengers enjoy the flexibility of canceling their flight tickets anytime within 24 hours of booking without paying any cancellation fees. And they get full refunds for their tickets. This holds true for all fare segments and ticketing classes. Important takeaways from this policy are mentioned in the points below.
- i. Under this policy, passengers can cancel their United flight tickets anytime within 24 hours of booking without being charged and paying any cancelation fees.
- ii. Passengers receive full refunds against such cancelations which are paid to their original modes of payment.
- iii. This policy applies to all fare types and ticketing classes including the Basic Economy tickets on which passengers get a full refund of the booking amount too.
- iv. The only condition for this policy to hold true is that the tickets must be booked at least 7 days prior to the original date of departure.
- v. The 24 hours mentioned in this policy are counted from the time of booking.
- vi. As per this 24-hour booking policy, even passengers who have booked United Airlines flight tickets using both Miles and money are allowed to cancel their tickets and get full refunds along with getting their miles redeposited.
Within 24 hours
It can be concluded from the above points that within 24 hours, the cancelation norms as per the United airlines Cancellation policy are the same for every United Airlines passenger irrespective of the fare type he has booked. And they all, including the Basic Economy ticket holders, are eligible to cancel and get full refundson their flight tickets within 24 hours of booking. In other words, passengers are not charged any cancelation fee for canceling their tickets within 24 hours of booking as per the United Airlines 24-hour Booking policy.
After 24 hours
But, beyond 24 hours, Basic Economy tickets are absolutely non-refundable and non-changeable, meaning that such ticket holders are not eligible for any refund as per the United Airlines Cancelation policy. If passengers wish to cancel their Basic Economy tickets after 24 hours, they have to do so by letting go of the entire booking amount. They may or may not receive flight credits as well. However, cancelation fees are waived for all other fare types as per the cancelation norms, and passengers are entitled to receive either flight credits or refunds depending on the fare types booked.
United Airlines No Show Policy
No-shows are cases where passengers fail to turn up at the airports in time and miss their flights. United Airlines Cancelation policy is strict on no-shows. The airline automatically cancels those tickets if passengers fail to arrive at the airport and miss their flights. Passengers with award tickets are charged a no-show fee of $125 per ticket to get their miles redeposited to their MileagePlus accounts. This charge is applicable to all membership classes.
United Airlines Cancellation Fees
Post 2020, United Airlines has abolished all kinds of fees and charges against flight cancelations across most fare segments and ticketing classes on most of the routes. It means that passengers can now cancel their United Airlines tickets without paying any cancelation fees in all cases except the Basic Economy tickets for which passengers might need to let go of the entire booking amount beyond 24 hours of booking. According to the United Airlines cancelation policy, this no change fees or cancelation fees rule applies to all domestic US flights, flights between the US and Mexicoor the Caribbean. It also applies to all international travel originating in the US. Cancelation fees may apply, however, for international travels originating outside the US.
||Cancelation Fees ($)
The United Airlines Refund Policy
United Airlines understands passengers’ needs and assures the best of services even if they need to cancel their flight tickets for various reasons. No wonder, it has a customer-friendly refund policy in place. The highlights of the United Airlines Refund policy are mentioned below.
- i. As per the United Airlines Refund policy, passengers are eligible to get travel credits or refunds depending on their ticket type if they cancel their flight tickets due to an unusual delay in flight. The policy mentions the possible reasons that could cause a significant delay in flights which are inclement weather, disruptions in air traffic control or any mechanical problem.
- ii. If the travel includes a connecting flight, and a passenger has already reached the connecting city before his connecting flight got significantly delayed, he may prefer to return to his origin and claim a flight credit or refund under the policy if no other connecting flight is available at that point of time.
- iii. However, the amount to be refunded or the type of credit to be given to the passenger in such cases is decided by the airline based on fare type and the extent to which the ticket was used.
- iv. Under the policy, passengers are also allowed to change their travel plans and book other flights without paying any change fee if their flight is either significantly delayed or canceled altogether. United Airlines waives all change fees in such cases even if they normally don’t qualify for the same.
- v. In general, the refund amount received after canceling refundable tickets may vary depending on the situation. Fare type and ticketing class, inclusion of other services and the utilization level of the ticket play an important role in deciding the exact refund amount.
- vi. Under the United Airlines Refund policy, the refund is always credited back to the original mode of payment.
- vii. If the original mode of payment was a credit card, passengers would get their refunds within 7 business days.
- viii. For all other forms of payment such as cash, check, Traveler’s check, United gift certificate, United gift Travel Bank, Paypal and Electronic certificate, the refund is processed within 20 business days.
- ix. The United Airlines General Refund policy doesn’t permit passengers to change their Basic Economy tickets, but its 24-hour Booking policy allows passengers to cancel them and get full refunds within 24 hours of booking if such bookings are made at least 7 days before the flights’ scheduled departure.
How to get an online ticket refund from United Airlines?
You can request an online refund at the time of canceling your ticket. But you may also choose to do it later from the Refunds page of the official website. There is one catch though. Submitting your refund request later allows the airline to settle the refund with travel credit. Whatever it is, find the entire step-by-step process below.
- i. Visit the official United Airlines website and click on the ‘My Trips’ menu on the menu bar. This would open a dropdown box with various submenu options tabulated under two columns.
- ii. Bring the cursor to the second column called “My Trips Help” and scroll down to the second option, “Refund/cancelation policy.” Click on that option and you’ll be directed to the ‘Refunds’ page.
- iii. You’ll be asked to sign in with your MileagePlus number and password. You also have the option to proceed as a guest.
- iv. You need to find your trip information before proceeding with your refund request. Click on the ‘Add trip’ button, and enter your confirmation or ticket number and your last name to verify and fetch your trip details.
- v. Once your trip information is retrieved, you can add the flight for which you want a refund, review the refund options, provide your contact details and then confirm your refund request.
You may have to wait between 7 and 20 days for a refund depending on the original mode of payment.
How to check the refund status for the United flight?
You can check the current status of your processed refund request by visiting the ‘Refunds’ page of the official website. The process is described below.
- i. Visit the official website of United Airlines and open the ‘Refunds’ page from the ‘My Trips’ section.
- ii. You’ll find the blue ‘Check Status’ tab on the right. Click on that.
- iii. You’ll be asked to enter some details like your last name and the ticket or tracking number of your refund request.
- iv. Now, click on the ‘Check status’ button below and view the current status of your refund request.