United Airlines Flight Change Policy

There have been significant changes to United Airlines flight change policy due to the coronavirus pandemic. United has permanently eliminated the change fees for standard Economy (except Basic Economy), Economy Plus, United First, United Business, and United Premium Plus tickets if you’re travelling:

  • Within the United States
    (incl. Alaska, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii)
  • Between the United States and Mexico or the Caribbean 
  • On international flights originating in the U.S.

Note

  • Basic Economy tickets can only be changed if issued up to December 31, 2021, as long as the travel date commences by December 31. 
  • On all other international routes not covered above, the flight change fee has been waived for tickets issued by December 31.
  • Electronic certificates will now be valid for 24 months from the date of issue. This includes electronic certificates that are currently valid as well those issued after April 1. Plus, the expiration date of all electronic certificates set to expire before December 31, has been extended to December 31.
  • You can change your flight as many times as you like, as long as you pay the fare difference each time.
  • If you’re not sure when you want to travel again, you don’t have to choose a new flight right away. You’ll receive a future flight credit, which you must use within 1 year of your original ticket’s issue date.
  • If your new flight is cheaper, you’ll receive a future flight credit for the difference if your fare rules permit.
  • If you’re holding an award ticket on an Economy/Premium Economy fare, you won’t be charged any change fees as long as you’re traveling within the U.S. or internationally if your flight originates in the U.S.
  • The same-day standby fee has been eliminated for taking an earlier flight on the same day.
  • MileagePlus Premier members can confirm a seat on an earlier flight at no cost.
  • Group fares purchased via United’s Group Desk will still be subject to a change fee.

United Airlines 24-Hour Flight Change Policy 

United Airlines’ 24-hour flight change policy is similar to its 24-hour cancellation policy. You have up to 24 hours from the time of original booking to make changes to your reservations without being charged a fee, provided you purchased your ticket 7 days or more before departure. This policy applies to all tickets except Basic Economy.

United Airlines Change Fee
Fare TypeChange Fee
Basic Economy ticketsNot allowed after December 31, 2021
Non-refundable tickets USD 0
Refundable ticketsUSD 0
Award ticketsUSD 0

United Airlines Flight Change Policy for Basic Economy Tickets

United Airlines flight change policy does not allow you to make changes to a Basic Economy ticket, even within the 24-hour window. The best way out would be to cancel within 24 hours (free of charge) and then buy a new ticket. 

Exception. Basic Economy tickets purchased up to December 31, can be changed without attracting a flight change fee as long as the travel date commences on December 31. 

United Airlines Flight Change Policy for Non-Refundable Tickets 

United Airlines revised flight change policy now allows you to change a non-refundable ticket free of charge. However, you will have to pay the fare difference, if any. 

If you’re making a same-day change, United Airlines will charge you: 

  • USD 75 if you’re a general or Silver-tier member.
  • USD 0 if you’re a Gold, Platinum, or 1K member.

United Airlines Flight Change Policy for Refundable Tickets 

United Airlines will not charge you any change fee for making changes to a refundable ticket. However, if you’re changing to a costlier ticket, you will have to pay the price difference. If you’re changing to a cheaper option, the fare difference may be refunded to your original payment method—depending on your fare conditions. 

United Airlines Flight Change Policy for Award Tickets

The change fee for award tickets has now been eliminated. This means you can make changes to your award ticket without having to pay any change fee. The waiver on redeposit fees will only apply if you cancel your flight at least 30 days before departure. 

United Airlines Flight Change Policy for Coronavirus 

According to United Airlines flight change policy due to coronavirus, all tickets issued by December 31, 2021, enjoy a change fee waiver. This includes Basic Economy tickets and covers all destinations. Plus, you’re allowed to cancel your flight and receive a flight credit which will be valid for 12 months from the original ticket’s issue date. 

How to Change a Flight on United Airlines 

You can change your United Airlines flight (time, date, or destination) by phone () or online. Online changes can be made if you purchase your ticket directly from United.

To make changes to your flight date, time, and/or destination online, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Go to United.com 
  2. From the top pane of the booking box, select My trips 
  3. Access your trip by entering your confirmation number and last name 
  4. Select the itinerary you want to manage
  5. Select the Change flight option and then Edit to:
    1. Change your travel date or time
    2. Change your destination 
    3. Add a flight
    4. Remove a flight
  6. Click on Continue to choose a new flight 
  7. Proceed with your booking to confirm your new itinerary
    (even if the change fee shows up as waived, any difference in fare will apply)

You will receive an e-mail confirming the flight change.

Note. If you want to cancel your flight and rebook later, go to United.com 🡪 Select My trips 🡪 Select Cancel flight 🡪 Select Confirm cancellation 🡪 Choose a Travel Credit option for future travel.

United Airlines Policy for Missed, Delayed, or Cancelled Flights

If your flight gets delayed by 1 hour or more or you miss a connecting flight, United will find you a new flight (you’ll be notified, and all you need to do is check in for the new flight, download your boarding pass, and proceed to take the flight). 

Alternatively, you can choose a flight that works best for you by following the steps below: 

  • Download the United app 🡪 Select Check-in 🡪 Proceed to book your new flight
  • Go to United.com 🡪 Select Check-in 🡪 Enter the required information to view your trip 🡪 Choose a more convenient flight 
  • Use an airport kiosk to change your flight 

If none of the flights work for you, you can ask for a refund.

Tip. If you need extra help, call United Airlines, contact United on social media (@United), or visit a Customer Service Center. 

United Airlines Schedule Change Policies

If United Airlines changes your flight’s arrival/departure time or frequency, or adds/discontinues a route, or changes your aircraft type, you will be informed by email if you booked directly through United Airlines. If you booked through a third party such as a travel agency or website, your source of purchase will inform you of the schedule change. You can also find out by contacting your source of purchase or reviewing your flight itinerary on United.com.

If the new flight schedule doesn’t work for you: 

  • Contact your travel agent and ask for assistance 
  • Contact United Airlines for assistance:
    • By phone 
    • Online through My trips  

United will do its best to minimize the disruption caused to your travel plans. If the new flight option still doesn’t work for you because of a significant change in the scheduled arrival or departure time, or if you could not be accommodated in the same cabin as your original flight, you can ask for a full refund. 


Frequently Asked Questions on United Airlines Flight Change Policy

Unlike cancellations, United Airlines does not allow you to make changes to your flight within the 24-hour grace period. Your best bet would be to cancel your ticket (free of cost) and buy a new one.

United Airlines flight time change policy allows you to change your flight timing free of cost on all fares, excluding Basic Economy.

United Airlines policy on changing flight dates allows you to change your flight’s date/dates free of charge on all fares, except Basic Economy tickets. Remember, this waiver only applies to tickets purchased for (a) international flights originating from the United States (b) flights between USA and the Caribbean and Mexico, and (c) all domestic flights within USA (incl. the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico).

On routes not covered above, you can make changes to your flight free of charge up to July 31, 2021, for standard Economy and Premium Cabin tickets. After that, the change fees will apply on these routes.

United Airlines policy on changing flights allows passengers to change their flights without being charged a change fee on all tickets except Basic Economy on (a) any flight within the United States, U.S.V.I. and Puerto Rico (b) any international flight that originates from the United States (b) any flight between USA and the Caribbean and Mexico. On other routes, flight changes enjoy a fee waiver till July 31, 2021, after which a change fee will apply.

If your flight qualifies for a change fee waiver, you will still have to pay the price difference if your new ticket is costlier. Same-day changes will incur a fee unless you’re a MileagePlus Gold, Platinum, or 1K member.

Yes, you can change the destination of your flight as long as you pay the fare difference and change fee, if it applies to your route as explained above. 

Yes, you can make unlimited changes to any flight ticket (except Basic Economy) under the new flight change policy. However, you will be required to pay the difference in fare between the flights.

If your new United flight costs less, you may receive a future flight credit for the fare difference if your fare rules allow. If not, the fare difference will be forfeited. 

No, you don’t have to. You can cancel your flight without choosing a new flight right away. After cancelling, you will receive a flight credit that you can use anytime up to 1 year from the day your original ticket was issued. 

Yes, if you made a group reservation through United Airlines Group Desk, you will be charged a change fee. 

United Airlines has permanently removed the flight change fee for all international flights originating out of the United States, as well as flights between the United States and Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. For other international flights, the flight change fees have been eliminated through December 31. 

Basic Economy tickets issued by December 31, will also not incur any flight change fee as long as the date of travel commences by December 31.  

If you booked a flight on/after March 3, you will not be charged any flight change fee as the travel waivers are already in force. You will also not have been charged a flight change fee if you had booked your flight before March 3, and your travel date was between March 3, and January 31.

You can change your flight as many times as you like, as long as you pay the difference in fare each time. 

No, you don’t have to. You can cancel your flight and apply for a flight credit which you can use within 1 year from your original ticket’s issue date. 

If your new flight is cheaper, you will likely receive a future flight credit for the fare difference if the fare rules of your ticket permit. 

Yes, it does. You will not be charged a flight change fee for an award ticket as long as it is in an Economy or Premium Economy cabin and you’re travelling within the United States or you’re travelling internationally on a trip that originates in the United States. 

You will be charged a redeposit fee for an award ticket only if you travel within 30 days on a domestic or an international route.

Yes, United Airlines will still be offering refundable domestic tickets. If you’re booking your ticket online, you’ll find them under the column marked Flexible.

Yes, starting January 1, 2021, you can stand by for an earlier flight for free. However, if your itinerary has a connecting flight, you will need to stand by for it as well. 

Yes, you can if you’re booking after January 1, 2021, and you are a MileagePlus Premier member. However, your new flight’s origin and destination must be the same as that of your original flight. Also, you must pay the fare difference if the same travel class is not available. 
Other passengers (except Basic Economy) can also make a same-day change and confirm a seat, but they must pay the fare difference. Basic Economy passengers are allowed to stand by for other flights, as long as they are within 24 hours of the original flight’s departure time.

No, group fares booked via United’s Group Desk will still be subject to change fees.

You may be able to change a flight booking through United Airlines even if you booked through a third party. However, you may have to pay the applicable flight change fee. It’s always a good idea to check your options with your source of purchase before making a flight change via United Airlines. 

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