United change fee waiver—how can I change my flight without paying a fee?

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.

Tips

  • All United Airlines tickets (incl. Basic Economy) can be cancelled for a full refund within 24 hours of purchase.
  • No change fee will apply (incl. for award tickets) if your flight is within the U.S., or for any international flight originating in the U.S. 
    • This is applicable to all Economy (except Basic) and Premium Cabin tickets. 
    • However, the fare difference must be paid if your new ticket is costlier. 
  • The following tickets can also be changed without a change fee
    • Basic Economy tickets issued by April 30, 2021.
    • Standard Economy and Premium cabin international tickets issued by January 31, 2022. 
  • Basic Economy tickets can now be cancelled in exchange for a travel credit for future use: 
    • On domestic flights for USD 49.50 (one-way) and USD 99 (round-trip).
    • On international flights for USD 99.50 (one-way) and USD 199 (round-trip). 

The value of your travel credit will be your ticket price minus the cancellation fee, and you can use this credit to travel later.

  • Most travel credits (incl. electronic travel certificates) expire within 1 year after the date of issue. However, the expiration date of all travel credits/electronic certificates set to expire on or before December 31, 2022, has been extended to December 31, 2023.
  • You can change your flight as many times as you like, as long as you pay the applicable 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 can opt for a 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.
  • Award Travel. 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.
  • If your travel credit is issued for a flight that you booked through a travel agency, you must use the credit through your travel agency.
  • 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 Flight Change Policy for COVID

What is United Airlines covid-19 policy?

If your travel plans have been affected by COVID-19, you may either be offered a future flight credit or a refund, depending on the severity of the situation. If you’ve already cancelled your flight booking, you must fill out the Refund Form and await for a response on whether you’re eligible for a refund. If yes, you will receive a refund to your original form of payment. Credit card refunds typically take 7 business days to be credited back and other refunds up to 20 business days after you place your request. 

United Airlines Change Fee 

Fare TypeChange Fee
Basic Economy ticketsYou can cancel and receive a flight credit for future travel, subject to the following cancellation charges:USD 49.50 per one-way domestic flightUSD 99.50 per one-way international flight
Non-refundable tickets USD 0
Refundable ticketsUSD 0
Award ticketsUSD 0

United Airlines Flight Change Policy for Basic Economy Tickets 

United Airlines 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. 

Alternatively, you can cancel your ticket and opt for a flight credit, subject to a cancellation fee of:

  • USD 49.50 per one-way domestic flight
  • USD 99.50 per one-way international flight

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 will either be refunded to your original payment method or converted into a flight credit for future use, depending on the fare conditions of your ticket. 

United Airlines Flight Change Policy & Fees for MileagePlus Award Tickets 

The change fee for award travel tickets has now been eliminated for: 

  • Redepositing at least 31 days before departure.
  • Travel originating in the U.S. within 30 days of departure.

However, the flight change fee for making changes to an international award travel ticket not originating in the U.S. within 30 days of departure is:

  • USD 125 for General members.
  • USD 100 for Premier Silver members.
  • USD 75 for Premier Gold members.
  • USD 50 for Premier Platinum members. 
  • USD 0 for Premier 1K members.

How to Change MileagePlus Award Tickets

You can make changes to your MileagePlus award travel ticket online through Manage Reservations.

United Airlines Flight Change Policy for Coronavirus (New)

According to United Airlines new flight change policy due to coronavirus, all tickets issued by January 31, 2022, 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 (1-866-399-0587) or online. Online changes can be made if you purchase your ticket directly from United.


A screenshot of United Airlines My trips tab used for making flight changes

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. 

Are United Travel Options Refundable?

If you refund or cancel your ticket and the fare rules of your ticket permit, your Travel Options bundle will be refunded automatically. If you have partially utilized your Travel Options bundle, the refund will only include the value of the unused portion of your Economy Plus/Premier Access features.

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

United Airlines allows you to make changes to your flight within 24 hours of booking as long as you purchased your ticket at least 7 days before your flight’s scheduled departure date. This applies to all tickets, including Basic Economy.

United Airlines flight time change policy allows you to change your flight time (or date) without incurring any change fees for flights within the United States as well as international flights originating in the United States, as long as you pay the applicable fare difference. This includes all tickets, except Basic Economy tickets which cannot be changed (but cancelled for a fee and converted into a flight credit for future use). The one-way cancellation charges for Basic Economy tickets are USD 49.50 for domestic flights and USD 99.50 for international flights.

United Airlines no longer charges any change fee on international flights originating in the United States, but you must pay the applicable fare difference. The change fee waiver applies to all tickets except Basic Economy. However, international flights originating outside of the United States (except Mexico and the Caribbean) will incur a change fee for Standard Economy and Premier Cabin fares, depending on the fare conditions.

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. This change fee waiver applies to all tickets purchased for (a) international flights originating in the United States (b) flights between the USA and the Caribbean and Mexico, and (c) all domestic flights within the USA (incl. the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico).

For international routes not originating in the United States and not covered above, a change fee will apply depending on the fare rules of your ticket.

United Airlines policy on changing flights allows passengers to change their flights without being charged a change fee on all tickets (except Basic Economy tickets issued after April 30, 2021) on (a) any flight within the United States, U.S.V.I. and Puerto Rico (b) any international flight that originates in the United States (c) any flight between the USA and the Caribbean and Mexico. On other international routes originating outside of the U.S., flight changes for Standard Economy and Premium Cabin tickets issued by January 31, 2022, will enjoy a change fee waiver, 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, including Basic Economy tickets issued up to April 30, 2021, under the new change policy. However, you will be required to pay the difference in fare between the flights each time you make a change.

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

United Airlines has permanently removed the change flight fee for all international flights originating out of the United States, as well as all United flights between the United States and Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean. For other international flights, the flight change fees for Standard Economy and Premium Cabin tickets issued by January 31, 2022, have been eliminated.
Basic Economy tickets issued till April 30, 2021, will also not incur any flight change fee.

If you booked a flight on/after March 3, 2020, 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, 2020, and your travel date was between March 3, 2020, and January 31, 2021.

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 travel 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. 

You can contact United Airlines Customer Service online via this link.

United Airlines change flight phone number through this website is 1-866-399-0587. This number is toll-free in the U.S. and Canada and open 24/7.

Yes, you can. United no longer charges any fees for making flight changes to non-refundable tickets. However, same-day changes will incur a change fee of USD 75 for Silver and general members. However, Gold and higher level members will not be charged any fee.

Yes, you can change any flight you booked on United Airlines as long as you do it within 24 hours of purchasing your ticket for a flight departing at least 7 days later.
Additionally, United allows you to change—without any change fee—any standard Economy (excluding Basic Economy), Economy Plus, United First, United Business, and United Premium Plus tickets for passengers travelling within the U.S., between the U.S. and Mexico and the Caribbean, and all international flights originating in the United States.

United will not charge any change fee for making changes to flights in the following cases: 

  • Flight tickets cancelled within 24 hours of purchase for a flight departing at least 7 days later.
  • Changing Standard Economy, Economy Plus, United First, United Business, and United Premium Plus tickets on flights within the U.S., between the U.S. and Mexico and the Caribbean, and all international flights originating in the United States.

Remember, you cannot change a Basic Economy ticket outside of the 24-hour window. Also, international flight originating outside of the U.S. will be subject to a flight change fee depending on the fare conditions of your ticket.

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