United Airlines Flight Change Policy

Anyone can experience it – you book a flight with United Airlines, then later on something comes up and you need to alter your booking. Knowing the flight change rules is necessary so you can proceed with the next best option.

Here are United Airlines’ policies and instructions on how to change a flight, regardless if it was purchased with cash or United MileagePlus miles.

United Flight Change Policy

The United Airlines flight change policy is quite lenient if you purchased your ticket directly from the airline. There are some important things to keep in mind: 

  • All tickets can be changed within 24 hours without charge; no fee will be applied to US and Canadian domestic flights (excluding Basic Economy fares)
  • Basic Economy fares can be cancelled and exchanged for a travel credit which must be used within a year.
  • You don’t have to book a new flight immediately and can opt for a flight credit which is valid for one year.
  •  If the new flight is cheaper, a future flight credit will be given if the fare restrictions permit.
  •  No change fees for Economy or Premium Economy award tickets originating in the US.
  • If the travel credit was given via a travel agency, it must be used through the same agency.
  •  The standby fee no longer applies if you take an earlier flight on the same day. 
  • Premier members can reserve a seat on an earlier flight for free.

United 24-hour flight change Policy

Passengers can modify their travel within 24 hours of purchasing their ticket with United Airlines thanks to the United 24 hours flight change policy. 

Here are some important points to remember: 

  • The flight must be operated by United Airlines, no change fee will be charged, though a fare difference may apply.
  • All tickets are subject to this policy, excluding Basic Economy.

United Airlines Flight Change Fees

The type of fare you purchase affects the amount of the change fee. 

  • For Basic Economy tickets, there is a fee of $49.50 per one-way domestic flight and $99.50 per one-way international flight. 
  • Change fees are not applicable for non-refundable tickets. 
  • Refundable tickets have a change fee of $100 each way, and award tickets have a fee of $60 per flight segment.

What is the Fee for Basic Economy Fare?

According to United’s flight change policy, it is not possible to make any modifications to a Basic Economy ticket. The best way to proceed would be to cancel the ticket within 24 hours without incurring any costs, and then purchase a new one. 

Alternatively, you can choose to cancel the ticket and receive a flight credit in exchange for a fee of 200 USD for a round-trip fare or 100 USD for a one-way fare.

What is the Fee for Refundable Fares?

Thanks to United Airlines’ updated flight change policy, refundable tickets can be changed without incurring any fees. However, if there is a difference in fare, you will need to pay the difference. 

Silver-tier and general members will have to pay a fee of $75 for same-day changes, while Gold, Platinum, and 1K members are exempt from this fee.

What is the Fee for MileagePlus Award Tickets?

The United Airlines has eliminated change fees for award travel tickets under certain conditions: 

  • If the ticket was renewed at least 31 days before the departure date.
  • If the travel originates in the US within 30 days of departure.
  •  If the change is made to a non-US-originating international award travel ticket within 30 days before departure. 

However, if a change is made, members of United Airlines will need to pay a fee depending on their membership level: 

  • General members will pay USD 125, 
  • Members of Premier Silver receive USD 100, 
  • Members of Premier Gold can pay USD 75, 
  • Platinum Premier members pay USD 50. 
  • Premier 1K members, however, will not incur a fee.

How to Change a Flight on United Airlines?

If you need to make changes to your United Airlines reservation, you can do so online or over the phone.

To Change Your Flight Over the Phone,

Contact the Customer Service representative. Depending on the type of ticket you have, a change fee and fare difference may be applicable. 

To Change Your Flight Online, 

  • Log in to united.com, 
  • Click on the ‘My trips’ link in the menu, and 
  • Enter your confirmation number and the passenger’s last name. 
  • Select the flight segment you want to change and then choose the ‘Change flight’ option. 
  • You can then change the time or date of your trip, and the destination, and add or remove flight segments. 
  • Select continue and confirm your updated itinerary to complete your booking. 
  • A confirmation email for the changed flight will be sent to you.

United Airlines Flight Schedule Change Policy

United Airlines’ schedule change policy is relatively straightforward but relatively restrictive. The airline publishes the flight schedule 11 months in advance, so passengers can have plenty of time to plan their travels. 

After releasing the flight schedules, the airline makes some modifications: 

  • altering flight arrival,
  • departure times, 
  • changing flight frequency, 
  • adding or removing routes,
  • changing the aircraft type.

In the event of a schedule change, the airline will offer passengers alternative flights that minimize disruption, or if certain criteria are met, they can request a refund, either for the full amount or the difference in ticket price if the airline can’t put them in the same cabin class they originally booked.

How Can I Change a Flight’s Schedule with United Airlines?

If you need to reschedule a flight on United Airlines, you can do so by contacting the airline directly. You can call the Customer Service line, use the online chat option, or reach out to an agent on social media. Once you are in contact with an agent, provide them with your booking information and they will be able to assist you in rescheduling your flight.

What is the United Same Day Flight Change Policy?

According to United’s airfare rules, their same-day change policy is very lenient. The most important details are: 

  • Your flight must be operated and marketed by United, award tickets are covered by the policy but basic economy fares or specific bulk, group, or consolidator tickets are not.
  •  You must request at least 24 hours before your intended departure. 
  • You can change to a flight that leaves either the day before or the day after your original flight. 
  • You can add or remove a connection, but the origin and destination airports must stay the same. 
  • If you have checked bags, you can switch flights the same day, as long as you do it at least 60 minutes before the departure of your new trip.

What is the Fee for the Same Day Flight Change?

If you would like to make a same-day flight change, you must pay a fee of $75 unless you are an elite member of the Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Platinum, 1K, or Global Services elites. These members can make the change for free. However, if the fare class of your original ticket is not available, you must also pay the difference in fare.

What Is the Difference Between Standby and Same-Day Changes?

According to the United flight change policy, the main difference between a same-day change and a standby flight is that a same-day change is confirmed, but a standby change is not effective until just before takeoff. If your preferred flight doesn’t have seat availability, you’ll keep your original ticket while standing by. 

How to Make a United Standby Flight Reservation?

Passengers can add their names to the standby list for domestic flights up to 30 minutes before takeoff and international flights up to one hour before takeoff using the airline’s app, online, or at the airport.

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