United Airlines Cancellation & Refund Policy

Flight cancellation is not a pleasant experience, and there are a number of queries associated with it. Though the reason for flight cancellation might fluctuate according to different individuals, the confusion that prevails in every ticket holder's mind before canceling their reservation is somewhat similar. Flight cancellation might be a chaotic experience, but United Airlines understands the situation and hence enables ticket holders to cancel their trips smoothly. They have also framed a number of policies to eliminate any confusion regarding cancellation. Some important highlights of United Airlines cancellation policy are given in the subsequent section. Customers are advised to assemble all the important flight cancellation information to undergo hassle-free flight cancellation.

Important Highlights of United Flight Cancellation Policies

There is a set of rules and regulations regarding United Airlines flight cancellations that are expected to be followed by travelers who cannot proceed with their reservations and wish to cancel bookings. Some crucial points that must always be known prior to flight cancellation are mentioned below:

  • In order to cancel an already booked United Airlines ticket, ticket holders are expected to pay a flight cancellation fee. That is subject to change depending on the trip type, travel class, and time at which customers request cancellation.
  • United Airlines is known to maintain a risk-free period of initial 24 hours. That is, if any traveler makes bookings and wishes to cancel his trip within a period of 24 hours, he is liable to cancel his reservation without paying any fee. Similarly, if he claims a refund within this period, he is eligible to receive full payment.
  • If United Airlines flights are delayed for a long duration, ticket holders have the option to cancel their bookings.
  • There are cases where cancellation occurs due to the death of a passenger or his immediate family member. In that case, United Airlines allows free cancellation and also provides refunds for unused segments.
  • If you have made a reservation using award miles and you cancel your booking, then miles will be redeposited into your account, but you must pay redeposit fees. 
  • Travel insurance holders are also exempted from paying flight cancellation fees.

What is United Airline's 24-Hour Cancellation Policy?

United Airlines enables customers to make changes for free within 24 hours. For the same, they have made a 24-hour policy. If you are wondering what exactly it is, then you must note that according to the famous United Airlines 24 hour cancellation policy, if any ticket holder comes across any situation that alters his travel plan, then he is liable to modify reservations within this time frame without paying any fees. Also cancellations within this period are saved from paying cancellation fees. Some important points or rules regarding this policy are:

  • The duration of 24-hours is calculated from the time you booked tickets.
  • This policy is only applicable if you made bookings at least a week ago.
  • If you claim a refund within this period, then it will reflect back in your original mode of payment.
  • Cancellations made after this period are required to pay cancellation charges.
  • If any customer holds a ticket and does not purchase a ticket, then the hold fare will not be refunded.

What is United Airlines' Cancellation Process?

United Airlines enables customers to cancel their bookings via different mediums. If you wish to cancel your existing reservations, then you can refer to any of the below-mentioned alternatives:

Method 01: Cancel tickets online:

Flight cancellation online is a straightforward medium. It can be completed using some simple points.  In order to cancel United Airlines tickets online, it is mandatory that ticket holders follow the steps that are described below:

  • Go to the United Airlines website: https://www.united.com/en/us/.
  • Press the option "My trips".
  • You can manage your United bookings by entering your flight confirmation number and traveler's name.
  • As you get your ticket, press the "cancel my trip" option.
  • You need to confirm your decision.
  • Soon, you will receive an email stating that your ticket has been canceled.

Method 02: Contact United Airlines to cancel your tickets:

Another alternative that can be used by customers to cancel their reservations is by contacting customer services. For the same, they can call the airlines by dialing the available phone number: 800-864-8331. As the call is handled by a representative dealing with cancellations, callers can mention their booking details to find the ticket. The airline representative will cancel the tickets, provided customers pay cancellation fees online.

Method 03: Cancel your tickets directly at the airport:

Airport cancellations can also be processed by ticketholders. This offline method also enables customers to cancel their trips even after checking. If the flight is delayed or passengers come across last last-minute emergency, this is the best suggested way to cancel reservations. For the same, travelers are advised to reach the reservation counter and ask the concerned representative to help them with the cancellations.

What are the ways through which United Airlines flight cancellation fees can be skipped?

There are many customers who are not in favor of paying hefty United Airlines flight cancellation fees and are search for ways to get it eliminated. They can try the following ways to avoid paying cancellation fees.

  • Try to cancel your bookings within 24 hours to avoid paying unwanted flight cancellation charges.
  • Business class ticket holders are usually exempted from paying flight cancellation charges.
  • Under inevitable or serious medical conditions United Airlines allows cancelling tickets without paying any fees.
  • If your flights are canceled for more than 4 hours, you can cancel your booking without any charges and even request a refund for the inconvenience caused.

What is United Airlines Refund Policy?

Post cancellations, there are many cases that are eligible for claiming a refund from United Airlines. For the same, it is important that customers obey United Airlines refund policy and get back their money.

  • Customers are liable to get full payment post-cancellation if they hold refundable tickets and make refund requests within the initial 24 hours.
  • If they exceed this period, then there will be deductions from the refunded amount.
  • The refunded amount is valid up to 12 months from the date of issuing.
  • If your flight is overbooked and you have been stopped boarding a United flight, then you will get a refund along with the accommodation facility.
  • Refunds will be provided in the original medium of payment within 7 to 20 business days.

How much compensation will be provided by United Airlines for flight cancellations?

The compensation that is provided to ticket holders of United Airlines post-flight cancellation depends upon many circumstances. You can refer to the following points to obtain a better understanding:

  • If your flight has been delayed for one hour from the original time, then you are not liable to obtain any refund from the airline.
  • If your scheduled flight has been delayed from one to three hours, then you are entitled to compensation up to $675.
  • If your flight is delayed for more than three hours, then United Airlines is liable to pay you compensation even up to $1350.
  • If you have been stopped boarding a flight that covers a distance less than 1500 km, then you will get $150, whereas $200 and $300 for distances more than 1500 km and 3500 km, respectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to cancel United tickets without paying any fee?

Yes, there are many travelers who are exempted from paying flight cancellation fees. If you cancel your booking within the initial 24 hours or your flight has been delayed by United Airlines for more than 3 hours, you are eligible for cancellation. Also, medical emergencies save ticket holders from paying flight cancellation fees. 

Upto when can travelers cancel their United Airlines tickets?

United Airlines enables customers to cancel their bookings up to 3 hours before flight departure for domestic destinations, whereas, for international destinations, ticket holders are eligible to cancel bookings up to 6 hours before departure.

Does United Airlines provide compensation for flight cancellations?

Yes, there are many conditions under which compensation is provided to ticketholders post cancellations. If cancellation is from the airline's end or their flight is delayed for long hours, they provide compensation in the form of travel credit to customers.

Is it possible to cancel United Basic Economy tickets?

Yes, basic economy ticket holders can cancel their reservations within 24 hours. It must be noted that these ticket holders are not provided an option by United Airlines to make changes to their bookings. Therefore, they can cancel their reservations and obtain a refund.

What happens if United Airlines cancels my flight?

If the reason for your flight cancellation is United Airlines' fault, then they will arrange an alternate flight for you. You have full rights to cancel that booking and instead claim a refund. If you miss your connecting flight due to initial cancellation the airline will make the desired arrangements and even compensate for the inconvenience caused.

What is the United Airlines flight cancellation fee?

United Airlines does not allow all cancellations to be free. Customers are expected to pay charges set by the airlines as cancellation fees. The exact United Airlines cancellation fee depends upon the time you process the cancellation and also on your ticket type. If roughly estimated, then ticket holders are liable for paying cancelation fees of $250. For the exact charges, they can seek information from customer services.

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