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How to Cancel a United Airlines Flight [Points or Cash Ticket]

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Jarrod West

Jarrod West

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 21U.S. States Visited: 24

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in o...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury

Keri Stooksbury


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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now Editor-in-Chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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The process of canceling a flight can be both expensive and complicated, but sometimes it is unavoidable.

If you’ve booked a flight with United Airlines and need to cancel, you’re in the right place! Here’s all the information you need to navigate their cancellation policy and determine what policies apply to your situation.

Cancellation Policies Due to COVID-19

For standard economy and premium cabin tickets issued between April 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, you will be permitted to change without paying a change fee to a flight of equal or lesser value for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date. Fees are also waived for basic economy tickets booked through April 30, 2021.

View the full policy here. If you booked via a third party, refer to your booking provider for its policies.

With cancellation policies due to COVID being ever-changing, for the most up-to-date policies across all airlines, please refer to our COVID-19 Airline Cancellations article.

United’s Cancellation Policy: Flights Paid With Cash or Points

All customers have 24 hours from the time of their original booking to cancel their reservation without being charged a cancellation fee, regardless of the fare selected, as long as the ticket was purchased a week or more before departure.

Ticket TypeCancellation Fee
Basic EconomyNot permitted
Non-Refundable$0 – you’ll receive a flight credit for future travel
Refundable$0 – you’ll receive a full refund
Award Ticket$0

Basic Economy Ticket

United Airlines will not allow you to cancel a basic economy ticket unless it is within 24 hours from the time it was purchased, and was purchased a week or more before departure.

Non-Refundable Ticket

If it has been more than 24 hours since you booked your ticket, you can still cancel your ticket and get a full refund, but it will come in the form of a flight credit toward future travel with United


Refundable Ticket

If you’ve purchased a refundable ticket, cancellations can be made anytime before the departure of your flight and the refund will be issued to your original credit card within 7 days (it should appear on your statement in 1-2 billing cycles).

Award Ticket

Cancel FeeGeneral Member Premier SilverPremier GoldPremier PlatinumPremier 1K
Canceling with redeposit$0$0$0$0$0

United now no longer charges a fee to cancel your award ticket and have your miles redeposited.

However, if you no-show for your flight you will need to pay $125 to have your miles redeposited, regardless of your status level.

Hot Tip: Looking for even more information about canceling award tickets? Explore our guide on canceling award tickets, including information on over 30 carriers, to learn more.

United’s Flight Change Policy: Flights Paid With Cash or Points

As with cancellations, all customers will have 24 hours from the time of their original booking to change their reservation without being charged a fee, as long as the ticket was purchased a week or more before departure. This does not apply to Basic Economy tickets.

Ticket TypeChange Fee
Basic EconomyNot permitted
Non Refundable$0
Award Ticket$0

Basic Economy

United Airlines will not allow you to make any changes to a basic economy ticket, even during the initial 24-hour window. If you’re still within the 24-hour window, your best option would be to cancel your ticket and book a new one.

Non-Refundable Ticket

United does not charge any fees for flight changes, you will just be responsible for any difference in fare.

For same-day changes, United charges $75 for Silver and general members. Elite members at the Gold level or above will have the fee waived.

Refundable Ticket

United does not charge any fees for flight changes. If you’re changing to a more expensive option, you will need to pay the difference in price. If you’re changing to a cheaper flight, the difference in fare will be refunded to your original method of payment.

Award Ticket

United has dropped all change fees on award flights. So customers can now switch to any award flight without needing to pay any extra fees.

How to Cancel a Flight on United

Step 1: Log into your account on United’s homepage and select “My Trips.”

Image Credit: United

Step 2: Once you’ve selected the trip you want to cancel, select “Cancel Booking.”

Step 3: The next screen will ask you to confirm that you want to cancel your booking. After you click “confirm” then your booking will officially be canceled, and you’ll receive an eCredit for any remaining funds after any potential cancellation fees.

How to Use a United Travel eCredit

Image Credit: United

If you’re using an eCredit that you received from a flight you changed or canceled, click the drop-down box under “United payment types,” then simply enter the PIN code, your last name, and the year you received the eCredit during checkout.

Final Thoughts

If you’re worried that you may need to cancel your flight and want to make certain you can get a refund, a refundable ticket will certainly be your best option.

Having to deal with canceling a flight can be difficult enough as it is, so consider adding a rewards card that provides compensation. Be certain to review fare rules closely so that you know what your options are both at the time of booking, and if you end up needing to cancel.

Frequently Asked Questions

That depends on what fare type you’ve purchased and whether or not you’ve purchased a refundable ticket.

If you’ve purchased a basic economy ticket, you are not permitted to cancel the ticket for a refund after the 24-hour grace period from when your ticket was purchased.

If you have a non-refundable ticket you can cancel the flight and the amount you paid will be issued to your United account as an e-credit for a future flight.

If you have a refundable ticket you can cancel anytime before the departure of your flight and you will be reimbursed on your original method of payment.

Yes, all customers will have 24 hours from the time of their original booking to cancel their reservation without being charged a cancellation fee, regardless of fare selected, as long as the ticket was purchased a week or more before departure.

If you have a non-refundable ticket you can cancel the flight and the amount you paid will be issued to your United account as an e-credit for a future flight.

Your eCredit will expire exactly 1 year after its issue date.

United no longer charges cancellation fees.

United does not charge same-day change fees.

No, there is not a fee to cancel your United award flight.

You cannot change a Basic Economy ticket on United, even within the 24-hour window. Your only option would be to cancel the ticket and rebook. Since this is still within the 24-hour window, you will not be charged a cancellation fee and will receive a full refund for the cancel ticket.

About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.


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March 14, 2020

My mom has a trip on April 15th. She used her award miles. Can she get them refunded?

Christine Krzyszton

March 14, 2020

Hi Lynn. Waivers are expanding quickly so flights that weren’t eligible to cancel previously, are now included. I would go online into her reservation and try to cancel. When you click “cancel flight”, the options will appear and you can decide if those are appropriate for you. It’s important to note that United is also charging a re-deposit fee to put the miles back in your account.
The best option, if you do not like the options offered to you online, is to call but wait on hold can be very long.

Nick M.

March 14, 2020

I just got off the phone with a customer report supervisor who will also not give me a refund due to the coronavirus.

All transportation and housing plans I had for my trip were cancelled and refunded besides the flight ticket.

This completely unacceptable and I cannot believe the attitude I received from said supervisor. Telling me, “I’m not going to repeat myself,” when asking for a refund after offering a bogus credit option to keep my money.

This was the one and only vacation to see relatives for the year and now I’m being ripped off. I’m not able to take any other time off work to use the “flight credit.”

This is the most outrageous situation I’ve ever been in with an airline.

nabil marzouk

March 16, 2020

I have purchased 3 tickets to fly from Sydney, Australia to Chicago via Los Angeles on 23 DEC 2019.
ticket # xxxxxxx. Due to fly on the 23rd of June 2020, return 13th July 2020.
As events arise due to Coronavirus, can I cancel if United Airlines, or the American or Australian government make decision to halt travel between countries?

Christine Krzyszton

March 16, 2020

Hello Nabil. If travel is halted, the airline would likely cancel the flights and may issue you a refund, although you may have to wait for it. Also, United is currently allowing travelers to cancel or make changes on most tickets and receive credit for future travel. Waivers are changing daily, however. Fortunately, your departure is a few months out so you have the option to wait and see before making any decisions. Also, I removed your ticket # for privacy reasons.


March 16, 2020

I had booked a round trip flight to France for me and my wife, scheduled for mid April, with points. I can easily cancel it (coronavirus) on United’s website but they charge $100 pp to redeposit my points. That’s ridiculous.

Any advice on getting around this redeposit fee?

Jarrod West

March 17, 2020

Hi Brian,

As of now, United is waiving the change fee on award tickets, but they are not budging on the redeposit fee if you decide to cancel.

Laura Berecibar

March 16, 2020

Hello Jarrod,

Once you have your flight credit how long do you have to spend it? and If I have 400 dollars can I buy a 200 dollar flight and keep the rest to purchase another one?

Thanks a lot

Jarrod West

March 17, 2020

Hi Laura,

You have 1 year from the date it was issued to use it, and splitting it into multiple purchases is fine.

David W.

March 16, 2020

Hello. I purchased a non-refundable ticket 2/27 for a 5/8/20 flight from IAD to LAX and return on 5/15/20 from LAX to IAD. I’m not sure if the flight is going to happen because of the Coronavirus. I also bought Travel Guard travel insurance plan from AIG Travel. Can I cancel and receive a refund?

Christine Krzyszton

March 17, 2020

Hi David. If you log in to your United account and access the reservation, you can attempt to cancel the flight online. When you select the “cancel flight” button, the available options will be displayed. Chances are it will be a voucher for future travel depending on your ticket. If so, you might have to contact United to ask if a refund is available or the travel agency if that’s how the ticket was purchased. You can read United’s current waiver statement (it’s changing nearly daily) while on the site as well. Try with United and if that does not work to your satisfaction, find out what is covered on your travel insurance policy.


March 17, 2020

I bought tickets for my parents to flight from MCO to PEK in late March 2020 after a Disney vacation with us (we live Ohio). Due to the coronavirus, United cancelled all flights to PEK. I then opted to have my parents fly from MCO to Ohio instead. Now Disney World is unfortunately closed, we have to change the tickets for the second time. Part of the payment on the initial tickets were made using an Electronic Travel Certificate ($300 issued 4/17/19). United now told me if I choose to cancel the tickets I will lose the value of $300 travel certificate “because it’s already redeemed”. I have doubt about this because with my first change of the tickets, the United customer service lady gave me the options of getting refund + reissuing of the travel certificate, or paying the difference to get new tickets…I chose the later. Anyone know the rules? I cannot find the answer on United website.

Stephen Au

March 19, 2020

Hi Ange,

The reason why they’re telling you this is because the travel certificate will expire 1 year after issuance, which is on April 17, 2020. If you’re planning travel for later than this, that’s probably why you’re getting that guidance from United.


March 18, 2020

Hi Jarrod,
I want to cancel my United reservation from BWI to TUS Arizona on April 18, as Canyon Ranch closed all their services. When I click on “Cancel Flight” option I get a refund fee, which does not include fees for upgrade to first class. Calling them seems to be impossible. Do you have any insight to this scenario?

Stephen Au

March 19, 2020

Hi Yelena,

The easiest way to figure this out is to contact United’s reservation desk. Please do so at your earliest convenience to learn about the specific refund policy for upgrade fees.

D. McAlister

March 18, 2020


I am scheduled to fly the second week of April for a 5 day Chicago trip. I am in the at risk population of over 60 and have concerns about COVID-19. I purchased the trip insurance. Will this assist me in obtaining a refund? I am I eligible for a refund? I don’t know if I want to fly within the 12 month time period of given with a cancelled flight.

Christine Krzyszton

March 18, 2020

It is possible that the insurance you purchased may cover the trip if your doctor thinks you should not travel. As you mentioned, when you attempt to cancel the flight online, you might get the message that you can only receive credit for future travel and not a refund. You can contact United and ask for a refund, see what they say. If they will not refund your ticket, then contact the insurance provider and ask if you are covered by the policy because you are unable to travel.


March 19, 2020

Purchase non-refundable ticket on May 26, 2019 and that reservation was cancelled. Applied the ticket credit to another reservation which was purchased on September 19, 2019. The reservation was for a round trip flight from Houston to Prague with departure on March 17, 2020 and return April 2, 2020. I cancelled the reservation on March 10th due to the continued spread of the COVID-19 and then the next day the flight bans were announced.
My question is United which they have not answered is which date must I book a flight. Is it May 26th or Sept 19th (same confirmation number for both dates) and when does this flight need to occur?

Jarrod West

March 20, 2020

Hi Bob,

Since the credit was originally issued on May 26th, and has kept the same confirmation number, you should need to book your new flight by May 26th, 2020. The new flight should be able to occur as far in the future as you would like – but needs to be booked by the 26th.


March 24, 2020

United has canceled our flights to Turks and Caicos. Flight was for this coming Saturday, March 28. Used United miles. I am trying to avoid paying the redeposit fee to put the 39,000 points back in my account.

Looking at booking a saver flight from Newark to Orlando in June for 5,000 miles per person. I have gotten through to the final page before submitting. I would get 29,000 miles redeposited only losing 10K but no redeposit fee. Am I missing something here or would you proceed? The Newark flight would be a throw away unless I can continue to change that flight for when I really need.

The original Turks and Caicos flight was booked in March with the waivers in place.

Jarrod West

March 25, 2020

Hi Linda,

You’re correct that rebooking that way would allow you to avoid paying the redeposit fee. Though it is very unfortunate that United is still charging their customers redeposit fees on flights they’ve canceled.


March 24, 2020

We canceled our May 12th flight to Paris, I see now that we can rebook without being charged a fee, which is great! Thank you United. My question is we are going to rebook for later this year, we will have a credit because the flight is less. Can I apply that credit to another flight and not pay a change fee? So book two trips for the price of our original trip with no fees?

Jarrod West

March 25, 2020

Hi Joy,

United has stated that, customers can change their flights for free, but you will not receive any residual value if you choose a flight that is less expensive.

Rebecca Cynoske

March 26, 2020

I haven’t been able to reach anyone at United for refund on my luggage fee for 03/28/2020. How can I get through?

Christine Krzyszton

March 26, 2020

Hi Rebecca. I see that they are answering customer requests via Twitter @United.


March 29, 2020

I’ve got a scenario that’s particularly irksome. I had a flight scheduled for April and had to cancel. I purchased the flight in economy and then upgraded (paid, not miles) to first class for both legs. Apparently the extra I paid just vanishes and I don’t get a refund or credit towards a future flight for that since it’s a “premium cabin upgrade”. The credit that can be applied towards a future trip is only the value of the “original” ticket. Buyer beware because there’s hundreds of dollars down the toilet.

T. Poindexter

March 29, 2020

What is the difference between an electronic travel certificate and a future flight credit? Pros/cons of each? Do either allow you to book more than one flight in order to keep the entire value of your ticket if you are purchasing lesser cost tickets with your re-booking? I see both are offered with the travel waivers but not sure which would be best.

Jarrod West

April 02, 2020

Hi T. Poindexter,

I cannot speak for United, as we are not affiliated with the airline, but a future flight credit likely would not hold any residual value if you later book a cheaper flight, but an electronic travel certificate should allow you to make multiple booking with the funds available.


March 30, 2020

A Danube river cruise and Oberammergau passion play was canceled. It involves a flight from Florida to Budapest via Frankfurt and another from Newark NJ to San Diego (my home) Also, flights are tied to Lufthansa. I also have insurance through United.The flight to Europe was purchased last July and the return trip to San Diego was paid last December.
Will I be able to get money back? Both my husband and I are 75 and we do not see ourselves traveling in 2022 when the passion play will be held in lieu of this year.

Jarrod West

April 02, 2020

Hi Jean,

What type of insurance policy did you have with United? Does the policy cover you if you cancel the tickets? If you’re unsure you might want to try contacting United to see if you’re covered: 1-800-864-8331.

Has United/Lufthansa canceled the flights yet or are they still scheduled? If they have been canceled then you are entitled to a full refund by law.

Eric Graham

April 01, 2020

This is BS. Our resort cancelled and shut down due to COVID, the Gov said no travel to Mexico and you won’t refund a ticket when people need the money from losing their job not a voucher? Then you want a bailout with our tax payer dollars.

Christine Krzyszton

April 02, 2020

Hi Eric. Please understand that we are not United Airlines. We are Upgraded Points, a blog specializing in resources for travel, points, miles and related topics. You should contact United to make your request. Depending on when your trip is scheduled, you can wait to see if a waiver is issued for that time frame or if your flights become cancelled. It may then be possible to receive a refund.

Ryan - EWR to MCO

April 03, 2020

I have a flight coming up on April 8th (12pm) with United from Newark to Orlando and trying to figure out if I can get a full refund. United is not cancelling flights ahead of time, but every morning they are canceling flights for that day.

A). Do I wait until United cancels the flight on me hoping for a refund?

B). Cancel my flight ahead of time and take the credit.

Jarrod West

April 04, 2020

Hey Ryan,

I would wait as long as you possibly can to see if United cancels the flight first, that way you can get a full refund.


April 06, 2020

Have a unique situation. I purchased a refundable international flight unrestricted using a debit card last May for travel in last June 2019. I had to cancel that flight and choose the retain value option thinking I would have rebooked for this spring – with plans to use the unused flight credit value from the ticket . The world is obviously shut down.

This was a cancelled ticket on a refundable itinerary. I was not issued an electronic travel certificate and just told to re-use original confirmation number to get the value applied. I know I can rebook somewhere up until the original departure date but that is coming quick. I can’t get the money back as it was purchased on a gift debit card that no longer exists.

Is there a way to either purchase another adjustable ticket, get my money refunded to a different credit card or get the value converted into an ETC? Or any other thoughts? I am a 1k. Thx!

Jarrod West

April 06, 2020

Hi Mike,

I think it is very unlikely that United would issue a refund to another card at this point, but getting it converted to an ETC might be an option if you call in and explain your situation. I would expect a long wait time on the phone though. You could also try reaching out via Twitter DM. I hope they work with you!


April 08, 2020

HI There, Great web page. My father died last week. We want to cancel our United tickets–they were basic economy non refundable. I have the death certificate. Do you think we can get a refund? Thank you!

Jarrod West

April 09, 2020

Hi Stephanie,

I’m very sorry for your loss. There is no way to say for certain that they will give you a refund buy they might. All you can do is call and ask, here is the number for United: 1-800-864-8331


April 22, 2020

We booked non-refundable United tickets to Colorado for mid-July and have some concerns that the current situation will not be better or we wouldn’t want to take any unneeded exposure risks getting on a plane and may drive instead if we go at all. I haven’t received any emails from United but I read on the website that it appears that they are waiving cancellation fees for travel June 1-December 31 but we have to cancel prior to April 30th. I was hoping to wait til it got a little closer to make the call. Did I interpret this current policy correctly? Does this mean if we wait and don’t cancel until after April 30th then the cancellation fees might then apply or some other repercussions? Why would they set a policy with a deadline so early? I’m sure many people have no idea what’s going to happen the next month or two let alone July or even December.

Christine Krzyszton

April 29, 2020

Hi Angela. The waiver has been extended until May 31, 2020, so you have more time to wait before canceling.


April 26, 2020

I am in a situation where I was supposed to fly to Chicago for an event but it was canceled due to covid19, thus my flight is no longer needed. It’s basic economy and I’m wondering if there’s any way I can get a refund for it? I bought it using the Chase Travel portal.

Hi Tom. I would log in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account, go to the page with your trip itineraries, and utilize the live chat function with a Chase travel rep. They will be able to tell you your options for that specific ticket.


June 27, 2020

In February 2020, I bought 2 round trip tickets to Europe. The flight dates are for September 2020. Europe is closing down travel to Americans. I used 120,000 points and paid $120 for taxes and fees.
I would like to cancel the flight and get my points and money back. Do I get all my 120,000 points back? Do I get my $120 back? Do I have to pay a penalty? Alternatively, can I book the same flights for September 2021 (the United calendar does not go out that far)? Thanks.

Jarrod West

June 28, 2020

Hi Ed,

United is waiving award redeposit fees for the rest of 2020, so as long as you cancel your flight more than 30 days before departure, your points and the taxes/fees you paid will be returned to you. You likely will not be able to rebook for September 2021 at this time though as United only operates their schedule 12 months out.

Thanks for reading!


August 29, 2020

Hi Jarrod – Topic: Cancel/Refund WITHIN the 24 hrs purchase.
This post, other posts, and united (when you are trying to do a booking) do say that if you cancel within the first 24 hrs of purchasing the ticket, you can get a full 100% refund regardless of the fare. However, when looking at the rules of United and/or the fine print at the bottom of their page in the reservation (and in the web site section ‘24-hour flexible booking policy’)…. “….eligible for a full refund if you cancel within 24 hours. AND YOU MADE YOUR PURCHASE ONE WEEK or more before the flight was scheduled….”. It seems that the 24 hours applies when the ticket is purchased more than a week in advance and it would not be honored if the trip will commence within the week despite trying to cancel within 24 hours.
How this work?…no one is making a point of this but it is clearly written with United. Is this enforced? No problem if it is full fare as it is refundable anyway, but I wonder for the other type of fares if I try to cancel within 24 hrs but booking is within less than 7 days.
Appreciate your comments. Thank you.

Jarrod West

August 31, 2020

Hi AP,

You’re correct that the United policy does require the fare to have been purchased a week or more before departure, and United does enforce this policy. I’ve just added some additional language throughout this post to make that requirement clear to all readers. Thank you for pointing this out!


September 08, 2020

I bought a United ticket to San Antonio Texas for October 9, 2020 using a travel voucher I previously received from them due to a flight I had to cancel. Due to travel restrictions at my job as a healthcare worker I cannot go unless I quarantine for 2 weeks after my trip. Will I be able to get my money back or another voucher for missing my flight?

Jarrod West

September 09, 2020

Hi S.D.

United travel vouchers are usually non-refundable, but given the circumstances, they might issue you a refund. I recommend you call the United customer service team and explain the situation and see if they are willing to refund you. Best of luck!

Alan Jones

June 04, 2021

I bought 4 tickets NY to Iceland using miles. One of the person wants to extend the trip by several weeks. Will I need to cancel all 4 tickets are rebook them all? Will there be change fee?

Jarrod West

June 06, 2021

Hi Alan,

No, you should not need to cancel all 4 tickets and rebook. Give the United customer service team a call at 1-800-864-8331 and they can manually edit this booking for you.


June 28, 2021

I booked tickets to Greece United Basic Economy. We fly in July.

I sent passports in for renewal on 3/9/2021, about 19 weeks before the flights. Those passports are “in process” and “unable to be expedited because they were submitted as regular service in March.” Looks like they will not arrive in time. TripAdvisor forum people suggested contacting local Congressperson’s office for help, which I have.

Any chance of United allowing us to get a travel credit for these non-changeable/non-refundable tickets? Without a $400 fee? (The tickets were not much more than $400!)

Thank you!

Jarrod West

June 30, 2021

Hi Jennifer,

You could certainly call and ask to see if they can work with you on waving the fee, although if I were to guess I would say that they are unlikely to do so.


July 22, 2021

Seems like this info is outdated. I thought United charges no cancel or change fees for award tickets if done 30 days prior to departure.

Jarrod West

July 23, 2021

Hi Kayexelate,

Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve just updated the post to reflect United’s current policy.


August 05, 2021

You will need to update your FAQ as well – it currently contradicts the above:

“Is there a fee to cancel an award ticket with United?
If you cancel your United flight 61 or more days before departure the fee is $75 for general members, $50 for Silver members, $25 for Gold members, and $0 for Platinum and 1K members.

If you cancel your flight 60 or fewer days before departure the fee is $125 for general members, $100 for Silver members, $75 for Gold members, $50 for Platinum members, and $0 for 1K members.”


August 06, 2021

How do I speak to a customer service rep regarding international flights?

The last time I called 1-800-UNITED1 I waited 45 minutes and then they transferred me to international and I waited another 30 minutes and it disconnected.

Jarrod West

August 09, 2021

Hi John,

Unforuntaltey, despite long hold times, the only way to speak to a member of the United customer support team is by calling their customer service line.

MaryAnne Wozniak

August 22, 2021

I have a first class/business class ticket to Aruba purchased through a travel agent. Due to CDC level 4 do not travel to Aruba classification and August 22 Aruban government adding more restrictions until further notice, I think it is wise to cancel my trip. Am I able to get a full refund from United airlines?

Jarrod West

August 23, 2021

Hi MaryAnne,

Since you purchased through a 3rd party, your travel agent, you will have to go through them in order to get the refund.


August 31, 2021

I have a paid nonrefundable economy ticket that I do not want to use. Can I change it to a refundable ticket, cancel, and get my cash-back?

Jarrod West

September 01, 2021

Hi Gary,

Unfortunately, United does not allow you to change a nonrefundable ticket to refundable after the ticket has been issued.

milton paris

September 07, 2021

How do I cancel a flight online and have my miles put back into my account?

Jarrod West

September 07, 2021

Hi Milton,

Log into your account on United’s homepage and select “My Trips.” Then, once you’ve selected the trip you want to cancel, select “Cancel Booking.”

After that, the next screen will ask you to confirm that you want to cancel your booking. After you click “confirm” then your booking will officially be canceled, and you’ll your miles should be redeposited in your account after any potential cancellation fees.


November 22, 2021

Hello! I have a question. I bought a basic economy ticket, and I also bought the travel insurance United offered.
Can I still cancel and get my refund? Or am I eternally screwed?

Jarrod West

November 30, 2021

Hi Sam,

Unfortunately, United’s travel insurance does not cover you in the case that you personally need to cancel your ticket, so you would be unlikely to receive a refund for this flight.


December 08, 2021

Hi Jarrod,

I have a non-refundable international ticket that I need to cancel. I am wondering about a potential work around to get a full refund. If I re-book the non-refundable as a refundable ticket first (and pay the very large difference in airfare), could I then turn around and cancel the now refundable ticket and get my refund?

Jarrod West

December 13, 2021

Hi Kristen,

You could certainly try, though I’m not sure that it is possible to change a non-refundable ticket to a fully refundable ticket after booking.


December 21, 2021

Does this hold true for legs where another airline is serving a part of it? For example, one way already flown, canceling the return. EWR to Tokyo on United, Tokyo to Singapore on ANA. Can I still cancel the ticket and retain the remainder for airline credit? Or will there be an issue with ANA (partner airline). What if it’s NOT a partner airline (example, EWR to HKG on United, HKG to SIN on Cathay). All would be booked through the United site and have a United ticket reference. Thanks!

Jarrod West

January 06, 2022

Hi AP,

If both legs were booked through United then the United cancellation policies apply to both legs.

Joshua H.

January 27, 2022

What is the refund policy for tickets that are like only 100 bucks or less? Do they just charge me a small percentage of the price that I paid?

Jarrod West

January 27, 2022

Hi Joshua,

The refund policy is the same, no matter what the price of the ticket is.


February 08, 2022

What about the United “Fully Refundable” policy? Has it changed in 2022? Can I get the refund on my credit card directly or they will give me a voucher for another flight? Thanks!

Jarrod West

February 08, 2022

Hi Riccardo,

If you purchased a fully refundable ticket, then you should receive the refund directly back to the card you used to pay for it.

Chuck L.

March 29, 2022

We’re about to purchase “Fully Refundable” United Airlines tickets for October 2022. Just before checkout, there is an offer to buy insurance for the tickets. If my tickets are fully refundable, is there any advantage to buying the insurance for the tickets? Our assumption is we can cancel and get a refund if something changes (e.g., the kids get sick) and do not see any advantage in paying extra for insurance.

Jarrod West

March 31, 2022

Hi Chuck,

Usually, in my experience, there is no big advantage to purchasing the insurance that United sells.

Mack Sperling

August 04, 2022


I had to cancel two business class award tickets MXP to JFK the day before the flight innJune. My wife tested positive for COVID and you needed a negative test to return to the U.S. at that time, so we could not fly home.

I paid about 200,000 points for those tickets. United has given me a future flight credit of about $50 for each ticket.

That seems grossly inadequate to me. Do I have any options for getting the points back or better value on the FFC?


Mack Sperling

Jarrod West

August 08, 2022

Hi Mack,

You are correct that is an absurdly low figure. Have you contacted a customer service agent at United? If so, have they confirmed that is all they will offer you?

Alex John

January 11, 2023

By reading this blog, I must say that United Airlines provides easy ways to cancel flights. A passenger can even take advantage of United 24 hours cancellation policy.

Joe D.

March 05, 2023

Is this still accurate? United advertises on their website that change fees have been eliminated for most domestic flights, among a few others. I tried to cancel my non-refundable economy ticket just now, and it’s giving me the option of a full refund in flight credit.

Jarrod West

April 05, 2023

Hi Joe,

Thanks for pointing that out – I’ve just corrected the post.


April 18, 2023

Your FAQ still says there is a $200-$400 charge to cancel a non-refundable ticket. I suppose that is no longer accurate?

Jarrod West

April 18, 2023

Hi Jim,

Correct, thank you for pointing that out. I’ve just updated that FAQ.

Joe Anderson

March 29, 2023

Hello Jarrod,
Is there any cost to cancel my flight and redeposit the miles back into my MileagePlus account?
Thanks, Joe

Jarrod West

March 30, 2023

Hi Joe,

No, there should not be a fee for that.


April 06, 2023

So can I confirm that I can cancel my international award Sin to Lax without any penalty?

Jarrod West

April 06, 2023

Hi Kay,

Yes, that is correct.


April 30, 2023

United canceled our reward tickets PBI to FRA via IAD five hours before departure due to bad weather here in Florida. No one called to re book us, as stated in their text. We called customer service and we’re able to rebook to the exact same flight tomorrow. The agent charged us $175 per person to re-book to the next day, he stated that there is no way around this fee. We also purchased United preferred ticket on the original booking. It seems wrong to me that I have to pay a fee when the airline cancels the flight.

Dr. KZ

June 15, 2023

I am planning to buy a Economy return ticket from Istanbul to Dallas. But i might change my plans and travel back from Dallas to Dubai instead of Istanbul. If i cancel my second leg will i get the credit in full of my second leg or i will be charged a cancellation fee? and how much is the cancellation fee for economy on International flight?

Jarrod West

June 15, 2023

Hi Dr. Kz,

You would receive a credit equal to the portion of the trip you are cancelling. You will not be charged a cancellation fee.

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