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

United Plane

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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$200 for domestic flights and up to $400 for international flights depending on fare class
Award TicketVaries (see category)

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 will pay a $200 cancellation fee on domestic flights and up to $400 for international flights depending on fare class.

After you pay the cancellation fee, you can apply the unused value of your ticket toward a future trip with United as long as your new trip begins no later than 1 year from the ticket’s original issue date, and you canceled the original ticket before the departure of the first flight.

Hot Tip: Non-refundable tickets can still be refunded in the event of the death of the passenger or passenger’s traveling companion or because of military orders. Supporting documentation is required.

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 31 or more days before departure$0$0$0$0$0
Canceling a U.S. flight with miles 30 or fewer days before departure$125$100$75$50$0
Canceling international tickets that do not originate in the U.S. 30 or fewer days before departure$125$100$75$50$0

The fee for canceling your award ticket and having your miles redeposited can vary greatly depending on your status level with United.

If you cancel your flight 31 or more days before departure, you will not pay a fee in order to do so and have your miles redeposited.

But those canceling a ticket booked with miles less than 30 days before departure will need to pay between a $50-$125 cancelation fee depending on their level of elite status with United.

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

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

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.”

United Flight Cancel
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

United 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

What happens if I cancel my United flight?

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 will be required to pay $200 for domestic tickets and up to $400 for international ticket fees (depending on the length of the flight, location, and type of fare). Afterward, you will receive the remainder of your fare, minus the fee, in the form of an eCredit for use on a future United 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.

Can I cancel a United flight within 24 hours?

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.

What happens if you cancel a non-refundable flight?

To cancel a non-refundable ticket you will be required to pay between $200-$400 depending on the length of the flight, location, and type of fare. The remaining fare will be given to you as an eCredit for future use on a United flight.

When do United eCredits expire?

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

Will United waive my cancellation fees?

A waive of fees really will depend on your reason for canceling the flight. If it’s due to an immediate family member’s death or sickness, or military orders, United may waive your cancellation fees, but they will likely ask for proof as well.

If you believe you have a legitimate reason to have your cancellation fees waived then it never hurts to call and ask!

Does United charge same-day change fees?

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

Is there a fee to cancel an award ticket with United?

If you cancel your United flight 31 or more days before departure there is no fee to cancel your award ticket.

If you cancel your flight 30 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.

Can you change a Basic Economy ticket within 24 hours of booking?

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.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Jarrod first became fascinated with the world of points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. On his first major award trip, he spent 3 months traveling through Europe, financed nearly entirely with points; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. Now, he is on a mission to help others realize their travel goals and upgrade their travel experiences. Jarrod has been writing about credit cards and travel loyalty programs for 4 years, and his work has been featured by Travel and Leisure, Matador Network, Yahoo Finance, and U.S. News.

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Maggie Diaz January 9, 2020

    Due to the Puerto Rico earthquake, I may have to reschedule my travel. Can I have this option due to the emergency situation in Puerto Rico?


    • Hi Maggie,

      Yes, that may be an option for you. You should contact the United customer service team directly for assistance with this.

      Thanks for reading!


  2. I have a flight in April to DR and since this virus is pretty bad up here in WA, can I possibly get airfare credit back ? My ticket was $1000


    • Hi Leticia. Unless United issues a waiver for your destination it is unlikely you would be able to cancel your ticket without paying a cancellation/change fee. However, you should call them because they can access the type of ticket and fare class you purchased and be able to give you the correct information.


  3. I do not know if my purchased flight is refundable or nonrefundable. I know I didn’t purchase basic economy. How to I determine which flight I bought? Refundable or non?


    • Hi Megan,

      If you can tell me the fare code of your ticket I can help you determine if it is non-refundable. You could also contact United Airlines directly for assistance at 1-800-864-8331.


  4. Reva Smith March 3, 2020

    My company has just cancelled our annual conference scheduled for March 25th. I’m afraid that I will be charged a cancellation fee for the ticket that I purchased. Is there any way to get around being charged? Losing the money I paid for the ticket should be penalty enough.


    • Hi Reva,

      You should only be charged a cancellation if you choose to cancel your ticket and receive a credit for the remaining fare amount (after paying the fee) towards future travel. If you choose to simply not show up for the flight, you will, of course, lose the money you paid for the ticket, but will not need to pay a cancellation fee.

      If you need extra assistance you can contact United Airlines customer service at 1-800-864-8331.


  5. Hi, we purchased basic economy domestic tickets in Jan ‘20 for travel in March ‘20 and April ‘20 with United and a United notice says we’re eligible for waived change fee for our tickets. Do you know if we can cancel the tickets altogether and just get a travel voucher? Our trip is coming up and we have such little time to figure out and decide alternative travel locations and dates. Any info you can offer would be greatly appreciated.


  6. I had booked Basic economy tickets in late February for travel mid-March. Due to a cancelled confernence and a cancelled flight on another airline, I had to change our travel plans with United. I had 2 reservations with United – one was for a one way flight for 2 people, and the other reservation was for a one way flight for 3 people. When I called customer service, the rep told me that I could cancel all the flights without penalty, and receive a credit with United to be used to book any future flights for those 3 people as long as the travel was completed by a certain date. When I called back to rebook, the rep told me that I could rebook the reservations but each reservation’s value could only be used for the people listed on the reservation, and for one replacement flight for each person. Also I would have to pay any fare difference, but if the flights were lower priced I would lose the residual value. These restrictions caused me to lose a lot of residual value, which they would not let me apply to baggage fees. Was this correct information or was the first rep correct? Also, I realized it would have been beneficial to me if I had booked the new flight as economy instead of basic economy, since the value of my credit would have covered the fare. Would that have been allowed? And Is it too late to do this since I already made a change?


    • Hi CAK,

      I believe the second representative was correct as United does not usually carry over residual value from flight changes, unfortunately. I cannot say as to whether it is too late to change the new flight to Economy instead of basic economy – you would need to contact United customer service to see if that is still possible. Best of luck!


  7. If a ticket is purchased between now and March 31st, it looks like you can change the flight WITHOUT FEES for the next 12 months. Does this policy also apply to flights purchased with award points? Do you lose the points if you don’t use them in the next 12 months?


    • Hi PW,

      Yes, the fee is waived for award tickets as well. If you do not fly within the next 12 months then the points will be lost.

      Thanks for reading!


  8. Pamela R. Rosimo March 11, 2020

    Can I get a full refund if I cancel my flight to Japan on March 31st because I have a weak immune system?


    • Hi Pamela,

      Did you purchase a fully refundable ticket? If not, then United requires you to pay a cancellation fee of $400, which they will deduct from the airfare you’ve paid, and issue you a voucher for the rest.

      Another option is to change the dates for your flight, as United is waiving all change fees for people who were scheduled to fly between March 10th and April 30th.


  9. Nancy Mella March 11, 2020

    Last July I purchased United tickets for June 7th, 2020 travel to Italy with American Ex. points.
    With the coronavirus situation can I cancel and have points reinstated to my Amex account?
    American Express is saying I could cancel but per United Rules, I must RE-BOOK for travel ending this July, that is, within 12 months of when I purchased. Is this correct? United must clarify exemptions.


    • Hi Nancy,

      You would not be able to get the points redeposited into your American Express account. At this time, United is just offering a change fee waiver for flights scheduled to take place between March 9, 2020 – April 30, 2020. Since your flight is scheduled on June 7th, I do not believe you will be eligible for the change fee waiver at this time.

      Since your ticket is issued with United, I recommend you contact them and only them to discuss what your options are for your flight, as there is unlikely to be anything American Express can do.


  10. Debbie Hassan March 12, 2020

    I purchased two tickets onJan.8,2020 round trip from Newark to Santa Fe fro april 23 to april 26. I had an agent book it and I paid around a grand on my credit card. Had basic economy. Now due to the coronavirus epidemic I want to cancel and get a refund. Is this even possible?


    • Hi Debbie,

      Have you contacted United Airlines to see what options are available to you with this basic economy ticket? We recommend contacting the airline first and then circling back with any follow-up questions that you have.


  11. Hi Jarrod, I have a flight booked from Europe to the US and back during the travel ban period. Do I have to cancel the trip before I can request a refund? I tried refund page but could not submit because I assume it has to be canceld first?



  12. Hello!

    I was able to get future travel credit for my Basic Economy flight, but when I go to Manage Reservations to use “future flight credit”, NO flights come up. But if I search for flights through the normal flight search, the same flight I looked to use the future flight credit has options. Does the flight have to be the exact amount of the flight credit? Or can you apply your credit to a more expensive flight and then pay the difference?

    I found it odd that I couldn’t find any flights when trying to manage my cancelled reservation and apply those credits.

    Additionally, when you go and check out a normal flight, the only payment options are e-certificates and United Wallet funds – there’s no option for you to apply your flight credit.

    Am I doing something wrong?


  13. I am having to cancel my trip ticket from Budapest to Atlanta. I understand the fee waiver which is great but do you know if you can use the future flight credit to book a flight in someone else’s name? At this point I will not be able to return home but will be able to fly my family to me after this settles and would like to use the credit to book their tickets.


    • Hi Gerald,

      Yes, you can use your flight credit to book a flight for someone else.


      • I’m trying to do that now and being told it can only be used for somebody else if it was a refund voucher, not a future flight credit. That’s suspect!


  14. On hold with United right now. The estimated time to talk to a representative is 2 hours *yikes* but I am pregnant and am worried about traveling now with Coronavirus. I understand I can get a waiver for free since I was to be traveling beginning of April but I’d prefer a refund since I’m not sure when I’m traveling again. Have they posted anywhere about extenuating circumstances for people with compromised immune systems etc? Thanks


    • Hi Jenny. Have you tried to cancel online? Different tickets may have different rules but I cancelled 2 flights on the website this morning and they issued immediate travel credit for the full amount to use for later travel. Not all flights are eligible but you can find out easily within your reservation when you hit “cancel flight”. It will tell you how much you’ll be receiving. To request a refund for a ticket that is not eligible, you will need to speak with a representative, however.


  15. I purchased a basic economy ticket for Pre-deployment leave March 3, 2020, but we are not allowed to travel due to the coronavirus and I will be gone for the next year. Can I cancel and receive a refund due to circumstances out of my control?


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


    • 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.


  17. 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.


  18. 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?


    • 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.


  19. 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?


    • 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.


  20. 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


  21. 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?


    • 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.


  22. 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.


    • 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.


  23. 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?


    • 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.


  24. 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.


    • 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.


  25. 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?


    • 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.


  26. 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.


    • 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.


  27. 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?


    • 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.


  28. 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?


  29. 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.


  30. 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.


    • 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.


  31. 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.


    • 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.


  32. Eric Graham April 1, 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.


    • 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.


  33. Ryan - EWR to MCO April 3, 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.


    • 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.


  34. 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!


    • 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!


  35. Stephanie April 8, 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!


    • 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


  36. 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.


  37. 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.


  38. 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.


    • 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!


  39. 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.


    • 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!


  40. 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?


    • 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!


  41. Alan Jones June 4, 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?


    • 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.


  42. 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!


    • 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.


  43. Kayexelate 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.


    • Hi Kayexelate,

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


      • 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.”


  44. 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.


    • 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.


  45. 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?


    • 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.


  46. 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?


  47. milton paris September 7, 2021

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


    • 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.


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