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

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Jarrod West
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Jarrod West

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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
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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.

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.

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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

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Cancel FeeGeneral Member Premier SilverPremier GoldPremier PlatinumPremier 1K
Canceling With Redeposit$0$0$0$0$0
No-Show$125$125$125$125$125

United 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.

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

International flights that don’t originate in the U.S. can be changed, but change fees will apply.

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 up to $75, depending on destination and fare class. Premier status members 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,” 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 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.

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?

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 eCredit for a future flight.

When do United eCredits expire?

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

Will United waive my cancellation fees?

United no longer charges cancellation fees.

Does United charge same-day change fees?

United charges up to $75 for same-day changes, depending on destination and fare class. Premier status members have the fee waived.

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

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

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's image

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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