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 Type||Cancellation Fee|
|Basic Economy||Not permitted|
|Non-Refundable||$200 for domestic flights and up to $400 for international flights depending on fare class|
|Award Ticket||Varies (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.
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.
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).
|Cancel Fee||General Member ||Premier Silver||Premier Gold||Premier Platinum||Premier 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 cancellation 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 Type||Change Fee|
|Basic Economy||Not permitted|
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
Featured Image Credit: