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Check Your UA Itineraries for Schedule Changes and what to do after one

Check Your UA Itineraries for Schedule Changes and what to do after one

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Old Jul 2, 22, 4:51 pm   -   Wikipost
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UA typically updates schedules on late Wednesday & Friday evenings into the next day morning (USA Central Time).

United's FAQ on Schedule Changes webpage is no more vague but the follow seems to be the present policy

-- reschedule flexibility for 30 minutes or more changes
  • Your origin and destination will have to be the same as on your original itinerary.
  • If you have a connection, you may be able to choose a different connecting city or airport.
  • Alternative flights must be operated by United or our United Express partners.

-- refunds for 2 hours or more changes
--- we may be able to offer you a refund:
  • The scheduled departure or arrival time changes by two hours or more.
  • The change causes issues with the overall length of the trip, such as making the connection time too short or significantly longer than it was originally.
  • If we are unable to accommodate you in the same cabin as purchased refunded either the full price or the difference in fare.
If you're not satisfied with your new itinerary and one of the above scenarios applies, please don't accept the itinerary in Manage Reservations. Instead, you can request a refund online.


Generally, UA is pretty good about being flexible if you are adversely affected by a schedule change. Most reasonable requests will likely be honored. Best to do some self-research prior to calling. Including opening up award space on UA operated flights. If you had a cleared upgrade on UA operated flight, UA will generally honor that in the rescheduling if space is available (but not requiring upgrade inventory space on the new flights)

During this weekend change period and sometimes for a day later, there can be weirdness in displayed aircraft or seating maps, such as Strange/Impossible Aircraft Assignments After UA's Weekend Schedule Update

Early in the COVID pandemic, UA initially change the policy for refund to require 24 hour change, but quickly walked that back to 6 hours. Under DOT and public pressure, UA returned to a 2 hour policy on 6 June 2020. 30 minute change is still the threshold for flexible rebooking

More specific information is found in UA's guidance to TA's (on Jetstream) on re-scheduling
  • Any segment goes from a non-stop to a connection
  • Misconnecting itinerary
  • Change to originally scheduled arrival or departure time of at least + / - 30 minutes
Change to alternate flight (original operating carrier or carrier permitted as noted in fare rule) or UA operated flight. If itinerary includes UA operated segment, UA schedule change rules apply to that segment {meaning changing only to UA operated flight}.
Same booking class. If original booking class unavailable, book lowest available (higher than original booking class, same cabin) up to and including M class. Contact UA if required class of service is unavailable.**
Change fee and add/collect waived - see "Additional parameters for flights impacted by schedule changes" below the chart.
For 2 hours or more, refunds are an option unless you can be rescheduled to be under the 2 hours
Change to original arrival or departure time of 2 hours or more or cancelled flight with no protection
or
Additional parameters for flights impacted by schedule changes
  1. Non-stops may go to connecting flights, and connecting flights may go to non-stops
  2. Connecting hub may be changed
  3. If original day of departure is unavailable, may depart 7 days prior to or after original departure date. If outbound flight is impacted, subsequent flights on same itinerary may be changed to maintain original length of trip.***
  4. Alternate airports within a 250 mile radius of the original origin or departure airport***
    • Change may apply to origin and destination, but must be changed at the original time of ticket reissue
    • Customer is responsible for any additional expenses incurred
Please see footnote below regarding the handling of United Basic Economy fares booked in "N" class.

***Continuing or return travel dates may be voluntarily changed on UA segments only in the original inventory class to maintain the original length of stay prior to the re-accommodation. Changes to the return flight must be in the same PNR and be made in the same transaction as the re-accommodation of the outbound flight. The change fee and add/collect will be waived for changes made to the return (original class of service only).

**United Basic Economy fares booked in "N" class must remain in "N" class when eligible for self-service rebooking due to unacceptable schedule changes or irregular operations. If "N" class is unavailable, please contact Uniteds Customer Contact Centers for assistance. Rebooking into an ineligible booking class may result in the issuance of a debit memo. For non-Basic Economy fares, do not rebook into "N" class.
================= older information =======================
The peak-time for changes is roughly 3-4 months prior to departure but changes occur anytime -- especially aircraft changes within an aircraft family (such as 777-200s or 737-800 vs 737-900).

Schedule changes
Rebooking options if a schedule change has affected your itinerary

If your scheduled departure or arrival time changes by 30 minutes or more, we're happy to try to find other available flight options that meet your needs. Please keep the following in mind when you call:
  • Your origin and destination will have to be the same as on your original itinerary.
  • If you have a connection, you may be able to choose a different connecting city or airport.
  • Alternative flights must be operated by United or our United Express partners.
If we aren't able to find any other flights that meet your needs, requesting a refund may be an option. See the section below for more information.

Ticket refunds

When a schedule change happens, we try our best to provide you with options that minimize the disruption to your travel plans. In cases where the new flight options don't work for you and one of the following scenarios applies, we may be able to offer you a refund:
  • The scheduled departure or arrival time significantly changes.
  • The change causes issues with the overall length of the trip, such as making the connection time too short or significantly longer than it was originally.
  • If we are unable to accommodate you in the same cabin as purchased refunded either the full price or the difference in fare.
If you're not satisfied with your new itinerary and one of the above scenarios applies, please don't accept the itinerary in Manage Reservations. Instead, you can request a refund online.
It is reported that agents will now (12 March 2020) process refunds for 6-hour changes (down from the original new 25+ hours that replaced the previous long practice of 2-hours)
JetStream - Agency Rebooking Parameters


Related thread: Schedule change refund policy changed from 2+ hrs to 25+ hrs now 6+ hrs 12 March 2020

Archive Thread - Check Your UA Itineraries for Schedule Changes and what to do after one [Archive]


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Old May 19, 21, 8:22 am
  #136  
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Originally Posted by MechMachine View Post
Looks like my flight had another schedule change on the return. Instead of leaving on the last day of vacation later in the day around 3 I am now returning earlier at 8am. I don't want to have to have my last day cut short; nor return the rental car early and possibly incur some fees. Changing the rental car reservation at this point would cost me much more.

From SJU there is later departures at 12:30 to IAD and 4:00 to EWR; however connections back to the departure airport would require an overnight in either city. Do you think an agent would allow a stopover greater than 6 hours (ex: get a hotel for the night and explore the city following day) before flying back in the afternoon? Technically against the fare rules - anyone have any luck or experience with this in the past?
This is a perfectly reasonable request. I've done a same-day change to an overnight transfer in the past; I don't recall having one because of a schedule change, but the concept is the same. The fare rules needn't apply when reacting to a schedule change. Just explain your rationale and I suspect you'll be able to get the flights you want; if not from the first agent, then perhaps from the second or third (i.e., hang up and call back).

Note that UA will not cover any incidental expenses (hotel, ground transportation, etc.)
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Old May 19, 21, 11:44 am
  #137  
 
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I had an interesting experience this month regarding an United business class award reservation from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Split, Croatia (SPU) reserved for June. I had no less than four (!) significant schedule or routing cancellation changes within the space of about 10 days. Although, there were United segments on all routings, these were not the cause of the problems. The first three times I called to resolve the issues I got the standard "since United is not the source of the problem, we can only reroute you on those flights with available award inventory". Each time I asked, they would neither contact the culprit airline to ask whether space on a alternate flight could be "forced open"---space was available for sale but there was no available award inventory----nor would they accommodate me on United metal that would have otherwise resolved the problem but was lacking award availability. By the fourth time, I did not even ask for this option. Lucky for me there was an available reroute but it involved transferring at Toronto Pearson with a transit time above the minimum connection time but still tight. The agent preceded to make the change but then stated that she did not like this routing due to the transfer time and offered to put me on any United metal that I wanted that worked with all segments in business (international) or first (domestic). Well, of course by now I was armed with lots of knowledge about what available star alliance routings would get me to Split most efficiently. And, connecting at Frankfurt to Croatia Airlines direct to Split flight was by far the best way to go. So, voila, she got me and my spouse to FRA with a "just right"---not too long nor too short---connection to the direct to Split Croatia flight. A perfect example of why HUACA sometimes really works. Just in my case, I got lucky on the fourth try without even asking. I might add on the first call, the agent initially wanted to charge me a fee to make the change which of course I successfully disputed. Also, with constantly changing border restrictions, even transit options are tricky to negotiate right now. The first two times I called the agents clearly had little to no patience in helping me navigate the problem, but the third and fourth agents were very kind and patient in this regard. Croatia is Non-schengen, which helps but still not all transits are possible and many require a Covid test even if you remain in the international to international transit area. Germany has gone from okay (yes, to transit but you need a recent negative Covid test result) to easy for vaccinated US passport holders as they will accept our CDC cards asl long as the last jab passes the 14 day test.

Last edited by wanderlustFL; May 19, 21 at 11:57 am
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Old May 19, 21, 1:09 pm
  #138  
 
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Originally Posted by wanderlustFL View Post
I had an interesting experience this month regarding an United business class award reservation from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Split, Croatia (SPU) reserved for June. I had no less than four (!) significant schedule or routing cancellation changes within the space of about 10 days. Although, there were United segments on all routings, these were not the cause of the problems. The first three times I called to resolve the issues I got the standard "since United is not the source of the problem, we can only reroute you on those flights with available award inventory". Each time I asked, they would neither contact the culprit airline to ask whether space on a alternate flight could be "forced open"---space was available for sale but there was no available award inventory----nor would they accommodate me on United metal that would have otherwise resolved the problem but was lacking award availability. By the fourth time, I did not even ask for this option. Lucky for me there was an available reroute but it involved transferring at Toronto Pearson with a transit time above the minimum connection time but still tight. The agent preceded to make the change but then stated that she did not like this routing due to the transfer time and offered to put me on any United metal that I wanted that worked with all segments in business (international) or first (domestic). Well, of course by now I was armed with lots of knowledge about what available star alliance routings would get me to Split most efficiently. And, connecting at Frankfurt to Croatia Airlines direct to Split flight was by far the best way to go. So, voila, she got me and my spouse to FRA with a "just right"---not too long nor too short---connection to the direct to Split Croatia flight. A perfect example of why HUACA sometimes really works. Just in my case, I got lucky on the fourth try without even asking. I might add on the first call, the agent initially wanted to charge me a fee to make the change which of course I successfully disputed. Also, with constantly changing border restrictions, even transit options are tricky to negotiate right now. The first two times I called the agents clearly had little to no patience in helping me navigate the problem, but the third and fourth agents were very kind and patient in this regard. Croatia is Non-schengen, which helps but still not all transits are possible and many require a Covid test even if you remain in the international to international transit area. Germany has gone from okay (yes, to transit but you need a recent negative Covid test result) to easy for vaccinated US passport holders as they will accept our CDC cards asl long as the last jab passes the 14 day test.
That is terrible service from the first three agents you dealt with. You shouldn't need to "get lucky" to receive what you are entitled to per UA policy.
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Old May 20, 21, 7:28 am
  #139  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Programs: UAL 1P, Bonvoy Plat, Delta Silver Med, AA Gold
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
That is terrible service from the first three agents you dealt with. You shouldn't need to "get lucky" to receive what you are entitled to per UA policy.
True, but this has been par for the course for me with UAL for awhile. In 2019, I had a United award reservation on Swiss metal to Brindisi from MIami, routing through Zurich. Swiss retimed the Zurich-Brindisi segment by 5 minutes and changed the flight number. Well, that caused the segment to drop from my itinerary. Still way above minimum connection time though. So, I called United to reinstate the second segment and all I got was the same standard reply I noted earlier. And, of course no further award inventory was available. I had to go to Elliott.org to look up the name/email for the VP of United customer service and then email that individual with my complaint. Lo and behold, within 24 hours I got a response and the person clearly acknowledged that agents I dealt with previously should have known better and contact Swiss directly to reinstate the reservation. Thankfully, she cleared the situation up fast and we were good to go. For me the lesson is research, research, research in advance of contacting ANY airline. Know your rights and have preferred routing alternatives at the ready. Be polite but firm and sadly, try the HUACA approach if needed. And, this goes for day of travel as well. I had a terrible experience with Aegean Airlines about 10 years ago when ATC went on slow down, causing me to misconnect in Athens. There were four of us on that trip and everyone was looking at me to fix the problem in the midst of utter chaos at Athens airport. When Aegean refused to touch our tickets (again, Award travel), I insisted on speaking to the Manager. Sadly, voices were raised at the point as it was the only way to get their attention. All fixed in the end but it was a bit of a nightmare along the way.
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Old May 20, 21, 4:11 pm
  #140  
 
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Sigh. This is the 4th revision UA's subject my itin too. And the most-interesting, by far. United is asking me to accept this rebook, but I have a few questions about the time trial machine at LHR. Does 2hr 20min exceed the maximum negative connect time? LHR is pretty crowded; where can you accelerate to 88mph and is there 1.21 gigawatts available? The DeLorean Experience is offered at a rural London airport, but not LHR. With my luck LHR probably has a Robin Reliant.

OK, more seriously, I'll be calling UA to see if I can get moved to the FRA-SFO flight instead. Trouble is, they'll be unlikely to guarantee the Polaris Upgrade.
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Old May 20, 21, 6:07 pm
  #141  
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
I'll be calling UA to see if I can get moved to the FRA-SFO flight instead. Trouble is, they'll be unlikely to guarantee the Polaris Upgrade.
For that kind of schedule change, they should. How about CDG-MUC-SFO?
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Old May 20, 21, 6:25 pm
  #142  
 
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
For that kind of schedule change, they should. How about CDG-MUC-SFO?
11:30am flight out of MUC; that would mean a super-early arrival at CDG. I am not a morning person. Plus the evening after the TdF finale usually finds us walking miles and miles around Paris. Will let you know how the move to FRA-CDG w/Polaris goes!

The original itin actually had us flying CDG-FRA-SFO but the FRA-SFO flight was cancelled and then reinstated as a non-PE bird. Not interested in flying E+ coming home. And the Polaris upgrade wasn't in the cards at the time.
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Old May 20, 21, 7:58 pm
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
11:30am flight out of MUC; that would mean a super-early arrival at CDG. I am not a morning person. Plus the evening after the TdF finale usually finds us walking miles and miles around Paris. Will let you know how the move to FRA-CDG w/Polaris goes!

The original itin actually had us flying CDG-FRA-SFO but the FRA-SFO flight was cancelled and then reinstated as a non-PE bird. Not interested in flying E+ coming home. And the Polaris upgrade wasn't in the cards at the time.
supervisor should be able to do FRA-SFO
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Old May 21, 21, 1:27 am
  #144  
 
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
supervisor should be able to do FRA-SFO
I called and had a very nice person do exactly that. We talked about the alternative routings that included a stop in the US, but she doubted it would be easy to secure a polaris seat either ORD-SFO or IAD-SFO.

I did forget to ask her why the "change flight" option isn't working, either on the app or on-line. Whether I choose outbound or inbound, or both, I get this message-

We are unable to process your request. Please see the message below for details.

  • No flight schedule could be retrieved using your search criteria. Please use the form below to start a new search.
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Old May 21, 21, 7:58 am
  #145  
 
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Originally Posted by Mike Jacoubowsky View Post
I called and had a very nice person do exactly that. We talked about the alternative routings that included a stop in the US, but she doubted it would be easy to secure a polaris seat either ORD-SFO or IAD-SFO.

I did forget to ask her why the "change flight" option isn't working, either on the app or on-line. Whether I choose outbound or inbound, or both, I get this message-
I got that too after the schedule change yesterday. I usually use chat so I don't have to hold on the phone, but there is nothing they could do that didn't involve an overnight layover on my itinary.
Will admit I hope for another change before my flight mid July as currently flying out at 7am (original booking was 3pm), and I am also not a morning person...
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Old May 21, 21, 7:52 pm
  #146  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Got a schedule change on an award flight (SFO-DEN-YVR now becomes SFO-YVR). A new thing I noticed (or maybe not new but it's been a while) is I'm now presented with options on the reservations page including making a 1 time change at no cost, along with accept change or see cancellation options.

This is what the 1 time change says:

See options to make a one-time change at no cost

Select this option to search for other flights. You may have the option to make a one-time change at no cost if your new flight meets these conditions:
  • See options to make a one-time change at no cost
  • Your new travel date is not more than 1 day before or 1 day after the original date.
  • Your departure and destination airports remain the same.
  • Your new ticket is in the same cabin and fare class as the original ticket.
  • Your new flight is operated by United or United Express.
What caught my eye is the travel date can change by +/- 1 day only. Isn't it supposed to be +/- 7 days? Hope that hasn't changed. If not, that means I can still call it in to make a change +/- 7 days?
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Old May 21, 21, 7:57 pm
  #147  
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Originally Posted by kevflyer View Post
What caught my eye is the travel date can change by +/- 1 day only. Isn't it supposed to be +/- 7 days? Hope that hasn't changed.
Maybe they're trying to cut down on abuse?
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Old May 21, 21, 10:03 pm
  #148  
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Originally Posted by kevflyer View Post
.... What caught my eye is the travel date can change by +/- 1 day only. Isn't it supposed to be +/- 7 days? Hope that hasn't changed. If not, that means I can still call it in to make a change +/- 7 days?
jetstream.united.com still has 7 days but that may depend on the size of the change. How much of an arrival / departure change did you have?
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Old May 21, 21, 11:00 pm
  #149  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Maybe they're trying to cut down on abuse?
Perhaps, but I see the language everywhere else still says 7 days.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
jetstream.united.com still has 7 days but that may depend on the size of the change. How much of an arrival / departure change did you have?
> 8 hours. I did end up calling the 1K desk to fix an unrelated issue on the outbound (which needed reissuing) and asked about the +/-, and he said I could do +/- 7 days with no reprice. I didn't act on that though.
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Old May 25, 21, 1:03 am
  #150  
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
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Originally Posted by MechMachine View Post
Looks like my flight had another schedule change on the return. Instead of leaving on the last day of vacation later in the day around 3 I am now returning earlier at 8am. I don't want to have to have my last day cut short; nor return the rental car early and possibly incur some fees. Changing the rental car reservation at this point would cost me much more.

From SJU there is later departures at 12:30 to IAD and 4:00 to EWR; however connections back to the departure airport would require an overnight in either city. Do you think an agent would allow a stopover greater than 6 hours (ex: get a hotel for the night and explore the city following day) before flying back in the afternoon? Technically against the fare rules - anyone have any luck or experience with this in the past?

I can't change my reservation online or in the app at this point as the previous schedule change and rebooking seemingly was reticketed into Q which whenever I try and change again there are no flights available supposedly with this class; so I am forced to call again.
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
This is a perfectly reasonable request. I've done a same-day change to an overnight transfer in the past; I don't recall having one because of a schedule change, but the concept is the same. The fare rules needn't apply when reacting to a schedule change. Just explain your rationale and I suspect you'll be able to get the flights you want; if not from the first agent, then perhaps from the second or third (i.e., hang up and call back).

Note that UA will not cover any incidental expenses (hotel, ground transportation, etc.)
Thanks! I was able to change on my first try. Got lucky again. I got a 27 hour stopover and a change of airport (on purpose) to see the city. Flying into IAD and out of DCA. The value of the ticket when I priced it out was over 1K. For the original being much less I am extremely happy. I wonder how much I can stretch this ticket 🤷‍♀️. Maybe Ill get a 3rd schedule change. Actually I hope not. Only joking.
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