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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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Last edit by: seawolf
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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 United’s 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 Nov 5, 21, 12:36 pm
  #331  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by N104UA View Post
As it is a schedule change and, IIRC from upthread, OP now has an unreasonable sit in both DEN and ORD, OP could try and see if UA will just change the departure airport to HNL, a supervisor will most likely have to approve this, but I have had it done before when there are massive schedule changes that are frankly unreasonable. OP can then just buy a $50 ticket from OGG-HNL on WN or HA to avoid the UA ticket repricing.
This is an excellent suggestion. Schedule change allows one to change originating airport by 200 miles. OGG-HNL is only 100 apart. So, there will be no pushback if OP wants to do it. Good luck.
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Old Nov 5, 21, 2:41 pm
  #332  
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
No, UA will auto "accept" changes if you leave it un "corrected" for too long.

The fact that occurred does not affect your ask for alternative routings.
I did not know this! What is the grace period before changes are auto accepted please?
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Old Nov 5, 21, 2:44 pm
  #333  
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer View Post
I did not know this! What is the grace period before changes are auto accepted please?
Not sure we know that trigger point. It may be related to how far in the future the flight is.

BUT again, this does not change your options. Typically the choice of not changing is not viable.
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Old Nov 5, 21, 5:40 pm
  #334  
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Originally Posted by h0und10 View Post
First class, booked through chase portal.
then honestly you need to call Chase, your travel agency. These issues are much more frequent when you don't book direct.
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Old Nov 6, 21, 1:07 pm
  #335  
 
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Question - United just took my 2:45pm BDL - IAD flight off the schedule with only one week notice

The option they're giving me is 4 hours earlier which I can't do, as I have commitment in the morning already. I can fly out of MHT or BTV and still make my connection in IAD, but the rental car will now be a couple hundred $ more. Ask United for some miles for compensation? I don't believe my credit card will cover it as it's a 4 hour schedule change.

TIA!
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Old Nov 6, 21, 5:05 pm
  #336  
 
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Do folks have a good sense of how far UA has been updating their schedule in advance? I am looking at TCON flights in March, but I am trying to ensure I book a flight with Premium Plus - but it seems like the schedule hasn't been reset (e.g. one of the flights shows the PW-powered HD 772, which is still grounded as far as I know).
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Old Nov 6, 21, 6:13 pm
  #337  
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Originally Posted by PsiFighter37 View Post
Do folks have a good sense of how far UA has been updating their schedule in advance? ....
In the recently quarterly phone call, UA talked about getting back to a more normal 3-month view vs the month at a time that has been common for the past 20 months. It does not appear UA is there yet, maybe 2 months for much but with the holidays and uncertain demand, I would suspect it may be post-holiday before 3 months becomes reality.
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Old Nov 6, 21, 6:18 pm
  #338  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by PsiFighter37 View Post
Do folks have a good sense of how far UA has been updating their schedule in advance? I am looking at TCON flights in March, but I am trying to ensure I book a flight with Premium Plus - but it seems like the schedule hasn't been reset (e.g. one of the flights shows the PW-powered HD 772, which is still grounded as far as I know).
It varies quite a bit now. Within two months is relatively settled, but they do tweak before that, and they also continue to fiddle with things after that.

The PW 772's are coming back, and supposedly about that time, although maybe not quite by March.
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Old Nov 11, 21, 7:19 am
  #339  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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United Schedule Change - Advice from Pros

Thanks in advance for any guidance on this issue.

I booked a trip from MCO-YYC in April 2021 for March 11-19 2022 to ski Norquay/Sunshine/Lake Louise for myself, wife, two children (18 + 21).
Due to cost savings/Chase UW, outbound was booked on American and return on United.

My original UA Flights were scheduled to depart YYC at 1:50PM arriving MCO 11:10PM on March 19th. As we are staying about 2 hours from YYC, this was perfect schedule, allowing time to get out of the condo and to the airport, drop off car, and getting home at a reasonable hour with Sunday to recover.

Complicating the scenario is 3 of the tickets were booked through UA using $320 in UA Travel Certificates (balanced charged to Chase Sapphire Preferred) and one ticket was booked using Chase UW points. At the time of booking, the one way fare from YYC-MCO was $260 each. Today of course the flights are $609 each one way. Also, I have no status with UA, just a General Mileage Plus Member.

UA cancelled the original flight, and changed my flight to a 3:23PM Departure YYC-DEN, with a 6 hour layover, and 11:50PM Departure DEN-MCO arriving 5:20AM. Obviously after skiing for a week in Alberta, I don't want to take the red eye home and be exhausted Sunday and have to work on Monday.

When I try to change the tickets on the UA website it is a $327 up charge to even get a 6:00AM departure from YYC, which is also not preferred and it would require getting up at 2:00AM to catch the flight, possibly driving through winter conditions at night.

Any advice from pros, except through myself on the mercy of the Customer Service agent?
Should I wait a month or two and see if the schedule changes again or anything shakes out?
Not sure the fare will ever get back down to $260, and the use of UA Travel Certs kills my ability to book with another carrier.

It sucks they can change my flight to a red eye without crediting me money for the lesser flight, but I can't change from a red eye without
paying an extra $1000 for four tickets. Thanks for any guidance.
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Old Nov 11, 21, 8:02 am
  #340  
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With a 6+ hour schedule change, you should be able to change flights for no charge. Call.
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Old Nov 11, 21, 8:13 am
  #341  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 8,482
The website should be waiving any fare difference given the degree of schedule change, but given that it apparently isn't, you'll have to get help from an agent.

Your options are
1. stick with united, and just ask for any better option you can find United selling (google flights: united only), which can be +/- a day, with no extra cost to you; or
2. get a refund and buy something else (google flights: all options).

Unfortunately it doesn't look like there are any great alternative options on the schedule with united unless you're willing to overnight in Denver or Houston, or to move travel a day later and stay near YYC (you'll be responsible for the hotel). But a refund seems also not that palatable.

Best of luck.
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Old Nov 11, 21, 8:16 am
  #342  
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Indeed, what Kacee said.

A quick glance shows basically 2 options on UA metal, 6:20AM through DEN or 6AM through IAH, and both get you home that afternoon, saving a redeye but surely a pain if you're driving 2 hours that morning. There are many more options that would involve AC codeshares, but not sure if you can get UA to put you on one of those flights. But pay no attention to the fare difference, you should be able to get moved over easily, and you'll probably want to head to YYC and stay at an airport hotel the night before.

That being said, the schedule WILL change again...And will probably change again, and perhaps again. Take what's best for you now and wash, rinse, repeat when it changes again.
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Old Nov 11, 21, 11:52 am
  #343  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Thanks everyone for the great advise. I will call tomorrow and see what I can get.
There is a UA 8404 (AC 8600) flight at 9:40AM YYC-IAH with plenty of seats. Anyone
have history/sucess getting booked on a code share in a situation like this? Thanks again.
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Old Nov 11, 21, 11:56 am
  #344  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Brussels Air flight cancellation on UA ticketed itinerary

We were booked on RIC-EWR-BRU-OPO on R fare upgraded with PP to J for EWR-BRU. Noticed schedule change (since I watch my itineraries regularly) with Brussels Air BRU-OPO departing 1 day earlier (before we left RIC-EWR).
Called 1K desk and find out Brussels Air canceled BRU-OPO only for the day we are to travel. I requested reroute to RIC-IAD-MUC-OPO with my upgrade (PZ=0 but lots of J availability). IAD-FRA was not an option because Polaris was heavily booked.
Agent had to figure out work arounds and finally reissued the tickets and preserved our TATL upgrades, swapping IAD-MUC for EWR-BRU. The whole call lasted over 65 minutes.
Very glad for the outcome with an excellent 1K customer service rep. This will allow us to enjoy the new IAD Polaris Lounge.
This is one of the benefits that I will miss when I drop down from 1K.
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Old Nov 11, 21, 2:04 pm
  #345  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
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Schedule change OGG-DEN-ORD-DLH
I called United a few times and every time they insisted I could not change to anything besides OGG-SFO-ORD-DLH

I asked repeatedly for OGG-HNL-ORD-DLH but since OGG-HNL is Hawaiian airlines they wanted to charge 656 bucks extra for each passenger for that routing. (Is that correct?) I mean the route is like 50 bucks
Anyway, I was able to change (for free) to HNL-ORD-DLH

I will just book our own Southwest flight for 39 bucks from OGG-HNL
Is 3 hours enough time to recheck bags? We are both Global Entry so "should" have TSA Precheck.
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