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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 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 Jan 10, 21, 3:48 pm
  #31  
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Join Date: Jan 2021
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Thanks for all the good info here, I really appreciate the responses.

Well, I did not have high hopes with united's response but they crushed even my lowest expectations. It took over an hour on the phone just to speak to a “supervisor” who made mistakes and gave me wrong information like telling me they would refund my entire ticket until I asked her to triple check it and sure enough, it would be only a partial refund which is less than half the cost of the original ticket.
They offered no other accommodation or compensation. I am thoroughly disgusted with them. Managers are “ not taking phone calls or emails” and the only way to get “customer care” is to go to united.com/feedback and hope for a response.

I am trying to figure out my next move.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 4:22 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
...it would be only a partial refund which is less than half the cost of the original ticket...
You did take the outbound, yes? The EWR-HNL portion of the ticket may have been originally the more expensive of the two legs. Round-trip tickets are rarely the sum of two equally-priced segments (plus taxes/fees).
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Old Jan 10, 21, 4:29 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
It took over an hour on the phone just to speak to a “supervisor” who made mistakes and gave me wrong information like telling me they would refund my entire ticket until I asked her to triple check it and sure enough, it would be only a partial refund which is less than half the cost of the original ticket.
It's entirely possible that this is correct. That's what would happen if your outbound fare were more expensive than your return fare.

If you'd like somebody to give an opinion, post the date of the original transaction, the travel dates in both directions, and the fare basis codes, which you can find if you view the fare rules using the link on United.com. If you can't find the fare basis code, use the fare class from the receipt, which is a single letter (something like K, L, S, or T for economy, and P, Z, or D for business / first class) -- that'll be less accurate but it's easier to find.

Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
They offered no other accommodation or compensation.
What did you expect? What did you ask for?

Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
I am thoroughly disgusted with them.
That's certainly your prerogative, but you're still going to have to deal with them long enough to get a solution.

Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
Managers are “ not taking phone calls or emails” and the only way to get “customer care” is to go to united.com/feedback and hope for a response.
The chances are excellent that they'll respond to an email, but (a) probably not quickly and (b) likely not to your satisfaction. And I don't know that a manager, if you could reach one, would be any more helpful; it really depends upon what you're trying to get them to do.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 4:40 pm
  #34  
 
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OP probably just stays with one-connection UA flights by choosing a set of relatively empty flights with good connection, e.g., HNL-ORD-EWR, as suggested earlier. If necessary, choose a different date. The COVID risk won’t be doubled if appropriate pre-cautions are taken.
Good luck.

Edit: HNL-ORD is on B767-300, therefore, lie-flat seats; but it does not operate daily. You may have to change date to get on this flight.

Last edited by Kmxu; Jan 10, 21 at 4:51 pm
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Old Jan 10, 21, 4:42 pm
  #35  
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Well I dont know exactly what the rules are and people have been very helpful here illuminating some of them but my first choice would be for them to book me on the hawaiian airlines direct flight at the same class I booked with United. i know thats unlikely.
I also know for a fact that the ticket I bought was more expensive when I bought it than the itinerary they rescheduled me on so I would think, at the very least they would owe me that difference. I am traveling first class and as others mentioned, have lost the lie flat seat for the first leg of the trip. The entire reason I booked 1st class was to sleep through the night on a redeye.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 4:48 pm
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
They offered no other accommodation or compensation. I am thoroughly disgusted with them. I am trying to figure out my next move.

As much as I can understand your frustration, removal of a flight from the schedule is commonplace even during pre-COVID times, and even more since March. As recommended, you have two choices for next move: find an updated United itinerary that would be acceptable to you (requiring a stop in SFO, DEN, or ORD most likely) or accept a full refund for your unflown segment and rebook on another airline at whatever price is being currently offered. If you elect to stay with United, know the routing and flight numbers you would like and call back. A regular phone agent will be able to accommodate your request.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 4:51 pm
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
...The entire reason I booked 1st class was to sleep through the night on a redeye.
Did you try asking for HNL-ORD-EWR? HNL-ORD is definitely a lie-flat and a good, sleepable flight time.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 6:48 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
Well I dont know exactly what the rules are and people have been very helpful here illuminating some of them but my first choice would be for them to book me on the hawaiian airlines direct flight at the same class I booked with United. i know thats unlikely.
The rules are outlined in United's Contract of Carriage. In particular, you're looking at Rule 24(C). UA can put you on the Hawaiian nonstop flight, but it's at their discretion. In practice, UA will almost never offer to transport you on another airline -- you have to ask. Note that the flight only seems to be operating three times per week -- Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday -- and the flight is to JFK, not EWR. The best approach is to say something like "I booked the nonstop flight specifically, as I'm trying to avoid connecting airports if possible. I see that Hawaiian Airlines is still flying nonstop to JFK three times a week. Could you possibly rebook me onto that flight?"

But since this is at UA's discretion, escalating isn't likely to help you -- a supervisor is going to support whatever the front-line agent said, and probably make a nasty note in your record to boot. Your best option, when dealing with UA, is to hang up and call again.

Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
I also know for a fact that the ticket I bought was more expensive when I bought it than the itinerary they rescheduled me on so I would think, at the very least they would owe me that difference.
They don't. However, if the lower price is still available, you can request a refund and then book the cheaper fare. You might be able to convince an agent to give you travel credit toward a future flight. (While that might sound unfair, note that (a) nonstop travel is never guaranteed; (b) you do have the option of a refund; and (c) if the rebooked flight were more expensive, they wouldn't charge you the difference either).

Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
I am traveling first class and as others mentioned, have lost the lie flat seat for the first leg of the trip.
What date are you traveling? If UA has a lie-flat seat available from HNL, you can certainly be put onto it.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 7:37 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
I am traveling first class and as others mentioned, have lost the lie flat seat for the first leg of the trip. The entire reason I booked 1st class was to sleep through the night on a redeye.
Call them back and have them put you lie flat all the way to EWR - 2 of the 3 flights to SFO are lie flat 1 of the 2 flights to LAX are lie flat. It is easy to get lie flat all the way to EWR
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Old Jan 10, 21, 7:42 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
Well I dont know exactly what the rules are and people have been very helpful here illuminating some of them but my first choice would be for them to book me on the hawaiian airlines direct flight at the same class I booked with United. i know thats unlikely.
I also know for a fact that the ticket I bought was more expensive when I bought it than the itinerary they rescheduled me on so I would think, at the very least they would owe me that difference. I am traveling first class and as others mentioned, have lost the lie flat seat for the first leg of the trip. The entire reason I booked 1st class was to sleep through the night on a redeye.
Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Call them back and have them put you lie flat all the way to EWR - 2 of the 3 flights to SFO are lie flat 1 of the 2 flights to LAX are lie flat. It is easy to get lie flat all the way to EWR
This will also get United Club access at LAX/SFO and EWR.

The suggestion to request HNL-ORD-EWR is also a good one, depending on preference.

Last edited by fumje; Jan 11, 21 at 12:37 pm Reason: transpose typo
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Old Jan 10, 21, 8:21 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by HNLbasedFlyer View Post
Call them back and have them put you lie flat all the way to EWR - 2 of the 3 flights to SFO are lie flat 1 of the 2 flights to LAX are lie flat. It is easy to get lie flat all the way to EWR
California is a really lousy place to break that trip, although I agree it's better than nothing. Two five hour flights is not nearly as restful as one 9 1/2 hour flight. If HNL-ORD is operating on that day, personally that's what I'd choose, even if ORD-NYC wasn't lie-flat.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 8:46 pm
  #42  
 
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Denver would be another option - probably would get 752 the entire way.

UC at LAX is grab n' go only at current stage, as are other LAX lounges.

While it wouldn't hurt to ask, the likelihood of UA transferring someone onto HA is between 0% and 0%, especially given UA is operating as normal.

The nonstop flight had operated for less than three weeks (Dec 17-Jan 4), coinciding with the holiday travel period and uptick in demand.

Not getting into fare differences discussion, as there aren't sufficient information based on what has been presented.
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Old Jan 10, 21, 9:03 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
California is a really lousy place to break that trip....
It really is. Between take off and the time they’re waking you up, it could be as short as 4 hours. HNL-ORD is the best bet for real sleep.
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Old Jan 11, 21, 11:02 am
  #44  
 
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Don't forget that HNL-IAH exists too! It's on a 763 for the month of February, and it's blocked at an hour longer than HNL-DEN (but an hour shorter than HNL-ORD), so it would be my second choice after HNL-ORD.
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Old Jan 11, 21, 11:12 am
  #45  
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I think I am leaning towards the IAH flight, both from an imagined demographic and covid standpoint of who will be getting on the plane in Houston vs Orlando and because both legs will be lie flat in 1st class.

Will have to call back United today
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