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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 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 Mar 10, 21, 9:43 am
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Prak903 View Post
Got it. I was under the impression that since UA changed the schedule of the flight, I would have to go to them and see if they could push me to the earlier LH flight due to a tight connection in FRA (and no Polaris seats). But I will contact Aeroplan and see what they say. Thanks!
Ah, OK, I understand the thought process now.

You have two problems. The first is that it's a non-UA ticket, so UA can't reissue it, which is why you have to work with Aeroplan. The second is that it's an award ticket, so you're likely restricted to award inventory. (That would be true if it were a UA ticket also -- UA can open award inventory on its own flights, but not on a partner).

FWIW, if a seat in the center aisle -- especially a bulkhead -- is available, I prefer the 2x2x2 layout to the 1x2x1. The Polaris seats are much tighter -- you're fitting 8 people across instead of 6.
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Old Mar 10, 21, 10:10 am
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
The general principle is that since you booked with Aeroplan they control the ticket until you start travelling. Then you are in the hands of each successive carrier (e.g., if you're at ORD and something happens to ORD-FRA, UA will be dealing with re-accommodating).
Ah that makes much more sense. Thanks!

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Ah, OK, I understand the thought process now.

You have two problems. The first is that it's a non-UA ticket, so UA can't reissue it, which is why you have to work with Aeroplan. The second is that it's an award ticket, so you're likely restricted to award inventory. (That would be true if it were a UA ticket also -- UA can open award inventory on its own flights, but not on a partner).

FWIW, if a seat in the center aisle -- especially a bulkhead -- is available, I prefer the 2x2x2 layout to the 1x2x1. The Polaris seats are much tighter -- you're fitting 8 people across instead of 6.
You were exactly correct, I just talked to Aeroplan and they said as there is no award J availability on the LH flight (and they cannot open up any), they would not be able to switch my ticket there. Appreciate the feedback. Now, onto playing the waiting game to see if LH opens up their F availability in late May. Thanks all!
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Old Mar 10, 21, 10:13 am
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Let's see how long it takes for the refund...shades of early CV-19 2020?

David
My own data points of schedule change of UA itineraries eligible for refunds so far this year - within the week.
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Old Mar 10, 21, 10:19 am
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
My own data points of schedule change of UA itineraries eligible for refunds so far this year - within the week.
Thanks! Thinking back, I don't recall ever having to ask for a refund for personal travel - or even considering how long the refund might take. Dealt with the challenges of business travel and multiple cancellations, etc. but had been wondering what folks were seeing from UA lately.

David
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Old Mar 10, 21, 12:36 pm
  #95  
 
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Schedule change involving only flight number, nothing else.
I have a reservation for early June involving SFO-EWR on 777-200. There was a schedule change and 1K agent told me flight number was changed, but aircraft remains 777-200 and departure time is the same. So I just accepted the change and agent make sure my Plus Points upgrade waitlist transferred properly.
I am curious about logic behind changing only flight number with everything else remains the same
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Old Mar 10, 21, 12:46 pm
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by CIT85 View Post
Schedule change involving only flight number, nothing else.
I have a reservation for early June involving SFO-EWR on 777-200. There was a schedule change and 1K agent told me flight number was changed, but aircraft remains 777-200 and departure time is the same. So I just accepted the change and agent make sure my Plus Points upgrade waitlist transferred properly.
I am curious about logic behind changing only flight number with everything else remains the same
Flight numbers are renumbered and cycled through periodically. Normal occurrence.

WL can be done online and in the app at any time; easy to add/remove yourself on any eligible flight, but I guess you are looking to ensure your queue number stays intact. Good luck.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 6:10 pm
  #97  
 
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Hi all, I've seen this asked once before in 2018 upon searching, but want to see if there is updated policy regarding this.

I received notification of a flight change SFO-PHL to SFO-IAD-PHL. I am given the options for a free change no fare cost difference +/- 1 day. How long does United give me to make changes before they confirm me permanently on the new flight?
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Old Mar 30, 21, 6:13 pm
  #98  
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Originally Posted by gbongc View Post
Hi all, I've seen this asked once before in 2018 upon searching, but want to see if there is updated policy regarding this.

I received notification of a flight change SFO-PHL to SFO-IAD-PHL. I am given the options for a free change no fare cost difference +/- 1 day. How long does United give me to make changes before they confirm me permanently on the new flight?
UA confirming a change has no impact on your ability to request an alternative routing.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 6:14 pm
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by gbongc View Post
Hi all, I've seen this asked once before in 2018 upon searching, but want to see if there is updated policy regarding this.

I received notification of a flight change SFO-PHL to SFO-IAD-PHL. I am given the options for a free change no fare cost difference +/- 1 day. How long does United give me to make changes before they confirm me permanently on the new flight?
You can theoretically make your change any time up to the day of travel, but it is in your best interest to do so as soon as you've found a new option that works for you, as inventory can get depleted over time.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 6:19 pm
  #100  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
UA confirming a change has no impact on your ability to request an alternative routing.
So the option to change to an alternative routing with no fare increase online (keeping within the +/- 1day window) will be allowed up until essentially flight departure?
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Old Mar 30, 21, 6:27 pm
  #101  
 
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See if you can turn IAD-PHL into IAD-DEN-PHL...valid routing when I was looking up flights between IAD and PHL.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 6:37 pm
  #102  
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Originally Posted by gbongc View Post
So the option to change to an alternative routing with no fare increase online (keeping within the +/- 1day window) will be allowed up until essentially flight departure?
Sort of yes, waiting too late could foreclose some options and limit your seating choices. And once the flight goes to gate control, generally a few hours before departure and occasionally earlier, get a seat can be difficult. IMO, best not to push the boundaries to hard.

Is there a particular reason to wait so late?
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Old Mar 31, 21, 2:54 am
  #103  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Is there a particular reason to wait so late?
Sometimes I've held off on confirming new flights if a schedule change was large enough to make the ticket eligible for a refund.

Never pushed it as close as departure date though.
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Old Apr 14, 21, 6:19 pm
  #104  
 
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Can I get some advice? I recently got a good deal on an F ticket ANC-EWR-XXX. It's a lie-flat 757 and the ANC-EWR leg is overnight. I just logged on to my account and United has moved me to ANC-ORD-XXX and ANC-ORD is a 737 with standard domestic first. But the ANC-EWR flight is still showing up as bookable, so that means that it's not as though they have cancelled that flight, right? This is in June.

I plan to call and ask them to put me right back where I was but I'm not sure why I was moved in the first place. While I got a good deal, I paid cash (not miles). What should I do to get back on ANC-EWR assuming it is still operating with a 757?

Edit: I poked around some more, and it looks like this is because the EWR-XXX flight got cancelled and the next one is a few hours later. The long layover is worth it to me, so I will simply say so when I call.

Last edited by whitesock; Apr 14, 21 at 6:28 pm
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Old Apr 14, 21, 6:33 pm
  #105  
 
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Originally Posted by whitesock View Post
Can I get some advice? I recently got a good deal on an F ticket ANC-EWR-XXX. It's a lie-flat 757 and the ANC-EWR leg is overnight. I just logged on to my account and United has moved me to ANC-ORD-XXX and ANC-ORD is a 737 with standard domestic first. But the ANC-EWR flight is still showing up as bookable, so that means that it's not as though they have cancelled that flight, right? This is in June.

I plan to call and ask them to put me right back where I was but I'm not sure why I was moved in the first place. While I got a good deal, I paid cash (not miles). What should I do to get back on ANC-EWR assuming it is still operating with a 757?
If your ticket is for after June 2, then the schedule is still mostly placeholder. United has been updating its firm schedule a month at a time with the aim to match demand.

No one can say when United will resume nonstop flights between ANC and EWR, but it may not be a good sign if the system has already moved you out of it. There have been reports of some schedule updates for the month of June, so maybe your ticket has been affected as a result. You should be get to get back on the ANC to EWR route since it's still on the (placeholder) schedule as of now, but if it ends up not operating for at least another month, then you have the option to accept United's route update for you, select another route, or cancel and seek refund.
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