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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 8, 21, 12:12 am
  #1  
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Check Your UA Itineraries for Schedule Changes and what to do after one

Hi,

United sent me an email that my direct HNL to EWR ( several weeks in the future ) flight has been changed to an itinerary with a layover in SFO. The direct flight appears to not exist any more. I paid quite a bit more for a direct flight when I bought the ticket. What is my best recourse/ approach to get compensated for this change?

thanks
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Old Jan 8, 21, 12:51 am
  #2  
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Ska.tm Welcome to FT
Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
Hi,

United sent me an email that my direct HNL to EWR ( several weeks in the future ) flight has been changed to an itinerary with a layover in SFO. The direct flight appears to not exist any more. I paid quite a bit more for a direct flight when I bought the ticket. What is my best recourse/ approach to get compensated for this change?

thanks
Was it a direct or non stop flight? There is a difference
Booked direct with UA or a travel agent?
Have you phoned UA or TA and asked?
You will not be compensated. You can request a full credit and buy a new flight with the airline-route of your choice

This thread will likely get moved to https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...leageplus-681/
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Old Jan 8, 21, 12:55 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
What is my best recourse/ approach to get compensated for this change?
None, as you are entitled for a full refund.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 7:16 am
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Given Covid, any schedule beyond the current month should be treated as a placeholder, and may be subject to change. Unfortunately, the particular route you had planned to fly (the nonstop flight between EWR and HNL) has not yet resumed, but there are certainly flight connections which would allow you to get there.

Below are your options:

1) If you intend to travel to HNL and on UA, you can switch to the flight UA has suggested for you, or another connection more suited for your travel needs.
2) If you intend to travel nonstop to HNL, you would have to seek a refund from UA, and fly on Hawaiian Airlines; at least through near-term schedules (e.g. February), HA is the only carrier flying without the need for connections.
3) You can place a hold on travel, and as alluded to above, seek a refund from UA to make you whole from what you had paid (no additional compensation). You can also cancel and place it as a flight credit for future uses.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 8:23 am
  #5  
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Two choices - 1) cancel or 2) fly. No money is due unless you re-book yourself on cheaper flights.

The first thing I'd do is check current prices for your dates on the routes UA currently has scheduled. If a cheaper trip is available and you still want to fly, cancel your current trip for a refund and re-book the new flights.

If the flights aren't cheaper, you can at least ask for a better routing. Are you traveling in First? If so, I'll assume you're on a lie-flat flight to West Coast and then maybe not a lie-flat to Hawaii? If so, you might consider a routing EWR-ORD-HNL to get more lie-flat time. Another option that was available frequently in the past was a 757 lie-flat to Denver and then wide-body to Honolulu.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 8:37 am
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Timely thread. I got my entire return itinerary from SJO cancelled on me for Feb travel. No longer return flights on that day. Massive reduction in service. I took the refund and rebooked. It was hard to piece together a legit new ticket.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by Hawkeyefan View Post
It was hard to piece together a legit new ticket.
Agreed. Sometimes it can be even difficult if you have separate tickets on either ends

That said, I like being presented with challenges. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!
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Old Jan 8, 21, 11:08 am
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It was a direct flight. It was a round trip ticket, booked directly with united and I’ve already done the EWR to HNL flight. Now they are saying I have to do an itinerary with a layover on the return flight. Had I chosen this originally, it would have been much cheaper.
Are people who are saying I am entitled to a refund saying the entire ticket would be refunded now and I can rebook the return, with Hawaiian airlines for instance?
i have not reached out to united yet as I wanted to get some advice first.

thanks

Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Ska.tm Welcome to FT

Was it a direct or non stop flight? There is a difference
Booked direct with UA or a travel agent?
Have you phoned UA or TA and asked?
You will not be compensated. You can request a full credit and buy a new flight with the airline-route of your choice

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 8, 21 at 11:29 am Reason: repaired quote
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Old Jan 8, 21, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
It was a direct flight. It was a round trip ticket, booked directly with united and I’ve already done the EWR to HNL flight. Now they are saying I have to do an itinerary with a layover on the return flight. Had I chosen this originally, it would have been much cheaper....
A "non-stop" is a non-stop.
A "direct" flight actually involves a stop (and often even a change of planes), but have only one flight number for the two flights. This is a distinction frequent flying nerds like us tend to know. For example, UA could schedule a EWR-HNL bookable as flight 123 but the details would show a flight 123 from EWR to SFO on a 757 and a flight 123 from SFO to HNL on a 737. That would be considered a direct flight.

EWR-HNL without a stop is referred to as a non-stop, not a direct flight.

Yes, you should be able to get a full refund with the loss of the non-stop.


Edit: missed the part about already having taken the outbound. I'd see if HNL-ORD-EWR is an option - that would be a far better return for sleep than flying to the west coast..

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jan 8, 21 at 11:44 am
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Old Jan 8, 21, 11:27 am
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Ahhh. I see. Yes, it was a non stop flight.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by Ska.tm View Post
... It was a round trip ticket, booked directly with united and I’ve already done the EWR to HNL flight. ...
Are people who are saying I am entitled to a refund saying the entire ticket would be refunded now and I can rebook the return, with Hawaiian airlines for instance? ...
A refund of the untaken portion of the ticket. If you have used the outbound (EWR-HNL), you can be refunded for the return -- would have to know more details on the fares in each direction to provide a estimated of the refund. It may be half, it may be more or less. UA agent can compute this for your.

And are the changed times greater than 2 hours from the original booking?
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Old Jan 8, 21, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
And are the changed times greater than 2 hours from the original booking?
It's nearly impossible to change from a nonstop to a one-stop flight without a two-hour difference. Even if it somehow managed to come in right at 2 hours, the extra stop is a valid reason for a refund anyway.

OP: You can ask -- but can't demand; they can say no -- that UA put you onto the Hawaiian Airlines flight at no cost to you. Your other alternatives would be to find a one-stop flight with UA that you preferred, or to ask for a refund of the un-flown segment. As WineCountryUA said, the exact size of the refund is difficult to know without seeing your fare construction. UA can tell you, but be prepared to wait on hold while they contact the rate desk to calculate it.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
It's nearly impossible to change from a nonstop to a one-stop flight without a two-hour difference. Even if it somehow managed to come in right at 2 hours, the extra stop is a valid reason for a refund anyway..
Leave 1:45 early and arriving 1:45 late, allows for nearly 4 hours additional travel time. Some agents may refund a total travel time increase of 2 hours but that is not the policy,

But agree in general adding a stop with trigger the 2 hour but not always. So it is important to understand the rule is a change of 2 hours on departure or arrival. A change from non-stop to 1-stop per se is not sufficient for a refund all the time. Adding a stop allows for a "free" rescheduling.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 8, 21 at 1:33 pm Reason: Adding a stop allows for a "free" rescheduling.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 2:07 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Leave 1:45 early and arriving 1:45 late, allows for nearly 4 hours additional travel time. Some agents may refund a total travel time increase of 2 hours but that is not the policy,

But agree in general adding a stop with trigger the 2 hour but not always. So it is important to understand the rule is a change of 2 hours on departure or arrival. A change from non-stop to 1-stop per se is not sufficient for a refund all the time. Adding a stop allows for a "free" rescheduling.
Fair enough. You're right that the policy requires a two hour change on one end or the other in order to get a refund. I suspect that most agents will offer one regardless, but that's clearly beyond the requirements of the policy -- I stand corrected. And, you're right -- adding a stop gives you a free change but not necessarily a refund.
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Old Jan 8, 21, 2:27 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
OP: You can ask -- but can't demand; they can say no -- that UA put you onto the Hawaiian Airlines flight at no cost to you.
That may create additional issues, like baggage.

Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Your other alternatives would be to find a one-stop flight with UA that you preferred, or to ask for a refund of the un-flown segment.
A partial refund may be possible, depending on how much exactly UA is charging for EWR-HNL with stops now.
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