Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

COVID19 Schedule Change (now 6+hrs)/Cancellation Refund, UA generally denying refunds

COVID19 Schedule Change (now 6+hrs)/Cancellation Refund, UA generally denying refunds

    Hide Wikipost
Old Mar 28, 20, 2:20 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: seawolf
Wiki Link
AS of MAR 28
According to jetstream (UA's travel agency reference resource):
  • If schedule change > 6 hours (or cancellation with no rebook) on wholly DOMESTIC reservations, a refund is allowed.
  • If schedule change > 6 hours (or cancellation with no rebook) on INTERNATIONAL reservations, refund is allowed only after expiration of original ticket validity (12 months from original ticket issue date).
For flights departing European Union, UA is required to provide a refund within 7 days upon passenger request for cancellation or schedule change in excess of 5 hours (see Section B).
The Notice of Passenger Rights granted by EC261/2004 is linked on this UA page.

For purposes of EC261/2004, the following countries are considered "Community member states."
EU means the 27 EU countries , including Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion Island, Mayotte, Saint-Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It does not include the Faeroe Islands, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.


Canadian enforcement agency is allowing for vouchers in lieu of refund provided voucher does not expire less than 24 months but will examine "case by case" if a compliant is presented.
https://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/statement-vouchers

If you believe UA is not refunding "in good faith" and/or outright violating the policy/rules above, your options are (in no particular order or combination):
  • Make an attempt to reach out to UA again and escalate to supervisor and/or put in a refund request on UA page.
  • File complaint with US DoT or relevant Community member state enforcement agency.
  • File a chargeback with your credit card issuer under "Services not provided" after an attempt (note date/time etc) of resolving with UA has been made. ***CAUTION*** Under VISA rules (Table 11-95), a chargeback has to be initiated within 120 days from the date the service is expected to be delivered. As such, if you don't file a chargeback until you are eligible for a refund under UA's "no refund until ticket expires" or UA subsequently deciding to extend all ticket validity beyond 12 months, you may find you will no longer be able to initiate a chargeback. Mastercard should provide similar timeframes. Need confirmation on AMEX/Discover.
***CAUTION*** UA have been offering Electronic Travel Certificates (ETC) as an option instead of exchanging your ticket for future travel. You may be no longer be eligible for a refund even after ticket expiration or be able to initiate a chargeback if you accept an ETC.

United made a controversial change to their refund policy due to schedule changes during the current COVID-19 situation. United's previous schedule change policy allow for refunds if scheduled changed > 2 hours. If you wish to proceed with a charge back due to UA retroactively apply this change, the following links (policies no longer current) could serve to support your case with your credit card issuer and/or with a regulatory complaint.
https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...arameters.aspx (This links to policy in effect prior to COVID-19)
https://www.united.com/web/format/pdf/agency/bookticket/AgencyRebookingParameters2016_Print.pdf (This links to policy in effect prior to COVID-19)
BACKUP link - http://archive.is/q8jDz (This links to policy in effect prior to COVID-19 and is not a UA link)


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
Note: UA is being very reluctant to provide refunds. The same for "free" mileage redeposit

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





























Print Wikipost

Old Mar 26, 20, 12:25 pm
  #826  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: New York, NY, USA
Programs: AA 2MM, Bonvoy LTT
Posts: 11,813
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Just received a rejection of my refund claim for the reservation cancelled by United. They told me as it was a nonrefundable ticket I need to book a replacement ticket within a year of the original booking date (September 2019) but that is not possible as my flights for the rest of the year are fully booked.

So I think my options are:
1. Ask them to reconsider since United chose to cancel the return flight and could not find me a replacement flight. CS rep said she noted this on the reservation,
2. File a refund claim in September 2020 as 12 months after the original purchase price;
3. File a chargeback with Chase as I used my United CC for the purchase;
4. File DOT complaint.

Are these my four options?

TIA.
Is your reservation entirely domestic? If domestic they should still be providing immediate refund instead of waiting for ticket expiration.
seawolf is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 12:29 pm
  #827  
RNE
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: AKC
Programs: UA Electrum, Crown&Anchor Diamond, CaptainsCircle Platinum
Posts: 8,096
Originally Posted by FlytheTail View Post
Refunds are just not happening, no matter the circumstances.
So wrong.

People, do not cancel flights until you have to. Let UA cancel them first. Then seek a refund.

RNE, channeling Churchill: "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never!"
RNE is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 12:33 pm
  #828  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 2,272
Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
Is your reservation entirely domestic? If domestic they should still be providing immediate refund instead of waiting for ticket expiration.
It was SAN-SFO-LHR-IAD-SAN.

I had agreed to the change in the return on April 9 from LHR-SFO-SAN to LHR-IAD-SAN the week before.

So a combination of domestic legs and international legs.
Aussienarelle is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 12:35 pm
  #829  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: New York, NY, USA
Programs: AA 2MM, Bonvoy LTT
Posts: 11,813
Originally Posted by tagflyer View Post
I have a trip from Europe to the USA and back in April. I bought the ticket from UA, but LH was the operating airline for the flights to the USA. LH cancelled the flights some time ago. The LH flights have the UA codeshare numbers. The return flights were on UA and SK. The only flight left on the itinerary, is a domestic UA flight.

Is there there a better chance of getting a refund from UA when the operating airline of the first flights from Europe, is LH?
Also please see attached UA passenger rights for EU.
https://media.united.com/images/Medi...-10-18-ADA.pdf

The PDF is linked from https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly.../eudenied.html

Under section B

B. Right to Reimbursement or Re-routing
1) If your flight is cancelled, you are denied boarding, or your flight is delayed by five (5) hours or more, you are entitled to choose between:

a) Reimbursement within seven (7) days of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight no longer serves any purpose in relation to your original travel plan and, if applicable, a return flight to the first point of departure at the earliest opportunity; or

b) Re-routing under comparable transport conditions nal destination at the earliest opportunity or, at a later date at your convenience, subject to the availability of seats. If we offer you a flight to an airport other than that for which the booking was made (in case the town, city or region is served by several airports), we will pay the cost of transferring you from that alternative airport either to that for which the booking was made or to another close-by destination agreed with you.

2) We will reimburse you in cash, by prepaid card, EFT, bank check or, with your written agreement, in a travel voucher.
This is pretty clear language that as for as UA flights departing EU is concern, it's not up to UA to decide which option to take in the event of schedule change/cancellation (see prior CoC Rule 24 interpretation disagreements).

This is also pretty clear passenger can choose not to take a travel voucher or credit or whatever UA wants to call it.
Aussienarelle likes this.
seawolf is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 12:35 pm
  #830  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 2,272
Originally Posted by RNE View Post
So wrong.

People, do not cancel flights until you have to. Let UA cancel them first. Then seek a refund.

RNE, channeling Churchill: "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never!"
I did this and they told me I could only use for another ticket and it had to be booked within 12 months of the original ticket.

Basically inferring no redund. They said no refund for my refund request. Hence my #2 question - do I just ask again in September 2020?
Aussienarelle is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 12:42 pm
  #831  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: AA
Posts: 10,171
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
I did this and they told me I could only use for another ticket and it had to be booked within 12 months of the original ticket.

Basically inferring no redund. They said no refund for my refund request. Hence my #2 question - do I just ask again in September 2020?
Just do a DOT complaint and a chargeback now.
wrp96 is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 12:50 pm
  #832  
RNE
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: AKC
Programs: UA Electrum, Crown&Anchor Diamond, CaptainsCircle Platinum
Posts: 8,096
Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
I did this and they told me I could only use for another ticket and it had to be booked within 12 months of the original ticket. Basically inferring no refund.
Of course they told you that. They don't want to refund your money. If YOU cancel, you help them keep your money. Don't help them.
RNE is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 12:57 pm
  #833  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 12,802
Originally Posted by smartcookie View Post
I cancelled the flight myself and I booked it March 3rd for September. I understand the parameters of the rules stated on the United site. Just curious if any exceptions have been made or chargebacks honored.
People are having a difficult enough time getting UA to refund tickets where the cancellation was caused by UA. There's zero chance that UA will allow people to do voluntary refunds of non-refundable tickets.

As for a chargeback: I can't imagine any grounds. "I don't like the conditions I agreed to when I made this purchase" doesn't really qualify. You're welcome to try it, but I think your likelihood of success is infinitesimal.

Originally Posted by msk6261 View Post
MP Gold account, ticket purchased for family members on 1/2020 for travel completed before 3/31/2020. No idea if wedding will be rescheduled so do not want to have ticket value hanging out there for those passengers.

Thanks for the info on UA's policy intent but yes, online cancellation form stated $25 re-deposit fee per traveling passenger and here it is on my cc statement, moments later so it is a "possible value". This occurred identically for same itinerary, 2 separate points redeeming tickets from 2 different MP GOLD accounts.
My mistake. $25 is the charge for a Premier Gold member making changes 61+ days prior to departure. Since it seemed impossible that you did that, based upon what you wrote, I made an incorrect assumption. The correct fee is $75, so it sounds like they made a mistake, presumably by deleting the legs already and therefore no longer computing the 60-day timeframe "properly." Sorry about that.

Anyway, if they only charged you $25, you got a better deal than most are getting.
SPN Lifer likes this.
jsloan is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 1:24 pm
  #834  
Moderator: United Airlines; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: UA Plat 1.85MM, Hyatt Discoverist, Marriott Plat/LT Gold, Hilton Silver, IHG Gold
Posts: 49,711
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
... AT some point they would get the clue that non -Schengen residents wouldn't be allowed to go to GVA or LIS?
As UA does not know your actual status, do not depend on them to cancel you for that reason. Best to cancel when your itin has a cancelled segment and no options. (or at least >6 hour time change) to preserve the best refund position.
WineCountryUA is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 1:40 pm
  #835  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: SAN
Programs: 1K (since 2008), *G (since 1990), 1MM
Posts: 2,272
Thank you seawolf Filed this today - just makes the length of the characters allowed for the refund claim (in case someone needs some wording that fits the box).

My refund claim of March 22: xxxxxxxx (Request ID) was denied by United on March 26 (via e-mail) as it was a non-refundable ticket. I was told to use the cancelled ticket for a replacement ticket. Unfortunately, I have already booked my tickets through the rest of the year so am unable to book another ticket.

I was willing to fly the changed flights (switched from SAN-SFO-LHR to SAN-IAD/EWR-LHR) on March 25 but United could not return me to the USA on April 9 as there were no seats available on any routing so United cancelled the reservation. The CS representative I spoke with on Sunday said she noted this on the reservation.

The cancellation was for a flight departing from London so per the United website I am entitled to a reimbursement within seven days (Section B 1. a) and check/refund to CC (Section B 2): https://media.united.com/images/Medi...-10-18-ADA.pdf

I look forward to receiving my refund.

Thank you


Thank you for the suggestion wrp96 . I am going to try the refund route once more to provide United the opportunity to do the right thing and if they deny the request then will pursue the charge back route.
Aussienarelle is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 1:57 pm
  #836  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 434
Mainstream media has picked up the United reluctance to refund story. Key quotes from USA Today:

The DOT said in a statement to USA TODAY that the department was aware of complaints regarding airlines’ refund practices and was reviewing the issue.Scott said United has communicated with DOT about its policies "and they have not objected.''
and

1. Keep pressing your case with airline representatives, over the phone (late night is best for lower call volume) or via social media, and cite the DOT policies. Be polite and respectful, not angry and rude. Customer service representatives have been overwhelmed by the crisis.

2. Document everything. Provide dates, times, flight numbers and reservation numbers, McGee said. And always record names, titles, times and dates of all in-person and phone conversations. The more information, the stronger the case, he said.

3) File a complaint with the airline and copy the DOT and the EU if applicable.

4.) Contact your credit card company for potential help.
glbltvlr is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 2:03 pm
  #837  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: NYC, PHL, WAS
Programs: UA, AA, BA, DL
Posts: 430
United just cancelled my connecting flights next week (booked in December) and rebooked me through IAH to arrive over four hours later (domestic flights). Anyone had luck getting a refund under similar circumstances or should I just resign myself to the credit? Has anyone had success using the online refund form instead of calling?
2stepsbehind is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 2:31 pm
  #838  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: SFO/SJC, BWI
Programs: :rolleyes:, DL DM, Mlife Plat, TR 7*, Marriott Tit, UA Gold
Posts: 11,436
Apologies for the brief sidebar, but thought some pointers to some related FT threads might be of interest:

IATA aims to remove the obligation to issue cash refund (for flight cancellation)

and via the FT e-newsletter this morning, AF is also trying to voucher-only with government approval and leveraging partnership with AMEX France to avoid chargebacks

AF now refusing refund for cancelled flights

And from that thread, someone is keeping a master spreadsheet, as linked below:

Originally Posted by Fims View Post
Besides Air France, you can see how other airlines and hotels are behaving at https://bit.ly/loyalty-response-covid19
For your travels in post-COVID19 world, you can choose the ones who are better with customers. There are number of airlines that allow a refund, or to incentivise vouchers, offer vouchers up to 125% value.
Zorak is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 2:43 pm
  #839  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 16
I know this has been asked, but how long do I wait for United to cancel my flight to Mexico since I want them to cancel, not me. The day before? The day we are supposed to leave? What is the best way to see if a flight is canceled? When I look under "my trips" it looks like nothing has been cancelled on our trip to Mexico City.
nikita606 is offline  
Old Mar 26, 20, 2:53 pm
  #840  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,330
Originally Posted by nikita606 View Post
I know this has been asked, but how long do I wait for United to cancel my flight to Mexico since I want them to cancel, not me. The day before? The day we are supposed to leave? What is the best way to see if a flight is canceled? When I look under "my trips" it looks like nothing has been cancelled on our trip to Mexico City.
At this point they are doing rolling cancellations about 2-4 days out. You can look at the schedule for the next few days to get a very rough idea of what they may be running on your travel dates. I will guess they know many people are playing chicken with them.
fumje is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: