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

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

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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
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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, Rťunion 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 Expressģ 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 Ė 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





























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Old Mar 7, 20, 3:57 pm
  #1  
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COVID19 Schedule Change (now 6+hrs)/Cancellation Refund, UA generally denying refunds

*UPDATE March 12* UA has changed the refund threshold from 25+ hours to 6+ hours, as seen on Jetstream and mentioned via Tweet below:

And on UA's schedule change page, 25+ hours has been replaced with "significantly changes":
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...e-changes.html



ORIGINAL source with 25+ hrs from March 7:
Per source:

Last edited by kevflyer; Mar 12, 20 at 10:10 pm Reason: UA now changed it to 6 hours
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:13 pm
  #2  
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So we can still request a refund after jumping through more hoops, but it won't be an "Involuntary refund"..?

A 25 hr schedule change is pretty significant! Won't the travel in vain kick in at that point?
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Old Mar 7, 20, 5:01 pm
  #3  
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That's seriously disturbing. I am curious what the DOT will say about this. Essentially UA is saying 'I can rebook you a day later and you have no recourse'? Don't think that is going to fly.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 5:57 pm
  #4  
 
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Wow that smacks of desperation. I wonder what happens when the original return is same day or within 25 hours.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by ctbarron View Post
Wow that smacks of desperation. I wonder what happens when the original return is same day or within 25 hours.
Congratulations, you now have a round trip in the opposite direction!
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:10 pm
  #6  
 
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chargeback time.

helpful for tickets issued prior to today
https://web.archive.org/web/20191120...e-changes.html
Attached Images
File Type: pdf
United Schedule Change Policy.pdf (220.8 KB, 109 views)
File Type: pdf
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Last edited by Colin; Mar 7, 20 at 6:17 pm
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:19 pm
  #7  
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So is this a temporary move while the schedule is being reduced or perm?
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:21 pm
  #8  
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Or you could spend 30 seconds looking at the COC and see that UA expressly provides for changes with a change of as little as 30 minutes for arrival or departuure. Rule 24.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Or you could spend 30 seconds looking at the COC and see that UA expressly provides for changes with a change of as little as 30 minutes for arrival or departuure. Rule 24.
Unless UA claims this rule overrides that. Or they change their COC.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:34 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Or you could spend 30 seconds looking at the COC and see that UA expressly provides for changes with a change of as little as 30 minutes for arrival or departuure. Rule 24.
I'm looking now and I see Rule 24 as you mentioned allows for as low as a 30 minute schedule change, but then what is the old "2 hour rule" being referenced? And if this now counts as a 'voluntary' refund, then Rule 27.b4 doesn't require a refund with partners (must be UA stock), and 27.b5 says UA can apply an administrative charge (change fee? cancellation fee?). Also I wonder (since I'm not a lawyer) how Basic tickets count as vol. vs. invol refunds.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:39 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ctbarron View Post
Unless UA claims this rule overrides that. Or they change their COC.
Even if the COC was officially changed, are they even legally able to change those terms on tickets booked prior to the change?

When we buy tickets, we agree to the terms, and Iím ok with that. I fail to see how they can enforce a term that didnít exist at the time I gave my agreement. Or did I miss a line saying I agree to any terms that get updated after the time of the agreement.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:48 pm
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United is literally begging for a revival of Passengers' Bill of Rights efforts if this nonsense survives beyond Monday. Airlines generally get a ton of leeway so long as they do not absurdly violate basic principles of contract/consumer law, and a 25-hour threshold for an involuntary refund goes well into the absurd territory.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 7:00 pm
  #13  
 
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United just upped the schedule change threshold for involuntary refunds from 2+ hours to 25+ hours. No one should be buying flights on United 016 ticket stock until this ridiculous rule change is rescinded. Period.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 7:06 pm
  #14  
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I'm not a regular inhabitant/reader of the AA and DL fora - anything similar there?

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Old Mar 7, 20, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Even if the COC was officially changed, are they even legally able to change those terms on tickets booked prior to the change?

When we buy tickets, we agree to the terms, and Iím ok with that. I fail to see how they can enforce a term that didnít exist at the time I gave my agreement. Or did I miss a line saying I agree to any terms that get updated after the time of the agreement.
In a quick reading I didnít see anything on changes getting retroactively applied. Rule 3.E indicates the COC in effect when the ticket is purchased is the governing document, unless there is something different in an individual fare rule. I also noted that Rule 24 and 27 give UA a bit more discretion than I remember, but nothing way out of line like 25 hours.

My last thought was if UA (or other airlines) will begin rolling out force majeure to justify changes. Pandemic was not listed as an event, but the language does contain ďanything else we can forgot.Ē
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