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-   -   Change Fees "Gone For Good"(WW ex-USA,non-BE), credit for lower fare!, Intl&BE waiver (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/united-airlines-mileageplus/2024230-change-fees-gone-good-ww-ex-usa-non-credit-lower-fare-intl-waiver.html)

UA Insider Aug 30, 20 2:01 pm

Change Fees "Gone For Good"(WW ex-USA,non-BE), credit for lower fare!, Intl&BE waiver
 
The only thing constant is change and at United Airlines, some of the fees associated with changes related to flying are gone for good. The carrier announced today that it is permanently getting rid of change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S., effective immediately. And starting on January 1, 2021, any United customer can fly standby for free, regardless of fare type, on a flight departing the day of their travel, a first among U.S. carriers, while MileagePlus® Premier® members can confirm a seat on a different flight on the same day with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket if a seat in the same ticket fare class is available.

United is also extending its waiver for new tickets issued through December 31, 2020, to permit unlimited changes with no fee. This policy applies to all ticket types issued after March 3, 2020 and is valid for domestic and international travel.

The new change fee policy applies to all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and customers will not be limited in the number of times they adjust their flights.

Additionally, United is giving customers more flexibility to change their flights on the day of their travel so they can head home if a meeting ends earlier or enjoy a few more hours on vacation. With the ability to list for same-day standby for free, customers will now have an option to take a different flight with the same origin and destination airports as their original itinerary if space is available at departure. This enhanced option will be available to all customers for travel within the U.S. and to and from international destinations beginning on January 1, 2021. Customers who want to switch flights will be able to add themselves to the standby list through United’s award-winning mobile app, on united.com or at the airport no later than 30 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and one hour before departure on international flights.

The carrier is also improving the travel experience for its MileagePlus members including waiving all redeposit fees on award travel for flights changed or cancelled more than 30 days before departure and allowing all MileagePlus Premier members to confirm a different flight on the day of their travel. As a way to thank MileagePlus Premier members for their loyalty, beginning January 1, 2021, all Premier members will be able to confirm a seat for free on a different flight with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket. This expanded option will allow MileagePlus Silver members and above to confirm a new seat in the same ticket fare class if space is available. Earlier this year, United announced that it will extend status for MileagePlus Premier and United Global Services® members through January 2022. United also reduced thresholds for Premier qualification by 50 percent for each status level, to make reaching an even higher status tier easier.

For more information on United’s new flexible travel policies, visithttps://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...hange-fee.html.

iluv2fly Aug 30, 20 2:06 pm

Wow!!!

FightingIlliniUAL Aug 30, 20 2:12 pm

Bold thinking and action. I applaud that.

controller1 Aug 30, 20 2:12 pm

Excellent.

Austin787 Aug 30, 20 2:16 pm

That is a change I will like.

drgreg Aug 30, 20 2:17 pm

Fantastic news!! Thank you United!!

NYC Flyer Aug 30, 20 2:24 pm

Interesting to see how this will impact the pricing model going forward.

Wording is a bit confusing, but this seems to be an extension of existing waiver on cash tickets to 31DEC, with details of the "permanent" policy effective 01JAN TBD.

jamesinclair Aug 30, 20 2:26 pm

My interpretation is that Thanksgiving/Christmas booking is weak and they are trying to get people to buy tickets now (with lowered risk) because they need the cash.

Ari Aug 30, 20 2:28 pm


Originally Posted by NYC Flyer (Post 32640609)
Interesting to see how this will impact the pricing model going forward.

Wording is a bit confusing, but this seems to be an extension of existing waiver on cash tickets to 31DEC, with details of the "permanent" policy effective 01JAN TBD.

I think the existing exception policy applies to all tickets (including international) and the new permanent policy is domestic only. At least that's what I gather from the post.

Perhaps the idea is that United wants flexibility to adjust its domestic schedule on a whim but thinks its international schedule will be more reliable after December; hence Unites is giving customers the appropriate reciprocal treatment in their fee structure going forward.

amejr999 Aug 30, 20 2:30 pm

With lower load factors and more empty seats, this is now a real benefit to booking non-Basic Economy tickets (once the free-change-for-everyone waiver ends).

cerealmarketer Aug 30, 20 2:32 pm

You can thank Southwest and the govt for this one.

Little intl travel = Southwest is your biggest competitor.

And airlines asking for more bailout $$$ = cleaning up the act is part of the grooming.

Hopefully flight credits will still work like today - residual value if you book a flight less than the face value.

jmastron Aug 30, 20 2:32 pm

So basically moving to a system similar to Southwest -- no separate change fee, but you pay the fare difference (so the closer in you change, the more it costs). Definitely pros and cons of each, but seems like a good move with all the uncertainty that's likely to persist for a while.

I will be interested to see how far carriers need to go to woo back discretionary travel, i.e. what other promises/flexibility might be needed. A lot depends how many people were directly financially impacted or knew someone who was by trips that were cancelled but their hard-earned cash not returned -- from the failed attempts by United and Southwest to deny refunds (25 hours, UA? No refund for flights canceled "due to the government" WN?), or the more successful schemes some foreign carriers have employed. I'm still hesitant to put down actual cash for travel yet (miles okay), but we all will do so eventually, just at a lower level than before and with a lot more care and skepticism.

naumank Aug 30, 20 2:33 pm


Originally Posted by Ari (Post 32640616)
I think the existing exception policy applies to all tickets (including international) and the new permanent policy is domestic only. At least that's what I gather from the post.

Perhaps the idea is that United wants flexibility to adjust its domestic schedule on a whim but thinks its international schedule will be more reliable after December; hence Unites is giving customers the appropriate reciprocal treatment in their fee structure going forward.

Agree. It would be much better if the new policy applies to international trips.

Nevertheless, it’s a change for the better. At least I can say goodbye to Southwest.

WineCountryUA Aug 30, 20 2:34 pm


United Airlines Permanently Eliminates Change Fees
Applies to all Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S.;
Airline also announces complimentary standby travel, becomes only U.S. airline that will let all customers in all classes of service fly same-day standby for free
With these new options, United gives more flexibility than any other U.S. carrier when customers' travel plans change
Video(1) Photos(1)

CHICAGO, Aug. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The only thing constant is change and at United Airlines, some of the fees associated with changes related to flying are gone for good. The carrier announced today that it is permanently getting rid of change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S., effective immediately. And starting on January 1, 2021, any United customer can fly standby for free on a flight departing the day of their travel regardless of the type of ticket or class of service, a first among U.S. carriers, while MileagePlus Premier members can confirm a seat on a different flight on the same day with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket if a seat in the same ticket fare class is available.

United is also extending its waiver for new tickets issued through December 31, 2020, to permit unlimited changes with no fee. This policy applies to all ticket types issued after March 3, 2020 and is valid for domestic and international travel. With these improvements, no U.S. airline gives their customers more flexibility when booking – and changing – their travel plans than United Airlines.

"Change is inevitable these days – but it's how we respond to it that matters most. When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of this fee is often the top request," said Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, in a video message to customers. "Following previous tough times, airlines made difficult decisions to survive, sometimes at the expense of customer service. United Airlines won't be following that same playbook as we come out of this crisis. Instead, we're taking a completely different approach – and looking at new ways to serve our customers better."

The new change fee policy applies to all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and customers will not be limited in the number of times they adjust their flights.

Additionally, United is giving customers more flexibility to change their flights on the day of their travel so they can head home if a meeting ends earlier or enjoy a few more hours on vacation. With the ability to list for same-day standby for free, customers will now have an option to take a different flight with the same origin and destination airports as their original itinerary if space is available at departure. This enhanced option will be available to all customers for travel within the U.S. and to and from international destinations beginning on January 1, 2021. Customers who want to switch flights will be able to add themselves to the standby list through United's award-winning mobile app, on united.com or at the airport no later than 30 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and one hour before departure on international flights.

The carrier is also improving the travel experience for its MileagePlus members including waiving all redeposit fees on award travel for flights changed or cancelled more than 30 days before departure and allowing all MileagePlus Premier members to confirm a different flight on the day of their travel. As a way to thank MileagePlus Premier members for their loyalty, beginning January 1, 2021, all Premier members will be able to confirm a seat for free on a different flight with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket. This expanded option will allow MileagePlus Silver members and above to confirm a new seat in the same ticket fare class if space is available. Earlier this year, United announced that it will extend status for MileagePlus Premier and Global Services members through January 2022. United also reduced thresholds for Premier qualification by 50 percent for each status level, to make reaching an even higher status tier easier.

For more information on United's new flexible travel policies, visit https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...hange-fee.html.

......


NYC Flyer Aug 30, 20 2:35 pm


Originally Posted by Ari (Post 32640616)
I think the existing exception policy applies to all tickets (including international) and the new permanent policy is domestic only. At least that's what I gather from the post.

Agree that (and Basic Economy) is at least one distinction after 31DEC, but I sense the policy/procedures going forward after 01JAN still need to be worked out (i.e., will there be a ticket "bank" approach, where your cancelled and unused tickets are stored for future exchange, will more than one unused ticket be permitted per exchange, or alternatively will you get a "wallet" reflecting the total value of your unused tickets, etc.).

Also, the free standby is way overdue. This helps the airline run more efficiently and, while while in a prior era, a gate agent's productivity might have been slightly impacted by a large number of standbys to process, with technology, that cost is significantly diminished.

Will be interesting to see if AA and DL have big announcements this week as well.


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