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Schedule Change(Back to 2hrs) / Cancelation Refund [Archive]

Old Nov 19, 2023, 6:37 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
This is UA's guidance to TA's (on Jetstream) on re-scheduling

Additional parameters for flights impacted by schedule changes for United-operated flights
  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
**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.

***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).



Unacceptable (UA): Misconnecting itinerary | Change to originally scheduled arrival or departure time of at least
+ / - 30 minutes
Options Change to alternate UA flight (same origin and destination and original operating carrier or carrier permitted as noted in fare rule)

Unacceptable (UA): Change to original arrival or departure time of 2 hours or more | Flight(s) canceled with no protection| Flight goes from non-stop to connection Options Change to alternate UA flight with same origin and destination and original operating carrier or carrier permitted as noted in fare rule, or travel agencies can refund through ARC, BSP, GDS.

Old snapshots of jetstream


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 100 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.
6 June 2020
Now posted on Jetstream -- UA's Travel Agency Rebooking Parameters



UA has stated
On June 5, 2020, United updated its guidance to its contact agents to provide refunds for all flights that had a carrier-initiated schedule change of more than two (2) hours. This change in guidance applies to all passengers, both moving forward and retrospectively, including for carrier-initiated schedule changes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wording on UA's Schedule changes page is still vague

12 May 2020 *New* (2nd) Guidance on DOT Refunds
4. May airlines and ticket agents retroactively apply new refund policies?
The Department interprets the statutory prohibition against unfair or deceptive practices to cover actions by airlines and ticket agents applying changes retroactively to their refund policies that affect consumers negatively. The refund policy in place at the time the passenger purchased the ticket is the policy that is applicable to that ticket. The Aviation Enforcement Office would consider the denial of refunds in contravention of the policies that were in effect at the time of the ticket purchase to be an unfair and deceptive practice.The Department interprets the statutory prohibition against unfair or deceptive practices to cover actions by airlines and ticket agents applying changes retroactively to their refund policies that affect consumers negatively. The refund policy in place at the time the passenger purchased the ticket is the policy that is applicable to that ticket. The Aviation Enforcement Office would consider the denial of refunds in contravention of the policies that were in effect at the time of the ticket purchase to be an unfair and deceptive practice.
Choosing between UA Electronic Travel Certificate (ETC) vs Future Flight Credit (FFC)
4 April 2020
Were extending electronic certificates
To give you more flexibility when you travel, electronic certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020.

This policy change will automatically appear, but it may not be reflected everywhere right away. Wed appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.
As of APR 3:
Both US Department of Transportation and European Commission affirms that a refund must be provided for airline-cancelled flights upon passenger request.
ENFORCEMENT NOTICE REGARDING REFUNDS BY CARRIERS GIVEN THE UNPRECEDENTED IMPACT OF THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY ON AIR TRAVEL
European Commission reaffirming on 18 MARCH 2020 that a refund is (still) an option due to cancelled flights despite COVID-19.

Asof 3 April
According to jetstream (UA's travel agency reference resource):

If schedule change > 6 hours (or cancellation with no rebook) a refund is allowed.
If you bought via OTA (Any Online Travel Agency like expedia/orbitz/), and want to perform changes/refund due to the waiver
1) go via OTA first, request cancel per United Jetstream rules
2) if OTA resists and only offers travel credit (instead of refund per Jetstream rules), try contacting UA directly to authorized refund, then contact OTA. Once OTA sees refund, you should get your money back from OTA
3) see this post for more information



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, Runion 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.


US DOT position from 2011 concerning cancelled flights and refunds (page 23129)
We reject some carriers and carrier associations assertions that carriers are not required to refund a passengers fare when a flight is cancelled if the carrier can accommodate the passenger with other transportation options after the cancellation. We find it to be manifestly unfair for a carrier to fail to provide the transportation contracted for and then to refuse to provide a refund if the passenger finds the offered rerouting unacceptable (e.g., greatly delayed or otherwise inconvenient) and he or she no longer wishes to travel. Since at least the time of an Industry Letter of July 15, 1996 the Departments Aviation Enforcement Office has advised carriers that refusing to refund a non-refundable fare when a flight is canceled and the passenger wishes to cancel is a violation of 49 U.S.C. 41712 (unfair or deceptive practices) and would subject a carrier to enforcement action.



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)


Note: UA is being very reluctant to provide refunds. However UA is allowing "free" mileage redeposit




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

archive thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unit...d-archive.html


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Schedule Change(Back to 2hrs) / Cancelation Refund [Archive]

Old Mar 20, 2020, 10:38 pm
  #541  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: Hertz PC
Posts: 657
Trying to figureout what going to happen with a trip of mine.

Orginal ticket was a non-refundable MCI-ord-SFO then SFO-MCI. Had a 3 1/2 hour MX delay on the ORD-SFO. Missed my training meeting at airport. So it turned into a trip in vain. I was able to reschedule with same flights one week later to do training. That training session ended up getting canceled because of Corona so no longer needed to go to SFO. So I called United Premier desk and ask if I could change the flight to an MCI-LAS trip for weekend of easter. They was able to change it to a P fare because flights had gotten alot cheaper by then. Now that trip is no longer a possibility with vegas casino hotels shutdown.

My question is if United ends up canceling flight in April will i get refund, full travel credit, or travel credit less change fee because orginal ticket was before they were offering free change fees?
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Old Mar 20, 2020, 10:41 pm
  #542  
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A while ago, someone on FT remarked that UA is an airline for only experts; novice customers will have tough time and lose. This thread certainly highlights the wisdom of that comment.
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Old Mar 20, 2020, 11:07 pm
  #543  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA MP
Posts: 1,659
Originally Posted by kevflyer
Thanks. I have a same ticket booked for Sept but that's booked via a TA and it's a bulk ticket. Assuming same UA policies still in place. Does that change anything?
Any tickets booked through a TA before travel must be taken up by the TA. UA doesn't even know what you paid for the ticket.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 12:38 am
  #544  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mundelein, Il
Programs: Executive Platinum
Posts: 484
Originally Posted by jsloan
That had nothing to do with anything. UA has been trying desperately to avoid giving anyone refunds.


Would they? I hope so, because I find this new UA policy to be awful. That said, this is the language on AA.com's COVID-19 page for "My flight has been canceled":


Note that they don't use the word "refund" once.
Thank you for your responses.

Are you saying that the United agent lied to me? If I would just told her to cancel my return that I could have request and received a cash refund later.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 21, 2020 at 12:40 am Reason: repaired quote
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 6:27 am
  #545  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Posts: 588
Cxl an upgraded reservation using +Points to LHR online. No problem. When I tried using the confirmation number to rebook, I could not make it show upgrade availability. Is there another way to do it or I need to call?
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 6:43 am
  #546  
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Originally Posted by jagoffee
Are you saying that the United agent lied to me? If I would just told her to cancel my return that I could have request and received a cash refund later.
Lying implies intent; I can't speak to that. The agent may just have been mistaken. But, I can promise you that being in the middle of a roundtrip flight, and having your return trip canceled, doesn't somehow invalidate your ticket for a (prorated) refund.

If you accepted credit toward a future UA flight, they're claiming that they will refund it when the ticket expires. I don't think anybody really knows the mechanism for that right now, including UA. If you accepted alternative transportation, then your ticket is used and no longer eligible for refund.

Originally Posted by DFWFairy
Cxl an upgraded reservation using +Points to LHR online. No problem. When I tried using the confirmation number to rebook, I could not make it show upgrade availability. Is there another way to do it or I need to call?
In general, searching for upgrade space and booking travel should be two separate activities, as United's upgrade search doesn't work well at all.

Activate Expert Mode, if you haven't already (there's a board thread on this). I do one-way searches in each direction to save time. If you're connecting, just search for the overwater leg on its own. Look for space in the PZ inventory bucket, or PN if you're GS.

Once you have the flights that you want, do a new search, from origin to destination, round-trip if applicable, as if you were going to purchase a new fare; go through to the confirmation page (but don't buy it). Note the price. Then, start over from within the reservation you're trying to change and select the same flights. Check the price. There are multiple reports of the wrong price appearing when you start your search via the change flights / use flight credit screen.

If the price is correct, go ahead and try to make the reservation; if it succeeds, then once ticketing occurs you can go back in and apply your PlusPoints. If any step fails, you're going to want to call.

Good luck!
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 6:54 am
  #547  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: Continental Onepass, Hilton, Marriott, USAir and now UA
Posts: 6,534
Originally Posted by jsloan
UA is attempting to avoid refunding any nonrefundable ticket for pretty much any reason. They will ask you to wait until the ticket's validity expires, hoping that you'll use it for another trip before that. You could try filing a DOT complaint if that doesn't suit you.
If we have Z tickets that I would presume are non-refundable, and request a refund for a cancelled flight, and UA refuses to give the refund, how should we approach it?
1. Go through the CC company that paid for the tickets
2. File DOT complaint
3. If high enough on the food chain at UA, push the request to a higher level within the company
4. Abdicate and hope that UA and flights exist in the future to use the many thousands of dollars now in limbo.

My thought is to try #4 first, hoping that UA recognizes customer loyalty but if you are fighting for your life......
My actual preference will be #1 since UA did not provide the product paid for by the CC. I might be quite naive on this as well.

I am glad I didn't waste my money on travel insurance
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 7:15 am
  #548  
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Originally Posted by dilanesp
In case anyone is interested, it looks like DL customers are having success getting refunds and AA is acting like United, per the other FT boards.
I really, really, really wish SkyTeam had better airlines. Having DL bring back a Texas hub would be icing on the cake. UA has been trying to fire me for years; I've resisted for four reasons: (a) DL's C+ "upgrade" policy is not nearly as good as UA's E+ policy, (b) UA has more flights into Texas, so if they can't get me to AUS, they can generally get me close enough to drive; (c) getting Diamond status without meeting the spending requirement would likely mean a lot of trips on airlines I don't really want to fly; and (d) DL gives fewer upgrade certificates at Diamond than UA does at 1K, and there's no public inventory available to know when your upgrade would clear. (I'm not interested in waitlisting). These most recent behaviors, though, are really making me wonder if I shouldn't take DL up on a status match.

Originally Posted by bhunt
Trying to figureout what going to happen with a trip of mine.

Orginal ticket was a non-refundable MCI-ord-SFO then SFO-MCI. Had a 3 1/2 hour MX delay on the ORD-SFO. Missed my training meeting at airport. So it turned into a trip in vain. I was able to reschedule with same flights one week later to do training. That training session ended up getting canceled because of Corona so no longer needed to go to SFO. So I called United Premier desk and ask if I could change the flight to an MCI-LAS trip for weekend of easter. They was able to change it to a P fare because flights had gotten alot cheaper by then. Now that trip is no longer a possibility with vegas casino hotels shutdown.

My question is if United ends up canceling flight in April will i get refund, full travel credit, or travel credit less change fee because orginal ticket was before they were offering free change fees?
UA is trying very hard not to give refunds to anybody. If they cancel your flights, they will attempt to leave the credit on the ticket for future use. If you ask for a refund, I suspect they will deny it -- if you find that to be an issue, I suggest you file a DOT complaint. If the credit isn't used during its validity, then they're promising to refund it, although I suspect they will be extending the validity period to try to keep from giving refunds. They will not charge you a change fee for any flight that they cancel.

If you cancel it, you would be covered under the current waivers, as there is a blanket change fee waiver. It wouldn't be refundable, but you would be able to use the credit on the ticket until it expires. However, check your fare rules for MCI-LAS. I suspect they will include language that says that the fare's residual value is ignored. That means that if you use the credit toward a less expensive flight, they will not refund the difference, even as a travel credit; they will just keep it. They added that language to most (all?) of their nonrefundable fares on March 2, and since you changed origin / destination, you were definitely re-fared, and thus the new fare rules would apply.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 7:19 am
  #549  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: NH Platinum/*G
Posts: 15
No refunds until 25 hours before departure?

Just called united and was pleasantly surprised about the wait time (the machine said the wait was greater than 60 minutes but I was connected in 20 minutes with no status on United).

We had a trip departing March 27 to London and a return trip from Paris on April 6. As of now, it seems like the Paris flight is cancelled due to the major reductions in April. We also applied upgrades to all segments (miles + copay).

The friendly agent informed me that I can get a travel voucher for use rebooking by August 17, 2020 (we originally booked the trip on August 17, 2019) for travel by March 27, 2021.

OR I can call within 25 hours of departure to get a full refund (including all the miles and copays).

Has anyone heard of this rule before (calling 25 hours before departure to get a refund)? Or is this a new rule that they're going to implement soon?

Last edited by WoopAndWob; Mar 21, 2020 at 7:25 am
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 7:23 am
  #550  
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Originally Posted by radonc1
If we have Z tickets that I would presume are non-refundable, and request a refund for a cancelled flight, and UA refuses to give the refund, how should we approach it?
1. Go through the CC company that paid for the tickets
2. File DOT complaint
3. If high enough on the food chain at UA, push the request to a higher level within the company
4. Abdicate and hope that UA and flights exist in the future to use the many thousands of dollars now in limbo.

My thought is to try #4 first, hoping that UA recognizes customer loyalty but if you are fighting for your life......
My actual preference will be #1 since UA did not provide the product paid for by the CC. I might be quite naive on this as well.

I am glad I didn't waste my money on travel insurance
So, personally, I would start with #2 , then #1 . UA hasn't shown any indication that they understand customer loyalty. If they did, they wouldn't be trying to hold their customers hostage. I would not bother with #3 unless you have personal contacts at the executive level. I'm pretty confident that this policy comes from on high; there aren't some lower-level managers running rogue here. And for "many thousands of dollars," #4 seems risky, because while travel credits will probably be honored during a Chapter 11 reorganization, they might not be -- and they definitely wouldn't be honored during Chapter 7 liquidation. You'd be an unsecured creditor, and I really doubt UA has enough unencumbered assets for unsecured creditors to get much of anything.

Originally Posted by WoopAndWob
Has anyone heard of this rule before (calling 25 hours before departure to get a refund)? Or is this a new rule that they're going to implement soon?
I suspect the agent was confused. The 25 hour number sounds suspiciously like the short-lived schedule change policy -- for about four days, UA had a policy where if your schedule changed by more than 25 hours, you could get a refund. They've since amended that to 6 hours, but are not issuing refunds; instead, they're giving travel credit, and then they're promising a refund if you're unable to use the ticket prior to its expiration.

Call back within 24 hours of departure, to be sure, but don't be surprised if the new agent has no idea what you're talking about.

Miles + copay are refundable, but they may charge a redeposit fee based upon your status.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 7:44 am
  #551  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NORWAY
Programs: UA Gold-1MM, SAS Diamond
Posts: 742
My travel schedule from Norway to Austin got cancelled and I have a paid ticket from Killeen to Memphis in April.
I'll attend the United Family Day in SFO again so I'm changing everything to October instead.
As I'm trying to "change my flight" from GRK-MEM to GRK-SFO the only message I'm getting is:

We are unable to process your request. Please see the message below for details.

  • Subtotals NOK 80 and NOK 9 for the XF tax do not match.
I'm even changing to other cities and MEM too, but I still get the same message.
I'd rather not call UA, but rectifying online just isn't working for me.
Any thoughts?
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 7:52 am
  #552  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Pewaukee, WI
Posts: 120
It appears that if you want to cancel a flight for credit, you do not get seat fees back as credit, they are lost?
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 7:56 am
  #553  
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Originally Posted by jreuschl
It appears that if you want to cancel a flight for credit, you do not get seat fees back as credit, they are lost?
Seat fees are refundable. You may need to call.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 7:57 am
  #554  
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Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by Tor Viking
I'd rather not call UA, but rectifying online just isn't working for me.
Any thoughts?
Try again Monday; UA is notorious for having IT issues on the weekends. If that doesn't work, I'm afraid calling is likely your only option.
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Old Mar 21, 2020, 8:08 am
  #555  
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Join Date: May 1998
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Posts: 14,721
PSA

If UA cancels your flight and dont provide an alternative within arriving within a 2 hour time frame, and refuse to provide a refund, file a dispute with your credit card issuer under services not received. You really have little to lose other than the act of filing the dispute and a minimal risk of UA blacklisting you/confiscating miles (risk is there but no data points confirming). If you win the dispute you get your money back. If you lose the dispute you still have the UA travel credit.

If UA is not even going to offer alternative travel arrangements at all and no refund, file the dispute and a DOT complaint as UA is outright violating their own contract with passenger.
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