United Airlines Flight Change Policy

United Airlines Flight Change Policy

If you’re facing a schedule shift or just want to tweak your travel plans, a United Airlines change flight can easily get you on the right track. We know life can be unpredictable, and sometimes, the date stamped on your flight ticket doesn’t line up with what life throws your way. 

With United Airlines, changing your flight doesn’t have to be a hassle. Whether you’re dealing with a last-minute meeting reschedule, a surprising family event, or you’ve just had a change of heart about your destination, United Airlines has your back. 

This guide is your simple, stress-free walkthrough on how to adapt your flight plans to suit your current needs, ensuring your travel is as smooth as your booking was. 

United Airlines Flight Change Policy Overview

United Airlines offers flexible options for travelers needing to alter their flight details. Whether you need United Airlines to change flight time, flight date, or even the destination, it provides clear policies to help streamline the process.

Key Points on Flight Changes:

  • No Change Fees: For most fare types, including economy, Economy Plus, first, business, and United Premium Plus, United Airlines does not charge a change fee. This applies to domestic flights within the United States, flights between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean, and international flights originating from the U.S.
  • Basic Economy Restrictions: Basic economy tickets are generally non-changeable and non-refundable. However, there are exceptions for tickets issued on specific dates.
  • Same-Day Changes: United Airlines allows same-day changes, subject to availability and fare differences.

How to Change Your United Airlines Flight?

Wondering how to change a United Airlines flight or how to change the flight date on United Airlines? Follow these steps for a hassle-free experience:

  1. Access Your Booking: Visit united.com or the United app and go to “My Trips.”
  2. Initiate the Change: Select “Change Flight” and then “Edit” to update your flight details.
  3. Select a New Flight: Choose your new desired flight from the available options.
  4. Review and Confirm: Make any necessary payments if there’s a fare difference and confirm your new flight details.

Additional Options:

  • Over the Phone: You can also make changes by calling United directly, though a fee may apply.
  • At the Airport: Use a kiosk or speak to an agent for last-minute changes.

United Airlines Flight Change Fee and Cost Implications

While United Airlines has eliminated change fees for most tickets, certain situations, like basic economy tickets or significant changes, may incur fees or require paying a fare difference. Always review your specific fare rules and conditions.

Canceling Your United Airlines Flight

Sometimes, changing a flight isn’t enough, and you might need to cancel your booking.

Steps to Cancel:

  1. Go to My Trips on United’s website or app.
  2. Select “Cancel Flight” and then confirm the cancellation.

Upon cancellation, United Airlines will inform you about your options for a travel credit or refund, depending on your ticket type.

Same-Day Changes and Flying Standby

For travelers looking to catch an earlier flight on the same day, United Airlines offers standby options. Premier members may enjoy additional flexibility and potentially get on another flight for free. Remember to confirm your baggage transfer if you manage to get on a new flight.

Practical Scenario: Adjusting Your Travel Dates

  • United Airlines change flight date: Follow the standard change process on United Airline’s digital platforms.
  • Adjusting Departure or Return Dates: The same procedure applies, whether modifying your departure or return dates. Always check the fare differences that may apply.

Understanding Refunds and Rebooking

In the event of a significant schedule change or inability to accommodate you in the purchased cabin, you may be eligible for a refund. United also facilitates rebooking at no extra charge if your new flight leaves within 24 hours of the original schedule.

Schedule Change Notifications

United Airlines makes it convenient for travelers to stay updated on their travel plans. If there is a schedule change to your flight, they ensure prompt communication to keep you informed. If you booked your flight on United’s official website, the United app, or through the United Customer Contact Center, they will notify you through an email or a call.

However, if you made your flight booking through a travel agency or a third-party website, you would need to rely on them to notify you about any schedule changes. You can also use the “My Trips” option on the United Airlines official site or app to check if there have been any changes made to your itinerary.

Volunteering Your Seat

On occasion, United Airlines flights may be overbooked. If this occurs, you have the option to volunteer your seat in exchange for a travel certificate from United Airlines.

Standby Priority

The standby list could change frequently due to customers being added continually. The order of the list is prioritized based on the Premier status of customers.

The criteria for priority, in order, include:

  • Premier status
  • Cabin
  • United Club Infinite CardSM and Presidential Plus Cardmembers
  • United Corporate Preferred users
  • United Chase Cardmembers with an annual spending of $25,000
  • Date and time of request

Steps to join the Flying Standby list

Joining the standby list is a straightforward process. You can join via the United app or at the airport kiosk by following these simple steps:

  • United app or United.com: Go to “My Trips” and select “View flight options.” Once added to the list, you can monitor your standby status on the app.
  • Airport kiosk: At the kiosk, navigate to your itinerary and click “View flight options.”
  • United Check-in Counter: Visit the United check-in counter and ask an agent to add you to the standby list.

While waiting for one’s flight at the airport, monitoring the screens by the gates proves worthwhile. There, listed in an abbreviated manner, one can see the initials indicating their spot on the passenger manifest. For example, a traveler with the name Daniel James would look for “JAM, D” in the scrolling text. And fellow flier Michael William could expect to see “WIL, M.” flash by.

As the departure time draws near, United Airlines will take it upon themselves to assign locations on the aircraft to all confirmed passengers. But do be aware that for domestic routes, seats are allocated merely 30 minutes before pushback. Whereas seating arrangements for international journeys are not finalized until 60 minutes prior to the published takeoff time.

Chat or Call United Airlines

For more personalized assistance, you can chat with a United Airlines customer care representative or call their Customer Contact Center. They are equipped to handle various queries and requests, including those related to United Airlines Flight Change Policy, cancellations, and refunds.

Armed with this comprehensive guide, you can now confidently handle scenarios that may require changing or canceling your United Airlines flights. Remember, while this guide provides a general overview, always refer to your specific ticket conditions or contact United Airlines customer service for detailed information.

Maximizing Travel Flexibility

Understanding Your Fare Class: On top of that, it would help if you knew what changes you can make to your fare. The tickets are usually the cheapest under “economy basic,” but they are also unchangeable and refundable. 

If you think you might need more flexibility, book a ticket that can be changed without additional fees.

Utilizing Travel Insurance

It might help you have additional peace of mind if you invest in travel insurance when booking your flight. If, for example, unforeseen circumstances make it impossible for you to stick with your original plan, and you must make alterations to your travel itinerary, travel insurance would support you to cover the United Airlines cost to change flight, provided you read the policy carefully. 

When to Contact United Airlines?

There are some cases where it is beneficial to contact United Airlines directly:

  • When travel plans are complex: if the itinerary contains multiple reservations or different airlines, the customer service representative of United Airlines can ensure that the modifications are properly updated.
  • In the event of an emergency: passenger representatives can provide assistance based on emergencies of immediate family members or personal health complications, often United may provide a waiver of its United Airlines’ flight change fee following a family emergency or urgent health issue.

For any other reason, United Airlines can get in touch via email, phone, or the official website.

Practicing Patience and Planning Ahead

The fare difference may increase if changes are made close to your date of travel. To avoid this extra cost:

  • Plan Ahead: Make changes as early as you can. Any changes made at the last minute are likely to incur a high cost due to fare differences.
  • Monitor Flight Prices: If you’re planning to change your flight, keeping an eye on flight prices can help you pick an opportune moment to make the change.

Leveraging United MileagePlus Miles

If you’ve booked your flight with United MileagePlus miles, you’re in luck as United offers flexibility for award travel as well. The process to change or cancel a flight booked with miles is similar to that of cash bookings, but always review the specific terms associated with award tickets.

Pro Tips for a Smooth Experience

  • Keep Documentation Handy: Whether you’re changing a flight due to personal reasons or external factors (like weather disruptions), having all necessary documentation ready can expedite the process.
  • Check Your Email: After making any changes, United Airlines will send a confirmation email. Ensure that your flight details are correct and keep this email for your records.


Changing your flight with United Airlines is pretty easy and doesn’t have to make you worry. It’s good to know that if something comes up or you just want to change when or where you’re going, you can do it without a big deal. United Airlines understands that sometimes plans change, which is why they let you adjust your flight. So, whether something unexpected happens or you just decide on a different destination, you won’t be stuck.

Remember, if you need to change your flight, United Airlines change flight is your savior to help. They make sure changing your flight isn’t a headache, making your travel plans flexible. So, the next time something changes and you need to adjust your flight, it’s not a problem. United Airlines is there to make sure your travel is smooth, showing that they really care about your travel experience.

Happy Travelling.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to change a United Airlines flight?

Just visit United’s website or app, find “My Trips,” and look for your booking. There will be an option to “Change Flight.” Follow the prompts, pick a new flight, and confirm any fare differences.

How to change a flight date on United Airlines?

You can change your flight date the same way you’d change any other flight details. Go to “My Trips” on the app or website, find your booking, and choose to change your flight. When picking a new flight, select your new date.

How to change my United Airlines flight date?

If you need to fly on another day, find your booking in “My Trips” and pick “Change Flight.” You’ll get to choose a new flight, so select one on the day you want to travel instead.

How to change my United Airlines flight departure date?

Changing your departure date is simple. Find your booking, choose to change the flight, and pick a new flight departing on your desired date.

How to change my United Airlines flight return date?

If you need to come back on a different day, follow the same steps as before. When you get to the part where you choose a new flight, make sure to select a flight that returns on your new date.

How much to change a flight on United Airlines?

United doesn’t charge a change fee for most fare classes. However, if the new flight is more expensive, you’ll need to pay the difference. The exact amount will depend on the new flight’s fare. If the new flight is cheaper, you might get some form of reimbursement or credit.

What if my new United flight is cheaper than my original one? Will I get a refund?

If the new flight you change to costs less than your original flight, you may receive the difference as a future flight credit. United typically doesn’t give cash refunds if the new flight is cheaper, but they do provide credits that you can use for future travel.

How late can I make changes to my United Airlines flight?

You can usually make changes to your flight up to an hour before departure. However, for same-day flight changes, the timeframe might be different, so it’s a good idea to handle changes as soon as you know your plans have shifted to avoid any last-minute issues.

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