United Airlines cancellation policy offers maximum flexibility when changing travel plans. The passengers can afford cancellation with the airline as it may only charge a minimal cost.

This post will cover the important considerations that any passenger should have before cancelling their booking with United, the cancellation fee, the refund policy, the passenger’s option if the airlines cancel the flight, and much more.


United Flight Cancellation Policy

As per the United Airlines cancellation policy, passengers can request the flight cancellation up to 3 hours before the scheduled departure for international flights and 2 hours for flights within the United States. Similar to this, there are other policies that passengers should know before making the cancellation request –

  • The cancellation request is subject to the airline’s penalty. The fee may vary with the trip type, cabin class, and the fare rule associated with the booking.
  • Under the United Airlines flight cancellation policy, basic Economy bookings are non-refundable and non-changeable outside 24 hours of purchase. 
  • In case you are marked no-show for a flight, depending upon the fare rule associated with your booking, the entire booking value may be forfeited. No refund would be offered unless otherwise specified. 
  • When United cancelled flight event, no cancellation fee would be assessed. In case passengers refuse to take the alternate flight, a refund would be processed on the unused portion of the ticket. 
  • In case of the death of a traveller, travelling companion, or immediate family member, the airline will waive the cancellation fee. The refund would apply to the unused/unflown flight segment.
United Airlines Cancellation Policy

United Covid Cancellation Policy

As per United Airlines COVID cancellation policy, the travel requirement related to COVID-19 may change quickly. Take a note of the few below to discover the travel requirement and restrictions for your specific itinerary.

  • When the local government or public health has ordered you to self-isolate or quarantine, you will be denied boarding.
  • In an instance in which you are denied boarding on the flight within the United States, the airline will rebook you for a flight at least 14 days later. No additional fees will apply.
  • Guests who have been denied boarding on international flights will not be rebooked.
  • A valid medical certificate stating that you are not infected with the COVID-19 virus must travel earlier. 
  • Also, a vaccination certificate would be required for international travel according to United COVID cancellation policy
  • You will not be able to board a flight when you have COVID-19 symptoms or are ill.
  • Passengers with a medical condition or symptoms similar to COVID-19 will need a health declaration, a doctor’s note, or a medical certificate for hassle-free travel. 
  • Travellers two years of age and older must wear a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their nose, mouth, and chin while travelling to and from the United States. Failure to comply will result in denial of boarding, removal from the aircraft, and penalties under federal law in the United States.

United 24 Hour Cancellation Policy (Risk-free)

In the future, you do not have to worry about the cancellation with United Airlines once you make the booking. United Airlines is flexible enough to provide a full refund against the purchased fare. The cancellation has to be done 24 hours from the date of buying a flight, then only United 24 hour cancellation applies and receives a full refund with no fees. United Airlines will process the refund on your ticket when cancelled within 24 hours of purchase. However, some banks or credit card issuers may initiate a temporary hold of your funds on your debit or credit card. We encourage you to contact your card issuer for their specific policies. Please go through the terms and conditions for more details.

Terms and Conditions for United Airlines 24 Hour Cancellation

  • United Airlines cancellation policy applies to the ticket booking at the airline website, United reservation counter, or United customer support number.
  • The 24-hour timeframe applies at the time you booked your reservation.
  • All refund requests would be directed back to the original form of payments.
  • The United Airlines flight cancellation policy is not applicable on United’s hold a fare. 
  • United Airlines 24 hour cancellation is also applicable on all Basic economy fares unless you cancel within the timeframe. Your travel date would fall beyond 7 seven days from the date of purchase.
  • Beyond 24 hours, should you be holding a refundable fare, then a 200 USD United cancellation fee will be applicable.
  • The 24-hour time frame begins the moment the ticket number is generated. 
  • Except for the flight booking made with a United Gift Certificate, which will be credited back in electronic travel certificates, refund requests will be processed in the original payment method. 
  • Any PNR with more than nine passengers is not covered under the 24-hour cancellation. It would be subject to a group contract. 
  • Under the United cancellation policy, tickets bought with e-certificates are not eligible.
  • Reservations held but not yet purchased are not eligible under the United 24 hour cancellation policy.
  • Passengers can also request United Airlines flight change within 24 hours of purchase. Fare differences may apply.

How to Cancel United Flight Ticket?

To cancel United Airlines booking, you can request online at the airline’s website, through customer service phone number, and through the airline’s check-in counter at the airport.

Cancel United Flight Online

Cancel United Flight Online

You can cancel/change your flight via the My Trip section. You can pay the required fee and process the refund on your flight. Follow these steps to process the cancellation –

  • Log in to United.com and go to My Trips.
  • It will ask you to enter the six-digit booking reference (composed of letters and numbers) and the passengers’ last name.
  • Select the flight segment that you would like to cancel.
  • You would be asked to pay a non-refundable cancellation fee.
  • At the checkout page, pay the required amount to complete the request.
  • The confirmation email will be sent to your registered email address.

Cancel Flight via Phone Number

In case you are holding a fare that does not support an online cancellation or are not sure about navigating an online cancellation, you can reach the executive at +1-844-673-0381. Please ensure to have your ticket number or booking confirmation handy. You need to pay the United Airlines cancellation fee and additional service charges over the phone.

For purposes like United Airlines name change, you may want a flight different from the current one. Calling the airline will be the most helpful in the scenario. You can get the flight cancelled when a name change is not possible due to time frame-related issues.

Cancel Flight at the Airport

You can also head to the departure airport and request a flight cancellation up to 3 hours before the scheduled departure. If you have already checked in for your flight, you need to cancel the check-in first to request a refund on your booking.


United Policy on Cancelled Flights

The airline’s top priority is smoothly taking you to the destination, thus operating the flights on time. However, at times the flight is disrupted. In such a situation, United will do its best to accommodate the passengers in the best way possible.

For Delayed Flights

The airline will notify you via SMS or email of the new departure time in case of a delayed flight. You can also get up-to-date flight information by downloading the United app, checking the website for flight status updates, or getting real-time updates at the airport.

When you have a significant delay in your flight for more than 3 hours, the airline will offer you an alternate flight as well as provide you with a service voucher for refreshments or a meal.

Missed Connecting Flights 

Sometimes, you may miss a connecting flight. Knowing that you have a single flight booking for all of your flights, including the connections, the transfer times would be calculated to ensure that you have enough time to comply with the transit process from one flight to the next without delay. However, when your existing flight is delayed, you may miss your subsequent flight. In those cases, the airline will make all necessary arrangements to ensure that you arrive at your final destination as smoothly and quickly as possible in case your flights are on United Airlines. In case, you missed your connecting flight – 

  • The airline will reroute you to your destination. Rerouting may take some time due to the limited availability of alternative flights.
  • You can access your updated travel itinerary under the Manage Booking section on the airline’s website or the United’s mobile app. 
  • The airline will do its best to keep you informed about any changes to your connecting flight(s) during the flight. 
  • Please note that when your booking includes the flight from other airlines that require a separate ticket, you should contact the issuing agency to make any changes.

Cancelled Flights

Flights are sometimes cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Presuming that your flight is cancelled, the airlines will contact you directly via text or registered email.

United Cancel Flight

In the event of a cancellation, you usually have three choices – 

  • As per United Airlines cancellation policy, you can change your travel date to 7 days in either direction. No change fee and any additional cost would be applicable.
  • The airlines will reroute you as soon as possible to your final destination. Rerouting may take some time due to the limited availability of alternative flights. 
  • If not opt for an alternate flight, you can claim a refund on the unused portion of the booking.

Overbooked Flights

The airlines occasionally accept more bookings for the flights than the aircraft can accommodate. This is due to the likelihood that all customers who have made a reservation will not board the flight. This is what happens when it appears that the flight is full – 

  • The airlines will look for volunteers to transfer to a different flight.
  • The airlines will check your availability and assist you with a new booking and compensation-related questions as necessary.
  • Should you volunteer to change your travel plans, the airlines will accommodate you with the best possible alternative flight to your destination, look after you, and compensate for any potential delays and inconvenience.

United Airlines Cancellation Compensation

As per United Airlines cancellation policy, passengers are entitled to get compensation if the flight has been delayed, cancelled, or denied boarding. The likelihood of compensation will be determined by several factors, including the length of the delay, where you’re flying to and from, and the cause of the delay.

The airline’s compensation for the delayed flights –

New Flight Arrival TimeCompensation(% of ticket price)Maximum Payout (in USD)
Within 1 hour of original arrivalNone
Between 1 and 3 hours after original arrival200%$675
More than 3 hours after original arrival400%$1,350

The airline’s compensation when the passenger has been denied boarding –

Flight DistanceMaximum Compensation (in USD)
Less than 1,500 km150
Between 1500 km and 3500 km200
Greater than 3500 Km300

The airline’s compensation if the flight is cancelled –

Flight DistanceMaximum Compensation (in USD)
Less than 1,500 km300
Between 1500 km and 3500 km400
Greater than 3500 Km600

United Airlines Refund Policy

United Refund Policy

The United refund request would be applicable on the unused/unflown portion of the ticket. Just like this, there are several refund guidelines you should consider before claiming the refund for your flight booking – 

  • You are eligible for a full refund in case requesting a flight cancelling within 24 hours of purchase. Only in a situation wherein the scheduled departure date is seven days or more at the time of cancellation. 
  • No change or cancellation request is applicable on the Basic Economy tickets. However, they are eligible for a full refund when cancelled within 24 hours of booking. 
  • As per the United cancellation policy, you can cancel your flight and claim a refund online via the My Trip section.
  • For all non-refundable fares, the cancellation made before the scheduled departure would be charged a per-person cancellation fee. The remaining balance will be issued as a travel credit, which will be used for travel on the dates. The said credit voucher remains valid for one year from the booking date. 
  • For all refundable fares, the cancellation is permitted for the full value of the fare minus the per-person cancellation fee. If the flight is not cancelled or changed before the scheduled departure, the value associated with the flight segment would be converted into the travel credit. 
  • A number of factors determine the refund amount. For example, based on the fare rule associated with the bookings, the unused portion of the flight segment will be calculated on the basis of a prorated amount. The cancellation fee and other taxes would be applicable. 
  • Requests for credit card refunds will be processed within seven business days. All other refund requests will be processed within 20 business days.
  • According to the United Airlines refund policy, you will get the refund in the original payment method in 7-10 business days.

United Airlines Cancellation Fee

The airline does not charge any change or cancellation fee sometimes. This is when the cancellation happens due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions. Other than that, the airline charges a cancellation fee as no exception to be provided unless otherwise specified. Below is the overview of the United cancellation fee – 

Ticket TypeUnited Cancellation Fee (in USD_
Basic EconomyNot permitted
Non-Refundable200 for domestic flights. 400 for international flights.
Refundable200 for domestic flights. 400 for international flights.

To conclude, when you want to cancel your flights, you should be well prepared to take action with United Airlines’ policies and procedures. The United flight cancellation policy covers all aspects that give you the best benefit when choosing the cancellation procedure. Remember, a successful cancellation will lead you to have the best time while travelling with United Airlines.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – United Cancellation Policy

According to United Airlines flight cancellation policy, passengers can request the flight cancellation up to 3 hours before the scheduled departure for international flights and 2 hours for flights within the United States. The cancellation request is subject to the airline’s penalty. The fee may vary with the trip type, cabin class, and the fare rule associated with the booking.

Assuming that you made your purchase one week or more before the flight was scheduled to depart. United 24 hour cancellation policy allows you to make changes/cancellations within 24 hours of booking without incurring change fees. This includes cancelling your reservation and requesting a full refund. Although Basic Economy reservations cannot be changed within 24 hours, they are still eligible for a full refund when cancelled within 24 hours and purchased one week or more before the flight’s scheduled departure.

You can cancel United flight within 24 hours via the My Trip section online. Alternatively, you can also cancel the flight via the airline’s customer service phone number at +1-844-673-0381.

You may purchase an airline’s booking within 24 hours. Later, no cancellation fee will be charged if you decide to void the booking. In other cases, when your flight is delayed for three or more hours, you can cancel your flight booking without any additional fees.

As per the United Airlines cancellation policy, all cancellation requests may be subject to cancellation fees and additional surcharges.

The airline assesses 200 USD as a cancellation fee for the domestic flight, and the cancellation fee may go up to 400 USD for an international flight as per United cancellation policy.

Yes, the First Class tickets are refundable provided the cancellation is requested up to 3 hours before the scheduled departure. The refund would be equivalent to the unused portion of the booking value minus the United Airlines cancellation fee.

You can simply request the refund online My Trip section provided that the fare rule associated with your booking must be non-restricted. You can also call the United Airlines refund phone number to complete the request.

To cancel United Airlines booking, you can request online at the airline’s website, through customer service phone number, and through the airline’s check-in counter at the airport.

Yes, you can cancel your award reservation through the ‘Manage Booking’ section. The miles will be re-deposited into the MileagePlus account, and you may be asked to pay the United Airlines cancellation fee.

No, if you have already checked in for your flight, you need to cancel the check-in first to request a refund on your booking. 

Travel on United, United Express, and partner-operated flights can be booked with future flight credit. You can also use future flight credit to pay for travel essentials like seating, extra legroom seating, baggage fees, and much more. You can book a new flight with the travel credit by calling the airline’s executives.

Yes. Economy Plus seats will be automatically refunded in the event of ticket cancellation.

United charges a 200 USD change or cancellation fee for paid domestic flights, including flights within the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and up to 400 USD for international flights. The fee is charged per passenger per booking.

Any refund from the United Airlines reservation takes seven business days for the refund to reflect on your bank statement. The seven day period is only applicable for United 24 hour cancellation.

Leave a Reply
9 thoughts on “United Airlines Cancellation Policy
  1. Sartaj Tabassum on Reply

    Kindly let me know about the cancellation in case of emergency , What are the terms and conditions of refunds economy in Jan 21
    for the sector
    Delhi-St Louis,MO, USA

  2. Cooper Johnson on Reply

    United Airlines handled the situation quite well, we were travelling in a group of 8 people, we faced some difficulties in the cancellation but we reached out to the airline’s team and they walked an extra mile to help us. The airline charged the cancellation fee for individual tickets, we thought we would have to cancel all the tickets due to 2 person. I would highly recommend this airline, not only the cancellation is super easy but the staff members are very helpful too.

  3. Marshall Hopkins on Reply

    I picked United Airlines as I always do whenever I travel. Because when compared with other airlines I have found United to be a bit more flexible cancellation policy, and I feel safe due to the fact that every time I’ve flown with United, from booking to landing, I’ve had an excellent experience. Booking online is simple and when needed contact customer service is very helpful in answering questions and issues.

  4. Brandon Thomas on Reply

    I am unsure about the COVID extensions that are given by the United AirlineS. This is because yesterday I have been tested to be COVID positive. So, I will obviosly not be able to take my United Air flight to Mexico this weekend. United Airline cancellation policy should have a straightforward rule for an automatic refund for cancelations during the pandemic. Why give hassle to the customer!

  5. john watson on Reply

    Quite regretfully, Ive to cancel my next month’s ticket with United Airlines. I have bought a refundable ticket. But please will you let me know what is the cancellation fee for United Airlines? What I can’t be sure about is whether the refund amount that would be returned to me will be adjusted with the fee or not. Any clue?

  6. Alina Carter on Reply

    The time taken to refund is quite long i feel. Last week, i had to cancel my ticket. i applied for a refund from the website. The united airline cancel refund team assured me that they would send me the money. i am yet to receive it. i am worried now. They keep telling me to wait.

  7. Willie on Reply

    The time taken to refund is quite long i feel. Last week, i had to cancel my ticket. i applied for a refund from the website. The united airline cancel refund team assured me that they would send me the money. i am yet to receive it. i am worried now. They keep telling me to wait.

  8. John on Reply

    Think United airlines 24 hour cancellation should be negotiable. Had to cancel my ticket with United last week. Was not given a full refund as I just got late by 2 hours. The whole thing turned out to be very costly for me. Shouldn’t the time limit be made better?

  9. Caroline Waters on Reply

    To cancel the united flight within 24 hourss, we need not have to worry about the ticket fare. But, this is usefull for people who are using a low-fare ticket. I think the airline should give some more benefits to those who have bought a Business class ticket. The charge for this one is alrady high.

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