United Airlines Cancellation Policy

Do you want to cancel your flight easily, without any problems? United Airlines has updated their cancellation policy to provide more flexibility. Now, you can change your plans without having to pay a large fee like before.

In this post, we will explain the rules for canceling a flight, including the cancellation policy, how to cancel the flight, the penalty imposed by the airline, and other important information.

Guidelines for United Airlines Cancellation Policy

According to United Airlines’ cancellation policy, passengers can cancel their flights up to 3 hours before the scheduled departure for international flights and 2 hours for flights within the United States. 

In addition to this, there are other policies that passengers should be aware of before requesting a cancellation.

  • If you want to cancel, the airline may charge you a penalty. The amount you have to pay may change depending on the type of trip, the class of cabin you choose, and the specific rules for the fare you booked.
  • According to United Airlines’ flight cancellation policy, if you have a basic Economy booking, you cannot get a refund or make any changes to your flight after 24 hours of purchasing it. 
  • Check out United Airlines Flight Change Policy to know more rules and regulations.
  • If you didn’t show up for your flight and the fare rules for your booking allow it, you may lose the entire cost of your booking. You will not receive a refund unless it is specifically stated otherwise. 
  • If United cancels a flight, they won’t charge a cancellation fee. If passengers don’t want to take the alternate flight, they can get a refund for the part of the ticket they didn’t use. 
  • If a traveler, their companion, or a close family member passes away, the airline will not charge a cancellation fee. The refund will be given for the part of the flight that was not used or flown.

Cancellation Policy According To Your Fare

The cancellation policy of United Airlines is different for each type of fare you buy. Here is the information you need to know:

Basic Economy Ticket

United Airlines has specific rules in place for canceling a basic economy ticket. If you bought your ticket at least a week before your departure date, you can cancel it within 24 hours from the time of purchase.

Non-Refundable Ticket

You can cancel a non-refundable ticket even if more than 24 hours have passed since booking it. Instead of giving you cash back, you will get a full refund as a flight credit. This credit can be used for future travel with United Airlines.

Refundable Ticket

If you bought a ticket that can be refunded, you can cancel it before your flight leaves. Your refund will be returned to your original credit card within 7 days.

24 Hour Cancellation Policy

To cancel your flight with United and get a full refund without any fees, you need to do it within 24 hours of purchasing the ticket. This is known as the United 24-hour cancellation policy. If you cancel your ticket within 24 hours of purchasing it, United Airlines will process the refund for you. 

  • You can cancel United Airlines flights within 24 hours, including Basic economy fares, as long as you cancel within the specified timeframe. Your travel date will be more than seven days after the date of purchase.
  • If you have a refundable fare and you cancel it after 24 hours, United Airlines will charge a $200 cancellation fee.
  • The 24-hour time period starts as soon as the ticket number is created. 
  • If you used a United Gift Certificate to book your flight, you will receive the refund as electronic travel certificates. For all other refund requests, the refund will be processed using the original payment method. 
  • If you have a booking with more than nine passengers, please note that the 24-hour cancellation policy does not apply. The contract would apply to a group. 
  • If you bought your ticket with an e-certificate, it is not eligible for a refund under United’s cancellation policy.
  • You can also ask United Airlines to change your flight within 24 hours of buying it. There may be differences in fares.

Methods to Cancel a Flight with United Airlines

To cancel a booking with United Airlines, you have a few options. You can request a cancellation online through their website, call their customer service phone number, or go to the check-in counter at the airport.

Online Method

To cancel or change your flight, go to the My Trip section. To process the refund for your flight, simply pay the necessary fee. To process the cancellation, please follow these steps:

  • Sign into United.com and go to the “Manage My Trips” section.
  • It will ask you for the six-digit (letters and numbers) booking code and the last name of the passenger.
  • Choose the part of the flight you want to get rid of. Click on “cancel flight.”
  • You would have to pay a fee that you couldn’t get back.
  • On the page for checking out, pay the amount needed to finish the order. Choose ‘Confirm cancellation’.
  • The email will be sent to the address you gave when you signed up.

Via Phone

You can talk to the executive if you have a ticket that doesn’t allow you to cancel it online or if you aren’t sure how to cancel it online.

Please have your ticket number or proof of booking ready. You need to call United Airlines to pay the withdrawal fee and any other service fees.

Follow these steps to cancel a United flight over the phone:

  • Check your ticket confirmation email or the United Airlines website to find the right number to call for customer service in your area.
  • Call the number given and follow the automatic instructions to get in touch with a person.
  • For security reasons, when you talk to an agent, you may be asked to prove who you are.
  • Give your name, receipt number, and any other information that is asked for.
  • Tell the person that you want to cancel your flight with United.
  • Give them the information they need, like the flight number and the date of travel.
  • The customer service rep will tell you about any cancellation fees, limits, or rules about refunds that apply to your booking. 
  • Once you’ve looked over the details of the cancellation, confirm that you still want to stop the flight.

At Airport

You can also go to the airport where your flight is leaving from and ask to stop it up to 3 hours before it leaves. If you have already checked in for your flight, you will need to cancel your check-in before you can ask for a refund on your booking.

Follow these steps to get out of a United flight at the airport:

  • Find the United Airlines check-in counter or customer service desk once you get to the airport. 
  • Come up to the booth and show your ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, along with your booking confirmation number and flight information.
  •  Tell the United Airlines agent that you want to cancel your flight in a clear way. 
  • The representative will tell you about any fees, limits, or refunds that apply to your reservation. 
  • Once you’ve looked over the details of the cancellation, confirm that you still want to stop the flight.
  • As proof that your flight was canceled, the United Airlines agent will give you a cancellation document or a reference number.

Missed, Delayed, or Canceled Flight

If there are unexpected problems like bad weather, issues with air traffic control, or mechanical delays, you may be eligible for a travel credit or refund for your ticket.

If your flight is delayed by a long time, you can ask for your money back, and the airline has to find you another flight.

If you have a connecting flight and you’ve made it to the connecting city, you can ask about going back to where you started. If there aren’t any other good options, you might get a travel credit or a refund.

  • If you have a reservation but are denied boarding by United Airlines because of overbooking or other reasons, they have a compensation policy to make sure you are fairly compensated for the inconvenience.
  • If your flight is delayed for 3 hours or more, you have the right to ask for compensation.
  • If passengers are told about a flight cancellation within 2 weeks before the planned departure, they have the right to receive compensation. 

Here is an overview of when customers are not eligible for compensation based on their cancellation notice and re-routing options: 


Cancellation Notice

Re-routing Options

Flight Compensation Entitlement

Two weeks to 7 days prior

Departure ≤ 2 hours before

No compensation entitlement


Arrival ≤ 4 hours after


Less than 7 days prior

Departure ≤ 1 hour before

No compensation entitlement


Arrival ≤ 2 hours after




Compensation Entitlement

Flight canceled


Flight delayed by 3 or more hours


Involuntary denied boarding


Offered re-routing with arrival within 4 hours


Refund Policy

The United Airlines return request would apply to the part of the ticket that wasn’t used or flown. Before you ask for a refund on your flight plan, there are several rules like these to keep in mind:

  • Basic Economy tickets can’t be changed, but you can get your money back in full if you cancel them within 24 hours. As long as you stop your United Airlines flight within 24 hours, you won’t be charged. 
  • Fares that allow refunds can be asked for, but cancellation fees may be charged based on the rules of the fare. Most tickets can’t be refunded, but they can be used to pay for a new ticket for a fee. 
  • Most tickets are good for 12 months from the day they are bought. Tickets bought before December 31, 2022, are an exception. They are good until December 31, 2023. 
  • Refunds for credit cards are handled in seven business days, while other refunds take 20 business days to be processed.
  • The return will be put back on the same form of payment that was used to buy the ticket.

Process to Req for Refund

If you need to ask United Airlines for a return, you can do so by following these steps:

  • If you need a refund because your trip plans have changed, fill out the refund form.
  • Once you’ve chosen your flight, look at the choices for items that can be refunded.
  • Most of the purchases you make that are tied to your reservation will be linked automatically. You can choose which things, like tickets, Wi-Fi, food, drinks, and more, you want a return for.
  • You can ask for a refund on up to 15 things at once. You can enter the information of your purchases by hand if you need to.
  • Give United Airlines your contact information, especially your email address, so that they can get in touch with you about your desire for a refund.
  • After you send in your refund request, United Airlines will look into it and let you know the state of your refund.

If you don’t ask for an electronic trip certificate instead, refunds are sent back to the original method of payment.

United Airlines Cancellation Fee

The company no longer charges a United fee to cancel a flight. Here’s what you need to know:

Ticket Type

Cancellation Fee

Basic Economy

Not permitted


Free – Flight credit for future travel


Free – Full refund

Award Ticket


Canceling with redeposit

Free for all status levels


$125 for all status levels

If a passenger wants to get out of paying the award fee, they should look at the table below:

Cancel Fee

General Member

Premier Silver

Premier Gold

Premier Platinum

Premier 1K

Canceling with redeposit












The United Airlines canceling policy covers everything that will help you choose the best way to cancel your flight. Remember that a good cancellation will make your trip with United Airlines the best.


In conclusion, United Airlines has introduced a more flexible cancellation policy, allowing passengers to make changes to their bookings with ease. The policy details timeframes, fees, and refund options. Cancellations can be done online, by phone, or at the airport. Additionally, certain situations may qualify for compensation or refunds, and there is no longer a cancellation fee for most ticket types.

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