Airfare Policies

Travel plans can change unexpectedly, and knowing your airline's cancellation policy can save you from unnecessary stress and expenses. United Airlines offers a comprehensive cancellation policy designed to accommodate various situations. This article provides a detailed overview of United Airlines' cancellation policy, including key points, fees, and tips for managing your reservations.

Understanding United Airlines' Cancellation Policy

United Airlines' cancellation policy is structured to provide flexibility to passengers while ensuring the airline maintains efficient operations. Here are the main components of the policy:

24-Hour Flexible Booking Policy

United Airlines offers a 24-hour flexible booking policy, allowing passengers to cancel or change their flight within 24 hours of booking without incurring any fees. This applies to all ticket types, including Basic Economy. To qualify for this policy, the booking must be made at least seven days before the departure date.

Cancellation Fees

The cancellation fees vary depending on the type of ticket purchased:
  • Basic Economy Tickets: These tickets are generally non-refundable and non-changeable. However, during the 24-hour flexible booking window, they can be canceled without a fee.
  • Non-Refundable Tickets: After the 24-hour window, non-refundable ticket cancellations result in a travel credit minus a cancellation fee, typically $200 for domestic flights and up to $400 for international flights.
  • Refundable Tickets: These tickets can be canceled at any time before the flight's departure without any fees, and passengers will receive a full refund to their original form of payment.
  • Award Tickets: Cancellation fees for award tickets (flights booked with miles) depend on the MileagePlus status of the passenger and the timing of the cancellation. For general members, fees can be up to $125, but MileagePlus Premier members may have reduced or waived fees.

Travel Credits and Vouchers

When a non-refundable ticket is canceled, United Airlines issues a travel credit that can be used for future travel. These credits are typically valid for 12 months from the date of issue. It's important to note that travel credits cannot be exchanged for cash and must be used for travel with United Airlines.

How to Cancel a United Airlines Flight?

Canceling a flight with United Airlines can be done through various methods:

Cancel flight through Online method:

  • Visit United's Website: Go to and log in to your account.
  • Access Your Reservation: Navigate to the "My Trips" section and select the reservation you wish to cancel.
  • Cancel the Flight: Follow the prompts to cancel your flight. The system will display any applicable fees and provide details on travel credits or refunds.

Flight Cancellation through the Mobile App:

  • Open the United Airlines App: Log in to your account.
  • Manage Your Trip: Select "My Trips" and choose the reservation to cancel.
  • Complete the Cancellation: Follow the steps to cancel your flight, and review any fees or credits.

Cancel a flight via Customer Service:

  • Contact United Airlines: Call United's customer service at 1-800-864-8331 for assistance with canceling your flight.
  • Provide Reservation Details: Have your reservation number and passenger information ready.
  • Confirm Cancellation: The representative will guide you through the cancellation process and explain any fees or credits.

Tips for Managing Cancellations

  • Check Your Ticket Type: Understand the cancellation policy for your specific ticket type before booking.
  • Use the 24-Hour Window: If you think your plans might change, book your flight at least seven days in advance to take advantage of the 24-hour flexible booking policy.
  • Monitor Travel Credits: Keep track of any travel credits issued and their expiration dates to avoid losing them.
  • Consider Travel Insurance: Purchasing travel insurance can provide additional coverage and peace of mind for unexpected cancellations.


United Airlines' cancellation policy offers flexibility and options for passengers facing changes in their travel plans. By understanding the different ticket types, fees, and processes involved, you can make informed decisions and manage your reservations effectively. Always check the latest updates on United's website or contact their customer service for the most accurate and up-to-date information. Safe travels!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I cancel my United flight free of charge?

United provides a 24-hour refund policy. If you need to cancel your flight, you can do so without a fee within 24 hours after your booking. For your convenience, cancellations can be made either online or by contacting their support at 1-855-200-0640.

How late can I cancel a United flight?

You can cancel a United flight within 24 hours before the scheduled departure. However, the refund or travel credit you receive, and any applicable fees, depend on the type of ticket you purchased and the timing of the cancellation. For refundable tickets, you can cancel anytime before departure for a full refund. For non-refundable tickets, you can cancel before departure, but a cancellation fee may apply, and you will receive a travel credit for the remaining value. It's best to check the specific terms of your ticket and the latest United Airlines policies.

How do I know if my United ticket is refundable?

To determine if your United ticket is refundable, Call United Airlines customer service at 1-855-200-0640 and provide your booking reference number. A representative can confirm the refund status of your ticket.

What happens if you cancel a non-refundable flight to United?

If you cancel a non-refundable United flight within 24 hours of booking and at least two days before departure, you'll get a full refund. After this window, non-refundable tickets can be changed or canceled without a fee, but you'll receive a travel credit instead of a refund. For more information, call United Airlines at 1-855-200-0640 (OTA).

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