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United Airlines Returns and Refunds

United Airlines Return Policy

In the event that you need to cancel a flight with United Airlines, you can call the customer service number and request to have a refund of the ticket. Refunds may be granted if the refund is requested within 24 hours of the purchase of the ticket. Other refunds could be subject to a cancellation fee. The company tries to make arrangements such as finding another flight, but many tickets are not eligible for a refund. The price of the refund can be applied to the purchase price of a new ticket for a future trip. Some tickets can be refunded on trips that are partially taken. The best thing to do is to contact the airline and discuss which tickets are refundable and which ones are not.

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I am attaching a copy of the letter I recently sent to Customer Refund Services regarding our experience with a segment of UAL flight 1242 from Newark to San Diego on July 5, 2014. Only refund offered has been an electronic ticket credit for future travel. Future travel on UAL? I do not look forward to it.To: United Airlines Customer Services #6945366

Elda J. Hall

July 9, 2014

It was our 56th wedding anniversary and my husband and I decided to take what might be our last travelling hurrah since we are 83 and 87, respectively - a Mediterranean cruise. Since this involved some rather long flights, we felt it would be advisable at our age to fly first class.

Our itinerary:

(Wonderful accommodations and service)

July 3, 2014 - Barcelona, Spain to Newark, NJ via United Airlines, Flt. 0121

This flight was delayed for departure from Barcelona for four hours due to Hurricane Arthur so our connecting flight in Newark was changed to a later Flight 1242

(Again, wonderful accommodations and service)

July 3, 2014 - This is when the nightmare begins:

Our flight from Barcelona to Newark was smooth and we landed in Newark with the sun shining, not the bad weather we were anticipating. Flight 1242 was scheduled to depart for San Diego at 6:45 PM. However, a small remnant of Hurricane Arthur moved in and we well understood a further delay until the weather cleared. We were told our flight would be rescheduled at about 8:30 PM. After that, I lost track of how many times it was rescheduled - sometimes it was only twenty minutes, other times it was one hour, still others only 30 minutes and we were assured each time that we would be boarding soon.

- 2 -

The weather had cleared and gradually the terminal emptied as other flights took off. It was obvious that it was not the weather which was delaying us. We were eventually informed that they were awaiting the arrival of a crew and we would be taking off momentarily - the plane was ready. So we waited and waited, hour after hour, interspersed with brief announcements of delay times, until at 1:30 in the morning (July 4th), they announced that our flight was cancelled!!!!!

We were so weary, having already been on a nearly nine hour flight and then an additional six hour terminal wait. With some dismay, these two elderly passengers joined the long, long line which had quickly formed to receive vouchers and to rebook flights. Judging from the line stretching out ahead of us, we anticipated we would be standing in line for at least another two hours.

One enterprising United employee strolled the long line giving out a telephone number which could be called to rebook your flight. Fortunately, I had a cellphone and was able to connect with a very polite agent who informed me that there were no flights available to San Diego that day (July 4th) and the earliest she would be able to book us on business class would be the following day (July 5th) on Flt 214, departing at 7:35 PM. I booked it.

At this point while standing in the long line, the rumor floated down the line that since this was July 4th holiday, hotel accommodations were difficult to get, if they could be had at all. Passengers were curling up on the carpeting to sleep.

In addition, our luggage would not be available to us - it would be forwarded to San Diego - so we had only the clothes on our backs for the next two days!

It was now 2:00 AM on July 4th and we felt helpless, utterly weary, and desperate for a shower and a bed. We have a daughter in Wilton, CT (about 1½ hours away) and we awakened her at 2:00 AM and told her we were coming. We took a taxi ($259.40 - receipt attached) and gratefully had a bed to sleep in. Our daughter drove us back to the airport so this fee is for one way only.

We had no luggage - only those clothes we had on - I borrowed some from my daughter, but it was necessary to make some additional purchases, mainly for my husband ($99.93), receipt attached from Bob's bargain store.

The sad saga continues......

July 5th - Boarded our Flight 214, departure on time 7:35 PM. We had expected the same first class/business class accommodations we had previously had with Air Canada and United from Barcelona to Newark. Not so - the accommodations were not worthy of even the tourist class - not even a pillow was available. The seat was uncomfortable and poorly designed although slightly more spacious than tourist class, it barely reclined, and

- 3 -

the tray table was at such a precarious slant that I was apprehensive about the food sliding to the floor. There was no movie, no TV, or any other electronic equipment provided.

The food was definitely rated a 2 on a scale of 1 to 5, although the flight attendant made a very good ice cream sundae. Let me make it clear, the service we received from the

flight personnel was very good. My complaint is about the plane's equipment - certainly not up to United's description of "first class/business class" and even substandard for tourist class. Perhaps it's time to retire this particular aircraft.

A positive comment - Our luggage was waiting for us in San Diego when we arrived.

I now bring this to a close, hoping that some of my criticism may prove to be constructive. I would appreciate reimbursement for the taxi ($259.40) - in lieu of the voucher for non-existent hotel accommodations - and for the necessary clothing ($99.93).

Very truly yours,

Elda J. Hall

P.S. - Of no particular relevance, but I was a ten year veteran (secretary) of Pan American World Airways.

Attach: Receipt: Dial 7 Car and Limousine Service

Receipt: Bob's Bargain Store

Elda Hall 7/23/14 8:59PM

We flew from Denver Colorado to Munich Germany. I payed over 5200$ for 4 tickets. 2 adults and 2 teenagers. We had to come home because my son got arrested and he was living in my home with his 2 children. Also he was watching my dogs. After we could not find anyone to watch my grand kids and my 4 dogs we were forced to change our flight and come back home early. When I taked to costumer service I was told a 1000$ ( 250$ per ticket) of the additional charge of 1668$ was refundable if I can proof I had no choice but to come back. "Just explain your situation and they will consider" I was told. Well to them it was not reason enough to return early. I guess my grand kids should have gone to department of social services and my dogs can just starve to death alone in a hot house for a week. I am very disappointed in the airline and there policy's. It will suck any penny it can get out of its costumes. I am sure they made a lot more money by reselling our tickets on our original flight home.

Bab 6/12/14 10:27AM

I am furious that again United has kicked me when need!! I for the second time go to put a pet on the plane and to be told I can not use petsafe because the cabin is not oxygen pressurized. That would not be so bad if 1) I do not live 45 min away 2) have to pay someone to drive me if hubby is not available 3) have to now juggle my schedule again to get kids where they are need and make sure I can get back for the flight 4) have to call the new puppy parents or sugar glider parent and say their is a delay because of incorrect booking. 5) The people at the terminal in South Bend then gives me a time at noon to be back and when I asked for flight numbers and sometime of confirmation to tell new parents waiting on their new baby, He goes to get the manager who I believe calls security and I find out that I have to book the flight through petsafe and where I thought he was rebooking the pup he did not. Thank god I had the good sense to call petsafe right then and found out I would of been again told to come back because the noon flight was not a proper flight for pets either. You people really need to get this right or you will lose more business I ship seven to eight times a yr and thinking about going exclusively to Delta why???? Even though it is more I never had to wait or get delayed in flight

stuckwaiting with pet 5/31/14 5:44AM

Ok,United/Continental (whatever they call themselves now, I honestly don't care) has officially lost me as a customer going forward, unless they are the only stinking airline that flies to some remote destination I absolutely have to get to in the future.

Had to cancel a $543 ticket last September because Suzanne was feeling awful, too awful to try and go to her Parents 50th Wedding Anniversary party. That means she was feeling bad! So tonight I'm trying to use the credit to buy her a United ticket to Houston for her July scans and check-up with her Oncologist. Found a itinerary for $361, but of course there is a $200 change-fee and then another $50 "agency" fee because I bought the ticket on Expedia or somewhere instead of buying the original ticket directly from United. Anybody else ever heard of this "agency" fee before, that was new to me.

But the cherry on top is that they won't even apply the $182 remaining credit ($543 - 361 = 182) to the $250 in fees. They want me to pay the $250 outright and then still have the extra credit sitting out there which of course they'll probably charge me another $250 to use later.

I even talked to a supervisor and then another supervisor and explained the circumstances that the ticket had to be cancelled due to effects of Cancer treatment and that I'm trying to use the credit to get Suzanne down to Houston for more check-ups related to her cancer. I was barely finished before she cut in again with the same Blah, blah, blah. "The change fees are a separate fee and not a ticket so I can't apply the credit and you have to pay the whole $250 right now. If you get a doctor's note they might refund part of the $200, etc, etc, etc..."

If the only thing they can do about their financial problems is continue to think up new ways to screw us with fees, fees and more new fees, why don't they just go out of business already. United can take their whole $543 credit (which is really only worth $111 in this case) and SHOVE IT!!! They're not getting $250 more from me, I'm going to go use that money to buy a ticket on SOUTHWEST instead!

Feel free to tell your favorite United story here in the comments. I might just send it all to 'em...

cheezyfrye 5/24/14 10:32PM

My flight from Denver to Fargo was cancelled last night. I needed to be in Fargo today, May 9,2014. The earliest they could get me anywhere close to Fargo was on Saturday the 10th. I had to book a flight on another airline to get to Fargo. The customer service rep in Denver said I could get a refund on this. My flight number was UA6413. My confirmation number was PCR5MP. My full name is Kay E Garaas.

Anonymous 5/9/14 2:41PM

Below is the conversation that I have had with your Petsafe agent. He has not contacted me back and it has been 5 months since our flight. Please contact me back:



My wife and I have been loyal customers of united for years and we fly exclusively united. Our last experience makes me question our loyalty to your company. Our flight on the morning of the 9th was cancelled initially because of weather, which is understandable. Our second flight from SAN to IAD (UA238) was scheduled to depart at 2143 with myself, my pregnant wife and dog as a ($514.00) "pet safe" cargo. That UA238 flight made it to the runway and failed to depart because the radio was "faulty." I work in aviation communications, and the issue he described is a comm error when the navigator either "zeros out the comm suite" or fails to load the crypto so the navman can talk to the terminal. So the airplane could not depart because the flight crew failed to properly conduct pre-flight inspections and because the next cryptographer on duty could not load the right hopset.

Then, we spend another (3) hours in the terminal as my dog gets shuttled from one plane to the next in 40 degree weather so that we can take off. Again, to no avail. Then I get a call from the united cargo staff, that I have to pick up my dog because they were closing

But what makes this experience truly noteworthy is that after all this, we got vouchers for yellow cab (that refuses to take dogs) for Crown Plaza Hotel (which was fully booked and could not take animals). So after finding a way to pick up my dog, wife and baggage, we stayed at the days inn (whose manager was kind enough to turn a blind eye to us keeping my already sick dog in the hotel).

I am taking my dog to the vet today to find out what his deal is, I'm not really bothered by that. What irks me is the terrible customer service we received after this happened and the lack of options we had available when clearly we were not your typical customers...pregnant wife, dog in a huge kennel, with no ride, no place to stay and a flight departing 12 hours later.

Date: None


Dear Mr. N,

Thank you for your correspondence regarding your recent PetSafe flight experience. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns. Your letter conveys the inconvenience you endured as a result of our service failure. I understand that as a result of this, your pet did not make the original flight. Open communication is essential, and sharing up-to-date information with you may have helped ease your frustrations. Our employees usually exhibit exemplary customer service skills and I apologize if it appeared we were unhelpful or unsympathetic.

Please be assured, it is never our intention to deliberately cause you or your pet distress of any kind. We realize the tremendous impact a delay can have on your carefully-arranged plans. Your comments will be included in the report distributed to senior management within the PetSafe and Airport Service Divisions for internal review.

Thank you,

Eric Hong

The PetSafe Desk

matt 4/25/14 3:30PM

Dear United Airlines.

I hope you can help me.

I am disabled and was unable to travel with my brother who is deal and mentally challented. I got a doctor's note and spoke to United. The initial charge was put on my cousin Jeff Mirken American Express as I did not have charge card. He put the reservations on his card and I mailed a check of $1029.60 to Mr. Jeff Mirken.

Jeff Mirken turned out to be a sick, nasty man. I asked him to call American Express so I can get a credit. He would then mail a check to me for the expenses. Jeff has so many metal illness that he refused to help me with the AE number and then he would send me a check for $1029.60. It may sound confusing but I had no choice to buy my ticket this way.

I have been trying to get Mr. Mirken for almost 9 months to help me. If he does not help, the airline ticket said they would give me a 2 vouchers of approx 225/each.

I am begging to ask you if I could apply the vouchers at credit to a hotel. I must take Mr. Barry Luttinger to Florida. The flight prices are 1/2 that of flights going to LAX.

AS I am on disability and have no job, to fly to Fort Lauderdale and then have to purchase 2 rooms to sleep, I just do not have the money. The rooms would cost me approx.$500 per night. I can not sleep in the same room as barry is noisy and is up for most of the night.

Please, if you need my disability letter and barry's check to American Express, and Doctor's note, can you help me. I just want to use the balance on a room. I do not plan on flying after my plans to go to Fort Lauderdal. I have no job and Barry is mentally challenged.

I am surprised as to the cruelty of people. Mr Jeff Mirken has been a first cousin. He refused to give me his AE number, apply credit to his card, and then mail Barry Luttinger the full amount that was issued on the AE charge.

If you need further explanation, please do not hesitate to call me or write.

Beth Luttinger 2/23/14 12:18PM

buy a flight from san francisco cal. guadalajara jal.mex to purchase online and was apart you this ticket charging me 25 dollars has more huviera as if purchased by telephone, if q pair call me information but only confirmed that. entire transaction of my purchase in the ise online also the person who took me by phone only and answer some questions I wanted him Asher was discourteous mut paresis q did not feel like working that entonses night I do not agree with that charge for that if at least that Mr. aya treated me While I would not complain about the charge but does not serve that person for customer servisio

rofamo 1/19/14 11:23AM

I cancel a trip and was on a stand by and the girl at the airport told me that the 75 bucks will only be charge to my credit card unless I got inside the plane I never got inside why did she charged my credit card I need this amount put back on my card ASAP

Anonymous 12/30/13 2:13PM

Was to be on flight 5619 on 12/23/2013 out of Denver to HLN. Confirmation # GW8ED4. Flight was cancelled! We were given no reason, no announcement--merely a notice on the monitor.
Have concerns about the discrepencies among agents--women at counter next to me (both of us from Denver) was given a hotel voucher for 2 nts hotel plus a food voucher. Both of us had rescheduled our flights on the Red phones at the United counters. We both were reschudled by United on Delta for 12/25/2013. I was told there is nothing that can be done when you live in Denver---no vouchers for lodging, food or transportation. After waiting 4 hours in line and it is now midnight, I was turned away with only a "sorry there's nothing we can do". Living alone, no family here, with friends all being elderly (I'M 78) this created quite a problem. After many futile attempts, was finally able to arouse a neighbor. Got her out of bed, being 50 minutes from the airport, finally returned hone @ 2:00am. Just feel everyone should be given the same treatment. Since the cancellation was not weather related---feel like some compensation should be given, if only for the cost of the luggage. Worked as a travel agent for 38 yrs. (many on Apollo) and had received reports from clients about mistreatment from United but had never experienced this personally until now

Dee O'D 12/24/13 12:26PM

I just spent 40 minutes at least with Pablo Hernndez who states the only way to get a refund is applying online. Let me first tell you that part of my flight was CANCELLED by the airlines not by me, shouldn't that be an automatic refund, why should I have to request my money back???
lets not forget Ms Bonnie at ORBITZ, apparently all anyone can do is take your money but when something goes wrong you got to do all the work and call everyone and their brother yourself.
I think I will be making all my arrangements in the future myself so if theres an error it will be MINE at least.

Anonymous 12/14/13 7:34PM

4 weeks and nothing done yet. no phone calls or e mails from the refund department. Called and was told to wait for an e mail. Very rude rep. here also. I only deal will resevations, useless waste of time to talk to deadbeats. United better get its act together. Had to cancel due to the doctor reschuleing the surgery after my flight was booked.

sadintheair 9/7/13 7:13PM

I had to cancel a flight bereavment flight threw United Airlines and spoke with a Rasheeda threw customer service.... with in a MINUTE, she cancelled my flight and put in for a refund! Rasheeda was very nice and understanding... after reading all the neg. comments I was very concerned with having to battle the airline for a refund, but it was amazing how fast, easy and understanding she was! Thank you Rasheeda

Dori 8/29/13 8:26AM

My aunt age 65, and grandmother 82 with, oxygen and wheelchair both first time travelers with united airlines where told by the disability department they will be seated according to the need in row A A . Once there where seated at the very back of plane. My aunt was crying she said it was horrible my grandmother became very anxious and other passengers in front had to be moved in order to treat her. These issues with her health where discussed before booking. I just dont get it.

Glorydays 38 7/31/13 5:18AM

We had to cancel our flight at the last minute due to the unexpected death of my husbands brother the day we were supposed to leave. Although it was a non-refundable ticket, we were told we were eligible for a full refund due to the circumstances. We have dutifully filed our paperwork and provided the needed documentation. I then called to follow up and was treated horribly by a customer service representative named ALBERTA!! I will NEVER fly United again, and will encourage everyone I know to do the same. That was the rudest person I have ever spoken to in my life. She hung up on me!!!!!! Shame on you United to have such people work for you!! As if we didn't have enough pain!!

dhall 7/26/13 9:14AM

They canceled my flight from newark to richmond initially stating pilot fatigue at 9;00 am then switched to weather reasons which was at odds with the weather channel. They could not get me back to richmond in a timely manner (over 36 hrs).
So i took the train. They refuse to reimburse me. I will never fly united again.

rfarhi 7/13/13 9:01AM

Reference Flights 1611 and 1212, 7 Jun 13 from LAS to DCA. Mileage Plus VJ31812. I had to cancel the above flight for my wife Mitsuko Nakasone due to an unexpected change in travel plans. I received an email informing me I cannot get a refund. I don't feel I should have to pay for somethingI didn't receive. I consider this stealing. I have used United for years and have a lot of mileage. If I don't received a refund/partial refund, I will not consider United for my future international/domestic flights.

Refund 5/6/13 5:53AM

I am vendor in IAH cannot get a refund on food vouchers,
Called United several times- no one can answer my question.
When I called you either get a agent that cannot speak or understand English!!!!!!

Princess123 3/15/13 12:37PM

...traveled to the UK on a holiday visit. Upon my return my visit to Heathrow International airport... of which was a carry-on leaving from the US. I was not charged a carry-on fee going to the UK, but was charged a full fee for my carry-on leaving the UK. The customer agent and her... unfriendly. I stated to the supervisor, that I was not charged a carry-on fee leaving the US, and she... futher to request a refund for this incident, as it was not consistent with the United Airline policy of a carry-on, traveling... budget and my return home. This inconsistency with the international luggage policy, makes me... Read complete comment

Anonymous 11/23/12 7:44PM

... a mcdonalds nearby as much as tickets cost this is a dissapiontment now he will miss a day worth of work which means no pay alot of angry passengers I think a refund or something is in order his conformation number is will defantly choose another airline next time remember you need people ... Read complete comment

Anonymous 11/17/12 4:33PM

... on 31 oct due to sandy. Phone calls to Mumbai united airlines office were never picked up so i ... LHR London Heathrow>I was charged $106.64 extra as fare difference. UA annpuncement regarding refunds for changes due to Sandy include Fare differences. I ... Read complete comment

Jai 11/12/12 12:12PM

I have been trying to contact a live person to check on a refund on a ticket, and have been put on hold, and hold waiting for over three days. One of the people that I finally got on the line, could barely speak English. ... Read complete comment

Anonymous 10/29/12 10:08AM

... was impossible for a flight to leave early, but I have the email United sent me to prove it. The Customer Service line had about 80 ... hours one-way to get me. On the bright side, I finally called United. (Thanks for having the number and advice on how to reach ... fortune to reach someone in the US who offered me not only a refund for the flight that left San Francisco early, but a sincere ... Now that's a first. We'll see if I get the refund. The ratings below apply to the agent on the phone only. The staff at the airports was worse than horrible and I do not see how United stays in business. Read complete comment

Anonymous 10/21/12 10:24AM

Mr. Jeff Smisek, President & CEO United Airlines 77 West Wacker Drive Chicago... response was not quite as casual: “So, is it United’s official policy that off-duty flight attendants who... do your job well.” And I promptly returned to my seat. After a while, Bobbi came... according to each passenger’s Premier status, which is United’s policy. When the passenger sitting next to me asked... get. As we were approaching landing and I was in the process of re-packing and re-stowing my...United to provide me with a copy of your policy regarding bathroom use by passengers from different cabins.... Read complete comment

Anonymous 9/30/12 4:26AM

... austin the lady at the counter noticed a problem that my connection was scheduled for two days later.then she tried to find another flight for us they were all...for several hours and got us into boston agian about 5 hours late.On my return trip to san antonio is were they really shined i left from boston ...bumped to the next flight recieved 200 percent of his ticket price in a check refund.i recieved a free drink on the plane to make up for the fact that 75 ...booked the flight i had no problem getting a hold of an agent to take my money.So i called that number back and was told thats not there job ... Read complete comment

gfy 9/24/12 1:39PM

... had really bad experince with United Air line ,august 8-10 20012. I was charged for flights I did DID NOT...orlando coming back to philadelphia was a disaster.go to the airport,, united send me to US air and US day same thing Im upset in tears united was not trying to find out what was going on ...and my grandchildren home on US air, I the next day august the 11th ,and getting them up give me your numbers to or united air a rep.from my credit ... complain about the service from your reps. I just wanted a refund for the los vegas tickets that was chargerd on my credit card Read complete comment

gmom 9/21/12 11:42AM

... I had to cancel two round trip tickets from Tucson, Arizona to New Orlean, LA. I tried to request a refund. I realize we purchased nonrefundable tikets, but I believe that under the sercumstances you on the phone on 19 Sept would not let me talk to his supervisor. I'm sure that United filled the seats and didn't loose any money on this. I can certainly use this money for lawyer's fees. Please help. William Bizzak ticket conf# B e ticket# 0 Read complete comment

Anonymous 9/19/12 4:41PM

... doesn't speak English from being frustrated.My aim was defeated by united airline.The confirnmation # for this refund is AZMMP0.PLS I don't want travel certificate, money shd be pain into my credit car account. My mom didn't eat from 9am to 7pm. All the inconveniences shd be putting into consideration. Thanks, Unsatisfied customer. # ... Read complete comment

Anonymous 9/13/12 6:14PM

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