United Increases Award Ticket Change and Cancellation Fees for Non Elites
Avatar_160_hilary
Hilary Stockton
Google+

My Award Booking Service helps travelers book first class and business class with miles and points. As an independent affiliate of Cadence, I also have access to Virtuoso, Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Peninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Belmond Bellini Club, Ritz-Carlton STARS, Starwood Luxury Privileges, Rocco Forte and other 5-star hotel partners, so I can book, for no extra cost, your perfect luxury hotel or luxury cruise with VIP amenities not available anywhere else. Become a client and upgrade your stay!

GOT A BLOG POST IDEA?
Have a travel question we haven't covered yet? Want to share your secrets for traveling well for less?

United has increased its award ticket change and cancellation fees for non-elites, effective today, June 19, 2013. 

For non elites (United MileagePlus General Members):

  • Changes 21 or more days before the date of travel to cabin, award type, carrier, date or time (no change to origin or destination) go from no fee to $75
  • Changing the origin or destination at any time, or any change fewer than 21 days prior to the date of travel increases from $75 to $100
  • Canceling your trip and redepositing your miles increases from $150 to $200

United Increases Award Ticket Change and Cancellation Fees for Non Elites


Back in April, United and other airlines increased paid ticket change fees to $200-$300 so this move isn't wholly unexpected, although I'm not happy for my Award Booking clients to have to tell them this, or for that matter, my own personal travel as a United non-elite.
 
 
FAQ

Do These United Award Ticket Change Fees Apply to Tickets Purchased Before June 19?

No: per United, only tickets issued on or after June 19, 2013 are subject to the new higher ticket change fees. The old change fees apply to United award tickets issued prior o June 19, 2013.

 

Are United MileagePlus Elites Affected By These Award Ticket Fee Increases?

No, United elites (Premier Siler, Premier Gold, 1K, Global Services) are not affected--their award change fees or waived change fees remain the same.

 

How Do I Avoid Paying the Inreased United Change Fees?

Your best options are:

  • Be a United Elite for Reduced or Waived Award Ticket Change Fees: Although note that United just added a revenue requirement for elite status for U.S. MileagePlus members, so it's getting harder.
  • Use Another Frequent Flyer Program for Award Bookings: American AAdvantage so far doesn't charge for date changes (keeping origin and destination cities the same) that are more than 21 days in advance. And if you upgrade your class of service, you'll only be charged the difference in miles/taxes, no change fee (although you are charged a change fee if you downgrade your class of service. Don't forget that British Airways Avios doesn't have any close-in fees, for ticketing an award less than 21 days prior to departure, and Avios, Singapore KrisFlyer, and some other frequent flyer programs have much more reasonable change and redeposit fees than United and other U.S. legacy carriers.
  • Flight Delay, Cancellation or Travel Waiver: If your flight is delayed or cancelled, or if there's a travel waiver issued due to terrible weather or other catastrophe (currently the Boston Marathon bombings), you should be able to change your award flight for free. 
  • Schedule Change: If you've booked your award flight months in advance there may well be a schedule changes (or several) prior to your date of departure. This is your "get of out jail free" card, since it could legitimately cause you to miss a connection or a meeting. Make sure you have contact info listed or otherwise monitor these changes, so you can avoid the award ticket change fee.
Related Posts

 
 
 

United Business First Review

Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.

If you enjoyed this, join 90,000+ readers: please follow TravelSort on Twitter or  like us on Facebook to be alerted to new posts. 

Become a TravelSort Client and Book Your Hotel with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred VIP Amenities!

  • |
  • Print
    print |
Related Articles
Comments
Avatar_60_img_0373 NATE S. commented 20 Jun 2013
I have a Chase United Club Card. Will it affect the above mentioned charges/fees ?
Avatar_60_hilary Hilary Stockton commented 20 Jun 2013
The United Club Card does exempt you from the close-in booking fee for United operated flights, when booking an award fewer than 21 days before departure. My understanding though is that you are not exempt from the change fees that I mentioned in my post, including a change you make to an existing award within 21 days of departure. The original $75 close-in award booking fee hasn't changed, for non-elites, only the change and cancellation fees have.
Leave a Comment
Comment
Facebook-logo
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_best_premium_economy-seat_pitch_41_inches
4/3/2016
  I had my best Premium Economy flight today. Granted, I normally try to fly at least business class for international flights, but this was a relatively short international flight and I decided Premium Economy was all my son and...
Square_amex_platinum_airline_fee_credits_posted-400_off_american_airlines_flights
5/14/2016
Our 2016 AMEX Platinum Airline Fee Credits have posted, which will give us $400 off American Airlines flights. My husband and I both have the AMEX Business Platinum card, so we each were reimbursed $200 for our American Airlines e-gift...
Square_75k_mercedes_benz_platinum_amex_bonus_offer
4/30/2016
  A 75K Mercedes-Benz Platinum AMEX bonus offer is available, for $3000 minimum spend, so I've updated our Best Travel Credit Cards page and made it 4th on that list. Recently I wrote about the semi-targeted 75K AMEX Business Platinum...
Square_70k_united_mileageplus_explorer_bonus_targeted_offer
6/16/2016
  A 70K United MileagePlus Explorer bonus offer is being targeted to some MileagePlus members. Here are the offer details: 70,000 bonus MileagePlus miles after spending $3000 in purchases in the first 3 months after account opening 5000 bonus miles...
Square_review-american_a321_first_class_seat_2f
4/5/2016
  This American Airlines A321 First Class Review is part of a trip report on Bora Bora, Tahiti and New Zealand luxury resorts, dining and activities. For the prior posts, please see: Review: American A321 Business Class New York to Los...
Square_50k_lufthansa_miles_and_more_bonus_offer_returns
4/5/2016
  A 50,000 Lufthansa Miles & More World MasterCard bonus offer has returned, and I've added it to the Best Travel Credit Cards page.   Here are the offer details: 20,000 Miles & More miles after first purchase Additional 30,000 Miles & More...
Square_japan_airlines_jal-no_seat_selection_online_for_aa_award_tickets
4/26/2016
  Update: JAL online seat selection is again available, perhaps thanks to my and others' complaints about the system update that had eliminated it. -----Original Post----- JAL Seat Selection Online is No Longer Available for AA Award Tickets and other...
Square_ritz-carlton_stars_benefits_and_top_stars_exclusive_offers-ritz-carlton_pudong-3rd_night_free
4/24/2016
Ritz-Carlton STARS Benefits are the perks of the Ritz-Carlton's preferred partner program, and can only be reserved through TravelSort, as a TravelSort Client, or via another STARS member luxury travel advisor. Here are the benefits: Guaranteed 4pm late check-out, when...
Square_review-lax_international_lounge_at_tbit-view_of_terminal
3/30/2016
This Los Angeles International Lounge Review at LAX TBIT before an Air Tahiti Nui flight is part of a new trip report on Bora Bora and Tahiti luxury resorts, dining and activities. For the prior posts, please see: Review: American A321 Business...
Square_british_airways_first_class_from_1984_roundtrip
5/12/2016
  British Airways First Class Can Be Booked for as little as $1998 roundtrip today, May 12, thanks to a BA first class and business class fare sale combined with an AARP discount and an extra 10% British Airways Visa...