United Increases Award Ticket Change and Cancellation Fees for Non Elites
Rewards Credit Cards
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 Four Seasons Preferred Partner, VirtuosoPeninsula Hotels PenClub, Dorchester Diamond Club, Belmond Bellini Club, Shangri-La Luxury Circle, Langham CoutureRitz-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
Rewards Credit Cards
Get Free Email Blog Updates
Popular Articles
Square_100k_amex_platinum_bonus_offer-act_now
11/23/2016
  Update: Application Link has expired. Please see Best Travel Credit Cards for the current best credit card offers.  -------- A 100K AMEX Platinum Bonus Offer is available--act fast if you haven't had this card before and want the 100,000 Membership Rewards...
Square_shangri-la_luxury_circle_benefits
1/7/2017
UPDATE: Due to high demand, we are only accepting Luxury Circle Reservations of 2 nights or more from New TravelSort Clients. As usual, quotes are only available after submitting a completed and signed TravelSort New Client Form. Note the $50...
Square_credit_cards-_apply_for__keep_or_cancel
12/11/2016
  It's nearly the end of 2016, so I'm reviewing my credit cards: whether to keep or close my existing credit cards, and which new cards I want to apply for. To put my thoughts below into context, the goal for my...
Square_10000_alaska_miles_bonus_for_virgin_america_elevate_members
1/9/2017
  10,000 bonus Alaska miles is a nice present today for Virgin America Elevate members who are also Alaska Mileage Plan members. Log into your Alaska Mileage Plan account, and you may see a 10K bonus similar to the following:...
Square_2017_and_travel_credits-which_credit_cards
1/3/2017
  It's 2017, which means a new round of airline and travel credits from credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, AMEX Platinum, and more. Here's a rundown of the main cards that offer an airline or...
Square_citi_prestige-lower_annual_fee_and_15_percent_bonus_points_each_year
11/22/2016
  Update: Apparently these benefits below are for Citi Gold customers only and these mails were sent in error to a number of Citi Prestige cardholders. Citi has corrected this with emails to most cardmembers that received these notices in...
Square_200_amex_platinum_airline_fee_credits_posted-2017
1/14/2017
  The $200 AMEX Platinum Airline Fee Credit isn't as easy for most people to use as the $250 Citi Prestige airfare credit or the $300 Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit, for a couple reasons: It's restricted to one airline,...
Square_75k_amex_platinum_bonus_offer
1/24/2017
  75K AMEX Platinum and 75K AMEX Business Gold Rewards bonus offers are available to many, using private browsing (Safari) or an Incognito browser window (Google Chrome). To maximize your chances of seeing the offers, be sure to clear your...
Square_british_airways_first_class-5_things_i_love_and_5_things_i_dont
12/6/2016
  British Airways First Class may not be aspirational, but it's practical for many needing to travel between the U.S. and London, given the number of flights British Airways operates from U.S. gateway cities and the fact that there are...
Square_review-british_airways_first_class_747-seat_2a
1/18/2017
  British Airways First Class is often panned in blogger reviews, compared to other international first class products. But the fact remains that British Airways has the most first class flights and seats between Europe and the U.S., by virtue...