Our United Customer Commitment
We are committed to providing a level of service to our customers that makes us a leader in the airline industry. We understand that to do this we need to have a product we are proud of and employees who like coming to work every day.
Our goal is to make every flight a positive experience for our customers. Our United Customer Commitment explains our specific service commitments so that we can continue a high level of performance and improve wherever possible. The commitment explains our policies in a clear, consistent and understandable fashion. We have detailed training programs and system enhancements to support our employees in meeting these commitments, and we measure how well we meet them.
Welcome on board United Airlines where we've got your back.
On our website, at our ticket counters and city ticket offices, or when customers call the United Customer Contact Center to inquire about a fare or reservation, we will tell customers that the lowest fare we offer may be available through one of our other sales channels, if that is the case.
We work hard to get you to your destination on time, as scheduled. There may be times when weather, air traffic control, operational or service considerations lead to flight delays, cancellations or diversions. When this happens we will make available the most current, accurate information about your flight's status that we have. This includes providing information about a change in the status of a flight to, from or within the United States, a delay of 30 minutes or more in the planned operation of a flight or a flight diversion. When the change is made within a week of departure we will make information available within 30 minutes of becoming aware of the change. We may use one or more ways to communicate this information: providing information in the boarding gate area of a flight; on airport flight status display boards; upon request via phone with the United Customer Contact Center; in flight status updates on united.com; and in text/SMS and email alerts for customers who provide that contact information directly to United.
We work hard to get your checked bags to you on time. If your checked bags are delayed or misplaced, we will make every reasonable effort to deliver your bags within 24 hours. If you have expenses resulting from a baggage delay and are eligible to receive compensation, we will compensate you for reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket expenses. If your bag is lost, we will reimburse you for any fee charged to transport that bag.
When you book and ticket a reservation through united.com, the United mobile app, the United Customer Contact Center, at our ticket counters or city ticket offices, or if you use MileagePlus® miles to book an award ticket with any of these sources, we will allow you to cancel the ticketed reservation without penalty and receive a 100 percent refund of the ticket price to the original form of payment if you cancel the reservation within 24 hours of purchase and if the reservation is made one week or more prior to the original scheduled departure flight. Or, if you are not traveling on a Basic Economy ticket, you may change wholly unused tickets within 24 hours of purchase without incurring normally applicable change fees in accordance with United's 24-hour flexible booking policy. Any applicable differences in fare still apply. Normal change and refund policies apply if your request is not made prior to scheduled flight departure. Tickets paid for with Money + Miles cannot be changed within the 24-hour flexible booking period – the MileagePlus member must cancel the itinerary and make a new booking.
If you used a credit card, we aim to refund eligible tickets within seven business days of your request. Your credit card company will issue the refund under the terms of your credit card agreement, but your statement may not immediately reflect it.
If you used cash or checks, expect your refund within 20 business days of your request.
We’re busier than usual while we work through COVID-19 and government-issued travel guidance, so some requests may take up to 21 business days.
Refunds are sent to your original form of payment, minus any applicable fees. If your flight was cancelled or oversold, we’ll refund any fees charged to you for anything you paid for but didn’t use.
Request a refund online, by phone or in writing:
- Online at united.com
- Call the number on the back of your MileagePlus card, or your travel agent.
- Write to United Airlines, United Refunds, P.O. Box 4607, Dept. NHCRF, Houston TX 77253-3046, or to any United ticketing facility.
Make sure you cancel your reservation before requesting a refund. Include the passenger's name, address, ticket number(s), date(s) of travel and the departure and destination cities in your request.
We make sure our customers who require additional assistance get the attention, respect and care they deserve. This includes people with disabilities and unaccompanied minors. In doing so, we will accommodate passengers with disabilities, as required by Part 382 of U.S. Department of Transportation rules.
Customers with disabilities
Our aircraft and our services are in full compliance with all applicable regulations. We work hard to make sure our customers' needs are met and we do not discriminate against passengers based on disability. Our employees are specifically trained to support our customers with disabilities.
When you get to the airport, ask us how we can help accommodate your needs.
Some requests should be made before you get to the airport so we can plan ahead for your safe and comfortable travel.
Let us know by:
- Contacting us online or call United’s Customer Contact Center and ask to be connected to the Accessibility Desk.
- Check the accessible travel section of our website for details.
During lengthy tarmac delays, our flight crew will make every effort to help customers with disabilities or who need specific accommodations.
If your trip includes another airline, check directly with them for any of your travel needs, as they might have different policies.
We are committed to operating a reliable schedule for our customers. Safety considerations, weather, air traffic control, operations and other factors may occasionally cause lengthy tarmac delays. We have a tarmac delay contingency plan and the necessary resources and processes in place to minimize such delays. Our plan has been coordinated with the airport authorities at all U.S. airports we serve and at designated U.S. diversion airports; with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at U.S. airports regularly used for our international flights; and with the Transportation Security Administration at U.S. airports we serve, including diversion airports. Should a lengthy tarmac delay occur, we will make every reasonable effort to ensure that your essential needs are met. If safety and security considerations permit, this includes providing snack food and drinking water no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of a departure) or touches down (in the case of an arrival); operable restroom facilities; and adequate medical attention if needed.
We also understand that our customers want timely and up-to-date information during lengthy tarmac delays. As such, we will update customers on the delayed flight every 30 minutes about the status of the tarmac delay, including the reason for the delay, if known. In addition, if the aircraft is at the gate or another disembarkation area with the door open and the opportunity to deplane exists, we will notify customers of this opportunity every 30 minutes. However, customers deplane at their own risk and the flight may depart without them.
Occasionally we may not be able to provide you with a seat on a specific flight, even if you hold a ticket, have checked in, are present to board on time, and comply with other requirements. This is called an oversale, and occurs when restrictions apply to operating a particular flight safely (such as aircraft weight limits); when we have to substitute a smaller aircraft in place of a larger aircraft that was originally scheduled; or if more customers have checked in and are prepared to board than we have available seats.
If your flight is in an oversale situation, you will not be denied a seat until we first ask for volunteers willing to give up their confirmed seats. If there are not enough volunteers, we will deny boarding to passengers in accordance with our written policy on boarding priority. If you are involuntarily denied boarding and have complied with our check-in and other applicable rules, we will give you a written statement that describes your rights and explains how we determine boarding priority for an oversold flight. You will generally be entitled to compensation and transportation on an alternate flight.
We make complete rules for the payment of compensation, as well as our policy about boarding priorities, available at airports we serve. We will follow these rules to ensure you are treated fairly. Please be aware that you may be denied boarding without compensation if you do not check in on time or do not meet certain other requirements, or if we offer you alternative transportation that is planned to arrive at your destination or first stopover no later than one hour after the planned arrival time of your original flight.
We will give you clear information about policies and service aspects that may be important to you on united.com and, when you ask, through our Customer Contact Center and our representatives at airports. This means providing clear information about:
- Aircraft seating configuration, including seat size and pitch ranges on aircraft we operate;
- The important terms and conditions that apply to your ticket and travel, including cancellation policies; and
- Aircraft lavatory availability
We also make information about our MileagePlus frequent flyer program available on our website and in materials provided upon enrollment and in updates to MileagePlus members.
We understand that you need timely information about changes to your travel itinerary. If you provide us with your contact information, we will notify you using information in your reservation about any travel itinerary changes prior to the date of departure. For passengers who have made travel arrangements through a travel agent, United provides travel change information to travel agents.
We respond quickly to our customers' complaints. If you have a complaint regarding our services or our product, we want to hear from you. Information about where to direct your written complaint is on our website; on all E-ticket® confirmations; and is available upon request at each United ticket counter and boarding gate in the airports we serve. We will acknowledge written complaints within 30 days of receipt and we will send a substantive written response within 60 days of receiving your written complaint.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, travel plans are disrupted. When that happens, we’re committed to giving you good customer service while we work to get you where you need to go as quickly as we can. Here are some of the things we will do if your flight is delayed or canceled:
- We’ll give you the most up-to-date information about your rebooking options through united.com, the United app, at airport kiosks, or through our airport and contact center agents.
- We’ll get you on the next flight we have with available seats in the same cabin you’re traveling in at no additional cost. If your same-day cancellation or delay is caused by something within our control and a United flight is unavailable until the next day, ask us and United will book you on a partner airline’s flight via our existing interline agreements at no additional cost if they have seats available for United customers in your ticketed cabin.
- For cancellations or delays within our control, like mechanical issues, that result in your waiting for more than three hours, we’ll give you a digital or printed meal voucher. This voucher can be used for the reasonable cost of a meal at airport food vendors. If you don’t automatically get one, just ask us.
- When a delay or cancellation within our control, like a mechanical issue, keeps you away from your home city and you need to stay overnight, we’ll give you digital or printed hotel vouchers that can be used at a partner hotel. If we’re unable to offer you a hotel voucher because a room at one of our hotel partners is not available, and you find and pay for a different place to stay, you can submit your receipt to our Customer Care Team, and we’ll reimburse you for reasonable hotel costs.
- If you stay the night at a hotel nearby because of a delay or cancellation within our control, and the hotel doesn’t provide a shuttle or ride from the airport, we’ll give you a voucher for the reasonable cost of a ride to the hotel.
If we’ve offered you any of these services, you’re free to turn us down. But if you do, we won’t pay you back for any meals, hotels, or other services you choose to find and pay for yourself. If you are outside the U.S., relevant local laws may also apply.