Missed, delayed or canceled flights

We have your back when things go wrong. If your flight is delayed more than an hour or canceled, or you missed a connection, we’re actively looking for ways to get you back on track and may have already found you a new flight. We still want you to have options though, so here’s how to choose an alternative flight that works best for you:

In less than five minutes, you can:

  • Check if you already have a new flight. We’re always looking for the best alternatives to get you where you need to go, so it’s possible we’ve already found you a new flight. Use the tools above to check, and if so, you can get your boarding pass right then and there.
  • Rebook your flight. You can rebook yourself on the earliest flight with available seats. These are the same options you’ll get when speaking with an agent, so skip the line and get a new flight without the wait.
  • Join the standby list. If there are flights that leave earlier with no available seats, try joining the standby list. We might be able to get you on those flights if seats become available. If you join the standby list, we won’t give up your confirmed seat on your rebooked flight. We’ll also waive our normal standby fees so it’ll be completely free. If you don’t see the earlier flight listed on the kiosk or app, stop by the gate of that flight about 60 minutes before it’s scheduled to departure. The gate agent will be able to add you to the standby list.
  • Find alternate airports. You can switch to a nearby airport using any of the tools above. Was your flight to New York/Newark canceled? Try flying into New York LaGuardia if it works with your travel plans.

Need extra help?

Contact the United Customer Contact Center, reach out to us on social media @united or visit our Customer Service Centers.

Frequently asked questions

  • You can still rebook yourself if you have checked bags. If you’re heading to the same destination within the U.S., your bags will get there, but they may be on a different flight. If you’re changing to an alternate airport, talk to a customer service agent at the airport to have your bags follow you there. Make sure to rebook yourself first and then speak with someone about your bags, as seats fill up quickly when disruptions happen. If your bags arrive at your destination before you do, we’ll hold them for you until you claim them.

    Tip: Use the “Track my bags” feature on the United app to see where your bags are at any time during your journey.

  • Talk to a customer service agent about your overnight options. Although we don't provide free hotel stays if your flight is delayed or canceled for reasons outside our control, we may be able to get you discounted hotel stays and free toiletries if you can’t get to your checked bags for the evening. If you don’t need your bags for your overnight stay, they’ll end up on tomorrow’s flight with you.

  • We hope your plans at your destination aren’t impacted, but sometimes a disruption means it’s no longer worth making the trip. If you speak with an agent at the airport or at our United Customer Contact Center, you can cancel your trip. Then, you can obtain a refund to your original form of payment for any unused flights by going here. We’ll be sad to see you go though.

  • Young flyers traveling alone

    As a part of our unaccompanied minor service, we require parents or guardians to remain at the airport until their child's flight has departed in case of flight delays and cancellations. In certain cases, we may arrange for accommodations, meals and transportation, if needed. You can find additional information in our United Customer Commitment and Lengthy Tarmac Delay Plan, as well as important terms and conditions in our Contract of Carriage. Different policies may apply when traveling to and from certain countries, such as policies specific to the European Union.

    Proof of delay or cancellation

    We can provide a statement if you need proof that your flight was delayed or canceled. Send an email to delayletter@united.com with the names of all the travelers on your reservation, the confirmation number, flight numbers, dates of travel, phone contact and the email address or mailing address where you’d like us to send the statement.

    Long delays on the tarmac

    Our contingency plan for lengthy tarmac delays describes our process for handling these situations in accordance with U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. See our Lengthy Tarmac Delay Plan for more information.

We want to know what you think

We understand no one wants to have their travel plans disrupted. That’s why we want to make things easier for you when the unexpected happens. Reach out to us on social media @united to tell us about your experience.