Home > 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!
Advise about lowest available fares
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.
Notify customers of known delays, cancellations and diversions
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.
Deliver baggage on time
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.
Allow reservations to be canceled for a certain period after purchase
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, 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 scheduled flight departure. Or, if you prefer, you may change wholly unused tickets within 24 hours of purchase without incurring normally applicable change fees. Any applicable differences in fare still apply. Normal change and refund policies apply if your request is not made prior to scheduled flight departure.
Provide prompt ticket refunds
We will issue refunds for eligible tickets within seven business days of receiving the completed refund request for purchases made with credit cards and within twenty business days of receiving the completed refund request for purchases made by cash or check. When refunds are allowed, we will provide prompt refunds, to the original form of payment less any applicable fees. In the event of a flight cancellation or oversale situation, we will refund any fees charged to you for services for which you paid but were unable to use.
You may apply for a refund online, by phone or by written request:
- Online at united.com
- Calling United toll-free at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) or by calling the number on the back of your MileagePlus card, or through your travel agent.
- Written requests may be submitted to United Airlines, United Refunds, P.O. Box 4607, Dept. NHCRF, Houston TX 77253-3046 or to any United ticketing facility.
Please make sure that you have canceled your reservation before requesting a refund and remember to provide the passenger's name, address, ticket number(s), date(s) of travel and the departure and destination cities in your correspondence.
Note: If you used a credit card to make your purchase, we will submit the request for a refund to the credit card issuer within seven business days of receiving your completed request for refund. The credit card issuer will refund under the terms of the credit card agreement; your credit card statement may not immediately reflect the refund.
Properly accommodate passengers with disabilities and other special needs
We are dedicated to offering convenient and comfortable service to all our customers. We will provide our customers who require additional assistance, including individuals with disabilities and unaccompanied minors, with the attention, respect and care they deserve. In doing so, we will accommodate passengers with disabilities, as required by Part 382 of U.S. Department of Transportation rules, and other special-needs passengers. In particular:
Customers with disabilities
We work hard to ensure that our aircraft and our services are in full compliance with all applicable regulations, that our customers' needs are met and that we do not discriminate against passengers on the basis of disability. Our employees are specifically trained to support the commitment to our customers with disabilities.
You can ask for assistance when you arrive at the airport if you would like certain accommodations during your travel. There are, however, certain service requests which are required to be made in advance. This notice helps us plan ahead for your safe and comfortable travel. Please call our 24-hour Accessibility Desk at 1-800-228-2744 from within the United States or Canada. From other countries call United's Customer Contact Center and ask to be connected to the Accessibility Desk. You may also check the Special Travel Needs section of our website for details. During lengthy tarmac delays, our flight crew will make every effort to properly accommodate customers with disabilities or special needs.
If your travel includes another carrier, please check directly with that carrier for any of your travel needs as different policies and procedures may apply.
Requirements for minors who travel without an adult
We welcome young customers on our flights. We do, however, have rules about when a minor can travel alone and when an adult must accompany the minor during travel.
Children 5 to 15 years of age who are not accompanied on an aircraft by a parent, legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years of age are considered unaccompanied minors and are subject to specific restrictions. Unaccompanied minors may only travel on nonstop flights operated by United or United Express®.
Children younger than 5 years of age are not accepted as unaccompanied minors. Children 5 to 15 years of age who are traveling alone must use our unaccompanied minor service and pay the applicable service charge. Children ages 16 to 17 may travel as adults on all flights.
Children traveling unaccompanied pay the regular adult fare. An additional service charge is collected to cover extra service. Travel arrangements for these young travelers can be booked at united.com or through the United Customer Contact Center. Please ask us if you need additional information about making arrangements for children traveling alone.
Meet customers' essential needs during lengthy tarmac delays
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 (PDF: 50KB) 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.
Treat passengers fairly and consistently in the case of oversales
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.
Disclose travel itinerary, cancellation policies, frequent flyer rules and aircraft configuration
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.
Notify customers about travel itinerary changes in a timely manner
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.
Ensure responsiveness to customer complaints
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.
Provide services to mitigate inconveniences resulting from cancellations and misconnections
In order to reduce any inconvenience you experience during cancellations and misconnections, we will:
- Do our best to contact you in advance regarding a flight cancellation using the contact information in your reservation;
- Work to confirm you on the next flight we operate that has seats available in the same class of service when rebooking is necessary; and
- Make available information about your rebooking through our website, at airport kiosks (when available) and through our airport and contact center agents.
Download Our United Customer Commitment document:
United Customer Commitment (PDF: 115KB)