Requesting a Refund
Under our 24-hour flexible booking policy, if your ticket was purchased through United in the last 24 hours, it may qualify for waiver of change or cancellation fees. If your ticket qualifies, you can go to our Manage Reservations page to cancel your reservation and receive a refund.
For other purchases or for tickets booked more than 24 hours ago, please choose your refund type below and select Continue to begin the refund request process.
Check refund status
Check the status of your refund by entering your 8-digit refund request number or your United ticket number.
Expand a section below for more information:
How quickly will my refund be processed?
Credit card refunds will be processed within seven business days of the request. All other refunds will be processed within 20 business days of the request, including:
- Traveler's check
- Bill Me Later®
- united.com gift certificate
- united.com gift TravelBank
- Electronic certificate
- Western Union (excluding any service fees)
How will my refund be credited?
Your refund will be credited back to your original form of payment, as outlined below:
How refunds are credit
|Original form of payment
|Cash, money order, cashier's check, certified bank check, Western Union, personal or company check**
||Check (may be issued in person at any United airport or city ticket office or within 20 business days if received by mail)
|Travel certificate or other stored credit
|Any combination of the above
||Individual forms of payment based on how the original purchase was split
* Proof of check clearance, such as a canceled check or bank verification, is required when requesting an immediate refund in person. In these cases, the ticket amount, United Airlines ticket number, and issue date must match the canceled check.
Contact United Refunds
If you are unable to submit your request using our refund form, or if you need to send additional documentation and can’t do so electronically, you can contact United Refunds using one of the methods below. Please be sure to include, your United ticket number, your flight information and your contact information, and note the nature of your request.
Ticket refund policies
Tickets purchased through united.com or the United Customer Contact Center within the last 24 hours may qualify for waiver of change or cancellation fees under our 24-hour flexible booking policy.
In all other cases, a refund may be requested for any fare that allows refunds. Depending on the rules of the fare purchased, a cancellation penalty may apply. Most fares are nonrefundable, and are not eligible for voluntary refunds. However, the value of your ticket may be eligible to be applied toward the price of a new ticket for a fee.
The refund amount you will receive depends on several variables. For example, tickets that are partially traveled will be calculated at a prorated amount based on the rules of the ticket purchased and segments flown. Fees and surcharges collected in conjunction with the ticket will only be refunded if applicable.
Select a section below for more information:
Travel agency and cruise line agency tickets
Refunds for tickets issued through a travel agency should be processed through the issuing agency.
Tickets issued by another airline
Refunds for tickets issued by another airline for United flights should be processed through the issuing airline.
Reissued and partially-used tickets
The refund amount for reissued or partially used tickets will be based on the difference between the fare plus charges applicable to the originally issued ticket and the fare plus charges of the segments flown.
MileagePlus award tickets are subject to the fees outlined in our MileagePlus Award Terms and Conditions.
MileagePlus mileage purchase
Purchased or transferred MileagePlus miles are added to the receiving account immediately, and these transactions are nonrefundable.
MileagePlus upgrade service fees
Members will be charged the service fee when requesting an upgrade to United First®, United BusinessFirst® or United Business®. If for any reason the upgrade is not provided, the service fee will be refunded in conjunction with the re-deposit of the miles used to upgrade.
Delayed or canceled flights
When complications such as weather, air traffic control, and mechanical delays occur, you may be eligible to request a refund for a ticket that would otherwise be nonrefundable or have restrictions on refunds. In these situations, please submit a refund request.
If your flight is delayed two hours or more, and you would rather postpone your travel, please let us know, and we'll waive any change penalties that may have applied to your ticket. You may also receive a travel credit or refund for the unused portion of your trip if you choose not to travel. If your trip involves a connection and you have made it to the connecting city, you may ask to return to your origin and receive a travel credit or refund if there are no other suitable alternatives. The amount and type of credit will depend on the fare and what portion of the ticket has been used.
Different policies will apply when traveling to and from certain other countries. Learn more about policies specific to the European Union or refer to our Contract of Carriage for more information.
Refund request for nonrefundable tickets — unplanned event
United will refund change fees and tickets in certain cases. All requests must be received prior to the ticket’s expiration date and must be accompanied by proper documentation (see “Documentation requirements and processing” below). We will refund tickets only when the unplanned event prevents the use of that ticket within one year of the ticket’s date of issue. In all other instances, the fare can be credited toward future travel, though the customer may receive a refund for flight change fees (see “Change fee refunds” below).
If your refund request is approved, a refund will be provided to the original form of payment. Refunds for purchases made with Gift Certificates will be provided in the form of electronic travel certificates.
This policy applies in the following cases:
- Death of the traveler, traveling companion or immediate family member
- Travelers in the reservation actively on jury duty during the dates of planned travel
- Certain illness situations
Immediate family members
- adopted ward
- domestic partner
- foster brother
- foster daughter
- foster father
- foster mother
- foster sister
- foster son
- legal guardian
Change fee refunds
In the event that your travel plans change as a result of illness or jury duty, you will be required to pay the applicable change fee at the time of that change. Once this change fee is applied, you may submit a request to have the fee refunded.
Ticket refunds will be provided in the event of death and, in some cases, illness and jury duty. This applies to all tickets, including revenue, MileagePlus award tickets, promotional, bulk and net fares.
Documentation requirements and processing
- In cases of death:
- Refunds require a copy of the death certificate. If your change is due to the death of an immediate family member, the request must contain the family member’s name and relationship to you.
- Illness situations:
- Change fee refunds require a letter (on letterhead) from a licensed physician confirming that travel was not recommended due to the customer's illness. Ticket refunds require a letter (on letterhead) from a licensed physician confirming that travel was not recommended within the validity of the ticket (one year of ticket’s issued date) due to illness. If the request is due to the illness of an immediate family member, the request must contain the family member’s name and relationship to you.
- Jury duty refund requests:
- Refunds require a copy of the jury summons.
Send all refund requests to United Refunds for consideration. Requests directed through other departments (contact centers, airport staff, etc.) will be referred to United Refunds.
Surcharges and taxes
Surcharges, including international and insurance surcharges filed as YQ or YR, will follow the refund rule of the fare. If the fare is nonrefundable, the surcharges are also nonrefundable.
Lost paper tickets
In the event that you have lost your paper ticket, please complete the lost ticket refund form. At least one of the following supporting documents must be provided in order for us to process your request:
- If paid by check, copies of both sides of the canceled check
- If paid by credit card, a copy of the billing statement
- If purchased through a travel agency, a copy of the lost ticket, which can be requested from the issuing agency
You may submit your request by downloading and printing the lost ticket refund form, filling in the required information, and presenting it and the supporting document(s) at any United Airlines ticketing location or by mailing it to the address on the form.
Lost Ticket Refund Form (PDF: 31.1KB)
Documents may require the Adobe Acrobat reader, available for free from Adobe for Windows, Macintosh, UNIX and other platforms.
All refund requests are subject to audit and final approval by the United Airlines Refund Department. All refunds, with the exception of purchases made with Gift Certificates, are credited to the form of payment of the original ticket. Refunds for purchases made with Gift Certificates will be provided in the form of electronic travel certificates. Please allow 90 days for processing of lost ticket claims.
Other refund policies
To learn about refund eligibility for fee payments, expand a section below for more information:
Baggage service fees
Baggage service fee refunds may be requested if you have paid for one or more checked bags and don't travel as a result of a cancellation, change in schedule or schedule irregularity caused by United.
Booking service fees
Reservation booking service fees and close-in booking fees for award tickets are refundable only if you cancel your reservation within 24 hours of purchase. If you have purchased a ticket from United in the last 24 hours, go to Manage Reservations to cancel your reservation or contact the United Customer Contact Center for assistance.
Cabin upgrade fees are generally nonrefundable, but if a flight for which an upgrade fee has been paid is affected by a schedule change, cancellation or oversale, and you cannot be accommodated in United Global First℠, United First , United BusinessFirst or United Business on a later flight, you may request a refund of the fees paid for the upgrade using the Cabin Upgrade refund form.
Economy Plus® seating
There are certain scenarios where you may be reaccommodated in a seat other than the one you've purchased, such as in instances of irregular operations, a last minute aircraft change or an oversell. In these cases, you will be issued a new boarding pass. If you find that you have not been reaccommodated in a seat of similar or greater value, fees paid for the seat will usually automatically be refunded. In the event a new boarding pass is not issued, however, you may request a refund for your Economy Plus purchase.