United Airlines Pushes to Remove Change Fees for Domestic Flights Effective Immediately

In a bid to find better ways to serve their customers, United Airlines announced on Sunday that it is permanently getting rid of their $200 change fees on domestic flights. This new policy applies only to standard economy, premium economy, business class and first class tickets. This is valid for travel tickets within the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island. Although the fees will not be permanently waived for international and basic economy tickets, the charges will be waived until December 31, 2020. And staring January 1, 2021, United will be eliminating their $75 fees for passengers who wants to fly standby on an alternate flight departing the same day as their booked travel, regardless of the type of ticket or class of service but subject to availability.

According to United Airlines’ CEO Scott Kirby “Change is inevitable these days – but it’s how we respond to it that matters most. When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of this fee is often the top request. Following previous tough times, airlines made difficult decisions to survive, sometimes at the expense of customer service. United Airlines won’t be following that same playbook as we come out of this crisis. Instead, we’re taking a completely different approach – and looking at new ways to serve our customers better.”

United change fees are gone

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onemileatatime.com: United Airlines is permanently eliminating Change Fees but there is a catch

Screenshot from onemileatatime.com

One Mile At A Time shares the announcement made by United Airlines on Sunday about permanently eliminating ticket change fees effective immediately. But there are few restrictions to this like:

  • This is valid for standard economy, premium economy, business class, and first class tickets (Basic Economy tickets are excluded)
  • This is only valid for tickets for travel within the United States, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands
  • There will be no limit to how often customers can change tickets
  • Note that just because change fees are waived doesn’t mean you can get a refund; unless you book a refundable ticket, this simply means that you can apply the value of your ticket towards another reservation
  • As before, tickets have to be used for travel within a year of the original date the ticket was issued, and that can’t be extended
  • For previously booked tickets, these waived fees only apply for tickets that had travel on March 3 or later; in other words, tickets canceled prior to that can’t be re-booked without a fee

Ben, a corresponded from One Mile At A Time, shares that there is a catch on the removal of the change fees. He says, “The biggest catch is that if you rebook your flight and your new flight costs less, you won’t get a refund. In other words, if you were originally booked on a $1,000 first class ticket and rebook on a $200 economy ticket, you wouldn’t get any money back, and wouldn’t get a voucher for the residual amount.”

While the fees are not permanently waived for international travel and basic economy tickets, United will temporarily waive its fees until December 31, 2020.

On the other hand, passengers can fly standby for free on flights departing the day of their travel.