[Updated: Caveats Added] United Adds The Best Overall Coronavirus Waiver On Paid And Award Flights!

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Update: United has clarified that:

  • No refunds will be given for awards, but you can cancel your award and rebook any other award within 1 year with no penalty. However if the new award costs fewer miles you will not receive a mileage refund. Note that United may still offer mileage refunds, but it will be on a case by case basis. If you booked an award in the past 24 hours you can still get a free refund for it.
  • If your new ticket is less expensive than the old ticket you normally would receive a voucher for the difference in fare. However United writes that they will not be offering any vouchers or refunds under this free change and cancellation policy, so you won’t want to rebook less expensive travel and you won’t be able to transfer your ticket to someone else via a voucher as you would normally be able to. If you booked a paid ticket in the past 24 hours you can still get a free refund for it.

Originally posted on 3/3:

JetBlue, Alaska, American, BA, and Delta previously announced free change policies due to coronavirus. Of course Southwest always has free changes.

American added annoying restrictions like requiring changes 14 days in advance, allowing just one change, and excluding awards.

Delta’s waiver is only valid on international tickets.

United just announced their policy and clearly they saved the best for last.

You can make free changes or cancellations for all bookings made between March 3-March 31 for travel anytime within the next year.

If you do make a change, the change fee will be waived, but the difference in fare will still apply.

If you cancel you will have the amount paid as credit for a flight within the next year.

The policy applies even if you book United marketed tickets on other websites.

This should push other stingy airlines into making a more generous change and cancellation policy.

Will this policy influence you to book United for your next flight?

HT: Rabbi Nathanson

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88 Comments On "[Updated: Caveats Added] United Adds The Best Overall Coronavirus Waiver On Paid And Award Flights!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Booked a ticket on United on Sunday night. Darn. I guess no waiver for me.


Definitely call. I cancelled a Jetblue ticket booked before the policy and they waived the fees.


They have accomadated for old bookings see my other comment


To which country? Any specific one? I called they said no waivers issued for TLV


What about flights booked before March 3rd? Policy is ridiculous.


Can I book a United flight with ultimate rewards points, and cancel Anytime for free ?


Awesome policy Dan. I agree.

Somehow I feel this is going to be abused though.

This is amazing though


How would it be abused?

deals dealer

Wow! United it is!

No Shticks

If the new flight is priced higher, the customer may change for no fee but must pay the fare difference.


Would i get fully refunded off I booked with United points for Lot airline?


If I book an award flight but none of the flights are with United, will I still be able to cancel free of charge?


Sure the policy applies to awards? I don’t see any mention either way…


Going to book now
United it is !!


American Airlines …, Third World Airlines with Third World refund policy!!!


Does this include if I purchase a flight on United but on partner metal (e.g. Air canada)?


I have a United electronic travel certificate/voucher that is expiring soon. If I would book a flight and then cancel would I get back my voucher but with another year until it expires?


It deffinitly will help for all of us in israel who got cancelled by alitalia. Also united was willing to change some tickets to direct 100% free of charge.


What is a award flight ?


Comment of the decade


Not fair, the decade just began


An Award Flight is when someone is flying with no other reason to reach his destination other than to earn awards in the form of miles or points.


I canceled a flight booked in January and the cancelation fee was waived, credit granted until next January. Of course, I would’ve rather a refund, but I filled out a refund request online as well. They couldn’t guarantee me a refund on the phone.


Where were you flying to? Was there a separate waiver in effect ?


award flight means when an individual redeems points for free travel.
you may still be responsible for the taxes, and in some scenarios there may be a fuel surcharge as well.

aharon Noach

what is the cancellation policy if you use united miles to book partner tickets ie Australian to TLV?

aharon Noach

What is the cancellation policy if you use united miles to book partner tickets like Austrian from ORD/TLV


I messaged United and looked at their Facebook page; they are giving answers all over the place, especially on reward tickets. Not saying above guidance is wrong but I could see ending up on the short end of the stick with United on this one as the official terms are very vague. I fear they will only honor the change component.

Jebediah Springfield

This includes Basic Economy tickets too?


Just booked a few trips, kept waiting for this waiver.

Once other such as Aeuroplan issue a waiver I’ll likley rebook some with them.


Can I buy ewr-tlv r/t, travel to israel now for the year, and in 10 months change my return to match my needs then? It’s like an open ticket?


You’ll pay a higher difference if the new flight is more expensive


I am united gold. Called about booking award ticket for next year and asked about the redeposit she said that is not a change fee and id still be charged a redeposit fee if cancelled. Can you clarify why you say their would be no change fee per above?

Judah bergman

I just called them they say only international flights not domestic? These representatives dont even know


What is spirit airlines policy now


When cancelling and getting a credit, must the credit be used for the passenger named on the original ticket? Or usable for any United ticket?


united writes: “Cancellations: If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked between March 3 and March 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket to be applied to a new ticket without fee for travel up to 12 months from the original ticket issue date.”

does the value of the ticket need to be used by the original traveler, or can it be used by someone else?


That is usually the case if you cancel- your new trip will be for the same passenger/s on the original it will have the same confirmation number.


Is the Policy also if u book with United on travel with partner Airlines?

Shannon Sato

What about United flights purchased through a third party site like Priceline?


I am on a 21 hour wait call back with priceline on this. We have flights with united, so hopefully Priceline honors United policy on this.


I was able to rebook a flight from tlv with no change fees. Just call them and explain your worries


Does united allow cancellation after a portion of the ticket was already flown


I had a united tickets with points for EWR- TLV and they just refunded it to me fully with no $125 redepositing fee.


I did a miles ticket for 150k miles. I also took out insurance when i bought the ticket. Would the travel insurance cover the costs?

True caller

1. I am afraid that we won’t be able to utilize the Air Serbia tickets as well, any thoughts on that?

2. I did follow Dan’s advice and bought them with Chase Sapphire Reserve points so hopefully if the airline won’t refund my 5 tickets Chase will, is that correct?

3. If the above is correct, will they refund me my deposits for my Israeli apartment and other amenities as well?

Would you recommend booking more trips and relying that Chase will refund everything if necessary?


Dan, any recommendation for getting United to refund my ticket to London/Paris? Currently, it is not one of the cities covered by their waiver. Plus, the ticket was purchased in February (for travel next week).


Try their twitter team, I was able to cancel a ticket booked in Jan


If I booked a ticket last week with fare lock on United and purchase it today- will thsi fall under this policy?


Is this for basic economy too?


If you book using miles and then cancel, is it like a paid ticket that only the person who was on the miles ticket has to use it or can you use the miles for someone else?


Any idea on air Canada’s corona change fee changes? Thank you.


does this include bookings on united points with Turkish Air?


It says “If the customer decides to cancel the flight they booked between March 3 and March 31, 2020, they can retain the value of the ticket”- what about if I cancel after March 31, 2020?
Can I make a change for free after I take the first flight of the itinerary?
This applies to non-united metal as long as it is United issues the ticket?


This is a scam by UA, to get people to continue to make reservations. Anyone (like me) who planned to travel this week or next week…, clearly booked their flights before 3/3 & are excluded. I am going to be penalized about $600 for cancelling or changing my flight for next week, booked thru ASAPtickets.


Hello. For clarity, If I book a United flight using Air Canada points (courtesy of AMEX), do the same United rules apply, or is it under Air Canada’s rules-even if the flight is a United flight? Will I get a refund for cancellation or be allowed to change for the next year?


What about if you booked a basic economy flight on March 2 for a flight on March 20? I’m guessing it doesn’t qualify


I just cancelled a rewards flight with United last night, was charged a ‘redeposit fee’ of $100 to keep my miles… doesn’t seem to jive with the ‘no fee’ communication. Have you heard anything like this?


I paid $650 on priceline for 2 tickets and when I go to cancel on united it says I will only get $358 credit. Wth?