United Now Allowing Fee-Free Mileage Refunds On All Flights Through May 31st!

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United continues to be all over the place when it comes to refunds since the COVID-19 crisis hit.

They originally said that you couldn’t get a refund if they were able to find you an alternate flight option within 25 hours of your original flight, but their lawyers told them that policy wouldn’t stand up in court.

They changed the policy to 6 hours, but said that they won’t give refunds on international flights until a year goes by.

Even if you used miles and your flight got cancelled they were insisting on charging a redeposit fee, so I wrote a post on how to hack $50 off the redeposit fee.

Other airlines like American and Delta have been offering free mileage redeposits on cancelled flights.

Yesterday I wrote that United finally got some sense knocked into them and their new policy is that they will redeposit your miles for free if your flight is cancelled by the airline. That’s true if it’s a United or partner flight.

Apparently the negative press got someone’s attention at United, as now United has gone back to being customer friendly.

After some readers reported being able to cancel future travel online without a fee, I reached out to United to ask about their current policy and they confirmed that they now allow free mileage redeposits on all travel from now through May 31st, even if your flight is not cancelled. That applies regardless of when you booked travel and applies to both United and partner award travel.

You should be able to redeposit your miles online for free, but if it’s not working online you can call and request your miles to be returned for free.

That’s now far more customer friendly than American and Delta, which are only offering free mileage redeposits if they cancel your flight.

Kudos to United for the new policy, but remember that these policies are constantly changing, so take advantage while you can.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s policy changes 😀

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45 Comments On "United Now Allowing Fee-Free Mileage Refunds On All Flights Through May 31st!"

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what about my united asia award in AUGUST 2020?
I also paid $300 in tax and fees of which $250 was manually credited by amex rep as my aspire airline credit.

no free cancellation with no award redeposit and amex will claw back the $250 they manually credited me if i cancel this?


I bought 5 tickets for my Nephews Bar Mitzvah in Houston before March for the weekend of May 7th and 8th. My wife is not going to go. Can I straight cancel?


If they didn’t officially announce this policy would that mean that it wouldn’t really have an affect on getting other airlines to follow suit?


I booked united flights to Israel in May using chase ultimate reward points, will they be fully refunded according to this?


Definitely good, thanks for sharing.
But it might just be coming out of the fact that they know they will be bailed out, so they don’t need to cut their losses anymore…


Don’t understand why just if it was booked with mileage can u get full refund and not when purchased through UR? What’s the difference?


What about a flight they cancelled on me last week and said I have year?

Is this policy retroactive or just for flights here on out?


If i cancelled a Y award ticket but paid $ for an economy plus seat on top of the miles, would I be able to get the $ refunded?


I had a ticket that I canceled last week without redepositing miles (flight was not canceled), I just used the free change to book another ticket and canceled right away and got the miles redeposited for free!


I did the same last week on an award ticket (UA miles on BR flight end of May), cancelled without redepositing (flight was not cancelled). I just went to my account’s Cancelled Trips, went to “Cancel Reservation” again and have the option to redeposit without fees. No re-booking needed!


thanks! have been waiting for this!


Thansk, just cancelled my tickets to orlando for Pesach, full refund.


My flight was changed 12 hours one-way and four hours the other way. When I tried to cancel they charged me $250 fee. They refused to refunded.Can I get this back?


does this apply to new bookings as well? for example, i want to book award flight for departure in july. if my event gets cancelled, will i be able to cancel and redeposit my miles online for free or will united still charge a redeposit fee?

seems like delta and alaska have said specifically tickets booked up to apr 15/30 for any later travel dates are eligible for free cancel and redeposit of miles (per blanket waiver). does anyone know if AA or UA has similar or will follow suit? thanks in advance!

i’m asking specifically about new award booking for future travel beyond end of may that is not cancelled by UA or any carrier.


Btw Dan, I know it isn’t pertaining to this but Frontier finally caved and cancelled flights to Florida. We will BeH be getting a refund for that. My bank is fighting the Aeroflot tickets that the travel agent refused to let us cancel. And now for the big one… Executive Villas in Orlando refuses to refund a penny, even with the governors orders of no one coming from up north. Any ideas how to fight that? We emailed and they sent us the page in their contract where it states they don’t have to refund due to government intervention or some such nonsense. Any help would be appreciated. It is a TON of money that we are losing. TIA!


If it says so explicitly in your contract what’s your recourse??


I have 4 partner one way award business class tix for June. I Bought the insurance at time of booking.will that coverage work for redeposit fees if we flat out won’t travel because of Corona?


What if i book a united flight with lifemiles, does this apply to that and how how do i go about canceling it?


No this doesn’t apply to LifeMiles as their cancellation policy would apply to flights booked with them even on United. This policy only applies for awards booked with United miles for flights on United and/or their partners.


Just canceled award flt for Pesach ,worked like a charm- Thanks Dan!

Avi Sam

Last week I got an award ticket on delta refunded through the delta chat option and the flight wasn’t even canceled!!


Thanks for posting this. Ive been waiting for the no-change fee update for cancelling my award flight in May. Super appreciate it.


I paid $250 to redeposit 170,000miles on Friday. They were adamant on not doing this for free. My flight was not cancelled but as an American, Israel would not allow me to fly
I called United today. They said they could not refund the $250 but they issued me a $250 flight credit good for a year. I believe what is happening here is that the airline just good a huge chunk of cash from the feds, and they did not want to appear to be greedy by cheating their customers.


Just canceled 2 tickets. Thanks you. No charge !!

Adrianne Berger

They redeposited my miles for free on an international flight scheduled for April 7


Im asking. So if I booked with chase ultimate rewards they will not refund the miles?


What if we booked with cash? Any chances of a refund? So far they only offered credit through Dec. 2020.