How to Change a United Flight

United Airlines passengers can change flights without incurring a change fee for most types of fares.
Natasha GabrielleAug 20, 2021

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It can happen to anyone: You book a United flight, then days or weeks or months later, something comes up and you need to change it. When that happens, you’ll need to know the flight-change rules so you can take the next best step.

Here are the carrier's policies and how to change a United Airlines flight, whether you purchased it with cash or United MileagePlus miles.

As of Aug. 30, 2020, United Airlines no longer charges change fees for travel within the United States for most fare types, except for basic economy tickets.

Here's what else you need to know:

Basic economy tickets may be subject to a change fee, with certain exceptions.

While the United flight change policy doesn’t allow for changes to be made to basic economy tickets issued on or after May 1, 2021, same-day standby is available to travelers.

United Airlines has a new standby policy that began Jan. 1, 2021. Now, any United passenger can fly standby on a flight departing within 24 hours of their booked travel, no matter what type of ticket or class of service they purchased, without incurring a standby fee.

If you’d like to actually confirm your seat on a different flight instead of just stand by for it, that may be possible as well:

To be on standby for a flight:

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If you want to change a United flight on the same day of travel, you may need to pay a difference in fare, even if you’re able to get a new ticket for the same fare class as the original ticket.

MileagePlus Premier members are eligible to confirm changes for free when the original ticketed fare class is available on the new flight.

Figuring out how to change a United flight online is easy — just follow these four steps:

Your flight must have the same origin and destination and leave within 24 hours before or after your original flight. This option is available only for flights operated by United or United Express with a ticket number beginning with 016. If your new flight is more expensive, you’ll need to pay the difference.

If you prefer, you can also call customer service at 800-864-8331 to request a flight change.

If you bought an award ticket with United MileagePlus miles, you can change your flight online or by calling customer service. For a domestic flight or an international flight originating in the U.S., there’s no fee to change your flight.

» Learn more:

If you have a change of plans after booking a United flight, you can usually switch to a different flight. In many cases, you won’t need to pay fees.

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