How to Change a United Flight

United Airlines passengers can change flights without incurring a change fee for most types of fares.
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Written by Natasha Etzel
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Edited by June Casagrande
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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.

United flight change policy

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:

  • Change fees are not charged for economy, Economy Plus, first, business and United Premium Plus fares.

  • The policy applies to tickets for travel within the United States (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), or between the U.S. and Mexico or the Caribbean.

  • Additionally, there are no change fees for international travel that originates in the United States.

United change policies for basic economy fares

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

  • Basic economy tickets for international travel issued by July 31, 2021, can be changed without a fee.

  • Basic economy tickets are nonchangeable and nonrefundable.

While the United flight change policy doesn’t allow for changes to be made to basic economy tickets, same-day standby is available to travelers.

If you purchased travel insurance, you might be able to get reimbursed for the cost of a new flight if you must make a change due to a covered reason.

United's standby policy

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:

  • MileagePlus elite status holders, also known as Premier members, can confirm a seat on the same day with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket. They aren't required to pay a fee if the new seat is in the same fare class. If no seats are available in the purchased fare class, a fare difference may apply.

  • Non-Premier MileagePlus members and general nonmembers may be able to confirm a seat on another flight within 24 hours of the originally scheduled departure time. A fare difference may apply, even if the same fare class is available.

How to get on the standby list

To be on standby for a flight:

  • Add yourself to the standby list on the website or app, at an airport kiosk, or by talking to a United representative at the airport.

  • To do this online, through the app or at a kiosk, click on “View flight options.”

  • Keep an eye on the display screens near the gate for your new flight or track your standby status on the United app.

Can a change be made on the day of travel?

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.

How to change a United flight

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

  1. Log in to your account at or through the United app.

  2. Select “My trips” and “Change flight.”

united change flight

3. Click the “Edit” to update your itinerary to another flight.

change a united flight
Once you hit continue, you'll be redirected to eligible new flight options. 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.

Changing tickets booked with miles

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.

Final thoughts on changing your United flight

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.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

United Cards from our Partners
Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card

on Chase's website

United℠ Explorer Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays and United® purchases. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases


Intro offer


Limited-time offer: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Business Credit Card

on Chase's website

United℠ Business Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases, dining, at gas stations, office supply stores and on local transit and commuting. Earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Chase United Quest Credit Card

on Chase's website

United Quest℠ Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


3 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases. 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, select streaming services & all other travel. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, each year, receive up to a $125 United® purchase credit and up to 10,000 miles in award flight credits (terms apply) and earn up to 6,000 Premier qualifying points.


Intro offer


Limited-time offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

See more United cards
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