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United eliminates $50 fees for refunding tickets in times of distress

by on Thu November 5, 2015 • No Comment


United Airlines has a new CEO (actually, an interim CEO, and a new CEO who is on medical leave), and it’s busy scouring customer feedback to find ‘quick wins’ it can deliver to improve goodwill.

It’s already given a little extra to its most frequent fliers, offering them a free drink or snack when they’re flying in coach.

And now it’s giving something that could help everyone.

If you need to change or cancel a ticket because you need to deal with an illness, a family member passes away, or you get called to jury duty, United will no longer charge a processing fee to give you a refund or change your flight.

Yes, for a while United charged a $50 fee to get your money back or ‘waive’ your change fee in times of distress.

The friendlier policy was recently added to the site, which was set up by new management to keep stakeholders abreast of changes small and large in the works.


If you request a refund on you’ll still see reference to the $50 fee, but the site doesn’t ask for payment and with this new policy it won’t be assessed.


To process a refund without a fee, you need to have one of the following forms of proof:

  • Death of a family member: Provide a death certificate.
  • Your own sickness: Provide a doctor’s not that says you’re not fit to fly.
  • Immediate family member illness: The family member must be hospitalized and you need to provide the address and phone number of the hospital, along with the name of the doctor.
  • Jury duty: Provide a copy of your jury duty notice.

You can upload the documents using this form on and request the refund by selecting ‘E-Ticket refund’ under the ‘Refund Type’ dropdown.

You’ll also need to call United or use to change or cancel your reservation first, and if you don’t do that by the time of your flight, you could lose the value of the ticket.

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