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If you booked a flight on United Airlines and want the cost of your ticket refunded, here’s how to get the process started.
United Airlines Refund Policy
If you cancel within 24 hours of booking your ticket and it’s at least one week before your departure, you don’t need to do anything to get a refund.
United typically won’t charge the ticket until after the “24-hour hold period” expires, so you are essentially just canceling the ticket that had not yet been paid for. There’s really nothing to refund and this is a law mandated by the DOT for all airlines.
If your flight is canceled and you don’t want to be re-booked on another flight, you are entitled to a full refund of the ticket price.
Note: Airfare rules have changed since COVID, so check out the United Airlines’ travel updates page to make sure you are up to speed with the latest developments and policies.
Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Tickets
Getting a refund on a fully refundable ticket is relatively easy, but it’s a lot tougher if you have a non-refundable ticket.
United Airlines won’t issue refunds on non-refundable tickets, except for the following situations that are considered “unplanned events”:
- Death of the traveler, traveling companion, or immediate family member.
- Immediate family members include: adopted ward, aunt, brother, brother-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, domestic partner, father, father-in-law, foster brother, foster daughter, foster father, foster mother, foster sister, foster son, granddaughter, grandfather, grandmother, grandson, half-brother, half-sister, husband, legal guardian, mother, mother-in-law, nephew, niece, sister, sister-in-law, son, son-in-law, step-brother, step-daughter, step-father, step-mother, step-sister, step-son, uncle, wife
- Travelers in the reservation are actively on jury duty during the dates of planned travel
- Certain illness situations
United will refund tickets only when the unplanned event prevents the use of that ticket within one year of the ticket’s date of issue.
Documentation Requirements for a Refund Request
If you find yourself in an unplanned situation that requires you to cancel your trip, here’s the documentation you will need to provide to United to get a refund:
- In case of death: Copy of the death certificate.
- Illness situations: Letter (on letterhead) from a licensed physician confirming that travel was not recommended due to the customer’s illness. This is primarily for the refund of a change fee.
- Jury duty refund requests: Copy of the jury summons.
United Airlines Refund Request: How to Get a Refund
After reading the above information, if you believe you are eligible for a refund, just go to the United Airlines refund page and follow these steps:
- Go to the United Airlines Refund Page
- Enter your name, contact information, and ticket number.
- Provide the details of your refund request and why you are requesting it.
- Upload any supporting documentation required.
- Click submit and save your confirmation number for future reference.
- Wait 2-4 weeks to hear back from United regarding your refund status.
Where to find your United Airlines Ticket Number
You can find your ticket number on either the printed boarding pass or your receipt.
Refunds via mail
If you are unable to submit your request online, you can contact United Refunds via mail at the address below. Make sure to include your United Airlines ticket number, your flight information, contact information, and the reason for your request.
P.O. Box 4607, Dept. NHCRF
Houston, TX 77210-4607
How to check your United Airlines Refund Status
- You can check the status of your refund on the United Airlines website here.
- Just click on the “check status” tab and enter your ticket number and last name.
How long will it take to get a refund from United Airlines?
If you are owed a refund, United must process the refund and provide credit within 7 business days if you paid by credit card, and 20 business days if you paid by cash or check.