Posted by William Charles on March 8, 2020
Airline Rewards

Published on March 8th, 2020 | by William Charles

71

United Makes Massive Negative Change To Schedule Change Policy (From 2 Hours To 25+ Hours For Refund) Applying New Rules Retroactively

Update: They are now at least offering a travel credit, but still not good enough.

United has made a no notice retroactive change to it’s schedule change policy. Previously if there was a schedule change of more than two hours, United would refund you. Now the schedule needs to be 25 hours before United will refund you. As mentioned this is a retroactive change, meaning that United will be applying this new rule to existing bookings. To me this signals that United plans to make massive schedule changes due to COVID-19 and a lot of them will be in excess of that two hour buffer they used to give themselves. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see how applying this change retroactively is even legal. In a case of United attempting to applying this new retroactively I’d suggest doing the following:

  • Immediately file a charge back with your credit card issuer for services not rendered.
  • File a complaint with the Department of Transport. It might also be worth filing a complaining to the FTC for misleading advertising and also to your state attorney general as well

Keep in mind that these schedule changes are likely a cost cutting measure by United and they should absolutely be providing customers with a refund. In my opinion this is an absolutely insane move and even if not enforced will result in a lot of goodwill being lost by United. At this stage I couldn’t recommend that anybody book a ticket with United, because who knows what other negative retroactive changes they have planned?



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Michael Sam
Michael Sam

i knew they were *ssholes!

CongestionChargd
CongestionChargd

Hopefully United has paid TPG big so they can spin this as a positive move.

Rusty Shackleford
Rusty Shackleford

Funny enough I couldn’t find anything about this by both browsing their recent stories and running a search *insert shocked Pikachu face*. Glad we have people like William Charles to keep us in the loop!

Stan
Stan

honestly as these airlines get desperate with COVID, i think we’re all gonna get screwed. our miles and points are also at risk IMO.

Yankee Wing
Yankee Wing

I wonder if they’re doing this because Lufthansa plans to cancel half (!!!) their flights. This will be incredibly disruptive to United and also a possible sign of the things to come …

Jj
Jj

The advice to file a chargeback is in bad faith, plan on forfeiting all your miles and trashing your credit if you do this

JV
JV

What does filing a chargeback have to do with your credit? I’ve had to file a few myself and never seen anything negative occur

Jjtard
Jjtard

It doesn’t. Jj is just an ignorant idiot.

Chris
Chris

Nothing.

Alex
Alex

He is talking about United’s credit I guess, frozen account, Not credit score.

StarAdmiral
StarAdmiral

Chargebacks don’t affect your credit. Why would you even think that? Drinking dave ramsey juice?

Vy
Vy

Forfeiting miles and account suspension are actually real risks here, as the airline can hold them hostage.

As for trashing your credit, the only danger I can see of going the chargeback route is the airline potentially blacklisting your credit card, but you can always use a different credit card for future purchases. Or you know, fly a different airline.

david
david

you don’t understand what bad faith is. you also don’t understand how credit works.

Derek
Derek

Absolute madness. Agreed that miles values are also at a heightened risk.

Andrew
Andrew

It’s worth mentioning that if you do a charge back on your card, be prepared for them doing other drastic things like suspending your frequent flyer account. If that’s a comfortable risk for you, then go for it. If it’s not, probably pursue the other actions listed.

Chris
Chris

Uber/Lyft already do this if you try to chargeback vomit fraud.

Yawgoog
Yawgoog

“The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus, a federal official told The Associated Press.”
https://apnews.com/921ad7f1f08d7634bf681ba785faf269

Celia
Celia

Shocking. But I’m sure they’ll blame it on the previous administration more than they already have.

Jack Jones
Jack Jones

You really think anyone (Democrat or Republican) is going to anger the largest voting block in the country, Senior citizens?

UNITED?!
UNITED?!

What the actual F.

Satan
Satan

Wow, even I think that’s a bit harsh.

HarryTheFirstHarry
HarryTheFirstHarry

I wouldn’t go so hard on United…its the Virus. They have to do what they have to to survive these tough times. I would rather they do this and stay afloat and then once things return to normalcy return the what it was before. People who are flying do need to be flexible in these tough times.

Fathiss
Fathiss

Tough times? It’s only been a few weeks of this for the airlines. If they can’t absorb one or two bad quarters they have bigger problems.
When they return to profits do you expect they’ll share the rewards with others flyers?
Cookoo talk!

Vy
Vy

You must only be thinking of domestic airlines based in America. If I remember correctly, airlines have international routes as well, and COVID-19 was a public menace well before the WHO officially announced it in January 2020.

As for being able to absorb two consecutive bad quarters, no corporation is truly equipped to handle force majeure scenarios of this scale. The entire industry is drowning right now and UA is just trying to use its own passengers as human life rafts. It’s a shitty move that’ll backfire but it’s understandable.

Bill
Bill

I’ll be surprised if this ever gets rolled back. Why would they bother?

MKD
MKD

So that burden goes to the traveller? What kind of logic is that? I would have understand if this was done to new bookings, where you do the booking after knowing the terms. But how is it acceptable to apply this retroactively? They can steal money from customers to stay afloat? You should absolutely go after them and hold them responsible.

david
david

i think it’s incredibly naive to believe that the erosion of our rights and benefits will magically reverse itself. if UA thinks it can get away with policies like this now, it will try to get away with it during fairer weather.

Chris
Chris

Meanwhile Southwest posted record earnings in Q3 despite struggling with the MAX. Maybe if UA was well-managed they could weather this better…

projectx
projectx

Meanwhile Royal Caribbean has offered a full credit for any bookings made until July 31 and on existing reservations. The credit can be applied to any cruise through December 2021, as long as you cancel your cruise at least 48 hours before your departure. Other cruiselines made similar offerings.

If they can do it, why not the airlines? Bunch of crooks.

Celia
Celia

Big difference between a weeklong cruise and daily flights. United alone does like 4500 flights a day.

I agree with HarryTheFirstHarry in that it’s really not United’s fault. It’d be nice if all cancelled/changed flights were refunded but realistically they’d never survive. And I don’t see a bailout coming for the airlines.

projectx
projectx

There is not a difference. If everyone reschedules their cruises, they lose all their revenue, just as the airlines would.

Celia
Celia

I’m just saying the logistics aren’t the same. One cruise ship for 3,000 passengers when the same 3,000 air travelers could be on 10 or even 20 different planes.

projectx
projectx

Well then the airlines should be even more generous. They’re more nimble.

Celia
Celia

If only that were the world we live in 🙂

Tim
Tim

What if you don’t want to go a cruise anymore? United IS doing the same – they will give you a full credit if the schedule changes 30 min or more, however they won’t give you a cash refund unless the next best flight is 25 hours or more. Before the change, you would be given the option for a refund if they couldn’t get you to your destination within two hours of what you originally booked.

The whole point of flying is speed. If you book a ticket and then United says sorry, but we cut some flights so you’re going to be getting there 24 hours later than what you paid for, your only option now is to take a “store credit” even if you wanted to cancel and rebook on another airline…

Point is, we don’t want a store credit.

Alex
Alex

This is absolutely absurd. Expect a class action lawsuit.

Not Your Lawyer
Not Your Lawyer

Imagine the outcry from the airlines if Congress passed a law that said anyone could move the flight they booked up or back 25 hours without paying a fee and yet when United does this to us it’s just business as usual

Mali
Mali

There are ups and downs in every business. The airlines can’t expect to make easy money in good times but don’t take any responsibilities when environment is bad. I don’t know how is UA doing in terms of offering flexible refund for travelers booked before Mar (I assume not since they have this change). When the virus ceases, I will choose Delta, jetblue for my future travel because of their concession during this tough time, and SW as they always have the most flexible cancellation policy. AA and AS? I will try to apply another co-branded card.

BenL
BenL

United is definitely and quickly going down the drain for me. It’s such a shame that the largest alliance has them in it so that I’m practically forced to play with their miles. I’ve been switching to AA (since Alaska is not avail to me, and Delta… it’s complicated) due to price and talk that they treat their elites well.

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