United Airlines removing change fees, free standby on same day of travel


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DENVER (KDVR) — On Sunday, United Airlines said it is permanently removing the $200 change fee on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S.

All new domestic and international tickets purchased after March 3 with travel through Dec. 31 can be changed without a fee, as well.

“Change is inevitable these days – but it’s how we respond to it that matters most. When we hear from customers about where we can improve, getting rid of this fee is often the top request,” Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, said in a video message to customers.

A first among U.S. carriers, starting Jan. 1 2021 any United customer can fly standby for free on a flight departing the day of their travel no matter what type of ticket or class of service. The flight has to be to the same destination as their itinerary, but it will offer flexibility in cases such a business meeting ending earlier or getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport.

The free standby option will be available for all travel within the U.S., as well as to and from international destinations.

“Following previous tough times, airlines made difficult decisions to survive, sometimes at the expense of customer service. United Airlines won’t be following that same playbook as we come out of this crisis. Instead, we’re taking a completely different approach – and looking at new ways to serve our customers better,” Kirby said.

United also made a few upgrades for MileagePlus members:

  • waiving all redeposit fees on award travel for flights changed or cancelled more than 30 days before departure
  • allowing all MileagePlus Premier members to confirm a different flight on the day of their travel
  • effective Jan. 1, 2021, MileagePlus Premier members will be able to confirm a seat for free on a different flight with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket

For details and more information about the changes from United, click here.

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