United Airlines announced today that, effective immediately, it’s permanently getting rid of change fees on most Economy (except Basic Economy) and all premium-cabin tickets for flights within the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“You may remember that, as we emerged from previous tough times, we made difficult decisions to survive financially, but sometimes at the expense of customer service, either by adding new fees or cutting the things that make the experience of flying better, simply because they were too expensive,” said United’s CEO Scott Kirby in a video message released today. “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 ways to serve you better instead of defaulting to cuts.”
In doing so, United became the first U.S. legacy airline to do away with change fees, forever. “Simply put, given the evolving face of travel, now and going forward, it’s the right thing to do,” said Kirby.
United also announced that it’s extending its fee waiver policy for all new tickets purchased through December 31, 2020, providing customers the unfettered opportunity to change their plans without being charged a fee. The extended waiver policy applies to all ticket types for both domestic and international travel issued after March 3, 2020.
Also, beginning in January 2021, United will become the only U.S. airline to allow customers holding tickets of any fare type to fly standby on an earlier flight that day at no additional cost…