Due to the flooding caused by hurricane Harvey, United is currently waiving change fees and any difference in fare if you rebook flights departing from, arriving at or connecting through IAH.

Doing this by phone is practically impossible: the waits were long this morning but now they are simply not accepting calls: I wuold like to connect you to an agent, but due to high call volume all agents are currently busy. Please call us back at a later time.

Up front, they suggest doing this online at united.com, but what isn't clear if flights where at least some leg is operated by a partner airline are eligible. Replacement flights for a $500 fare are close to $3,000 so I won't want to screw this up. United shows these results when you choose "change flights" but under the category "Partner flights".

An example route is operated variously by Copa Airlines, Air Canada, etc but has all UA flight numbers on the booking screen (but not on the later confirmation screen). They ask for my credit card at the end of the process.

For what it's worth, I went through the with rebooking process on united.com, and at the end got the oddly-capitalized error:

! united.com is unable to initiate your flight change request at this time. Please contact United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED1 to make changes to this Itinerary.

They still charged my credit card for the full difference between the two fights.

  • 3
    Note that one of United's US call centers is actually in Houston, which may explain why they are having trouble answering their phones. Aug 28 '17 at 22:45
  • The way it's supposed to work is they will rebook your between the same cities at no charge, even if they rebook you on other airlines. You seem to have hit a bug in that process and unfortunately, you're only recourse is to wait to get connected. Or, if travel is imminent, go to the airport early where the Agents there can hopefully sort it out.
    – Johns-305
    Aug 29 '17 at 18:18
  • Just following up on this. It was ultimately resolved, and yes I did the right thing, and what happened is that the charge to my card was authorized and showed as a temporary transaction, but when the flight was actually ticketed or whatever, the policy applied and so the charge was never upgraded to a real change and eventually dropped off my card.
    – BeeOnRope
    Sep 25 '17 at 19:41

As your experience also confirms, the travel waivers do allow you to rebook United iteneraries that include flights operated by partners without a change fee.

I went through a similar experience. My niece was returning to Europe from Houston the day Harvey was supposed to hit. She was traveling on United with a connecting flight on Lufthansa.

I called United before they posted the travel waiver and was told that United would be happy to waive the change fees for the United flight but they could not do that for the connecting Lufthansa flight. I declined to rebook at the time.

I called again later that day after the travel waiver was posted and was then able to rebook both flights with no change fee.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.