This seems like an extremely basic question, yet after quite some research the only relevant info I found was that I should have saved a PDF of the fare terms provided only once during the reservation process.

Through a Google Flights alert I found that the multi-stop ticket I bought a few weeks ago on united.com is now available at a lower price, and while I strongly suspect that the fare I bought is non-refundable (at least not fully; due to its already quite low price), I would like to make sure that I indeed wouldn't save money cancelling the ticket and then buying it again.

On the cancellation page, the sum I paid for the ticket is displayed in green as "reservation value", above "credit towards" options for what one could assume might possibly be a refund. Conspicuously absent is a clear indication that any of this does in fact guarantee a refund of the sum displayed – is there any way to find out in advance if my ticket can be refunded, and if so, what the penalty would be?

cancellation page screenshot

  • 1
    Yes. Pick up a phone and call them. They have the information Sep 17, 2018 at 12:28
  • You should have an e-ticket (either sent by e-mail, or available via the manage my booking section on the site). That should show the fare code and/or the cancellation terms. Also, what do you get when you click on "View Receipt"?
    – jcaron
    Sep 17, 2018 at 12:56
  • @jcaron: The fare class is L, according to united.com. My receipt (email and on united.com) only includes non-specific refund information ("If you have purchased a restricted ticket, depending on the rules applicable to the fare paid, one or more restrictions including, but not limited to, the following may apply to your travel" etc.) and details on 24-hour returns.
    – FDMS
    Sep 17, 2018 at 13:06
  • Do you have a more specific fare code, not just the letter? Something like LAA7AHDS. Can you also provide the city pair? You can start the booking process on the UA site, select a fare class, and view fare rules.
    – jcaron
    Sep 17, 2018 at 13:15
  • @jcaron VIE–EWR and EWR–PBI (outbound) and EWR–VIE (inbound). Somehow can't seem to find a fare code, neither on the receipt nor on the trip details page on united.com …
    – FDMS
    Sep 17, 2018 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


As suggested in the comments, I called United, and after several minutes of them "researching" my fare terms they could finally tell me that there is a penalty (in my case slightly higher than what I would have saved buying the ticket at the current lower price), i.e. the value displayed on the cancellation page is not the refund amount.

When – out of pure curiosity – I asked about my fare basis code, they told me that I would have to be put on hold so that they could "investigate" it (for which I sadly didn't have time).

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