I need to cancel or possibly change an international flight on United with a non-refundable ticket (class T). When I log in to the app and hit cancel, the credit shown is the exact amount I paid for the ticket - $953. Within the credit box, it says "change fees may apply," but doesn't show any sort of deduction. I've read online they can charge up to $400 in change fees.

I'm scared to hit the confirmation button. Will I get back a full credit of $953? Thanks!

  • Is it possible that one of United's current waivers to the change fee applies to your trip? Feb 29, 2020 at 4:17
  • @zach-lipton Not as of yet. One of the flights is through Rome, but United hasn't included FCO on their airport list yet.
    – td-edge
    Feb 29, 2020 at 4:21
  • I have a vague recollection that they will "credit" you $953, but the fee will be charged when you go to use that credit to pay for another flight. Feb 29, 2020 at 4:39
  • 1
    How... misleading... of them.
    – td-edge
    Feb 29, 2020 at 4:42

1 Answer 1


United Airlines uses a "New Money" concept for change fees.

Basically this means that you can cancel your flight at this time and receive a $953 credit voucher. However in order to use that voucher at a later stage you will need to pay $400 "new money" (ie, the $400 can't come out of the voucher value), and then you'll be able to use the full $953 value of the credit.

Depending on when the trip is, you may want to wait until it's a little closer to the date to see if they add Rome to their waiver list for areas affected by the Coronavirus. If they do that you will likely be able to (at least) avoid paying the change fee. The refund amount/change fee won't change over time, so as long as you cancel at least a day or two before the flight there's no reason not to wait.

  • 1
    Given that the CDC recommends, as of a few hours ago, avoiding non-essential travel to all of Italy, I suspect that waiver list may be expanding soon. Feb 29, 2020 at 5:36

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