Some big news sneaking out on a Sunday holiday weekend – and it’s United Airlines announcing a major change to its fees structure… for the better, with some change fees being binned.
The carrier announced today that it is permanently getting rid of change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. This goes into effect immediately.
The new change fee policy applies to all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the following areas:
- Continental U.S.
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Customers will not be limited in the number of times they adjust their flights, however they will be subject to any fare difference. If the fare difference is less the original paid fare, you will not receive a refund
Note, that Basic Economy tickets are excluded from this move, as well as International tickets (although these tickets are fee-free change if the ticket is issued by December 31, 2020, covered under its waiver which has been extended to the end of the year).
In addition, starting on January 1, 2021, any United customer can fly standby for free on a flight departing the day of their travel regardless of the type of ticket or class of service while MileagePlus Premier members can confirm a seat on a different flight on the same day with the same departure and arrival cities as their original ticket if a seat in the same ticket fare class is available.
Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines said
“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,”
“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.”
A video was also released:
The new changes are loaded at https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/change-fee.html.
So why now?
Travel is down – let us not beat about the bush. Airlines are trying every way possible to get people sitting back in seats and taking them off to somewhere (and ideally, bringing them back too). With so much uncertainty created to COVID-19 and people changing their plans, this seems to be a move to try and convince passengers in the US to fly again.
It’s an interesting move by United Airlines, although you do wonder how long it will walk away from this juicy revenue stream.
But until business flyers are back in the air and every seat is full in an aircraft, this may be one way to convince people to return to the air.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.