While it is just one data point, I want to report I had a very smooth refund experience with United Airlines after a flight cancellation. The refund has already hit my card.
I have a handful of trips still on the books, but my last one with United departed last week. I wasn’t even the passenger on it, but I booked it for a friend (using my credit card). With COVID-19 travels restrictions, she knew she would not be traveling, but her flight remained scheduled. Thus, I held off on cancelling it.
As her travel date approached and the flight continued to operate, I figured I would just receive credit for the trip, which I’d have two years to use.
Still, I held off on cancelling. Even in non-COVID-19 times I would have done the same thing. Why cancel now when something may happen closer to departure that would entitle you to a refund?
Sure enough, on the night before departure her flight was cancelled. She was re-booked to another a flight departing in the afternoon, about seven hours later. Under United’s revised schedule change policy, a flight change by more than six hours means you can request a refund, though United said it would take up to a year to actually refund the money.
I called United, spoke to an agent, stated that the new flight did not work, and requested a refund.
“No problem, sir. One moment please. Ok, it’s done. You’ll see a refund on your card in 7-10 days.”
It actually only took two days.
Now, was I so graciously helped because of my MileagePlus 1K status? Likely.
But the passenger had no status and my experience (at Alaska, American, and Delta too) has always been that kindness goes a long way.
Yes, airlines are in dire straits. Yes, many are dragging refunds. But all worked smoothly here and that has always been my personal experience, even without status.
What has been your recent refund experience with United Airlines?