COVID-19 has changed the landscape of the airline industry. Some carriers, such as LATAM, Avianca, and Virgin Atlantic, are facing insolvency, while others are reviewing their operational models to try and entice new flyers. United Airlines falls into the latter category and is now taking proactive steps to bolster its business. Here’s what you need to know about United’s plan to eliminate change fees on all domestic flights.
United’s Domestic Change Fees to End Beginning in 2021
In an email to MileagePlus members, United’s CEO, Scott Kirby, announced an end to domestic change fees for the carrier.
Starting January 2021, United will become the first international U.S. carrier to allow customers in all classes of service to fly same-day standby free of charge. United is also going the extra mile for MileagePlus Premier members. Those flyers with elite United status can confirm seats on earlier flights – again, without incurring any change fees.
United is also eliminating other change fees come the start of the new year. Customers hoping to fly earlier on the day of their travel can switch their tickets or fly standby without incurring a $75 change fee.
Previously, United charged customers up to $200 for changing their flight on the day of travel. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has many carriers scrambling to try and entice new passengers. United’s elimination of change fees on domestic flights mirrors the policies of regional rival Southwest, which famously doesn’t charge change fees on its flights.
“New Ways to Serve Our Customers Better”
In a statement to the press, Kirby claimed that United would take a more customer-centric approach in the future:
“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.”
About United Airlines
United Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines, with flights to hundreds of destinations across the globe. The carrier is a founding member of the Star Alliance, a leading global alliance of airlines. Star Alliances features major names like Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, and Turkish Airlines.
Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to the United MileagePlus Program