Changing United Flights Within 24 Hours

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This weekend I was scheduled to fly back to DC on Monday morning, but for various reasons decided on Sunday night that I’d like to stay with my friends longer. Of course I decided this when I was already enroute — driving the 2 1/2 hours back to Greenville to overnight at a hotel near there.

So after we decided I should come back if I could, I pulled up on my phone (and yes I realize I shouldn’t have been doing this while driving the curves of the NC forest at 9PM) to see what my one-way award ticket options might be.

Surprisingly, the 7PM flight was available for only 10,000 miles. Done! And even more of a surprise was how easy it was to do on my phone. Flight secured I turned around and headed back, calling to arrange for a later rental car time and cancelling the hotel (well, at 9PM it was too late to “cancel.”

On a whim, I also called United to see if they had anything like US Airways “Move Up” option that might let me change my existing ticket to the later flight for free or for a small fee and save my miles. The agent was very helpful, but the difference in airfare — moving from W to M class — would be $600.

I must have gargled because she laughingly replied, “choked did you?” So I decided to stick to my award ticket.

The next morning as I was choosing seats for my new flight, I noticed the button that said “More Flight Options” and it gave me the chance to switch flights for free. Hmmm.

I pulled up my original itinerary for the 10AM flight, and sure enough, it was giving me the option to switch to the later flight for free!

changing flight within 24 hours on United

So in the future I will always check my online flight change options first (although not while driving), and was reminded it’s never bad to try both online and phone. If one doesn’t give you the answer you want, the other might.

And I will definitely miss the ability to change and cancel award tickets with no fee as a United 1K…


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world.

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