United Airlines on Sunday announced that it would be eliminating change fees for all economy and premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S.—permanently.
United’s typical $200 change fee will no longer be charged to those making changes to their tickets, which the airline says is a way for it to “serve our customers better” as the industry continues to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
Flyers will still have to pay the difference in fare and basic economy ticket holders will still have a change fee, United said, but the vast majority of United flyers will be able to make unlimited changes to their tickets without paying a fee.
The policy change, which mirrors what Southwest Airlines has done with its ticket policies, was one of the top requests from United flyers, CEO Scott Kirby said.
“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.”
United also on Sunday announced that it would allow flyers will be able to fly standby for free on the day of their original scheduled travel starting on January 1, 2021. The new policy will allow flyers who get to the airport early or have a change of plans to get on an earlier departure if there’s room.
United flyers can use the United App to add themselves to the standby list, no later than 30 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights and one hour for international flights.