United finally relents, begins waiving award redeposit fees

Mar 30, 2020

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Update 4/6/20: United is now waiving award redeposit fees for all members for the rest of 2020, as long as flights are canceled more than 30 days before departure.

The major U.S. airlines tend to roll out consistent policies when it comes to change-fee waivers, elite qualification and — most recently — dealing with coronavirus, both in the airports and onboard. This time around, though, United Airlines has been especially unforgiving, leading to an unfriendly “flexible” booking policy and a firm take on award redeposit fees.

Well, we just got a bit of good news — the carrier has finally relaxed its award redeposit policy. According to a spokesperson:

“United is waiving redeposit fees for MileagePlus award travel scheduled through May 31. Customers continue to have the flexibility to change award travel without incurring a fee, or cancel award travel and retain the value of their ticket as a credit towards future travel.”

Typically, general members must pay $125 to redeposit miles when canceling an award within 60 days of departure, though this is discounted or waived for United Premier elite members. Silver travelers pay $100, Gold members pay $75 and Platinum members pay $50, while the fee is waived entirely for Premier 1K and Global Services members. Fortunately, that redeposit fee will now be waived for all customers with travel scheduled through May 31, giving MileagePlus members the ability to cancel or change their awards without penalty. If you recently paid a redeposit fee, I wouldn’t expect a refund at this point — though it never hurts to ask.

RELATED: Complete guide to changing and canceling award tickets

The new policy matches those already in place at American Airlines, Delta and other carriers, as outlined in more detail here. Meanwhile, if you’re scheduled to travel after May 31, there’s always a chance the redeposit waiver could be extended — hopefully, when the time comes, without a lengthy delay.

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