United Airlines Flight Delay Compensation: Get What You Deserve

6 min read

Dealing with delayed flights is never fun. After hours of waiting at the airport, you finally board, only to sit on the tarmac even longer. When flights are badly delayed, United Airlines tries to make it up to passengers with compensation. But how does it work?

This article explains everything you need to know about getting money back from United for flight delays. We'll cover the airline's policies, how much you can get, and easy steps to request compensation.

What is a flight delay?

First, it's important to understand what officially counts as a delay according to United's guidelines. A flight delay occurs anytime a flight arrives at its destination more than 30 minutes past the scheduled arrival time.

What Delays Qualify for Compensation?

Not all delays mean you'll get money back from United. The airline provides compensation when the delay was directly caused by issues within United's control, such as:

  • Crew problems
  • Air traffic control issues
  • Late arrival of the inbound aircraft
  • Aircraft maintenance or amenity issues

United will not compensate you for United Airlines flight Delay Compensation from situations outside its control like bad weather, airport operational issues, security breaches, etc.

How much compensation does United offer?

The amount of compensation you can receive from United depends on the length of the delay as well as the distance of your flight. In general:

  • For delays of 1 hour or more, you'll get meal vouchers.
  • For delays over 4 hours on flights within the U.S. or to/from Canada: $100-$700 in travel vouchers or miles, depending on distance.
  • For long international delays over 4 hours: $600-$1,350 in travel vouchers or miles.

United specifies the compensation amounts on its website for different delay scenarios on domestic and international flights.

How to Request Delay Compensation from United

If your flight was badly delayed due to an issue within United's control, you are entitled to compensation. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Keep your boarding passes and other travel documents handy as proof.
  2. Note down the reason for the delay provided by United staff.
  3. Submit a request on United's website within 30 days of your flight. Provide flight details and an explanation of the situation.
  4. A United representative will review your claim and let you know if you qualify for compensation and how much.
  5. If approved, you'll receive an electronic travel voucher or bonus miles deposited into your MileagePlus account.

It's that simple! As long as the delay was truly United's fault and you have documentation, you should receive some form of compensation.

Travel Smarter with the Right Credit Card

To give yourself extra protection against flight delays, be sure to book your United airfare using a premium travel rewards credit card. Many of the best cards offer valuable travel insurance benefits, like trip delay coverage.

Cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve will reimburse you for meals, hotels, and other expenses if you're delayed more than 6 hours. The coverage amount varies but can be up to $500 per person.

While it won't get your flight out any faster, having this insurance at least means you won't be stuck paying out of pocket for delays. Just charge your United ticket to one of these travel cards.

You Deserve Compensation for United Delays

Getting compensation from United Airlines for major flight delays is easier than you might think. As long as the delay was within the airline's control, you should receive something for your troubles, whether travel vouchers, bonus miles, or meal vouchers.

Simply submit a request on United's website within 30 days with details about the delay. The airline will let you know if you qualify and what compensation you're owed. While it can't make up for wasted vacation time, at least you'll get some value back.

FAQs on United Flight Delay Compensation

Here are some common questions travelers have about United's compensation policies:

Does United pay for hotel rooms for long delays?

United may cover hotel accommodations for passengers on domestic flights delayed overnight due to issues within United's control. For international flights, hotels are provided for delays over 4 hours if an overnight stay is required.

How do I use my United Delay Compensation Vouchers?

Travel vouchers issued by United can be redeemed toward the purchase of a new United ticket, either online or through a travel agent. They are valid for 12 months.

Are United delays covered by travel insurance?

Most travel insurance policies provide coverage for meals, hotels, and transportation when your flight is delayed a certain number of hours, typically 6+ hours. This is separate from any compensation United provides.

What does United consider excessive delay?

United considers an "excessive" delay to be 4 or more hours. At that point, compensation in vouchers or miles may be offered.

Conclusion: Don't Accept Massive United Delays Without Compensation

While flight delays are unavoidable, United Airlines should hold up its end of the bargain by providing compensation when delays are excessive and caused by the airline's own issues. Whether travel vouchers, bonus miles, or meal vouchers, you deserve to be made whole.

By understanding United's compensation policies and following the simple request process, you can get value back for delays of 4+ hours on United flights. Just be sure to book with a travel rewards credit card too for additional trip delay coverage. A little preparation goes a long way toward smoothing over frustrating flight delays.


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