Some new business-friendly policies from United

How is United Airlines working to be more business-friendly? Sure, a couple new routes will help, but the big changes are around policies that most consumers will never be exposed to but which matter tremendously to business travellers, particularly those who book through corporate travel agents. The new policies took effect recently and significantly relax restrictions around flight changes and disruptions and are nearly universally positive.

Among the changes listed:

  • The threshold for schedule changes is now 30 minutes from the originally scheduled arrival or departure time
  • Rebooking now covers airports within a 100-mile radius of the original the origin or destination airport
  • Rebooking can adjust departure date within a seven-day range before or after the original schedule to maintain full trip duration
  • Travel agents can service any disruption resulting in delays 60 minutes or longer (including blue sky delays); no weather waiver is required

While the company knows that rebuilding confidence in its operational reliability remains the most important benchmark – and it is improving on that front YoY – these changes also mean that the corporate traveler segment is able to be better handled when things go pear-shaped. And fixing disruptions is arguably more important than preventing them in the first place. Either way the company is making progress in improving its behavior towards corporate travelers; hopefully it sticks around long term.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. these are great. A lot of reps were already very flexible in terms of schedule changes, but making it official definitely helps.

    1. The main focus of these changes, as I understand it, is to simply let TAs reissue everything without getting a UA rep involved. When the IROPs changes are necessary is the exact same times that having TAs sit on hold is bad for the passenger, bad for the TA and bad for the company, especially when the change is going to be approved the vast majority of the time anyways. This cuts bureaucracy and makes things better for everyone.

  2. Seth… really nothing new from UAL for most TA’s here. United allowing agents to reissue for weather delays is just catching up to what DL and AA have offered for some time.

    1. Big change is that many of the reissue rules no longer require calling in to get approval. Absolutely just catching up with the others but it is an improvement on UA’s policies.

  3. So is there any change here that benefits individual travelers that book through UA – maybe elite members?

  4. Does this apply to flights on other airlines ticketed on UA stock? And do you know if this applies to schedule changes way in advance or just IROPs?

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