United Airlines - Flight Cancellation and Delay Compensation Options

Important information about United Airlines Flight Cancellation

United Plane

Ultimate Guide to Claiming United Airlines Flight Delay Compensation

After United Airlines merged with Continental Airlines in 2010, it has now become one of the world’s largest airlines. It offers hundreds of domestic and international destinations, taking millions of passengers across the globe.

If you were one of these millions of passengers and faced a flight disruption, read this guide to see if you are eligible for flight compensation.

United Airlines Flight Delay Compensation

United Airlines is an American airline meaning that it only has to follow the EU Regulation when it departs from an EU-regulated country, such as France or the United Kingdom. Consequently, claims for compensation will only be successful if the disrupted United Airlines flight departed from an EU country. If you are confused, we will go into more depth below.

United Airlines Cancelled Flights Claims

When your United Airlines flight has been cancelled you could be owed compensation. This will depend on whether your flight departed from an EU country, why it was cancelled and when you were informed of the cancellation.

If you would like to know whether you are eligible for up to €600 in compensation, contact Flight Patrol. We have a system that will allow us to determine whether you are eligible. As United Airlines is a non-EU airline, in order to be eligible for compensation the flight would need to depart from an EU country as it is an EU law that allows you to claim compensation if the flight has been cancelled.

United Airlines Delayed Flights Claims

EU Regulation 261 states that passengers who have faced delays of three hours or more could be eligible for a compensation claim of up to €600. However, in order for United Airlines passengers to be eligible, the flight would have to depart from an EU-country as the airline is an American airline.

Delays happen every day, but if they are the fault of the airline, passengers could be eligible for compensation for their disruption.  The compensation amount will depend on two factors- the length of the delay and the distance of the flight.

United Airlines Denied Boarding Claims

Airlines will deny boarding if they oversell their flight. They do this to make more money and hope that not all passengers turn up for their flight. When they do, some passengers will not be permitted to fly. If you were denied boarding and cannot provide you with a reason, they must provide you with alternative travels.

Additionally, if you were delayed for more than 3 hours you could be compensated for it so long as the flight departed the EU. To check whether you are eligible, contact us today for support and guidance.

United Airlines Missed Connection Claims

You may miss your connection if your first flight was disrupted and it causes you to miss your following flight(s). If you departed from an EU country, in accordance with EU Regulation 261, it would be United Airline’s responsibility to arrange alternative travel arrangements. If the arrangements caused you to be delayed between getting to your final destination by three hours, you should be eligible for a compensation claim.

If you need any further guidance on what to do if United Airlines caused you to miss your connection you can contact a claiming agency like Flight Patrol

How to claim United Airlines Flight Delay Compensation

As United Airlines is not an EU airline, only flights that have departed from an EU country are protected by the EU Regulations 261. You can complain and request compensation through their Customer Care page. You will need to fill in your information and attach a letter (more information provided below) stating that you are wanting to claim compensation for your flight disruption.

Their policies on claiming compensation are different from EU-airlines as it does not highlight a passenger’s right for compensation. This is why it is more favourable going through a claiming agency like Flight Patrol

How much can I claim from United Airlines

You can claim compensation from United Airlines if the flight was disrupted for over three hours and the flight departed from an EU country, so long as the airline was at fault. How much you can claim for will depend on the distance the flight travelled. As all flights operated by United Airlines from Europe are classed as long-haul, passengers claiming will be given the maximum sum of compensation.

  • Up to €600 for flights over 3,500km e.g. London to Los Angeles.

How Long do United Airlines Take to Pay Compensation Claims

Airlines do not have a set timeframe to get back to you in regards to your claim. Consequently, they will often take a long time to respond to a claim. If they do respond, it is often with an excuse of why the flight was disrupted.

Individual claimants are unequipped to fight against their refusal, as they often do not have the knowledge or resource to pursue the claim further. But don’t worry, Flight Patrol is here to help! We can fight for your compensation against United Airlines and will take the airline to court if necessary, at no extra cost to you.

2-hour United Airlines Delay

United Airlines passengers who have been delayed for two hours will not be eligible for flight compensation. However, if the flight distance was under 1,500km passengers should be offered a ‘reasonable amount’ of food and drink which can be provided in restaurant vouchers. Additionally, you should be given two phone calls, emails or faxes.

Despite this, all United Airlines flight distances from the EU are over 3,500km, so you would not be eligible by this case and assistance.

3-hour United Airlines Delay

A three-hour delay with United Airlines could result in a compensation claim value between €250- €400. However, the amount would depend on the distance- longer distances will result in higher compensation values. This is only the case if your United Airlines flight departed from the EU.

If your flight was delayed for three hours and travelled under 3,500km then you should be entitled to the same care and assistance as a 2-hour delay.

Unfortunately, currently all United Airlines flights from the EU travel over 3,500km so passengers would not be entitled to this care.

4-hour United Airlines Delay

A four-hour delay with United airlines could result in €600 in compensation if the flight departed from an EU country. This amount will depend on the distance travelled, as longer distances will result in more compensation. Furthermore, you are also entitled to the same care and assistance as you would for a delay lasting between 2-4 hours.

However, if the flight was delayed for 5 hours then you can decide to opt-out of the flight and get a refund. However, this is only true when your flight departs from the EU.

United Airlines Refund/Cancellation Policy

United Airlines Refund and Cancellation Policy can be found here. Some tickets can be fully refunded depending on when you bought the ticket and how far away the flight is, however you may be subject to changes or cancellation fees. Although, if your ticket was done under the flexible booking policy then all cancellation fees might be waived.

Refunds will be transferred back to the original form of payment and can take between 7 to 20 business days.

United Airlines Flight Compensation for Bad Weather

The EU Regulation 261 states you could be owed compensation if your flight was disrupted due to weather. However, it depends on whether United Airlines did everything they could have to avoid flight disruptions. If it was completely unavoidable (major storm) for the flight to be disrupted, the airline would not be responsible for compensation.

However, if it was the case of not using antifreeze during winter then you should be eligible for flight compensation, so long as the flight departed from an EU country. The airline may use weather conditions as an excuse to avoid paying which is why it is best to claim through a claiming agency like Flight Patrol. We know your rights and we will do everything we can to get you your compensation.

United Airlines Flight Compensation for Technical Faults

Certain technical faults are classed as ‘hidden manufacturing defects’ however, these will not be claimable as it would result in the entire model of aircraft being grounded. Claimable technical faults that cause flight disruption can vary but are normally due to poor maintenance, such as lighting issues.

They can have major effects on flights as the aircraft will not be able to depart until the technical issue has been resolved. United Airlines may claim it is an extraordinary circumstance as some claimants will not be aware of the regulations. If your United Airlines flight departed from the EU and was delayed due to a technical fault, contact Flight Patrol to see if you could be owed compensation.

United Airlines Flight Compensation for Strikes and Industrial Action

Air transport often suffers because of strikes and industrial action. Some of these can be claimed for while others cannot. Claimable strikes are internal; if United Airlines has a strike and it affected your flight you should be able to claim it back so long as the flight was due to depart from the EU.

Strikes to do with air traffic control or with airport crew are classed as extraordinary circumstances and are not claimable. This is because any flight disruptions due to these kinds of strikes are not any fault of the airline, as such, United Airlines would not owe you money for compensation.

United Airlines Flight Compensation in Extraordinary Circumstances

United Airlines may claim the flight disruption was due to extraordinary circumstances, but it may not be the case. Extraordinary circumstances are instances whereby the airline would not owe you compensation, as the disruption was outside of the airline’s control. These include:

  • Political or civil unrest
  • Security risks
  • Air traffic control restrictions

We have tools to investigate whether the disruption was within the airline’s control or not, which is why we recommend claiming through us.

What to do if United Airlines Offers Vouchers

United Airlines may offer you vouchers as a way to compensate you for the inconvenience caused. You could accept these, however, they are often worth less than the claim is worth. Furthermore, if you are owed compensation from care and assistance (money back for the purchase of food), you may not be able to get it back.

If you are unsure whether to accept, call us and we can advise you the claim worth and if you should accept the voucher. If you would like to decline and try to get more compensation, we can help you. We can advise you if you are eligible for compensation and how much.

United Airlines Flight Delay Letter Template

If you are fighting for compensation against United Airlines, we recommend that you accompany the application form with a letter. This letter will include information about the reason for the disruptions, the type of disruption, any proof of travel and identification. This is seen as evidence that you were on the flight and that you are owed compensation.

What to do if United Airlines Ignores a Compensation Claim

Airlines do not have a timescale to respond to the claim, so it will often take a long time to respond to claims. If you are being ignored by United Airlines you can either pursue it further at court or with the Civil Aviation Authority. This can get costly and take a long time and still may not get you the owed compensation.

We recommend contacting us to pursue your claim. We can take United Airlines to court if necessary and have the resources and knowledge to be successful, as we are 99% of the time. We work on a no win no fee basis, so you will never be out of pocket.

United Airlines Expenses Claim Form

If you were delayed over 2 hours and had reasonable expenses (food and drink), you may be able to claim these back using their claim form. If you claim with us at Flight Patrol we will work to get you all of the owed compensation. It is best that you keep your receipts as evidence of what is owed to you. These items must only be essential items. For more information on what is classed as reasonable expenses, contact us at Flight Patrol.

Flight Patrol

Our main purpose is our customers who come to us to get their compensation. We want to help and guide them to get what is rightfully owed after airlines have needlessly disrupted their trip. If you have had a delayed or cancelled flight with any airline, call us to figure out if we can help you with your compensation needs. You may be owed hundreds in compensation so it is worth finding out.



Backing up your claim

To give your claim the best chance of success, check with the airline regarding exactly what caused the delay. Collect any evidence you can, such as flight documents, photos and receipts, keep any paperwork given to you by the airline. A successful outcome can depend heavily on evidence – particularly if the flight took place (or didn’t, as the case may have been) a few years back.

Ask the airline staff what you can claim for – both there and then and later on – and make a note of any details you’re given, plus staff names, times and dates. If you can, take contact details of the airline’s other passengers in the same situation.

You may be able to claim as much as €600. This varies according to the distance you flew, or should have flown, with different rates applying to short, medium and long haul flights, as follows.

What you can claim at the airport

For short haul flights, you can claim from 2 hours’ delay or more. The airline should cover the cost of food and drinks, and of 2 phone calls, emails or faxes. For medium haul flights, the  delay time from which you can claim increases to 3 hours, and then 4 hours for long haul flights.

For longer delays of 5 hours plus, you have a right to refuse to board a flight that is delayed by over 5 hours, in which case the airline must refund you or offer alternative transportation. 

In the case of a flight being delayed until the next day, the airline must provide overnight accommodation, as well as transfers to and from the airport. Make sure you get any promised services put down in writing and keep a copy. Sometimes, it is not always possible for the airline to provide all of their passengers accommodation in the case of a widespread disruption. If you find yourself paying for your own accommodation, keep all of your receipts and this should be reimbursed by the airline.

How Flight Patrol can help

Claiming flight delay compensation from United Airlines is easier when you know how. Our experience means we can secure what passengers are entitled to, with a minimum amount of fuss. We will claim on your behalf, we have an experienced team of claims experts and we will secure your compensation without causing you any stress or hassle.

If you claim yourself, you could find that it takes a lot of time. You may even struggle to get anywhere, simply because you have little experience in dealing with such claims. The process could therefore be stressful and energy-sapping, as well as time-consuming, and you may need to do a lot of research to make any headway at all. Your chances of success will sadly be limited by the fact that you are not familiar with this process. Passengers complain that the process takes up time, requires experience, is stressful and has a low chance of success.

If we claim on your behalf, we can reach a conclusion professionally, simply and swiftly. We can offer a highly experienced team, a stress-free experience and, most importantly, a high chance of success with your claim.

Your rights when delayed with United Airlines

  • According to EU law up to €600 compensation
  • Regardless of the ticket price
  • Flights up to 6 years old
  • When the flight was delayed at least 3 hours, cancelled or overbooked

Tips and Tricks when delayed with United Airlines

  • Confirm the reason for the delay with the airline
  • Collect proof: photos, receipts of expenses, vouchers etc
  • Insist on your basic rights and services at the airport
  • Exchange contact information with other passengers

How to claim against United Airlines

  • Enter your flight details into our calculator
  • Enter details of replacement flights (if any)
  • Enter details of fellow passengers
  • Leave the rest to us!
  • Short Distance

    Short Distance


    Up to 1500km

    (e.g. London - Edinburgh)

  • Medium Distance

    Medium Distance


    Up to 3500km

    (e.g. London - Athens)

  • Long Distance

    Long Distance


    From 3500km

    (e.g. London - Tokyo)



Don’t take any excuses! Vouchers for food or hotels don’t negate the airline’s responsibility to pay your compensation

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