Purchasing flight ticket sometimes can be a frustrating experience because you never know when the price goes up and when the price goes down. Southwest is one of the generous airlines that offers free change/cancellation before departure, so if the price drops you can make a change without paying any change fees. Alaska airlines used to have the price drop policy as well but unfortunately that has been discontinued.

Yesterday, I found out that the ticket price for one of my flight to New York with United has dropped. But because it's already past the 24 hours free cancellation time since I purchased that ticket, I wasn't sure if United has any sort of fare drop policy. Without hesitation, I called up United and to my surprise, the agent let me know that there is in fact an unpublished fare drop policy when your ticket price drops within 30 days of purchase. You won't be able to find this policy on United's website that's because it's not published. So hopefully this blog post will help walk you through the process and how to go about requesting the difference in price, especially if you purchased a basic economy ticket.

How United Fare Drop Policy Works
You must call United's customer care center. When on the phone, you can explain to the agent about the reasons why you are calling. Something like this:

"Hi I booked a flight ticket and it’s already past 24 hours. But I just saw the price of the same ticket has dropped. Does United have policy on the price drop within 30 days of purchase?"

If the agent says no, then the agent is incompetent on handling this issue. Hang up and call again.

Based on my experience and conversation with the United's agent, here's what I do know about the United Airlines fare drop policy:
  • Applicable only for ticket that's purchased within 30 days.
  • Policy cannot be found on United's website. 
  • You must call in to request. 
  • If your ticket is the regular economy or premium, United agent can make modification to your reservation using the same confirmation number. Then the agent issues you the difference in the form of travel voucher via email that’s good for travel up to one year. There's a processing fee which can be waived if you ask kindly. Some agent even waives the processing fee for you off the bat if the difference isn’t too significant.
  • If your ticket is the basic economy, you must know that basic economy ticket cannot be changed. If the agent is on your side and wants to help you get your money back, basic economy ticket requires additional assistance as in the agent needs to ask approval on how to proceed. As always be polite and kind. If the request is approved, the only way to handle this type of request is to cancel the previous basic economy ticket and book a brand new basic economy reservation for the exact same flight itinerary. The agent will waive any necessary cancellation/change fee for the previous ticket and issue you a full refund to the credit card on file. The new ticket will have a new confirmation number and the agent will also waive the $25 booking fee on the phone as well. My ticket is a basic economy ticket. 

The whole thing really depends on if you get a competent United airlines agent that is willing to go extra miles to help you out. But one thing we know for sure is that Unites does have this unpublished fare drop policy. Therefore, don’t let ignorant United airlines agent tells you otherwise.