United Airlines Cancelled and Delayed Flight Compensation

Airline Rating & Flight Compensation

United Airlines have a bad reputation when it comes to passenger satisfaction. 


In 2017, they were the target of global outrage after a man was forcibly dragged off a United flight. Not for security reasons or bad behaviour. It was because United overbooked the flight and forced him to exit the plane after he was already seated.


Incidents this shocking are rare, but United Airlines commonly overbook flights, and passengers are the ones who suffer.


And United compensation for delayed flights are hard to come by.


We advocate for passenger rights and we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve after a bad experience on your United Airlines flight.


Whether your flight was delayed, cancelled or overbooked, you deserve compensation.


With American airlines, getting compensation can be tough. There are no federal regulations that force airlines to compensate you, unlike in Canada and the EU.


The good news is that in certain circumstances, you will qualify for compensation in the form of real money (not just vouchers).


This guide will tell you:



How to Claim Compensation from United Airlines?

United Airlines is known to be ungenerous with their compensation. An internal memo was leaked advising that employees don’t proactively offer vouchers if a delay is less than six hours. 


For an airline so stingy with helping you out, you may want to think twice about approaching them directly to make a claim.


They will try everything in their power not to give you monetary compensation. The process will be long and tedious. They may trick you into accepting a deal that doesn’t work out in your favour.


That’s not to say that you should dismiss the idea of getting the compensation you deserve!


The easy, fast and stress-free way to get the money you’re owed is by making your claim through ClaimCompass.


We are experts in flight compensation regulations. We know exactly what you’re owed, and we handle the whole process for you.


If you want to risk making your claim directly with United Airlines, you can contact their Customer Service channels, through email or by phone.

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You might be entitled to up to 600€ from the airline!


      United Compensation for Delayed Flights 

      Does United Airlines compensate for flight delays?

      Yes, United Airlines does offer flight delay compensation, but only in certain situations.


      Unfortunately, if you travelled from the United States, you likely won’t get any money for your delay or cancellation, even for long delays. That’s because the US doesn’t have any official regulations that hold the US airlines liable for paying you. 


      If you have travelled from the US and experienced flight delays or cancellations, we recommend that you contact United to try and get any kind of compensation they will give. If they agree, your compensation will likely be in the form of vouchers for future flights with them.


      If your United flight left from Canada or the European Union, you’re in luck! Both Canada and the EU have regulations in place that protect air passenger rights and guarantee you compensation.


      Note: You’re only eligible for compensation if the delay was caused by factors within the airline’s control. You won’t get compensation if the flight was delayed for reasons related to safety, bad weather, political instability, security, or mechanical issues.


      How long does a United flight have to be delayed for compensation?

      For both Canadian and EU regulations, a United flight has to be delayed by 3+ hours in order for you to be eligible for compensation.


      If you were involuntarily denied boarding for an overbooked flight, you can get compensation if you arrive at your destination 1+ hours later than originally planned.


      What are my air passenger rights in case of United flight delay?

      If your United flight has been delayed and you departed from Canada or the US, you have air passenger rights that must be followed. There’s a “standard of care” that the airline has to give you in these situations, and that includes:

      - Free food and drinks

      - Hotel accommodations if needed

      - Free transportation

      - Telephone calls


      All of these items must be free and easily accessible.


      On top of that, like we mentioned before, if your flight departed from Canada or the EU and it was delayed 3+ hours, you’re also entitled to compensation in the form of real money (not just vouchers).


      The bad news is that United doesn't have to provide you those complimentary “standard of care” items if your flight left from the United States.



      United Canceled Flight Compensation 

      What if United cancels my flight?

      A canceled flight is always frustrating. You’re stuck at the airport for hours longer than anticipated. The plans you made at your destination have to wait. On top of all that, you need to deal with finding an alternative flight or making other arrangements.


      No one should have to go through that, but thousands of passengers face that reality every day.


      United is one of the worst airlines in the U.S. for on-time performance, with only 76.86% of flights arriving on time in 2019.


      In a situation where you’re a victim of a flight cancellation, you deserve to be compensated. In some cases, you will be! Let’s first answer the question on what you should do when you find out that United has canceled your flight.


      If you’re reading this at the airport and you’ve just received the bad news, you should first check the United app, visit this page or use a United kiosk to check your flight status. You may already have been rebooked for a new flight.


      If there’s no new flight appearing for you yet, you can rebook yourself on one with those same three options just mentioned.


      If you flew from Canada or the EU, head to a Customer Service counter to claim your free food and drink vouchers and hotel accommodation (if applicable). Then the next step is to use our free calculator on ClaimCompass to see how much monetary compensation you’re owed. 


      If you departed from the U.S., you will still get rebooked on a new flight headed to your destination, but you likely won’t get free food or drinks or a hotel for the night. You’re also not guaranteed compensation, but if United are feeling generous, they may give you flight vouchers. We recommend pushing them for any form of compensation you can get. 


      They probably won’t offer you anything unless you directly ask them.


      If you were headed on a trip for a meeting or an event, and now you won’t be able to make it in time with the flight cancellation, you can get a full refund on your ticket. Speak with an agent at the airport or use United’s Customer Contact Center to cancel your trip, and then claim your refund here.


      How much compensation do you get for a canceled flight?

      The compensation you get depends on if you flew from Canada or the EU. If you flew from neither country, sadly, you’re out of luck and probably won’t receive any compensation.


      If your plane left from Canada, you will get:


      You can still claim this compensation even if you didn’t accept an alternate flight and requested a refund instead. They are completely separate from each other.


      If your United flight left from the EU, travelled a distance of over 3,500km, and was delayed for over 4 hours, EU law mandates that you get €600 in compensation. If your flight was delayed between 3 and 4 hours with the same distance, you will get €300.


      Keep in mind this compensation only applies if your flight was cancelled because of the airline’s error. If it was canceled due to extraordinary circumstances, like weather delays, mechanical problems or security issues, then you’re out of luck.

      Have you ever had a delayed flight with United Airlines in the past 5 years? Check out if you’re eligible to compensation! The airline may owe you up to 600€: it takes less than 3 minutes to find out!

      United Overbooking Compensation

      Does United overbook?

      United Airlines are notorious for overbooking their flights.


      Why would they do that?


      They want every seat filled, so they overbook flights to make up for any “no-shows”. When that doesn’t happen, they don’t have enough seats to fit everyone.


      They claimed that they won’t overbook flight as much, since this 2017 incident, but they didn’t say that they won’t do it at all.


      United are still overbooking flights on a daily basis, and passengers have to deal with that inconvenience as a result.


      The good news is that there are official rules in place to compensate passengers who were involuntarily denied boarding from an overbooked flight. Unlike delays and cancellations, the Department of Transportation does have regulations on how much airlines need to compensate those unlucky passengers.


      What to do when you’re denied boarding due to an overbooked United flight?

      United Airlines will always try and ask for volunteers to give up their seats before they choose anyone at random. This is because they don’t have to give you any monetary compensation if you give up your seat by choice. They’ll probably try and offer vouchers, but they’re not required to give anyone who volunteers any money.


      For that reason, we don’t recommend that you voluntarily give up your seat when they ask.


      If you’re involuntarily denied boarding, the gate agent will try to offer you vouchers, but in this case, you don’t have to accept this. You can file a claim for monetary compensation. If the flight vouchers seem more valuable to you than the money, go ahead and accept! 


      Whatever compensation you choose, you need to start by contacting Customer Service right away. This can be done via phone or by going to the United kiosk in the airport.


      The first thing you need to have sorted out is an alternative flight to your destination. United must provide you with a new flight, free of charge, and they have to give you food and drink vouchers and a hotel if needed.


      Then, you should decide what kind of compensation you want to accept.


      If you’re happy with their offer of flight vouchers, claim them through Customer Service.


      If you would rather collect the money you’re rightfully owed, you can get your money quickly and easily with ClaimCompass.


      How much can I claim as overbooking compensation from United Airlines?

      If you’ve been bumped from your flight and you arrived at your destination 1+ hours later than your original scheduled time, it’s time to get your compensation!


      Here’s how much you’re entitled to:


      Note: If you were involuntarily bumped off your flight, but your next flight is less than a one hour delay (counted based on when you arrived at your destination), you won’t get compensated.


      There are a few exceptions to the compensation rule. One of the most notable ones is that if you booked an international flight arriving to the U.S., United doesn’t have to compensate you when you’re denied boarding



      United Customer Service 

      Is United customer service 24 hours?

      There are no hours listed for US & Canada phone numbers so we assume it’s available 24 hours a day.


      International numbers are not 24 hours - see the International numbers page for info on opening times.


      How do I contact United customer service?

      There are a few options for contacting United’s customer service department.


      Depending on where you live, you can call them. Here are the phone numbers:


      If you prefer speaking with customer service online, you can fill out their Customer Care form on their website, or request a refund here.


      You can also contact them on social media. Twitter is a good place to contact United for support questions.



      United Airlines is a major American airline, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.


      It’s a massive airline, ranking at number three in the world for the biggest fleet size (797) and route network (342 destinations).


      Founded nearly a century ago in 1926, United is a founding member of the Star Alliance and has over eight hubs across the U.S.A, including their largest at Chicago O’Hare Airport.


      United’s frequent flyer program is called MileagePlus, where passengers can earn miles from flying and completing everyday purchases. They can redeem those miles for free airfare and they get special benefits while flying.


      United Airlines earned over $41 billion in 2018 and they employ over 88,000 people.


      Baggage Information:

      Most passengers can bring onboard one carry-on bag and one personal item, apart from Basic Economy fares, where you can only bring onboard one personal item. Transatlantic flights are exempt from this rule.


      Size Restrictions for Baggage:

      Your baggage allowance depends on what kind of ticket you purchased and where you’re flying to. View all the detailed baggage information here.



      United Airlines Ratings








      United Airlines On-Time Performance

      The tab below provides specific data regarding the airline's on-time performance. It includes the amount of flights operated by the airline each month, which portion of these flight arrived on time (i.e with less than 15 minutes delay), which portion consists of delayed flights, and the average delay of their flights in minutes. Source: Flightstats.com

      Number of flights
      On-time (<15 min delay)
      Delayed (15+ min late)
      Average delay (in min)
      Sep 2019
      Aug 2019
      Jul 2019
      Jun 2019
      May 2019
      Apr 2019
      Mar 2019
      Feb 2019
      Jan 2019
      Dec 2018
      Nov 2018
      Oct 2018
      Sep 2018

      About 20% of the airline’s flights arrive 15 minutes after their scheduled landing time or more: that’s a good score for the industry. However, the average delay of United Airlines’ flight is a whopping 71 minutes, one of the worst. As a result, United Airlines’ overall flight performance is only just above average, with a rating of 5.4 out of 10.

      United Airlines and Compensation Claim Processing

      Just like the airline’s on-time performance, the claim processing score of United Airlines can be qualified as average, as the data below suggests.

      Rating criteria
      Days / Rating
      Average number of days for the airline to reply once the claim is submitted
      Average number of days to solve the claim
      Average number of days to pay the compensation after the case was sent to court

      That being said, at ClaimCompass, we’re dealing with the airline on a regular basis and have already helped passengers get their compensation. If you’ve had a delayed or cancelled flight with United Airlines, we will help you get the money that is owed to you.