In the United States, your chances of your flight being delayed has steadily increased. If you frequent United Airlines flights, the news is not good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, approximately 1 in 5 United Airlines flights have been delayed in 2022.

Your chances of being delayed by United are 20%. Let’s take a look at United’s handling of delays and how you can get compensation.

What United considers flight delay

United’s website states that delays of up to one hour are acceptable for travel assistance. It suggests that you contact United via its app (, or at an airport kiosk.

If your flight is delayed overnight, the airline can provide guidance: “Talk to customer service agents about your overnight options. We don’t offer free hotel accommodations if your flight is delayed, canceled or cancelled for reasons beyond our control. However, we might be able get you discounted hotel rooms and complimentary toiletries if you are unable to access your checked bags. ”

Does United have to compensate for delayed flights?

At the moment, the U.S. Department of Transportation doesn’t require airlines to pay passengers for delayed flights. United also has no policy of paying passengers compensation for delayed flights.

Imagine that a flight delay causes enough disruption to your travel plans that you would prefer to postpone or cancel your trip. You can request a travel credit or a refund for your ticket even though the fare may have restrictions on cancellations or changes. The amount of credit you get or the refund you receive will depend upon how much of your trip has been completed.


You might be eligible for compensation under the EC 261/2004 flight delay regulation if your United flight leaves Europe. If their flight is delayed, canceled, or cancelled and they are flying out of an EU country or European Economic Area member (including non-EU countries like Norway or Iceland), customers may be eligible for compensation. There are many compensation options.

You can still request compensation for delayed flights from United by contacting them through their Customer Care page. It is helpful to provide details about any additional expenses or other issues that you have incurred due to your delayed flight. This could include needing to pay for a hotel or missing a connecting flight. Any compensation offered by United is at United’s sole discretion and cannot be guaranteed.

What United will do if there is a delay

Your options will differ depending on how long your delay is and what other travel options you have. However, United may:

  • Allows you to book a flight on another airline or rebook your own flight.

  • You can join a waiting list for an earlier flight without any additional charges.

  • You can switch to another airport nearby (e.g. instead of flying into Newark fly into New York LaGuardia).

  • Offer a discount or complimentary hotel stay with toiletries and amenities if your flight is delayed beyond the scheduled time.

United will make sure your bags arrive at the destination you desire, even if you have checked baggage and changed flights. To ensure that your bags are collected when and where you need them, speak to an airport customer service representative.

How can you protect yourself

You can take several steps to ensure your safety in the event of a delay on a United flight.

Get trip delay protection

Trip delay insurance coverage is a great way to protect your assets. This can be done in one of two ways.

The coverage limits of your card will vary, but you might be able to recover some of your out of pocket expenses due to the delay.

You can also purchase trip delay insurance through a travel policy such as Allianz Travel and AIG Travel Guard. Squaremouth, a travel insurance aggregator, allows you to compare policies from different providers.

You can only fly with carry-on baggage

If your United flight is delayed, checked luggage can cause additional stress and complications. If you have to change your flight last-minute, your luggage might not arrive in time.

You may also not be able to access your bags overnight if you have a new flight the next day. You won’t have to worry about your luggage getting lost or if it will arrive on time.

You should always have a check-in bag in case you are unable to travel with your checked luggage.

Avoid tight connection

Book a United flight that has a connection. Avoid itineraries that have a short stopover. You’ll be more likely to miss your connecting flight. It’s a good rule of thumb to avoid booking flights with a connection time less than one hour.

United flight delays recapped

In the event of a delay to your flight, you should have a backup plan. You are not entitled to compensation from United for any flight delays, but you might be eligible to receive a form of remuneration if you contact United customer service.

There are other ways to make traveling easier, especially when your flight is delayed. You can travel with only carry-on luggage, ensure trip delay insurance coverage, and avoid tight connections.

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