United Airlines flight cancellation compensation

United airlines flight cancellation compensation

If your United flight was cancelled in the past three years, you could be entitled to get back anywhere from €250 (£213) to €600 (£520) for the inconveniences caused by the cancellation.

Only 1 in 8 air passengers knows their rights in the event of a flight disruption, and thus many travellers miss out on financial compensation of up to €600 (£520). Airlines often try to avoid paying reimbursement, and they can make it really tough to claim your money.

SkyRefund will explain your rights in depth and do everything possible to ensure you receive your rightfully owed compensation from United. Use our free compensation calculator to see whether you can get money back and entrust your case to our experience and expertise.

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Air Passengers rights

In the EU

EU regulation 261/2004 was created to make sure airlines are held responsible for compensating passengers should there be any flight delays or cancellations, denied boarding and missed connections. Of course, airlines are only obliged to compensate their customers when such issues are within their control. Examples for such situations would be airline staff strikes or technical issues with the plane.

EU261 covers air passenger rights on flights departing from a European airport or flights with air companies registered in Europe. Thus, if you experienced a flight disruption with United, an airline incorporated in the United States, you will only be entitled to compensation if your flight departed from Europe. US domestic flights are unfortunately not covered by this European law. 

In the UK

The UK left the European Union in 2020 but a lot of EU laws were kept by the British government. Luckily for all UK travellers, EU261 was one of them. After Brexit, the UK Parliament established UK261 which guarantees the same compensation for British citizens and includes airlines based in the UK.


Extraordinary circumstances

Bad weather, air traffic control restrictions, bird strikes, civil unrest, terrorist attacks: any of these situations would liberate United from
EU / UK 261’s regulations. The presence of extraordinary circumstances automatically waives travellers’ right of claiming compensation,
since these situations are out of the airline’s control.


Compensation amounts for a cancelled United flight

The amounts of money you can receive as compensation vary between $650 (€600) and $650 (€600). That depends on the flight distance and when you were notified about the cancellation. You can check out the table below for a more detailed explanation of the different conditions and the money you can receive.

Notification about the cancellation 


Amount of compensation 

More than 14 days before scheduled departure 


0€ / 0£

Between 7 and 14 days before scheduled departure

Yes, if the alternative flight arrives with more than 4 hours delay

€250 (£213)

Under 1500 km

€400 (£340)

1500-3000 km 

€600 (£520)

Over 3000 km

Less than 7 days before scheduled departure

Yes, if the alternative flight arrives with more than 2 hours delay

€250 (£213)

Under 1500 km

€400 (£340)

1500-3000 km 

€600 (£520)

Over 3000 km



Maximise your chances for compensation

  • Contact United customer service as soon as possible. Make sure you find out whether the cancellation is indeed the result of extraordinary circumstances if that is what the airline’s staff claims. 
  • Collect any evidence for the cancellation: information boards, emails, messages.
  • Insist on getting a replacement flight or a full refund. United is obliged to provide either of the two, no matter what the reason for the cancellation is (even under US law, contact the Department of Transportation if you encounter any difficulties).
  • Keep all receipts for expenses related to the cancellation, they could be refunded later.
  • Do not accept travel vouchers or upgrades: you will automatically no longer be entitled to compensation if you do.


Entrust you claim with SkyRefund’s experienced team


  • Quick and easy
    Filing a compensation claim with SkyRefund takes only a couple of minutes. Аll you need to do is fill in the flight details and your personal information. Once you send us these data, our professional team will look into your case and start working on obtaining your compensation.
  • Experience and expertise
    The legal experts at SkyRefund have successfully handled over 700,000 cases from travellers all over the globe. We rely on a steady network of law firms in more than 37 countries and jurisdictions. Our experienced professionals will take care of all administrative tasks, reach out to the airline and even represent you in court if needed.
    Do not hesitate to contact us, we can assist you in 11 languages and will do our best to defend your rights. 
  • No risk
    By filing a claim with us, you risk no hidden or additional charges. We will only charge you 35% of the compensation amount you receive from United if and when we win your case.

Did you have a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight in the last 3 years?

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United Airlines flight delay compensation

In 2023, United Airlines ranked as airline #9 in the world based on OTP (on-time performance). 78.67% of their flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time which is a rather good result considering that the leader in this ranking has a score of 83.21%.

However, if you had the “luck” to be on one of the other 21.33% flights and your United journey was delayed, you may also be eligible for compensation of up to £520 (€600). Of course, as we mentioned before, EU261 will only protect your rights if the flight departed from Europe. Another important condition for compensation eligibility is that you arrived at your final destination at least 3 hours later than the originally planned landing time.

To learn more about the conditions for United flight delay compensation, read our article on the topic.


About United Airlines

United Airlines has a fleet of 921 aircraft manufactured by Airbus and Boeing operating to 342 destinations across the globe, making it the third largest airline in the worldThe company is a member of the Star Alliance and has codeshare agreements with a large number of European airlines.

Chicago-O’Hare is its largest hub.