Delay or cancellation with United Airlines? | Flightright UK

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United Airlines - Ticket refund and compensation in case of flight delays and cancellations

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Recent flight delays and cancellations with United Airlines

Click to view all recent flight delays and cancellation data for United Airlines. The table below gives you an inside view of how much information we have at our disposal.


Here’s what our customers say after receiving compensation from United Airlines through Flightright.

About United Airlines

United Airlines is a major American airline company and – in terms of both fleet size and the number of destinations served. The airline’s history can be traced back to 1926 when its predecessor Varney Air Lines was first founded. As an air mail service of Walter Varney, its first air mail flight on April 6, 1926, was the first scheduled airline service in the history of the United States. William Boeing, the aviation pioneer and owner of Boeing Air Transport, later bought Varney Airlines; in 1933, the newly formed United Aircraft and Transportation Corporation (UATC) took the Boeing 247, the first all-metal airliner, into service.

United Air Lines first appeared under this name after the UATC split due to the passage of the Air Mail Act in 1934. After the war, United Airlines grew substantially, due to the increasing demand for passenger air services. United further increased in size with the acquisition of Pan Am’s Pacific Division in 1985 – hence the hub at Tokyo-Narita airport. Especially after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, United encountered severe financial problems, filed for bankruptcy in 2002, and possibly a Plan of Reorganization in 2005. In 2010, a merger of Continental Airlines and United was approved and implemented by 2012, which ultimately resulted in the elimination of Continental as a name and brand. Currently, United employs 88,500 people and is traded on the stock market with a market capitalization of some 10.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Major destinations

United operates an impressive fleet of 708 aircraft from ten hubs in the United States, Guam and Japan: Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), Cleveland (CLE), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Washington-Dulles (IAD), Guam (GUM) and Tokio-Narita (NRT). Its headquarters are located in the famous Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as Sears Tower. United flies to a total of 373 destinations worldwide, serving most European and the few Middle Eastern and South Asian destinations from its east coast hubs in Chicago and Newark and most East Asian and Pacific destinations from San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX). United co-founded the Star Alliance in 1997, of which it is still a member.

Services and quality of service

United is rated a three-star airline on SKYTRAX, obtaining a convincing four stars in first class on long-haul flights. Passengers’ comments nonetheless generally criticize the service on board, both concerning the food served and the friendliness and competence of the crew. They note that the comfort of the seats and the condition of aircraft and cabin in some cases left a lot to be desired, appearing not very well maintained. Also, it is occasionally remarked that the in-flight entertainment was not up to date, at least on some of the older planes.

Delays and Cancellations not handled well by United Airlines

The overall on-time performance of United is 90% according to FlightStats, with, however, more than 4% of the flights cancelled or diverted. In the period from August to October 2013, the delay statistics show that 20 – 30% of all flights were delayed, with 9% being excessively delayed. Over these three months, there was less than 1% of flights were cancelled or diverted. Thus, the performance of United in terms of cancellations and delays is not great, but also not poor. Reviews by customers who have experienced delays or cancellations were generally very critical of the airline’s handling and services. They note, in particular, a lack of communication about options once a flight had been cancelled.

Have you experienced a flight delay or cancellation on United? Click to check how much compensation you may be entitled to claim from the airline! At Flightright, we assist United Airlines passengers who have been subjected to a delay or flight cancellation to enforce their rights. Getting compensated is quick and simple. To get started, use our free online calculator to check your eligibility for a United Airlines flight delay compensation.

What are my 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

What should I do when delayed with United Airlines?

  • Confirm the reason for the delay with the airline.
  • Collect proof: photos, tickets, receipts of expenses, vouchers, etc.
  • Insist on your basic benefits and services at the airport.
  • Check your eligibility for compensation with our free online calculator

Under what conditions is your flight delay with United Airlines eligible for compensation?

The 2004 EU261 regulation clearly defines a flight delay as when an airline or its replacement arrives at your destination more than 3 hours later than expected. In this circumstance, you need to check to know if you might be entitled to compensation.

Note: the amount of compensation is dependent on the distance of the flight – not on the amount you paid for your ticket. Additionally, the flight must either take off or land in the European Union. In the case where it is landing in the European Union, the airline must also have its headquarters in the EU.

A United Airlines passenger is entitled to compensation in the event of the following:

  • Flight delay: If your United Airlines flight arrives at your destination more than 3 hours later than expected.
  • Flight Cancellation: if you were not informed of the cancellation or informed less than 14 days before departure.
  • Overbooking: If you had suffered a denied boarding due to overbooking of your flight.
  • Missed connecting flight: If you missed a connecting flight due to a delay in one of the legs, and you arrived at your destination more than 3 hours later than expected.

Don’t take any excuses!

  • Meal vouchers or accommodation (in the case of an overnight delay) do not suffice for compensation.
  • All flight packages are covered by this regulation and only the person on the passenger manifest and who has suffered the delay, irrespective of who paid for the ticket, will receive compensation for the disturbance.
  • Your claims are valid up to 6 years in the past.
  • Only extraordinary circumstances such as union strikes or bad weather relieve the airline of this responsibility.

Here is an overview of which compensation you’ll be entitled to, based on the circumstances of your delay:

  • Short distance flight delays – Below 1500km – Passengers are due €250 compensation from United Airlines.
  • Medium distance flight delays – Between 1500km and 3500km – Passengers are due €400 compensation from United Airlines.
  • Long distance flight delays – Over 3500km – Passengers are due €600 compensation from United Airlines.

Delay, cancellation, overbooking or missed connection flight? You are entitled to:

Short distance up to 1500 kmMedium distance up to 3500 kmLong distance from 3500 km
e.g. London – Edinburghe.g. London – Athense.g. London – Tokyo

How to claim compensation from United Airlines

The first thing to do is confirm that you are eligible for United Airlines flight delay compensation. This is often not a simple process when done on your own: getting access to flight databases, comparing your situation with other similar cases, checking whether your case applies under European Regulation No. 261/2004, etc. are some of the tasks that need to be done carefully to determine if you are eligible for a United Airlines compensation. In fact, for an individual without the legal expertise or the required technology, this can prove quite complicated.

But we have made it all easy with Flightright. In simple steps, you can determine your eligibility for a United Airlines delay compensation. Simply enter your flight details into our free compensation calculator, establish that you’re entitled to a claim against United Airlines, and then leave the rest to us. It will only take a few minutes for us to verify the eligibility of your claim and initiate action to ensure that you get compensated. Our service is free as we only get a percentage of what we can extract as a claim. By choosing us, you are opting to join the more than 11 million satisfied customers who have used our service. We are a dependable partner and we have been successful at asserting air passenger rights for over 12 years.

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United Airlines Additional services at the airport

If your United Airlines flight departure is delayed for more than normal, you immediately have the right to basic benefits and services. These rights vary depending on the distance of your flight. Below, you’ll find an overview of what you’re eligible for:

  • Short distance: from 2 hours waiting time – free drinks, free food, and 2 telephone calls, emails, or faxes
  • Medium distance: from 3 hours waiting time – free drinks, free food, and 2 telephone calls, emails, or faxes
  • Long-haul: from 4 hours waiting time – free drinks, free food, and 2 telephone calls, emails, or faxes

Delays of more than 5 hours

In this instance, you can, regardless of the distance, withdraw from your flight. United Airlines is obliged to either reimburse you or offer you alternative transportation to your destination. Departure delayed until the next day

You’re eligible for a stay in a hotel, including transport to and from the airport. Contact United Airlines customer service directly and ask that confirmation of your hotel room and transfers to be provided in writing.

Your flight didn’t take off yet?

You can simply enter your flight details for your future flight and we will let you know whether you’re eligible for compensation. Enter your flight here:

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United Airlines – Summary of Operational Activities in 2023 

Airline Name Total Number of Flights Total Number of Cancellations Total Number of Delays 
United Airlines 55,006 1,098 1,026 

According to Flightright Data, in 2023, United Airlines operated a total of 55,006 flights. During this period, there were 1,098 cancellations and 1,026 delays. 

Top 5 Major Airports United Airlines Operated at in 2023 

Airport Name Total Number of Flights Total Number of Cancellations Total Number of Delays 
Newark 10,092 206 326 
London (Heathrow) 7,237 134 91 
Washington (Dulles International) 5,455 78 122 
Chicago (O’Hare) 4,386 69 77 
Frankfurt 3,963 89 32 

According to Flightright Data, in 2023, the major airports United Airlines operated at included Newark, London (Heathrow), Washington (Dulles International), Chicago (O’Hare), and Frankfurt. Newark had the highest number of flights at 10,092, with 206 cancellations and 326 delays. 

Had flight problems with United Airlines?

Flightright takes care of your rights in the event of flight delays, cancellations, and overbooking and is committed to ensuring that you receive your compensation from the airline.

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