United has announced that it is extending the expiration dates for unused tickets issued since May of last year. Wholly unused tickets issued between May 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2021 will remain valid through Dec. 31, 2022. After that, unused tickets issued from Jan. 1, 2022 onward will be valid for customary 12 months from the date of purchase.
Additionally, the airlines says Basic Economy tickets issued between May 1 and Dec. 31, 2021 for travel dates between Aug. 11 and Dec. 31, 2021 can be changed without a fee through Dec. 31, 2021.
According to the carrier, the affected tickets will remain active in the carrier’s system. In addition, Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), International Air Transport Association’s Billing and Settlement Plan, and each global distribution system will recognize the ticket’s validity, making tickets accessible for customers.
Refunds for refundable tickets or ones that had a schedule change that qualifies for a refund must be submitted via ARC, BSP or GDS.
The issues of airline refunds and ticket expiration has been a contentious one during the COVID-19 crisis, with many critics calling on carriers to offer cash refunds instead of temporary flight credits, or extend the expiration of travel credits indefinitely.