You Can Still Avoid the United $75 Close-in Booking Fee


Update 7/14/19: The trick just worked for me again, this time on the first try! I spent under 5 minutes and saved $150. This time I started by calling the number that ended up working for me last year, 1-800-421-4655, on the first try and the nice representative waived the fee. She originally told me that we would be charged $75 per person–$150 total–and I told her it was my understanding that since I had booked within the last 24 hours I could make free changes. She agreed and waived the fee. There are also tons of positive data points in the comments as of late, so I would 100% give this a shot yourself especially if you’re trying to recoup the fee for more than passenger. 

Update 7/21/18: A friend confirmed that the phone number that worked for me (that happened to be the last number I tried) worked for him on the first try a week ago: 1-800-421-4655.

In Don’t Pay the $75 Close In Fee on United (Trick!), Scott wrote about an easy way anyone can avoid the fee United charges non-elites for booking an award within 21 days of departure. The trick has been helping last minute travel planners (or those wanting to scoop up award space that becomes available close to departure) save tons over time. While it may not always work on the first try, this trick still works, and I’ll tell you how I did it today.

Note that as of November 15 United won’t charge a close-in booking fee anymore. That’s when United drops their award chart and switches to dynamic award pricing, meaning mileage prices will be tied to the cash price of a ticket. When you think about how the cost of a ticket you pay for with money goes up closer to departure date, you can understand why Untied doesn’t need to charge this close-in booking fee anymore.

The Trick


  • “Booking a MileagePlus award ticket through any channel, less than 21 days before departure” incurs a fee of $75 per ticket. This fee is reduced or waived depending on your status.
  • You can make free changes or cancellations of your United award within 24 hours of ticketing by phone or online as long as the original scheduled flight is purchased a week or more from departure. This is designed as a safety valve if you make a mistake in the initial ticketing, but you can use the free changes and cancellations however you’d like.
This screenshot is from the final payment page of my award booking.
This screenshot is from the final payment page of my award booking.

How it Works

If you want to book a United award within 21 days of departure, book the same flight for 21+ days in the future, then immediately (or at least within 24 hours) call in to change it to within 21 days of departure. No close in ticketing fee will be charged*.

*You may have to call more than once and try various numbers. More on that below.

Current State of United Close-in Booking Fee Trick

There has been talk around the internet lately that this $75 trick is dead. And while it certainly isn’t as easy as it used to be, it’s not dead. I just managed to avoid it myself.

My boyfriend Withers and I are flying United economy (oh, the perks of traveling with your dog) back to the United States from Buenos Aires to visit friends and family in a couple weeks. I was waiting on a few things to fall in line before booking the award, and realized that we were within the 21 day window of each of us incurring the $75 fee.

So instead of booking the flight we wanted…

…I booked the same flight numbers for 26 days out from now, which you will notice costs exactly $75 less out of pocket. That’s the pesky close-in booking fee.

Then I tried my luck with various agents until I found one that let me book for the same out of pocket cost on the original award, sans close-in fee.

UPDATE 7/14/19: As I said before, I just booked a very similar award to what’s above and was, again, able to save $150 on the close-in booking fee employing this trick. What also helped this time around was the extra award space granted to me via my United Business Explorer Card. We were able to snag a preferable schedule this time, with flights connecting through Houston as opposed to Newark, and a connection of only two hours instead of four. Those that hold the consumer version of this card, the United Explorer Card, also receive this extra award space benefit.

That says Exclusively available to you as a MileagePlus Chase Cardmember.
That says Exclusively available to you as a MileagePlus Chase Cardmember.

If you don’t have a United card are traveling with somebody that does, make sure to sign in their MileagePlus account to search for award space and book. I tested this to see if it was a bogus benefit and it’s not. The award flight we booked was not an available option searching through Withers’ MileagePlus account. 

The Phone Calls

First Attempt

I called the United MileagePlus Frequent Flyer Award Reservations/Premier Priority Desk line (1-800-864-8331), which is located in the United States. I told the rep I wanted to change an award I had just booked, gave her the new date, and told her it would be the same flight numbers. She told me that there would be no additional cost as the mileage amount was the same and I had booked within the last 24 hours.

Right before confirming everything (it sounded like she typed something in her computer during a brief silence), she told me that actually I would be charged $75 per passenger to move the flights back since the departure date was within 21 days of today.

Second Attempt

I called back the same United Customer Contact Center in the US, and nearly the exact situation played out as in my first attempt. The only difference was the way the rep phrased the final bit of communication. She said, “the system recognized the flights as being within 21 days of departure so has added a $75 fee per passenger”.

At this point I lost hope as it appeared that their software is now updated to catch any human error.

Third Attempt

I decided to try the Philippines United number (+63-2-884-8272) as others have reported higher success rates calling this office. I was put on hold and after a few minutes hung up on. I figured it wouldn’t work as I was calling outside office hours, but thought I’d give it a shot in case the operating hours had changed to 24 hours since the website was last updated. Doesn’t appear they have. They are open:

  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (that’s 8:30 pm to 5:30 am ET)
  • Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (8:30 pm to 12:30 am ET)
  • Sunday and holidays, closed (note Manila is 12 hours ahead of ET)

If you have trouble finding an agent that doesn’t tack on the $75 fee, I’d give the Philippines office a shot during office hours.

Fourth Attempt

I called 1-800-421-4655, a different number also for United MileagePlus in the United States. At this point it felt futile to give the same number that had shot me down twice another call, and I thought just maybe that a different number would lead to a different office (with different software? who knows).

Just like the first and second attempts, I told the agent which flights I wanted to change mine to. This time I asked if it would cost anything on top, noting that I didn’t think it should since I had just booked the award an hour prior. He verbally confirmed I was right and then went about typing. A minute later he told me I was booked on the new flights and the confirmation for the changes would arrive to my email shortly. At this point I knew I was in the clear, because he would have had to ask permission to charge more to the card on the file. But just to by crystal clear, I asked for reconfirmation that there was no change in mileage or taxes/fees, which he reconfirmed for me.


I’m not sure if getting this trick to work is just HUCA (hang up call again) patience and persistence, or if it was the different phone number I used for United MileagePlus. One way or the other, it worked for me, and it looks like it can work for you too. I’d try calling the number that worked for me: 1-800-421-4655 (update 7/21: this phone number worked for my friend one week ago on the first try). Anyone else have success with a specific office?

Other Data Points

A commenter on View from the Wing just today (July 20) got his fees waived by being nice to the agent. The comment above his, also a Silver Elite member, also had success getting the the fee waived for being nice. Perhaps kindness won it for those guys, or maybe it was just agents that didn’t understand why the system was triggering the $75 fee, and since those guys were elites, they were prone to waive it.

Two other commenters on that same View from the Wing post, who commented before the elites, reported success (and did not mention being elites) in mid June. My success today seems more in line with them. I didn’t chat anyone up, am not a United elite member. My rep did not mention waiving anything.

Four commenters in May from my last post about this subject reported success, although I’m not sure I’d count these as valid data points as it appears that it became harder to get away with starting in early June at some point.

Don’t Want to Bother?

If you have the option and it won’t cost you even more miles or out-of-pocket (i.e. on United flights), you could use Singapore or Aeroplan miles to book the same award space. Neither programs charge a close-in booking fee.

Singapore miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of all the transferrable point types, and Aeroplan transfers 1:1 from Amex Membership Rewards and Marriott points.

Bottom Line

If you want to book an award with United miles within 21 days of departure, you can instead book the same award flights 21+ days out, and call within 24 hours–during the free cancellation window–to move your award to your desired travel date within 21 days. You may need to call more than once to find the right agent, but if it’s worth it to you, it’s possible to avoid the $75 close-in booking fee.

Whether or not you’ll want to bother with this trick will probably depend on how many people are on the reservation. I spent about 20 minutes today making a few calls that saved Withers and I $150. Fine by me. Doesn’t end up working and can’t handle any more automated recordings or hold music? Either cancel and rebook with another Star Alliance mile that won’t charge a close-in fee if it makes sense mileage/fees wise, or just re-book on United and eat the fee you would’ve paid anyways.

Has anyone else had success or failure with this trick lately?

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  1. The number of times you have to HUCA is getting stupid. I would consider this dead since it is not easily reproducible. I tried 5 times in April all different numbers and call centers and couldn’t get anyone to waive it, but I got close when someone needed to check with their supervisor.

    • I would be interested to see if using the 1-800-421-4655 number works for others on the first try. It happened to be the last number I tried, but I was told a friend of mine got it on the first try through that number. Do you remember which line you called?

      • Just tried this number, first agent told me there’s a “change fee” of $75. Ugh. Now on hold trying to schmooze my way out of this fee.

    • The tick isn’t the news. The news is that it still works, as others have reported that it has stopped working. I reported my experience to contribute a data point as that is what this community does.

      I get that this doesn’t matter so much to the solo traveler, but think about how much it can save families.

  2. Not sure how many tickets you had booked, but making all those phone calls to save $75 for a single ticket doesn’t make much sense unless your time is worthless or close to it.

    • Perhaps you didn’t read through the post, but I addressed this in the bottom line… “Whether or not you’ll want to bother with this trick will probably depend on how many people are on the reservation. I spent about 20 minutes today making a few calls that saved Withers and I $150.”

      20 minutes to save $150 is ok with me, and I imagine it would take many even less time. Scott just told me a friend of ours got it on the first try a week ago.

    • Here comes the guy that makes $200/hour to belittle us peons. Does that mean you lost $10 reading this and $5 posting a comment?

  3. called the special number you’ve shared twice today. I need to avoid the $75 for 3 passengers on an upcoming flight. both times agents seemed confused by the fact that the system was trying to apply the close in ticketing fee … they didn’t seem to recognize it… however, it seems to be in the system and it doesn’t let them go past it. they’re able to make the change, but in order for the flights to be confirmed the $75 needs to be collected, as the system requires it.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I wonder why the system let the rep I talked to get away without paying, as well as my friend. It seems that the 1-800-421-4655 number is a better shot but not fool-proof.

  4. First try of your recommended # and they enforced the $75 on me, No amount of pleading or being nice made it change. Will try Phillippines # later.

      • Ended up calling the original 800 number around midnight and a nice lady somehow made the “change fee” disappear after I feigned dismay and surprise. But definitely becoming more of a time pit. I’d still use this for trips where I have no idea when I want to come back until last minute. WOrth even the $75 for the flexbility.

  5. That rotary phone in the picture is wrong. As far as I remember, it started from 1 and the last number was 0, not 0 first and 9 last as in the image on this phone

  6. The trick worked for me on the first try to 1-800-421-4655. No fee when changing a reservation from four weeks in the future to two days in the future. Date: August 9, 2018.

  7. Also worked for me on the first try to 1-800-421-4655! No fee when changing a reservation from four weeks in the future to two days in the future. Date: August 9, 2018. Thank you!

  8. Called twice, this is hard coded in the system. The CS said, I am not sure why you have a $75 PP fee when you booked today within the 24 hours, put me on a hold both times and returned after checking that the $75 is close in fee.
    This is very dead IMO.

  9. Still works. Called 1-800-421-4655. Connected with a Premier rep. Explained that I didn’t listen to my wife and I booked the wrong date. She was mad and I need help. Ha. She asked for my new date and I give it to her. She changed it and didn’t even mention the fee. I’m a United Silver. YMWV.

  10. I think the fee is pretty dead, but not entirely dead.
    Background: My wife and I are adopting and needed to fly in order to go meet the kids on two separate occasions (a requirement for us adopting out of foster care). First visit is less than 21 days away. I got the ticket for the second visit (more than 21 days away) and then called to change it for the weekend of the first visit.

    I first called 1-800-864-8331. She mentioned the close-in booking fee. I asked if it could be waived. She said no. I told her not to change the flights.

    Waited a few minutes, called 1-800-421-4655. This rep also mentioned the close-in fee. I asked her if it could be waived and laid it on a little thick about the adoption. She put me on hold, came back on 5 mins later, put my change through with no added fee. I thanked her profusely.

  11. Just worked for me 8/28/2018. Thanks for sharing. I called 1-800-421-4655 first rep I spoke with at first said that will need to charge the $75 fee. I said that I am within my 24 hour cancellation period… After putting me on hold, she came back saying that she could waive the $75 fee.

  12. It’s dead…I called 800-421-4655 twice (on hold for 15 minutes each time) and couldn’t waive the fee. I relented and paid because I didn’t have time to call again.

  13. Thank you for this tip! I called the 1-800-421-4655. First try I got this nice lady, American. She didn’t mention the fee and neither did I. I just checked the ticket and no extra fee. (Sep 2018)

  14. Not dead. Called 1-800-421-4655 twice. First, I received the “system… cannot waive” message from the first lady. Called a second time and the lady said the same thing but she was able to grant my waive request as a “one-time” exception. Thanks for the recommendation!

  15. Worked for me today as well. Called 1-800-421-4655 twice. First agent said there would be a $75 fee and declined my waive request. Second time, the agent took longer (10+ minutes) to do her work but straight up changed the ticket and emailed me a confirmation without mentioning any fees. Thank you for the article.

  16. WOW.. Just called the 1-800-421-4655 no and the lady informed me right after I told the date about the $75 fee for 5 passengers. Then I nicely said no and tried again and another gentleman took some time and eventually changed the itinerary(took about 20 mins) to what I want from 3rd Nov to Oct 19th. He never spoke about the fee but he did put me on hold for a while and eventually changed the ticket. Awesome. Glad I read this through..

  17. I just called the 800-421-4655 number and got the change on the first attempt. At first she said there will be a $75 dollar fee and I just replied that I thought there was no fee to change within 24 hours. She asked what time I booked and after a brief (holding my breath) pause she said that there wouldn’t be any fees. She sent me the conformation while I was still on the phone. Thank you!

  18. I booked a flight more than 21 days out on the same route as one I wanted. It was 20k points vs. the 10k on the date I really wanted. I called 800-421-4655 late in the evening after booking, around 11:00pm EST, which I think routed me to a foreign call center, and they were going to charge me the close in fee. I called again the following day and got a domestic call center (I think), and they did not charge (or even mention) the close in fee, and they refunded the 10k point difference.

  19. Wow! So happy I read this. I’ve been fiddling around with holiday vacation plans and wasn’t aware of the close in fee at all. I was just under my PQD to earn gold status but was waiting for my earnings from a recent flight to clear before I decided whether I should pay up-front for economy plus in order to get any extra PQD needed to qualify (instead of waiting for the complimentary upgrade at check-in). I gave it a day for the recent flight to post to my account to confirm that I did NOT need to purchase economy plus up front to qualify by the end of this year, but much to my disappointment, this brought our desired travel date to just within the 21-day window. It seems the close-in fee was only $50 pp for us.

    I called the 421-4655 and got the most pleasant agent. She didn’t say anything about a change fee or close-in booking fee and changed the flight immediately. Was on the phone for less than 5 min, which includes the automated greeting.

  20. Tried 3 times and they added on $75 fee each time and said it can not be waved. So I just canceled my ticket since using my miles wasn’t really worth it once the fee is added. I hope other people have better luck than me.

  21. It worked for me. Thank you very much!!!

    P.S. On-line reservation revise does show the $75 booking fee. So I called one of the foreign office and changed over the phone. The system did bring up the fee and I told them my reservation was made within 24 hours. So they waived the $75 fee. I didn’t call the US 800-421-4655 number as it was off business hour then.

  22. Just tried this today and it worked, first try.

    The $75 fee wasn’t a deal breaker but I figured I would give this method a shot so I followed the steps above and called the 1-800-421-4655 number. The lady saw a $75 fee but waived it, although if she had tried to charge me I probably would have just accepted it and not tried again.

    Thanks for the tips!

  23. Called today it worked! First try as well. The lady mentioned $75 fee but after she put me on hold and talked to another department (?), she waived the fee. Thank you for sharing this!

  24. I tried calling 5 times today. No budging from any of the representatives. Even asked if supervisor could waive. I would of rather paid the $75 to get back the 1 hour+ I wasted waiting on hold five times.

  25. This trick is very YMMV. I tried to change yesterday for a 4 ticket reservation. I got lucky with my third try ( I was about to give up on this). Good Luck!.

  26. Jan 2nd, 2019
    Used the recommended phone number (Houston call centre) …..made the call late ..1030PM PST
    went through with no mention of close in charge….. chatted a bit with the agent who was not rushed…late night calling has helped before with difficult itineraries, open jaw/layover stuff..or whatever United is calling them now.
    Thanks, Sara

  27. This worked for me, called this morning to the official number 1-800-864-8331, she mentioned the $75 fee but I argued that I booked the flight 1 hour before and she waived it. Thank you!

  28. Worked! Called and agent said “hmm,” paused and then said “ok, you are all set. No fee to change your flight.” Now that is the BEST way to use the internet..Saved $75 by reading this article. Thank you! Thank you!

  29. Worked for me. 1:30am PST 2/9 calling the regular -8331 number. Called three times earlier in the day, twice to the -4655 number. 7min call including the recordings. No real small talk or charm, just lots of thank-yous and cordiality.

  30. Got it done on the 2nd try, without even asking me, he asked the supervisor to waive it, 15min phone call, 8331 number.

    Being courteous the whole time will definitely help

  31. I called direct to mileage plus number and booked exact dates with them. No booking fee or agent fee. They waived both

  32. Wanted to buy a flight for March 7 (15 days from now), but they were going to charge $75 extra. Looked up how to get around that, found this. Bought a flight for March 14, then called 1-800-864-8331 to change it. They were very nice about it and didn’t even mention the extra $75, so it must not have been an issue. Thanks for your help!!

  33. It worked for me with the recommended phone on the first try!

    They said there is a modification fee but I said that I am calling an hour after I booked the flight and they waived it immediately.

    Booked 4 weeks ahead and then changed to 3 weeks ahead.

    Definitely worth the try!

  34. Just got it by calling the 1-800-864-8331. They 1st said there is a 75$ closing fee, I mentioned I was not aware of this and I booked the ticket less than 24hrs ago. They lady went to ask her supervisor about it then they waived these fees as a courtesy ! They did mention that it’s a one time courtesy and they will not do it anymore 🙂 Anyway, I was glad I gave it a try…

  35. still working. called in today to 800-421-4655 and was able to get my flights changed on the second try. first one said that they couldn’t waive it and it was a normal fee for award tickets. second try they didn’t even mention the fee.

  36. just called today at the 4655 number, within an hour of booking to change. changed from 4 weeks out to 1 week out, and waived fees on first try. she was very nice and said because within 24 hours of booking, no fees to change. seems like the trend is to make the attempt within that first 24 hours.

  37. Just called the 4655 number. First two times got shot down real quick. 3rd time (in Spanish) got a really nice guy who never mentioned the fee. Thanks for the info!

  38. Called 4655 number and had 1 hour wait, didn’t get through. Tried support and after 30 minute wait, agent changed my ticket and said $75 fee was needed. He said system automatically added it. No way to remove it. Tried to talk him out of it but didn’t work. Not sure if trick is dead but spending 1.5-2 hours trying makes it dead for me.

  39. Called the 8331 number at 845am PST. First guy said there was no way to waive the $150 for 2 tickets so after trying to sweet talk him, I hung up and decided to call back. Call took 10 minutes. Called the same number back again and after being on hold for 10 minutes a nice guy told me it would be $150 for the close in booking fee. I told him my fiance was going to kill me and asked him if he could waive the fees as a one time courtesy since I had no idea about them. (white lie) He said he would check, came back a minute later and the fees magically disappeared. Total call time 15 minutes. This trick is definitely NOT dead. As always when dealing with any airline employee it pays to be super nice. They have much more power than they let on.

  40. Decided to just make award reservation skipping trick part. It worked after speaking nicely to a lady who first said there will be $25 phone reservation fee and $75 <21 day fee. First one she was able to waive herself, and for the second one, she had to reach the support and made them waive it. So I guess your success will also depend on whether the agent has privileges to surpass the system. I used 8331 number. Thank you Sarah, great post!

  41. tl;dr: only tried with 1 agent today, didn’t work despite Gold status

    Called this number today, talked very nicely, she didn’t notice any fees at first but at the last minute said there’s a change fee of $25 (I’m United Gold) which I know to be the close-in fee. I asked whether there was any chance it could be waived and she gently turned me down. I didn’t push hard or call back because hold time was about 10 mins. But seeing the other comments from very recent dates, I guess if I had the patience to push for it more, create sympathy, or HUCA a couple of times, might have been able to get rid of it.

  42. Thanks, this worked!

    The rep initially said there was a $75 “change fee” required. When I commented that a change fee shouldn’t apply less than 24 hours after booking, they said “let me check on that” and a few minutes later my flight was changed without a fee.

  43. I just tried the 4655 number. Was on hold for 30 minutes and the agent really quickly took me through the process and without skipping a beat mentioned the close-in fee. I acted surprised, nicely asked if there was any way to waive the fee, and she just said they already waived the “change fee” (which doesn’t seem like an extra benefit when they advertise that you can change for free within 24 hours) and there was no way to take off the close-in fee.

    I wasn’t willing to try calling again and waiting another 30 minutes so I just forked over the extra money.

  44. Worked for me as well on June 9, 2019. My rep also mentioned there was a $75 change fee required, but after doing some quick checks, she said it would not apply since its within 24 hours after booking.

  45. Just wanted to leave a comment that this still worked for me on June 11th 2019 on the 4655 number. I’m a United Silver member but I don’t think that had anything to do with it. I asked them to change the date and she said there would be a 50USD change fee. I then quoted their 24 hour cancellation/change policy extremely politely that “United’s 24-hour flexible booking policy allows the flexibility to make changes to select reservations within 24 hours of purchasing your ticket, without incurring change fees if you made your purchase one week or more prior to the original scheduled departure flight.”

    Since the date I booked it for (21 days+) is the ORIGINAL scheduled departure flight and not the one I’m trying to change it to, technically by their text I should not be charged an extra fee. She said that I was correct and waived the fee and sent me a confirmation e-mail. Then we chatted a little about her Australian friend then wished each other a good day.

    Thanks for the tip!

  46. 4655 number worked for me with a single call on June 14, 2019. She reiterated the no change fee within 24 hours at the beginning of call which would have been a perfect retort had she tried to charge me, but she didn’t even mention it. As advised, I was changing from an identical flight 4 weeks in the future that was still the same dollar value as the one I wanted which was 8 days in the future. Not sure if being within 7 days would have affected anything.

    Thank you for the original post and all these follow-up comments confirming!

  47. Success on first try! Had to get transferred over to international reservations for intra Japan flight. 800 864 8331

  48. Yaaassss!! Still works! Transferred international reservations. Dialed 4655 number I was super bubbly and excited and it worked on my first try! He mentioned the $75 fee and I said it’s within 24 hours, he worked his magic – I’m so happy!

    Sarah Maxwell you a real one babe! Super thanks, we appreciate you!

  49. I wouldn’t call it a trick, since the fee is automatically tagged on and it’s up to you how well you can ask/smooth talk/beg/manipulate the agent to get it waived. I tried 4655 number twice unsuccessfully. I was routed to Philippines both times, perhaps because it was in the off hours. Third time I tried the 8331 number and was again routed to Philippines. As soon as the agent started talking about the fee, I thought I’m wasting my time again. However, at the end I was able to get it waived as a one time courtesy after the agent contacted the support. Thankfully, UA is eliminating close in fees after Nov 15th, so I probably won’t have to deal with it again.

  50. Worked just now for me too 3 tickets $225 saved. He mentioned the fee and when I said I just booked it and thought there was no fees for 24 hrs he said he will cancel it. Yah

  51. Best hack ever! First try and it worked on 4655#. I’ve been flying with United for so long with elite status but after being downgraded this close in fee has been such a pain in the butt so thank you!!

  52. Perhaps there was a change in the system, or maybe for Star Alliance partner flights it’s particularly strict. I have tried 5 times today with no results yet either.

  53. I just tried it and they waved the fee after a 7 minutes of confusing pushback (I added to the confusion as a tactic to get them to try and waive the fee).
    My strategy was to book the flight exactly 21 days out, but before the departure time (hence to the system is not really within the 21 days threshold).
    When I called to do the change they wanted to charge a difference on taxes plus the close in fee, I focused first on the fact that the original flight was within 21 days (though technically it wasn’t) and argued that the close in fee should’ve been specified on the first reservation too, this went over for like 2 or 3 minutes, then I focused on the taxes and it also ran for 3 minutes.
    Lastly I asked her to waive the fees, and she agreed.

    The call took 30 minutes including hold, so be prepared for that and good luck.

  54. It worked!! thank you so much for your tip. When I first called I was using the tip from another website that was old and it didn’t work. Luckily I found yours and when I asked them why I’m being charged when it said free changes without 24 hr she checked and agree that since I booked it today she wouldn’t charge me. Bingo! FYI I just called using the 1800 united line and it worked.

  55. Called the 4655 number three times before an agent was willing to waive the close in fee. I had to bring up the no change fees within 24 hours, and was put on a short hold before she came back to say they could waive it as a one time courtesy.

  56. Update as of 8/21/19. Called 4655 number three different times. Mentioned how there were no fees within 24 hours. All three insisted on charging the fee. Even asked if they could waive it. They said their system won’t allow them to not collect it. Even talked to a supervisor who was unwilling and snarky when I told her never mind. Will call back tomorrow and hope for an American rep.

  57. Tried this trick today, Sep 1, 2019, and the nice agent waived the close in fee. I basically said verbatim what was in the post “it was my understanding that since I had booked within the last 24 hours I could make free changes.”. Thank you MileValue for saving me $75 and also continually providing the updates on this post.

  58. This worked for me after a few calls on 8004214655. Acting confused and throwing out lots of numbers helped.

  59. Just worked for me on my first attempt! They didn’t mention the $75 on the call at all. Thanks for your help!

  60. Just worked for me today on the first try – gave the “it was my understanding that since I had booked within the last 24 hours I could make free changes.” spiel and the agent quickly removed the charges

  61. Worked for us! Thanks for saving us $150! Called 1-800-864-8331 twice, and when I called the 8004214655, she mentioned the cost, I mentioned I’d booked within the past 24 hours and she went to talk to her supervisor and was able to get the close change fee removed.

  62. Data point: success! Called 800-864-8331 (~5:30am Eastern), representative seemed a bit confused at first and said the flight I wanted wasn’t available (though it showed as available to me on their site), then she checked something else and was able to see it as available. She then said she needed to collect something >$100 in change fees, I mentioned the 24 hour free change policy, was put on hold for a few minutes, and she came back and said the change was made for me (and I wasn’t charged any extra). <20 minutes total.

  63. Data point:
    – Called 8331 twice; first try the agent spent around 30 mins to find an available flights due to “system error” and at the end she asked to charge a 75 fee. I said the magic sentence and she put me on hold. After 3 mins of waiting, she came back and said this was a 21 day charge and insisted on collecting the charge, I hung up. Second agent on 8331 could not find any available flight on her end, however, 3 tickets were available online.
    – Called 4655 twice; first agent could not find the flight I want, after spending 20mins on searching, I hung up. Waited for another 15 mins, called again. This time the agent still could not find the flight I wanted, we went back and forth. After spending 45 minutes on getting the ticket, she asked to charge the 75 change fee, and I told her the magic sentence, she said she would look it up and put me on hold. After 2mins wait, she said she was able to waive the fee, and finalized the ticket with me. However, what she had done was that she cancelled my original ticket and tried to purchase the new one with the date I want, but the mileage did not instantly come back to the account so they were not able to complete the transaction. The supervisor took over the phone and said the ticket had been held and gave me the confirmation number. She asked me to call the number again to issue the ticket once the miles got back to the account. The miles were back at around 30mins, called 4655 again and finally I got my tickets after waiting 15 mins to get an agent.

    The 4655 trick really worked as I Saved $75 for my flight. But for my case,I literally spent like 2-3 hours on get the fee removed.

  64. This worked for me today. Called -4655. Agent said I had to pay $75 close in fee, I said, “it was my understanding that since I had booked within the last 24 hours I could make changes for no fee.” She said there was still a close in fee but asked me to hold on, came back on and said there is a close in fee but she’ll waive it. Whole call took about 20 min.

  65. I never post on forums but this helped me so wanted to share. This legit just worked for me. I called the 1-800-421-4655 number.


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