for my SFO-EWR-HAM flight (about 3 weeks ago) i requested a miles+cash upgrade on united, which (unsurprisingly) was a hot mess*. in any case, the upgrade didn’t clear, so i was due a refund of the 16,000 miles and $440 (there was a sale for 20% off regular upgrade prices). the miles were immediately refunded, but the money was nowhere to be seen. i gave them the benefit of the doubt and waited until a couple days after i returned home to see if maybe it was waiting on the completion of the itinerary, but nope.
i purposely scheduled everything to go on a credit card that had its billing cycle start soon before the original request date, knowing (assuming?) that the refund would occur before the due date so i wouldn’t have to pay if it didn’t clear. well, the due date was ticking ever nearer with no refund appearing online.
the options listed on their refund page were not useful, nor was calling the premier desk (who transfered me to customer care, no help other than to point me to their website). i knew if i were to email them about it, the credit card due date would pass and i’d temporarily be out $440.
so i google and voila, here’s the direct number for united’s refund department:
it took a long time to get through (if there are lots of people on hold, you won’t be offered a chance to), and i had to wait for about 20-25 minutes to speak to someone (thank goodness for speakerphone), but once i did, it took her (btw, whoever it was was a real sweetie — super pleasant) just a couple minutes to process the refund, and it posted just a couple days later.
crisis averted! so yes, file this number away and be patient and persistent when you call. humans > technology.
* hot mess upgrade: the system didn’t add me correctly to the upgrade list so they had to manually do it at the united club, but of course by that time (literally right before boarding), no businessfirst seats were available