United Airlines Check In Policy

United Airlines provides a variety of check-in options to make the travel experience as smooth and convenient as possible. From online check-in to self-service kiosks and traditional check-in counters, United Airlines offers a range of ways for passengers to check in for their flights. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the United Airlines check-in process and explore the different options available to passengers, as well as provide tips and advice for a hassle-free check-in experience.

What is the check in guidelines by United Airlines?

United airlines ensure that the passengers receive the best facilities and services from the airline for smooth check in. But, the passengers must keep note of the following United Airlines check in guidelines to avoid long wait times and complete security screening on time. 

  • The airline allows the passengers up to 24 hours before the flight’s scheduled departure time.
  • It is recommended to reach the airport at least 2 hours in advance of the flight time to complete the security clearance promptly. 
  • For international flights, it is recommended to reach the gate up to 30 minutes before the flight time to ensure documentation and security check on time.

What are the Guidelines for Web and Mobile Check in?

United’s website and mobile check in simplifies the check in process for passengers. Add to that- 

What is the Eligibility for online check in? 

Passengers can opt for online check in in the following cases – 

  • The first flight segment must be operated by United airlines.
  • The itinerary includes no more than 9 passengers.
  • The passport must be verified by United Airlines on previous journeys.
  • Must be no more than 4 flight segments in the itinerary. 

Who are not eligible for online check in or face restrictions over online portals?

The passengers can not request United flight check in online under the following circumstances- 

  • Booking comprises special requests that need special assistance from United representatives or executives at the airport. 
  • If purchasing a Basic Economy fare. 
  • If booking a flight reservation at the United Airlines Reservations Office.

What are the Guidelines for Airport Kiosk Check in? 

Airport kiosks offer various features. Passengers can use the airport kiosks for United flight check in in the following instances – 

  • Passengers seeking physical boarding passes.
  • If there is a need to add tags for your possessions at the airport. 
  • Passengers who requested to upgrade the United Airlines seat selection at the airport. 
  • Passengers need to change the flight on the same day as departure.
  • Passengers with visual or hearing impairments.

What are the Documents required to check in with United airlines?

The documents required to complete the check-in with United Airlines at the airport may vary depending on the destination, the passenger’s citizenship, and other factors. However, in general, the following documents are typically required:

  • Valid passport or government-issued photo ID
  • Boarding pass
  • United Airlines MileagePlus membership card (if you have an elite membership)
  • Visa or travel authorization
  • Health documents

Please Note – It is important to contact United Airlines customer service for the latest and most accurate information regarding the required documents for your specific flight.

How to check in with United Airlines?

United Airlines check in methods are diverse and provide multiple methods so that the passengers can choose the ones best suited to them. The methods like united web check in, mobile check in, and kiosk check in are discussed below –

How to check in at United airlines via Web check in?

Passengers can complete the United airlines online check-in process via the website up to 24 hours before flight departure. Add to that-

  • Head to the United airlines official website and click on the “Menu”.
  • Click “My Trips” and then head to the option “check in”.
United Airlines- My trip
The following image is a screenshot of United Airlines website.
  • You can check in using two ways – Enter the “confirmation code” or the “ticket number” or the “MileagePlus number”.
  • Then, enter the “last name” of the passenger and click continue.
United Airlines web Check in
This snapshot was obtained from the authorized web page of United Airlines.
  • You will also find a direct check in option on the homepage where you can enter the “confirmation number” and the “last name” of the passenger to review the booking details. 
United Flight Check in online
The source of this screenshot is the official website of United Airlines.
  • Select the flight segments and the passenger(s) you wish to check in for, and then click on the “Check-in” button.
  • Select your seat preference from the available options, or choose to have United Airlines assign you a seat automatically.
  • If you have any checked baggage, enter the number of bags you will be checking in, and pay any applicable United airlines checked baggage fees.
  • Once you have completed all the required steps, click on the “Submit” button to complete your check-in.
  • You will receive a confirmation page that you can either print out or save to your mobile device.
  • On the day of your flight, simply show your boarding pass at the gate, or use the mobile app to display your boarding pass.

How to check in through mobile check with United airlines?

You can request a mobile United online check with the airlines mobile app. In addition to that-

  • A new dialog box will open to proceed with the available options.
  • Enter the “confirmation code” or the “ticket number” and the “last name” of the passenger.
  • Once you click “Continue”, Choose the flight you wish to request check in for and click on the “Check in” button.
  • Choose additional facilities like meal preferences, seat choices, change, upgrade, or change in fare type, etc.
  • The passengers can also let the airline choose the seats best suited for them based on availability.
  • The passengers can also opt for checked baggage allowance on the website, choose the number of bags, and their number and pay the applicable fee.
  • Submit the details. The airline will process the check in request and send a confirmation over email or text message on the phone.
  • The passengers can print the boarding pass before they reach the departure airport and follow the screening process, then towards the boarding area.

How to request check in via Airport Kiosk counters?

The passengers can request the airport kiosk counter United Airlines check in upon arrival at the origin airport. Follow the given steps –

  • Head to the airport and reach the kiosk counters available.
  • Enter the flight booking details like the “ticket number or the “booking confirmation code” and the “last name” of the passenger.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to check baggage, add special services like meal preferences, request for United airlines unaccompanied minor policy, etc.
  • Print the baggage tags.
  • The kiosk will process the request and print the boarding pass.

How to Complete Airport Check- in with United airlines?

To complete airport check in, head to the nearest airport counter and follow these steps –

  • It is crucial to reach the airport 2-3 hours before the flight departure.
  • Connect with the United representative at the check in counter or request United curbside check in (at selected airports).
  • Provide important details like the confirmation code, ticket number, and last name of the passenger.
  • Drop off the baggage for check in and complete the security and customs guidelines.
  • Once the request is processed, head to the boarding gate area.

Note – Passengers are restricted to make United Airlines flight change after check-in is completed.

How to connect with United airlines via social media for queries?

Social media can help passengers to connect with the airline promptly and share their feedback conveniently.

You can connect with the airline on the following social media networks-

Social Media PlatformLinks

What is the check in processing times by United Airlines

It is important to stay well-versed with the United Airlines check in timings to avoid stress and have a seamless travel and boarding experience. The key is to arrive at the departure gate on time and get situated on the aircraft without delay.

The check-in timings under each method depend on the travel location. Here are the check-in timings guidelines to give a glimpse of the check-in deadlines –

  • Check-in time based on Baggage allowance – Following check-in timings is admissible for passengers flying within the US via flights handled by United and United Express.
    • With checked baggage – 45 minutes before the flight departure time.
    • Without checked baggage – 30 minutes before the flight departure time.
  • The passengers must check in for United flight 60 minutes before the scheduled flight departure for international flights operated under United and United Express.
  • Flyers must check in 90 minutes before the flight check in with or without checked luggage for flights from and to the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
  • United Airlines states that passengers can check in at night between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm for flights from Guam before 9:30 am in the morning.

What are the US airports with special timing for check in at United Airlines?

Here are some of the popular locations in the US and their minimum united flight check-in deadlines before the flight departure mentioned for the passengers.

  • Baltimore – The check in deadlines are as follows –
ConditionsCheck in Time
For Nonstop international flights (With or without checked luggage)60 minutes
For flights within the US with carry-on luggage45 minutes
For flights within the US with checked baggage45 minutes
  • Honolulu – When traveling to Honolulu, refer the given United airlines check in time-
ConditionsCheck in Time
For Nonstop international flights (With or without checked luggage)75 minutes
For flights within the US with carry-on luggage45 minutes
For flights within the US with checked baggage30 minutes
  • Salt Lake City, Kahului, and San Juan – Refer the given table for united airlines check in for flight from Salt Lake City, Kahului, and San Juan-
ConditionsCheck in Time
For Non stop international flights (With or without checked luggage)60 minutes
For flights within US with carry on luggage45 minutes
For flights within the US with checked baggage45 minutes
  • Mammoth Lakes – The check in deadlines for Mammoth Lakes is as follows –
ConditionsCheck in Time
For Nonstop international flights (With or without checked luggage)60 minutes
For flights within US with carry on luggage30 minutes
For flights within the US with checked baggage30 minutes

Are there any other airports with special check in deadlines prescribed by United Airlines?

There are some airports with special or different United airlines flights check in timings unlike the general timings specified by the airline. Keep in mind the following guidelines –

  • For flights within the US and the majority of international flights, baggage check in is not allowed before 4 hours before the flight time.
  • The passengers must contact the airline to connect with the staff for airport-specific check-in guidelines and check in counter hours.
  • The airline reserves the right to deny boarding, refuse checked baggage under some circumstances, or cancel the booking if the passengers do not abide by the check in limits.

What is the Check in Deadlines for Different Locations?

The passengers must check the table mentioned below to find the minimum required times or check the deadline for the following popular locations for a hassle-free journey.

LocationCheck in Time Deadline 
North America Toronto – 90 minutes 
Europe Brussels – 75 minutes
Dublin – 75 minutes
Frankfurt – 75 minutes
Milan – 75 minutes
Amsterdam – 75 minutes
Berlin – 75 minutes
Rome – 75 minutes
Athens – 75 minutes
Paris – 75 minutes
AfricaAccra – 90 minutes
Lagos – 90 minutes
Latin America and Caribbean St. Thomas – 90 minutes
Aguadilla – 45 minutes 
Lima – 75 minutes 
Middle East Tel Aviv – 90 minutes 
Dubai – 75 minutes 
Asia and the Pacific Pohnpei – 90 minutes
Saipan – 90 minutes
Chuuk – 90 minutes
Kwajalein – 90 minutes
Manila – 90 minutes
Guam – 60 minutes
Palau – 90 minutes
Delhi- 75 minutes
Kosrae – 90 minutes
Yap – 90 minutes
Guam to Honolulu – 90 mins

Note – The times mentioned below are applicable whether the passengers are checking their luggage or not.

What is the Boarding Process with United Airlines?

United Airlines has introduced new boarding lanes and signs at the gate area to encourage an enhanced experience when boarding the airline. Add to that –

  • Two color-coded lanes have been introduced – Blue lane for Group 1 passengers and Green lane for Group 2 passengers.
  • The rest of the passengers in Groups 3 to 5 will board on the green lane once directed by the airport personnel, then the Group 1 and 2 passengers will continue via the Blue lane.
  • Refer to the following table to know the Boarding groups and the allowed passengers for united boarding passes –
Boarding GroupsPassengers Allowed
Pre-BoardingFamilies traveling with kids below the age 2
Active military personnel
Passengers under Global entry program
Unaccompanied minors Customers with physical disabilities/ handicapped
Premier 1 K members
Group 1Star Alliance gold members
Passengers with seating in premium cabins – United First, United Business, and United Polaris
Premier gold members
Premier Platinum members
Group 2Star Alliance silver members
Card members of United Explorer, Club, Presidential awards and Plus members
Premier silver members
Travelers with Priority boarding or premier access
Group 3 to 5Basic economy passengers
Economy plus members
United economy members

Please Note – The travelers who have booked reservations with Basic economy tickets will board in the last group, excluding the passengers with premier membership.

What is the Boarding time stated by United Airlines?

United boarding time states that the passengers must be at the airport 15 minutes before the flight time for flights within the US. However, the international flight check in time united/ boarding time is 30 minutes before the scheduled flight departure. 

The boarding time may differ from one location to another. Some of the boarding time for popular locations is listed below –

LocationBoarding Time
Brussels60 minutes
Dublin30 minutes
Guam to Honolulu60 minutes
Kosrae60 minutes
Lima30 minutes
Majuro60 minutes
Sydney60 minutes
Koror60 minutes
Pohnpei60 minutes
Truk60 minutes
Yap60 minutes

Does United Airlines Offer Priority Boarding?

Travelers can purchase priority boarding from United airlines to board earlier than the other passengers during united check in.  It is a great way to avoid long lines, stand in queues, and reach the seat faster.

Follow the given terms and conditions to avail of the facility –

  • It is necessary the passengers must abide by the check in time limits stated by United airlines to avail Priority boarding feature.
  • It is not available for passengers traveling on a basic economy fare ticket.
  • When the passengers make a change in the itinerary on a ticket booked with priority boarding, the benefits and the features of priority boarding are transferred to the new ticket.
  • Priority boarding is available on selected flights.
  • Passengers can avail of this facility on flights operated by United Airlines and United Express.
  • The priority boarding facility is non-refundable and subject to change at the discretion of the airline.
  • The boarding pass shows “Priority Boarding” on the ticket to confirm the booking.
  • The airline transfers the Priority boarding facility to the new flights instantly changed due to involuntary schedule changes and flight cancellations by the airline.
  • The passengers must purchase Priority Boarding facilities for all the passengers in the group booking to ensure that they all receive the benefits.

United airlines check in and expedited screening mechanism has made the check in process seamless and effortless. TSA Precheck, Global Entry screening, and the various check in methods like web check in, mobile check in, or kiosk check in streamline check in and reduce the need to wait in long queues at the airport.

You can also connect with the airline over the phone and social media platforms in the event of queries, feedback, or special requests and receive the required guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I cancel check in with United Airlines?

The passengers must connect with the airline over the phone to request the check in cancellation.

How to contact United airlines to purchase priority boarding?

Passengers need to call the airlines to add priority boarding to their existing reservations.

Can I check in my baggage at the airport kiosk at United flights?

Yes, the airline permits the passengers to check in baggage at the designated check in kiosk counters.

How Do I Get My United Airlines Boarding Pass via the mobile app?

You will see the option in the profile or my booking section to print the boarding pass after you complete mobile check in.

What Information is Required to Begin the United Flight Check-in Request at the airport kiosk?

All you need is the six characters confirmation code to verify check in at the kiosk.

Can I Use United Airlines Check in Online When I Have Bags to Check in?

Yes, the passengers can check in online and later check their luggage at the airport via dedicated baggage counters.

How to request United Check-in If I Bought My Ticket at a Travel Agency?

You can connect on the website or mobile app even if you have booked a reservation via a travel agency.

How many hours before can I check in at United Airlines?

It is recommended to reach the airport up to 2 hours before the flight departure to complete screening and security checks.

Can a passenger use a mobile phone or other portable devices to check in at the airport?

United Airlines accepts a mobile check-in and has no issues with a softcopy of the boarding pass.

Does United Airlines offer online check in with baggage allowance?

Yes, the passengers can apply for an online check on the website for checked baggage and carry-on baggage.

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