If you’re jet-setting to Barcelona, Tokyo or another international destination that requires a passport for identification purposes, we’ve got some helpful information for you.
On your initial international trip, you must scan your passport at an airport kiosk or hand it to an agent at the check-in counter. This is important because 1) you can’t complete the check-in process online, and 2) by scanning your passport, we verify that you have the correct documentation for travel to your international destination.
Scan your passport at an airport kiosk
When you arrive at the airport, head directly to one of our check-in kiosks. To access your reservation, scan your passport with the kiosk’s built-in scanner or enter your flight reservation information. (If you do the latter, a screen appears that directs you to scan your passport.) Any travel-document information that is already in our system gets updated with information from this newly scanned passport.
If for any reason you’re unable to complete your passport scan at the airport kiosk, you’ll be prompted to manually enter all of your passport information: name, date of birth, passport number and passport expiration date. After you’ve entered this information, you’ll see a screen with a notice that an agent will assist you with the completion of the passport-input process.
Tip: What would prevent your passport from scanning at the airport kiosk? The condition of its cover or pages or the orientation of the kiosk’s machine-readable zone are just a few of things that could cause scanning issues.
A note to MileagePlus® members: The passport information that is saved in your MileagePlus account profile is separate from the passport information that we save in our system when you scan your passport at an airport kiosk or check in online.
If you have more than one passport
For customers who are citizens of more than one country and travel with multiple passports, we are currently able to save only one passport to your United profile. As an example of how this works, let’s say that you’re traveling on United from Newark to Madrid and you’re a citizen of both the U.S. and Spain. You decide to use your Spanish passport for your outbound flight. If we don’t already have your information in our system, when you scan your passport at the check-in kiosk or the check-in counter at the Newark airport, our system saves your passport information. Then, for your return trip, you choose to use your U.S. passport.
Because you’re now using a passport with information that is different from that stored in our system (in this case, the Spanish one), you’ll need to scan this second passport at an airport kiosk. You can’t check in online. And, as we pointed out earlier in the article, any previous passport information that has been saved in our system will be updated with the information from the second passport.
We’ve given you the low-down on scanning your passport when you use it for the first time for an international itinerary. Now go ahead and plan that overseas trip.