We remain passionate about connecting the world safely.
We are the only U.S. airline with a full-time, on-site medical director, who has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak providing counsel to the company and our employees around the world. When you're ready to travel again, we will be "United Together" with you to deliver industry-leading cleanliness, prioritize your well-being and innovate for a healthier tomorrow.
Check in for your flight at the airport with touchless check-in
The highest standard of safety and cleanliness is a united effort
Here is how we're ensuring your safety throughout the travel journey.
- Social distancing at the airport — At the airport, you will notice enhanced signage in both customer and employee spaces, including a 6 ft. tape rule at the ticket counters which allows for minimal contact between our agents and customers. We are also working to deploy sneeze guards at key interaction points including check-in counters and gate podiums and have implemented temperature checks for employees at United's Hub airports.
- Reducing touchpoints by temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks in most locations. We are also asking customers to self-scan boarding passes at our gate readers as well as working with our janitorial vendors where available to swap existing soap and hand towel dispensers for hands-free units.
- You can now have a totally touch-free check-in experience for your next flight. Just check in on united.com or on the United app, then use our new touchless kiosks to print tags for any checked bags at select airports. See here for more details.
- Enhanced cabin sanitization — We have implemented electrostatic spraying into our cleaning procedures on all inbound long-haul international flights, and mainline overnight aircraft at our U.S. hubs. In June, all aircraft will have electrostatic spray on every one of our departures, in addition to disinfecting customer touch points and surfaces before every flight.
- Ensuring our aircraft cleaning standards meet, and in many cases, exceed CDC guidelines. Our aircraft are cleaned at a variety of touchpoints throughout the day. The cleaning procedure for flights includes a thorough wipe down using an effective, high-grade disinfectant and multi-purpose cleaning of lavatories, galleys, tray tables, seatback screens, seat belts, window shades and armrests.
- Providing flexibility to enable you to change your travel plans for the future. Customers now have until May 31, 2020, to make changes to, or cancel, any travel they have booked through the end of the year without change fees. Electronic travel certificates are also now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. See details here.
- State-of-the-art circulation systems — All our mainline aircraft use a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter (like those found in hospitals) to circulate the air and removes up to 99.7% of airborne particles.
- In coordination with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) — we were the first major U.S. carrier to require that all flight attendants wear a facial covering to help protect themselves and customers on board our aircraft. That mandate was expanded to include all employees on board. We encourage customers to bring their own face coverings, but our customer service agents will be able to provide them if you don't have one when you board our aircraft. Certain customers – such as those who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering, those who cannot put on or remove a face covering themselves and small children – will not be required to wear one on board. This added protection aligns with current CDC guidelines and more information can be found here.
- Starting on May 12, we will introduce another layer of protection by providing individually wrapped hand sanitizer wipes to our customers as they board the aircraft.
- Reducing onboard contact — Changing onboard service to minimize touchpoints between crew and customers, including: handing snacks and beverages to customers, moving to primarily pre-packaged foods and sealed beverages, suspending Buy on Board, hot towel service and pick-up pans to collect trash. We are also boarding additional disposable cups so new cups can be used for refills.
For those traveling now and in the near future, we're implementing additional, temporary changes to promote social distancing in the air and on the ground. Travel demand has decreased dramatically and even though we have reduced our schedule by 90%, the vast majority of our flights (85%) are less than half full. However, because our schedule is so reduced, there are a small number of flights where our customers are finding planes fuller than they expect. Starting next week and continuing through June 30, we'll allow customers on regularly scheduled flights that are expected to be closer to full capacity to choose to rebook on a different flight or receive a travel credit. We'll do our best to contact them about 24 hours before their departure time so they can decide whether to adjust their plans before they arrive at the airport – and we'll provide this option at the gate, if more than 70% of customers have checked in. Customers who have additional questions may contact us for reseating options.
The new changes include:
- Adjusting our seat selection systems to avoid where possible seating customers next to each other, except when traveling together. We're also alternating window and aisle seats when seats are in pairs.
- Boarding & deplaning: We are boarding fewer customers at a time to allow for more distance during the boarding process. Following pre-boarding (a process that will not change), we will board back-to-front by rows, but will space out customers to minimize crowding in the gate area and on the jet bridge. We are also implementing a temporary front-to-back deplaning process as customers exit the aircraft.
- Processing Complimentary Premier Upgrades at the departure gate in priority order.
- Equipping employees to maintain clean environments — We are working to provide sanitizer and other supplies to employees to deliver a safe travel experience.
- Installing sneeze guards at baggage service counters
- Updating digital screens to encourage customers to maintain social distancing
- Our enhanced aircraft cleaning procedures including wiping down tray tables, seatback screens, arm rest, lavatories, window shades and seat belts are conducted after each flight as we prepare for the next leg of your journey
Booking and changing travel
Rescheduling a trip:
Customers now have until July 31 to make changes to, or cancel, any travel they have booked through the end of the year without fees. This is in addition to existing waivers already in place. If you decide to cancel your flight, you can retain the value of your ticket to be applied to a new ticket without a fee. These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. MileagePlus® members can view their electronic travel certificate details in a new "Credits" section in My Account on united.com and the United mobile app. Details will include a PIN number to redeem the credit as well as a link to shop. See waiver details.
How to change or cancel your flight:
If you want to change or cancel and rebook your flight, you can do so on united.com and the United mobile app -- a phone call is not required. View step-by-step instructions.
Booking a new flight:
When you book a flight with us between now and June 30, 2020, you can change it for free over the next 12 months. See terms and conditions.
For more information visit our travel notices page.
We're using our team, aircraft and route network to connect people and bring the world together in the midst of COVID-19Learn more
What can you do?
According to the CDC and the National Safety Council, and the WHO:
- Wash your hands often – and thoroughly - with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content is a good secondary option
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others in a public setting
- If you are in a private setting and do not have your face cloth covering, remember to always cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with others especially those that are at a higher risk of getting very sick
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
For more detailed information about COVID-19, how it spreads and prevention and treatment please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
Also, the CDC has updated their country index page where you can find up-to-date COVID-19 risk assessments by country.