United Airlines’ Check-In Options, Timing & Queries!

When it comes to the booking of tickets, the majority of the people prefer to pick the web check-in option for it. It is the fastest and easiest way to check in for your flights. Moreover, it also provides you some ease to check-in from your home or office and prints your own boarding pass. All you need to do is to display your boarding pass barcode on the screen of your device at the security checkpoint when boarding your flight.

Passengers traveling by booking tickets should know about the general terms of concern to it such as timing for check-in, baggage check, and boarding, etc as this may vary based on your departure airport and destination. You need to check-in 24 hours before your schedule d departure.

There are a number of options available to the airlines in regards to United airlines check-in which provides the passengers an ease to pick the one according to their comfort.

United Airlines’ Check-in Options:

It provides you various options regarding the check-in process, depending on where you are in your travel experience. It includes:

Online Check-in:

The web check-in or the online check-in option of booking of tickets let you pick your preferred seats up to 24 hours before your scheduled departure. You may check in even if you have bags to check. You also have the option of Kiosk check-in and mobile check-in is also there, but online check-in has a minimum time requirement.

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All you need to focus is to check in online and drop your baggage within the time limit set for your departure airport. You can also get the glimpse of United Airlines seat selection through the online option.

It is always advisable that the passengers must board in with the printout of their boarding pass as it will save the time at the airport.


Online Check-in is available for all flights (domestic and international). You need to fulfill the following conditions:

  • Need to have an electronic ticket.
  • The airlines must operate the first flight of the itinerary.
  • The itinerary must contain less than 4 segments.
  • The maximum limit of the people traveling in a group reservation is 9.
  • The passenger booking online tickets must not request for a special service.


There are a number of options available with the online check-in. it includes the passenger to enter a confirmation number, ticket number, or MileagePlus number in order to begin the check-in process. There is also the option of updating the travel plans in the following categories:

  • Changing of flights.
  • Modify loyalty account number.
  • Check your baggage.
  • Pay fees for checked baggage.

Who all are eligible to check-in online?

You are eligible for check-in on united.com if:

  • The first flight of your itinerary is operated by United.
  • Your itinerary has a total of four or fewer flight segments.
  • You are flying with less than nine persons in with you.
  • The passenger should have previously scanned his/her passport when traveling with United.
  • You can easily scan your passport using the united app to complete check-in or use an airport kiosk.

Following reservations are currently not eligible for check-in on united.com if:

  • Your reservation has certain special service requests that require you to see a United representative at the airport.
  • Your reservation is paper-ticketed.
  • You have booked tickets in Basic Economy unless you specify that you’re checking a bag.
Mobile Check-in:

The next option of check-in is the mobile check-in. Passengers can check-in from their mobile device, on the airline’s mobile website, up to 24 hours before your scheduled departure. The minimum check-in time for your departure airport applies for Mobile Check-in.


The airline’s app is available for iOS, Android, and other devices. The number of restrictions is the same for Mobile Check-in as well as for Online Check-in.

Mobile Boarding Pass:

Talking about the availability, the mobile boarding passes are available for travel from all U.S. airports. After you checked in, the mobile boarding pass will be stored on your device and you can access it even if your device does not get access to the Internet connection.

mobile boarding pass

Along with that, the boarding pass will update automatically with the latest upgrade confirmations when your device is connected to the Internet.

Voice Check-in:

The other type of option which the airline offers its passengers is the facility to check-in over the phone. It involves the call to the reservations and saying “check-in” during the automated menu.

Well, the only restriction attached to this check-in method is that it is only available for customers traveling with less than 10 people within the US.

During this type of check-in, you have the chance to select the number of bags you want to check and also can hear the baggage charges. You can receive your boarding documents by email or can also pick up at an airport kiosk.

Kiosk Check-in:

This is also another method of check-in in which you need to activate the kiosk at an airport. In case, you can’t able to activate your kiosk, you can easily get the help of the airlines representative.

kiosk check in

To activate the kiosk you have the following options:

  • Swipe a credit card such as MileagePlus card, driver’s license or passport
  • After that, you need to scan your boarding document or passport.
  • Then enter your confirmation number or eTicket number.


The facility of Kiosk Check-in is available for flights departing from the US to both domestic as well as international flights departing from most international destinations.

You can also use this mode of check-in even if you have bags to check. Before beginning the check-in process, you must be at the appropriate kiosk for checking bags. And it is also true that not every airport offers the facility to check baggage, only kiosks at the designated check-in counter locations offer this option.

Only in the following conditions, you are not permitted to use the Kiosk Option:

  • In case, your itinerary begins with a flight segment by another airline.
  • In case, you change your tickets without fee collection.
  • If you are carrying any oversized baggage.
  • If you are an Unaccompanied Minor.


This facility is available on a number of flights and it involves a number of activities like checking in, printing out the boarding pass, changes regarding flights or seats, viewing seat maps and requesting an upgrade or checking baggage at select kiosks.

Payment transactions at airports

At United check-in counters and kiosks at some of the airports cash is not accepted as a form of payment. To get more information, visit the Accepted Forms of Payment page. Click here

Accepted forms of payment

  • Alipay (only for purchases made on united.com with a China billing address)
  • American Express®
  • Apple Pay (only for purchases made in the United app with a U.S. billing address)
  • Chase Pay® (for purchases made in the U.S. with Chase Visa consumer cards, including United℠ Chase Visa Cards)
  • Diners Club International®
  • Discover®
  • JCB
  • MasterCard®
  • PayPal™
  • PayPal Credit (U.S. billing addresses only)
  • UATP®
  • UnionPay (only if you have purchased tickets on united.com in select countries/regions)
  • Uplift
  • Visa®
  • Visa Checkout
  • Cash payment at an airport ticket office or united ticket office
Auto check-in:

The Auto Check-in option of web check-in allows the passengers to check-in for the remaining segment of your itinerary. While using this option, you have three options in front of you that include airport kiosk, email or mobile device.

Your boarding pass can be printed later in case it is not printed at the end of the process. And you can obtain your boarding pass from an airport kiosk also.

Curbside check-in at the airport:

Curbside check-in is another type of check-in offered by the airlines at most US airport locations. It includes timings of around 30 minutes to 4 hours before the scheduled departure time.

For this, you will need your photo ID and the flight reservation code along with the flight number destination or the electronic ticket number to check-in.


Minimum required times for check-in and checking baggage:

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Before you travel, it is recommended that you should go through the United Airlines check-in times so that you get all the updates or advisories affecting your departure or arrival airport.

Minimum required times for check-in and checking baggage

For most flights, travelers need to abide by the following guidelines:

  • If you are a traveler who is without checked baggage then you must check-in at least 30 minutes before departure. (For most United- and United Express-operated flights within the U.S)
  • Travelers with checked baggage should/must check-in at least 45 minutes before departure. (For most United- and United Express-operated flights within the U.S)
  • For most United- and United Express-operated international flights, travelers must check-in at least 60 minutes before departure, regardless of whether or not they are checking baggage.
  • If you have flights to or from Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, no matter you are checking baggage or not, you must check-in at least 90 minutes before departure.
  • Before travelling, you are recommended to checking the Important Notices page. Check if any updates or advisories are affecting your departure or arrival airport. It is important so that you can plan for extra time if needed.

Security Processing Times:

It is recommended that the passengers must reach the airport two hours before the flight for domestic travel and three hours before for international travel. Passengers may witness long queues at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints.

In case, you are traveling during the peak seasons or during holidays, you need to adjust your time accordingly. In order to make your security screening smooth, passengers are advised to bring one carry-on bag and one personal item on board.


To be eligible for the check-in process on airline, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • The first flight in your itinerary is operated by the airline.
  • Your itinerary contains a total of four flight segments or less.
  • You are traveling with fewer than nine persons in your party.
  • You have previously scanned your passport when traveling with the airline.
  • You can scan your passport using the app to complete check-in or use an airport kiosk.

When do you need to be at the boarding gate?

Passengers flying within the U.S must be onboard the aircraft 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The airline recommends you to be at the boarding gate at least 15 minutes before departure. It is to ensure that you’re on the aircraft before the doors are closed.

If you are flying on international flights, you are advised to be at the gate no later than 30 minutes before your scheduled departure.

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No. 1: Can I use united.com check-in when I have bags to check?

Yes, you can use this service, no matters you have bags to check as well as when you travel with only carry-on bags. Overall, the quickest way to check your bags is by using the ticket counter kiosks which are available at our hub airports and in select cities. It is recommended that the bags must be checked at least 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure in case of domestic cities and 60 minutes from international destinations.

No. 2: Can I use my cell phone or another mobile device to check in?

Yes, you can the mobile and other devices. Passengers can use their wireless-enabled device to check in for your flight. All you need to have is the device’s Internet browser. You can also check in through the app on your smartphone.

No. 3: If you check in online what do you do at the airport?

Well if you check-in online, then there come two conditions.

  • If you are checking baggage, you will need to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.
  • If you are not checking baggage, you must arrive at the airport at least 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure.

No. 4: Can I use united.com check-in if I bought my ticket at a travel agency?

Yes. All reservations are eligible for check-in on united.com provided you have an electronic ticket.

No. 5: How can I check in for the flight?

The Airline provides you various options regarding the check-in process, depending on where you are in your travel experience. If you have provided your email address, then all the notifications will automatically send to your ID and you can easily obtain your boarding documents.

When traveling with the Airline, you may check-in using one of the following methods:

  • Online Check-in (from the airline’s website)
  • Mobile Check-in (from your mobile device)
  • Voice Check-in (over the phone)
  • At the airport (through options like kiosk, curbside, ticket counter)

No. 6: When must I check in while traveling with Airline?

The check-in time requirements set by the airline depends on the type of flight, departure airport, and on the type of baggage.

For domestic flights, except those that are part of an international itinerary, following minimum time requirements apply:

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No. 7: Does UA charge a fee for a seat assignment?

No, UA does not charge any kind of fee for selecting a standard seat assignment.

No. 8: When do I need to be at the boarding gate?

Boarding closes at the following times for UA flights:

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