United Airlines

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United Airlines is the world’s largest airline in terms of destinations served and the second largest in terms of scheduled passengers flown. It is the founding member of Star Alliance (the world’s largest airline alliance) and currently flies around 16.6 million passengers annually. Most of the destinations served are in the US, but it also services 138 international destinations in 60 countries.

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What are United Airlines Baggage Allowance Limits and Fees?
How Can I Contact United Airlines?
What Are My United Airlines Check in Options?
Flying with Children
Disabled Access
United Airlines Additional Fees and Charges
What United Airlines Amenities Are There?


What are United Airlines Baggage Allowance Limits and Fees?

United Airlines Hand Luggage Size
United Airlines Checked Luggage Size
Sports Equipment and Special Luggage
Musical Instruments

United Airlines Hand Luggage Size

Regardless of tickets class passengers can bring on board one carry-on bag with the maximum dimensions of 22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm, plus one personal item free of charge with the maximum dimensions 22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm.

Note that if you plan to bring any liquids into the cabin, you can do so as long as they are stored in containers no bigger than 100ml and are carried in a clear, re-sealable plastic bags with maximum dimensions of 20 x 20cm. Each passenger can carry a maximum of 1000ml (e.g. 10 x 100ml).

United Airlines Checked Luggage Size

For all ticket classes, a maximum dimension of 158cm (length + width + height) per item of baggage applies.

If you are not a MileagePlus member, one item can be taken on board, with Economy class tickets having a weight allowance of 23kg and all others having 32kgs as their weight limit. For MileagePlus members, the following applies:

Member Status

Number of Bags Without Service Charge

Maximum Size

(length x width x height)

Maximum Weight per Bag

Premier Silver

1 bag

62 in. (158 cm)

50 lbs. (23 kg)

Premier Gold

2 bags

62 in. (158 cm)

70 lbs. (32 kg)

Premier Platinum

3 bags

62 in. (158 cm)

70 lbs. (32 kg)

Premier 1k

3 bags

62 in. (158 cm)

70 lbs. (32 kg)

Sports Equipment and Special Luggage

United Airlines may charge different rates depending on the destination and sporting item being carried.

Note that you cannot pay the service charges for special items, such as sports equipment, when checking in for a flight online. You have to bring your sports equipment to the check-in counter and pay the applicable service charge at the airport. If any item exceeds the 32kg weight limitation, it will need to be sent as cargo at cargo-transport rates.

Musical Instruments

You may carry a violin, guitar or other small musical instrument on board as part of your carry-on baggage allowance as long as the instrument is kept in a hard case and there is space in the overhead bins or under the seat in front of you when you board the aircraft.


How Can I Contact United Airlines?

Customer Service
Delayed, Missing or Damaged Luggage
United Airlines Airline Compensation
Pets

Customer Service

United Airlines can be contacted in the US and Canada on 1-800-864-8331. For all other locations, click here.

Delayed, Missing or Damaged Luggage

Should you discover that your checked in luggage has been delayed or damaged, you will need to fill out a Delayed Baggage and Claim Form.

For flights within or between the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, delayed baggage should be reported to the airport Baggage Service Office immediately after the arrival of your flight, or by calling our Baggage Service Center at 1-800-335-2247 within 24 hours of your flight arrival.

For other international flights, delayed baggage should be reported to the airport Baggage Service Office immediately after the arrival of your flight, or in writing within seven days of your flight arrival.

United Airlines Airline Compensation

In international travel, the liability for damage, destruction, loss or partial loss and for late delivery of baggage is limited to a cumulative 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) per journey and traveller (approximately €1,213).

Pets

United Airlines will transport animals either in the passenger cabin or in the aircraft’s cargo hold, depending on the animal’s weight and size.

If you are travelling with an animal, you will need to find out before booking your flight about the import and export regulations for animals in your desired destination country as well as the applicable animal welfare provisions.

Domesticated cats, small dogs, rabbits and birds may travel accompanied in the aircraft cabin on most flights within the U.S, although some restrictions apply. If your animal is being transported in the cargo hold, refer to the PetSafe page for kennel requirementsHere you can find the current rates for transporting live animals with United Airlines.


What Are My United Airlines Check in Options?

Mobile Boarding Passes
Priority Boarding
Senior Fares

Mobile Boarding Passes

When booking a flight with United Airlines, eligible passengers can check-in using the mobile app or online here.

By checking in online from your smartphone, you’ll be offered the option to use mobile boarding passes on selected routes – avoiding the need to print.

If you don’t use your smartphone to check in, you’ll be emailed boarding passes that you must print and take to the airport.

If you have already received your boarding pass on your mobile phone, online or from a check-in counter, you can check in your bags at one of the self-service baggage check-in kiosks.

Priority Boarding

Priority check-in and boarding is available to the following passengers:

  • MileagePlus Premier members.
  • United First, United Global First, United Business and United Business First ticket classes.
  • Star Alliance Gold and Silver members.
  • MileagePlus Club and Presidential Plus credit card members.

Senior Fares

United offers senior fares to selected travel destinations for passengers who are 65 and older. You can ask for more details on such fares when making your reservation or select the seniors (age 65 and older) category when you make your booking online.


Flying with Children

Infants
Pushchairs and Strollers
Seating for Babies and Children
Unaccompanied Children
Flying While Pregnant

Infants

One child under the age of two travelling within the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with an adult 18 years or older can travel on the adult’s lap free of charge. Additional children are required to have tickets for their own seats.

Children under the age of two travelling internationally without a seat are required to have a purchased ticket and are subject to infant fares and taxes.

Note that infants under 7 days are not permitted on-board.

Pushchairs and Strollers

Pushchairs and strollers may be checked to your final destination without a fee, in addition to your normal baggage allowance.

Children can be transported in their strollers throughout the airport but smaller collapsible pushchairs must be checked in at the gate. These will be delivered to you at the aircraft door upon request at your connecting destination.

You will need to check in any large, non-collapsible stroller at the check-in counter.

Seating for Babies and Children

You may use an FAA-approved child restraint system (CRS) or child safety seat in certain seats on-board the aircraft if you have purchased a seat for your child. The airline does not provide child restraint systems or child safety seats.

Bassinets large enough to hold an infant weighing 10 kg or less are available for use, free of charge, on international aircraft only but should be booked in advance by calling the United Customer Contact Center on 1-800-864-8331 within the United States or the appropriate Worldwide Contact Center.

Unaccompanied Children

Children 5 to 15 years of age who travel on an aircraft without a parent, a legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years of age are considered unaccompanied minors and need to use the Unaccompanied Minor service.

A service charge of $150 USD will apply in addition to the normal adult fare. The service is not available for children aged over 15 since children aged between 16 and 17 may travel alone on any United or United Express operated flights.

Flying While Pregnant

Expectant mothers with complication-free pregnancies can fly with United Airlines until the end of the 8th month of pregnancy.

A woman travelling during her ninth month of pregnancy must have the original and two copies of an obstetrician’s certificate, which must be dated within three days (72 hours) prior to her flight departure. The certificate must state that the obstetrician has examined the pregnant mother and found her to be physically fit for air travel between the specified dates. The estimated birth date of the baby must be after the date of the last flight on the itinerary.


Disabled Access

Travelling with Wheelchairs
Flying with Guide Dogs

Travelling with Wheelchairs

United Airlines will provide you with a wheelchair free of charge. The usual width of these wheelchairs is 45.7cm. They also offer aisle wheelchairs for transferring non-ambulatory customers to and from their seats on the aircraft.

Every aircraft with more than 60 seats has an on-board wheelchair. These wheelchairs are specially designed to fit the aisle of aircraft and may be used to access the lavatory.

It is also free to take your own foldable wheelchair with you. Your wheelchair will be carried in the cargo hold, however. If you will require a wheelchair at your departure and/or destination airport, please make sure you inform the airline 48 hours ahead of your departure or preferably at the time of your booking. You will need to know the dimensions and weight as well as any specifics (foldable/non-foldable) of your chair to ensure it can be transported. For more details, click here.

Flying with Guide Dogs

You have the option of taking a guide dog or assistance dog with you free of charge. If you have booked a flight to/from the USA, there is also the option of transporting an ESAN dog (emotional support animal) in the aircraft cabin free of charge.

You will need confirmation from your doctor that you require an assistance dog.

Note that as some countries have special regulations regarding the entry of animals, it is important to determine these in advance of departure. Customers travelling with an emotional support or psychiatric assist animal must provide a minimum 48-hour advance notification to the United Accessibility Desk by calling 1-800-228-2744 from within the United States or Canada, or from elsewhere calling United’s contact center.


United Airlines Additional Fees and Charges

Booking Fees
Flight Change Fees
Travel Insurance
Flight Cancellation Policy
Seating
Group Bookings
United Airlines Frequent Flyer Program

Booking Fees

The following booking fees are valid at February 2016:

  • Booking a MileagePlus award ticket by phone through the United Customer Contact Center, regardless of departure date: General Member $25, Premier Silver $25, Premier Gold $25, there are no booking fees for Premier Platinum, Premier 1K and United Global Services.
  • Booking a MileagePlus award ticket through any channel, less than 21 days before departure: General Member $75, Premier Silver $50, Premier Gold $25, there are no booking fees for Premier Platinum, Premier 1K and United Global Services.

Flight Change Fees

The following flight change fees are valid at February 2016:

  • Making a change 21 or more days prior to the date of travel (no change to origin/destination): General Member $75,  and there are no fees for Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, Premier 1K or United Global Services.
  • Making any change less than 21 days prior to the date of travel; or changing origin/destination at any time: General Member $100, Premier Silver $50, Premier Gold $25, there are no booking fees for Premier Platinum, Premier 1K and United Global Services.

Travel Insurance

United Airlines offers a range of travel insurance products via Allianz, including:

  • Reimbursement for unexpected travel expenses.
  • Medical and dental benefits in case of medical emergencies.
  • Arrangement and payment for emergency medical evacuations and repatriations.
  • 24-hour access to emergency medical referrals and assistance.

More information regarding policies and coverage is outlined here.

Flight Cancellation Policy

If the airline cancels a flight, fails to operate a flight reasonably according to the schedule or fails to stop at your destination, you can:

  • Take the next scheduled service on which space is available without additional charge and, where necessary, extend the validity of your ticket; or
  • Within a reasonable period of time fly to the destination shown on your ticket using the airline’s own services or those of another carrier, or by other mutually agreed means and class of travel without additional charge. If the fare and charges for the revised routing are lower than you have paid, the airline shall refund the difference; or
  • Receive a refund.

If your flight is cancelled because of a mechanical issue or other circumstances within the airline’s control, they will attempt to accommodate you in a nearby hotel at their expense or reimburse the cost of overnight accommodations you obtain on your own, including your hotel, ground transportation and meals. In these situations, a United airport representative will give you an authorization letter outlining the details for reimbursement, including a maximum allotted dollar amount. When you submit a request for reimbursement, you’ll need to submit the authorization letter and all of your receipts.

If your flight is cancelled, you may also be entitled to financial compensation but only if  the cancellation is not attributed to extraordinary circumstances such as bad weather conditions, political instability, strikes, security, risks, or unexpected flight safety shortcomings.

More information about United Airlines compensation can be found here.

Seating

You may select a seat or change your seat assignment for United- and United Express-operated flights on united.com, on the United app or through your travel agent. You may also ask a United representative at the gate about changing your seat or purchasing Economy Plus seating, or when purchasing your ticket through Manage Reservations after you’ve purchased your ticket.

Group Bookings

Groups of ten or more can benefit from special pricing and extra services when travelling on United Airlines. To get a quote on your group’s travel, complete the bid request form. Benefits include:

  • Group coordinator to assist the group at the airport (at most locations)
  • Priority check-in
  • Guaranteed fare for the whole group

In your request, you will need to give the following information:

  • Name of the person to be contacted.
  • A daytime telephone number.
  • Number of passengers (including children)
  • Flight dates.
  • Destination.

United Airlines Frequent Flyer Program

MileagePlus is the name of the frequent flyer program run by United Airlines, and it has been consistently voted as the world’s best by Global Traveler magazine. For a complete overview, click here.


What United Airlines Amenities Are There?

Lounges
In-Flight Refreshments
In-Flight Entertainment

Lounges

United Club members, Star Alliance Gold members, and other eligible customers may access select lounges. Locations can be found here.

United Global First and United Business First customers also may access Arrivals Facilities at some airports.

In-Flight Refreshments

Meals and hot and cold beverages are available on all long-haul flights.Click here for economy dining and here for United Global First and United Business First long-haul international flights.

United Airlines offers special meals for passengers with dietary and religious requirements. All special meal requests should be made at least 24 hours prior to flight time.

In-Flight Entertainment

For an overview of the in-flight entertainment offered on long-haul United Airlines flights, click here.

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United Airlines was last modified: March 16th, 2016 by Oonagh Shiel
Author: Oonagh Shiel (3402 posts)

Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!