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Check-in and airport processing times

To help ensure that your trip goes smoothly, please allow enough time for checking in and passing through security. Additional time may be necessary when traveling around holidays or other peak travel times.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires enhanced security measures for all flights departing from non-U.S. locations to the United States. We recommend that you ensure that any liquids, aerosols or gels that are included in your carry-on bags adhere to current restrictions. Visit the TSA website for details regarding these security measures.

Payment transactions at airports

The United check-in counters and kiosks at some of the airports we serve do not accept cash as a form of payment. For more information, visit the Accepted Forms of Payment page.

Check-in guidelines

The times below apply to flights operated by United and United Express®. For flights operated by another carrier, including our codeshare partners, the applicable check-in time limit for that carrier's flight will apply.

For flights within the U.S., as well as most international flights, baggage will generally not be accepted for check-in more than four hours before scheduled flight departure, although this policy varies by airport and based on daily check-in counter hours.

United has the right to cancel reservations, deny boarding and refuse the acceptance of checked baggage of any customer who does not meet their applicable check-in time limit.

Check-in is available starting 24 hours prior to scheduled departure. Check in now.

Check-in and boarding requirements for flights within the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands

For flights within the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, customers and their bags must meet the check-in and boarding requirements below. These requirements refer to the minimum amount of time before scheduled departure.

Check-in and boarding requirements for flights within the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
Departure Airport Check-in and baggage check completed Available for boarding at the gate
Anchorage, AK (ANC) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Atlanta, GA (ATL) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Chicago, IL (ORD) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Cincinnati, OH (CVG) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Cleveland, OH (CLE) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Denver, CO (DEN) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC (GSP) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Guam (GUM) 60 minutes 30 minutes
Honolulu, HI (HNL) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Houston, TX (IAH) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Indianapolis, IN (IND) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Jacksonville, FL (JAX) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Kona, HI (KOA) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Las Vegas, NV (LAS) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Los Angeles, CA (LAX) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Maui, HI (OGG) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Miami, FL (MIA) 45 minutes 15 minutes
New York, NY (JFK) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Newark, NJ (EWR) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Orange County, CA (SNA) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Orlando, FL (MCO) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Philadelphia, PA (PHL) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Phoenix, AZ (PHX) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Reno, NV (RNO) 45 minutes 15 minutes
San Francisco, CA (SFO) 45 minutes 15 minutes
San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Seattle, WA (SEA) 45 minutes 15 minutes
St. Louis, MO (STL) 45 minutes 15 minutes
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (STT) 60 minutes 15 minutes
Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL (TPA) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Washington, D.C. – Dulles (IAD) 45 minutes 15 minutes
Washington, D.C. – National (DCA) 45 minutes 15 minutes
All other airports within the U.S. and Puerto Rico 30 minutes 15 minutes

The minimum check-in time requirement for customers not checking bags on flights within the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands is 30 minutes, except for Guam, which is 60 minutes.

Check-in and boarding requirements for international flights

For international flights, customers and their bags must meet the check-in and boarding requirements below. These requirements refer to the minimum amount of time before scheduled departure.

Check-in and boarding requirements for international flights
Departure airport Check-in and baggage check completed Available for boarding at the gate
Caracas, Venezuela (CCS) 90 minutes 60 minutes
Dublin, Ireland (DUB) 75 minutes 30 minutes
Koror, Palau (ROR) 60 minutes 30 minutes
Kosrae, Federated State of Micronesia (KSA) 90 minutes 60 minutes
Kwajalein, Marshall Islands (KWA) 90 minutes 60 minutes
Lagos, Nigeria (LOS) 90 minutes 60 minutes
Lima, Peru (LIM) 75 minutes 30 minutes
Majuro, Marshall Islands (MAJ) 90 minutes 60 minutes
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (PNI) 90 minutes 60 minutes
Truk, Federated States of Micronesia (TKK) 90 minutes 60 minutes
Yap, Federates States of Micronesia (YAP) 90 minutes 60 minutes
All other airports 60 minutes 30 minutes

Processing times

As a result of heightened security measures at airports within the U.S., we suggest customers arrive at the airport early. Some local airport authorities have instituted additional measures beyond the mandatory security measures specified by the TSA. All vehicles approaching the airports are subject to search on the approaching roadways and within the traffic lanes at the terminals. This may add to your airport processing times, especially at major airports.

The metal detectors at most airports are very sensitive. To ensure a seamless security process, we suggest placing all metal items, including jewelry, in your carry-on luggage before arriving at the security checkpoint. In most cases, shoes should be removed and placed in the bins provided at the checkpoint.

Please allow for additional time if you are departing during peak traffic hours. Heavy travel volumes on Sunday afternoons, Friday afternoons and Monday mornings may require an additional half hour. Peak traffic hours at most airports are:

  • 6:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The approximate airport processing time for most cities and regions outside the U.S. is three hours.