Boarding process

We’re dedicated to providing convenience and comfort throughout your journey with United and are always looking for ways to improve your overall experience. Our customers have told us they want a better experience when boarding, so we’re unveiling just that.

You will see some new boarding lane signs in the gate area that will guide you through the boarding process. There will now be two lanes that are color coded: to begin, Group 1 will board through the blue lane and Group 2 will board through the green lane. The remaining Groups 3-5 will then board through the green lane when called, and Groups 1 and 2 can continue to board through the blue lane.

We encourage you to make yourself comfortable while you wait for your group to be called, and we’ll let you know when we’re ready for you to board. Late arriving customers in Groups 1 and 2 are welcome to continue boarding through the blue lane at any time.

Boarding groups


  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Customers with disabilities
  • Active members of the military
  • United Global Services® members
  • Families traveling with children age 2 and younger
  • Premier® 1K® members

Group 1

  • Premier Platinum members
  • Premier Gold members
  • Star Alliance™ Gold members
  • Customers seated in premium cabins: United Polaris®, United First® and United Business®

Group 2

  • Premier Silver members
  • Star Alliance Silver members
  • Customers who have purchased Premier Access® or Priority Boarding
  • United℠ Explorer, Club, Presidential Plus℠ and Awards Cardmembers

Groups 3–5

  • Economy Plus®
  • United Economy®
  • Basic Economy*

*Customers who have purchased a Basic Economy ticket will be in the last boarding group, except for Premier members, Chase Cardmembers of qualifying cards and Star Alliance Gold members, who will still receive their priority boarding.

Boarding tips and helpful information

Arriving at the gate

You'll want to allow enough time to make your way to the gate, and your boarding pass will tell you when to expect boarding to start and end. For most flights, you can opt in to receive a United app push notification that lets you know when boarding has started. That way, you can relax or enjoy the airport’s amenities until you need to be at your gate. To receive the notification, make sure you’ve enabled app notifications and have your mobile boarding pass added to the app’s wallet. Learn more about the United app and mobile boarding passes.

Listen for your boarding group number

Take a look at the boarding group number that's listed on your boarding pass, and listen for announcements from your gate agents. They'll let you know when your group can board. You can also view the digital displays around the gate area to see what groups are currently boarding.

Find your seat and put your carry-on bags away

Once you find your seat on board, place your larger carry-on baggage in the overhead compartment above your row and your smaller personal item under the seat in front of you, which helps everybody have space to store their bags.

Priority Boarding

Purchase Priority Boarding to avoid the lines and board earlier. Enjoy the convenience of getting on board and to your seat sooner.

Premier Access

If you'd like to be among the first to board and get settled in earlier, you can also consider purchasing Premier Access. In addition to Priority Boarding, you'll also enjoy the convenience of dedicated airport check-in lines and exclusive security lanes, where available.