International travel

General Information

U.S. passport application processing times

It's recommended that U.S. citizens submit passport applications and renewals at least 10 weeks ahead of planned travel. Also, U.S. citizens can no longer receive passport page inserts, so if you're running out of pages, you may want to renew now even if your passport is not expiring.

For information on how to apply for or renew a passport, go to the U.S. Department of State's Passport page.

International travel document requirements

Customers traveling across any international boundary are responsible for obtaining all necessary travel documents for departure and arrival.

International travel may require proof of yellow fever vaccination

Self-service check-in may not be available for customers traveling to countries that require proof of vaccination.

Some immigration authorities may require customers who have traveled to certain countries within the last 30 days to have a vaccination certificate for yellow fever. Countries in the epidemic zone include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela, as well as every country in Africa except the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia and Tanzania. If you have traveled to one of the countries in the epidemic zone you may require vaccination prior to taking additional international flights. If vaccination is required the certificate must have been issued at least 10 days before arriving to a country that requires proof of vaccination.

Passport, visa and health requirements for entry into destination countries and for transit through a country are provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on united.com as a courtesy and must be verified before travel.

TSA Secure Flight Program for travel to, from or over the U.S.

Read about the Secure Flight program, which is designed to enhance air travel security through the use of improved watch list matching.

ESTA for Visa Waiver Program travel to or through the U.S.

Prior to check-in for a flight to the U.S. or a connecting flight through the U.S., the U.S. Department of Homeland Security requires Visa Waiver Program travelers to obtain approval from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's ESTA website. ESTA requirements can change, so you may want to check U.S. Department of Homeland Security press releases before you travel.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Biometric Exit Mission

Certain airports are partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on a pilot biometric exit program using facial recognition to process international travelers who are departing from the U.S. During the boarding process, CBP cameras or equipment provided by the local airport authority will take each international traveler’s photo at certain gates just before departure. CBP will then compare the photo with existing images from the traveler’s passport and other travel documents to verify their identity and to create a record of departure from the United States. United Airlines does not collect or have access to the travelers’ facial images in connection with this program. For more information, please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Disinsection notice

Certain countries require that the passenger cabins of aircraft be treated with insecticides. For additional information and a list of those countries, please visit the U.S. Department of Transportation's disinsection website.

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Destination-specific notices

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel health notices

Travel notices are issued to help make travelers aware of health concerns around the world. Visit the CDC website for country-specific health information.

U.S. Department of State travel advisories

For the latest travel advisories, visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Aruba immigration form – complete it online and save time

If you're traveling to Aruba, you can complete the required immigration form online before your travel instead of filling out a paper form in flight. This service is free and saves you time upon arrival in Aruba. Learn more at Aruba's Immigration Service website.

Belize travel information for minors

Minors traveling to Belize without one or both parents must hold original, notarized letters of travel consent. For more information, see the website of the Belize Tourism Board

Canadian electronic travel authorization

As of March 15, 2016, certain travelers who do not need a visa to enter Canada are required to have an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to fly to or through the country. Entry requirements will not change for all other methods of travel. Please note that U.S. citizens do not need an eTA or a visa, but U.S. permanent residents need an eTA before flying to Canada. Go to canada.ca/eTA for more information or to apply.

Cuba travel information

If you are a U.S. citizen or former Cuban national with U.S. residence and are looking to travel to Cuba, you must meet some special requirements pertaining to your reason for travel, health insurance, passport and visa, and proof of return or onward travel. Learn more about Cuba travel

Dominican Republic tax invoice requests

If you are based in the Dominican Republic and need a tax invoice or receipt after purchasing a ticket, you must submit a tax invoice request at the United office in Santo Domingo or send an email to ventasrd@united.com with your ticket information before the end of the current month. Certain conditions may apply when issuing this document.

European Union policy notices

Learn more about compensation and assistance in the event of denied boarding and cancellation or delay of United-operated flights departing airports located within EU Member States.

Keep Infectious Animal Diseases Out of the European Union

Products of animal origin may carry pathogens causing infectious diseases in animals. Due to the risk of travelers importing disease into the European Union, bringing in meat, meat products, milk, and milk products is prohibited unless you can comply with one of the following exceptions.

  • You may bring in powdered infant milk, infant food, and special foods required for medical reasons provided that the product does not require refrigeration before consumption, it is a packaged proprietary brand product, and the packaging is unbroken.
  • You may bring in other personal consignments of meat, meat products, milk, or milk products into designated points of entry into the Community only if you have obtained the necessary documentation from the official veterinary services of the country from which you are traveling and you declare any such goods and present your documentation upon your arrival to the Community frontier for veterinary control.

All other meat, meat products, milk, or milk products must be surrendered on arrival to the frontier of the European Union for official disposal. For food not containing meat or milk derivatives, you may bring up to 1 kg without need for declaration for veterinary control.

French customer mediation body

United participates in mediation proceedings before the Association des Médiateurs Européens (AME). The AME's contact details are:

197 Boulevard Saint Germain 
75007 Paris 
Telephone: + 41 (0)9.53.01.02.69 
Email: predisenteame@gmail.com

German customer dispute resolution and conciliation body

United participates in conciliation proceedings before the SOEP/Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr e.V. The SOEP's contact details are:

Fasanenstraße 81 
10623 Berlin 
Telefon: + 49 (0) 30. 6 44 99 33 -28 
Fax: + 49 (0) 30. 6 44 99 33 -31

Guam immigration form – complete it online and save time

All travelers entering Guam under the terms of the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program may now complete and print their I-736 online at (website https://i736.cbp.dhs.gov). It is necessary to print the completed I-736 to present to CBP upon arrival in GUM/the CNMIs and the form can be printed in any font, sheet color and size.

Hong Kong Air Passenger Departure Tax Refunds

For customers who purchase tickets for flights departing from Hong Kong, United will refund in full the Air Passenger Departure tax if the customer does not actually depart from Hong Kong.

Israeli Aviation Services Law

Learn more about compensation and assistance in the event of denied boarding and cancellation or delay of United-operated flights to or from Israel.

London Heathrow Positive Boarding Program

Since June 24, 2013, United has participated in Heathrow Airport's Positive Boarding Program, which is intended to streamline the passenger journey through Heathrow and provide airlines with enhanced passenger boarding information to help facilitate efficient and timely airline departures. Please note that as part of United's participation in this Program, passenger information, including but not limited to name, transit location within the Heathrow Airport and other flight departure information, will be used by the Heathrow Airport Authority and United in order to monitor travelers' passage through the Airport.

Using this information will allow United to better serve our customers in providing travel services requested by identifying and proactively working with passengers who might miss their flights. It is important that passengers traveling through Heathrow understand the use of their personal information for this specific purpose. By transiting through Heathrow Airport, passengers consent to the use of their personal information in this manner.

Palau Air Passenger Environmental Impact Fee

Effective January 1, 2018, the country of Palau requires that all air passengers pay a $100 Pristine Paradise Environmental Fee. Any passenger who fails to pay the Pristine Paradise Environmental Fee is subject to penalties and possible deportation as determined by local authorities. Please contact the Palau Ministry of Finance for additional details.

UK Alternative Dispute Resolution – for UK flights only

If you have a complaint about your travel experience with United, please submit your feedback to our Customer Care team at united.com/feedback for the most efficient processing. You can also contact our Customer Care team at customercare@united.com.

The European Commission has set up an Online Dispute Resolution platform at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr to provide easy access to alternative dispute resolution. Alternatively, you can log your complaint with CAA's Passenger Advice and Complaints Team (PACT) by completing the online complaint form via the CAA website. Under the "How the CAA can help" section, select the "Refer your complaint to us" link to access the CAA's consumer portal where you can submit your complaint to PACT.

Venezuelan aviation security

The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is unable to determine whether Venezuelan airports that serve as the last point of departure for non-stop flights to the U.S. maintain and carry out effective aviation security measures in accordance with the Standards and appropriate Recommended Practices established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). All flights are subject to continuing effectiveness of government approvals.