What to expect when you fly

What to expect when you fly

What to expect when you fly

We know travel looks a little different these days, but rest assured that we’re here for you every step of the way. Throughout your journey, we’re putting safety and cleanliness at the forefront of your travel experience through our United CleanPlus℠ program and by teaming up with Clorox. We’re also working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing safety measures.

 

We know travel looks a little different these days, but rest assured that we’re here for you every step of the way. Throughout your journey, we’re putting safety and cleanliness at the forefront of your travel experience through our United CleanPlus℠ program and by teaming up with Clorox. We’re also working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing safety measures.

Taking care of you throughout your travels

  • 1Implemented temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub and line stations
  • 2Installed sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 4Rolled out a touchless check-in process at select airports for customers with bags
  • 5Requiring all customers over the age of 2 and employees to wear a face covering in the airport and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 1Disinfecting high-touch areas such as charging stations, counters and seats
  • 2Providing hand sanitizer stations
  • 3Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering in the airport and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 4Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 5Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
  • 6Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in select airports and United Club℠ locations
  • 7Promoting social distancing, enhancing our cleaning procedures and more at our United Club locations
  • 1Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2Requiring all customers over the age of 2 and employees to wear a face covering on board
  • 3Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
  • 4Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7Deplaning in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect most aircraft before departure
  • 9Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters during the entire flight to circulate air and remove 99.97% of airborne particles
  • 10Using Ultraviolet C (UVC) lighting wands to disinfect sensitive components like switches and touchscreen displays in our pilot flight decks
  • 11Rolling out antimicrobial technology on all of our aircraft to add an additional layer of disinfectant on board
  • 1Delivering bags from the airport to the customer’s destination with Bags VIP
  • 2Encouraging customers to track their bags on the United app
  • 3Included airport maps in the United app to make connections easier

Taking care of you throughout your travels

    • 1Implemented temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub and line stations
    • 2Installed sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
    • 3Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
    • 4Rolled out a touchless check-in process at select airports for customers with bags
    • 5Requiring all customers over the age of 2 and employees to wear a face covering in the airport and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
    • 1 Disinfecting high-touch areas such as charging stations, counters and seats
    • 2 Providing hand sanitizer stations
    • 3 Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering in the airport and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
    • 4 Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
    • 5 Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
    • 6 Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in select airports and United Club℠ locations
    • 7 Promoting social distancing, enhancing our cleaning procedures and more at our United Club locations
    • 1Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
    • 2Requiring all customers over the age of 2 and employees to wear a face covering on board
    • 3Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
    • 4Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
    • 5Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
    • 6Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
    • 7Deplaning in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
    • 8Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect most aircraft before departure
    • 9Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters during the entire flight to circulate air and remove 99.97% of airborne particles
    • 10Using Ultraviolet C (UVC) lighting wands to disinfect sensitive components like switches and touchscreen displays in our pilot flight decks
    • 11Rolling out antimicrobial technology on all of our aircraft to add an additional layer of disinfectant on board
    • 1 Delivering bags from the airport to the customer’s destination with Bags VIP
    • 2 Encouraging customers to track their bags on the United app
    • 3 Included airport maps in the United app to make connections easier

Some enhancements may not be available at all airports or on all flights.

Safe travels start with science

Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use

The latest research is showing that aircraft cabins are among the safest of public indoor environments. According to a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the risk of COVID-19 exposure on board our planes is almost zero thanks to advanced air filtration systems, required mask-wearing and diligent cleaning protocols.

Since airlines began putting these measures in place in spring 2020, “there has been little evidence to date of onboard disease transmission,” according to researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Their report notes that when the “highly effective” ventilation systems are running from boarding until deplaning, which is our practice at United, the risk of exposure falls below that of activities like grocery shopping and dining out.

And even when the plane is full, on average only 0.003% of infected air particles could enter the breathing zone of seated, masked passengers, according to the DOD study.

Read Harvard’s study
Read U.S. Department of Defense’s study

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Download the United app to take advantage of touchless support throughout your journey.

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Download the United app to take advantage of touchless support throughout your journey.

Download United app

To learn more about safety, cleanliness, face coverings and more, you can chat with our automated assistant by texting “CLEAN” to FLYUA (35982).

Frequently asked questions

  • We’ve added a step to the check-in process called the “Ready-to-fly checklist.” You’ll be required to read this checklist, acknowledge you don’t have symptoms for COVID-19 and agree to follow our policies. Here’s how it’ll look when you check in:

    Ready-to-fly checklist

    As part of our United CleanPlus program and teaming with Cleveland Clinic and Clorox, we aim to provide our customers and employees with a safe travel experience.

    To confirm that you’re ready to travel, please review the statements below, which follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. (Note that WHO and/or CDC guidelines may change in the future.)

    All travelers checking in acknowledge:

    • You must wear a face covering that fully covers both your nose and mouth in the airport and during your entire flight, unless you're eating or drinking, for the safety of everyone. A face shield alone does not count as a face covering. Travelers who aren't wearing their face coverings in the airport or on board may be refused transport and could lose their travel privileges on future United flights. Children younger than 2 years old are exempt.
    • You have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 21 days.
    • You have assessed yourself for COVID-19-related symptoms, and have experienced none of the following in the last 14 days:
      • Known temperature of 38 C/100.4 F or higher
      • Cough (excludes symptoms from a pre-existing condition)
      • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing (excludes symptoms from a pre-existing condition)
      • Chills
      • Muscle pain
      • Sore throat
      • Recent loss of taste or smell
    • You have not been denied boarding by another airline due to COVID-19 exposure in the last 14 days.
    • You have not had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or you’re a medical professional following CDC guidance and using proper PPE.
    • You are not currently awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test.

    If you do not meet these criteria, we ask that you reschedule your trip. Please call 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) or your local Customer Contact Center for your options.

    This checklist may change as we continue to innovate for a healthier tomorrow.

  • All travelers over the age of 2 are required to wear a face covering with no vents or openings that fully covers their nose and mouth. A face shield alone does not count as a face covering.


  • All travelers over the age of 2 are required to wear face coverings during their entire flight. We’re also requiring travelers to wear face coverings in the airport, including at United customer service counters and kiosks, United Club℠ locations, our gates and our baggage claim areas. We’ll require face coverings in the airport and on board until further notice.
  • While you can remove your face covering briefly to eat or drink, you must immediately put it back on afterward. And in the event of decompression, travelers will need to remove face coverings prior to donning an oxygen mask. Otherwise, travelers are expected to wear their face coverings for their entire flight and while in the airport.

  • If you refuse to follow United's face covering policy while in the airport or on board a United flight, you will be refused transport and could also lose your travel privileges on United for at least the time that United’s mandatory face covering policy is in effect. If a United representative or flight attendant notices or is informed of a traveler who is not wearing a face covering, they will proactively inform the customer that for everyone’s health and safety, face coverings are mandatory for all customers and employees in the airport and on board. They'll also offer to provide a mask if needed. If the customer continues to not wear their face covering, the United representative or flight attendant will report the incident so it can be reviewed. After the flight has reached its destination, the security team will investigate the incident and take the necessary action regarding the customer's travel on future United flights.

  • We encourage you to bring and use your own face covering. However, if you don't have a face covering, our customer service agents will be able to provide a face covering at no cost.

  • United is currently exploring options to make COVID-19 testing more accessible for travelers.

    Travelers from San Francisco (SFO) to Hawaii can register for a rapid test at the airport with Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care on the same day as their flight or do a drive-up test 48-72 hours before their flight with Color. Both tests meet the state requirements for Hawaii, so customers who return a negative result are not required to quarantine.

    We're also launching the world's first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing program. Offered November 16 through December 11 on select flights from New York/Newark to London, this pilot program guarantees all customers over 2 and crew on board test negative before departure.

    For more information on United-offered COVID-19 testing, visit united.com/covid-testing. And as always, be sure to check our Important Notices page to learn more about all the document and entry requirements for your trip.

  • If you’re traveling with a partner airline, we recommend reviewing their travel guidelines, including any policies on face coverings, to ensure you have a smooth trip. Before you fly, be sure to check travel waivers and your flight status, just in case things have changed. Some destinations may also require you to provide new entry forms or self-quarantine upon arrival, so check our Important Notices page to see if there are requirements for your trip.

  • Please visit our United Club and Lounge Locations page to check if a particular location is open. As you plan your next visit, learn how we're putting your health and safety at the forefront of your United Club experience.

  • It depends on the airport — some airports may have reduced dining options and shopping right now, so you may want to check the website of the airport you’re traveling through or ensure you pack what you need in your carry-on bag.

  • Visit our United CleanPlus℠ page to learn more about this program and our relationships with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic. You can also chat with our automated assistant by texting “Clean” to FLYUA (35982) to learn how we’re making your journey safer.

  • Clorox Total 360 System electrostatic sprayers are being used to disinfect our ticketing lobbies, terminals, seating areas, employee break rooms, flight attendant and pilot bases, and United Club locations every night at the following airports: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Guam, Honolulu, Houston Intercontinental, Kona, Las Vegas, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Maui, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, New York/Newark, New York LaGuardia, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Washington Dulles and Washington National.

United CleanPlus videos