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Boarding process

We want your boarding experience to go smoothly. Below are some tips to help you get ready to board your flight.

Prepare for boarding

Arrive 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. To help ensure an on-time flight, all customers must be on board 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

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 may begin boarding.

Find your seat and put your carry-on bags away

You're almost ready to take flight. Once you find your seat, 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. Buckle up, and relax.

Premier Access®

If you'd like to be among the first to board and get settled in earlier, 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 at select airports.

Boarding groups

Pre-boarding is available to these customers

  1. Unaccompanied minors
  2. Customers with disabilities
  3. Uniformed members of the U.S. military
  4. Families traveling with children age two and younger
  5. United Global Services® members

Group 1

  • Premier 1K®
  • Premier® Platinum
  • Premium cabins: United PolarisSM first class, United Polaris business class, United First® and United Business®

Group 2

  • Premier Gold
  • Star AllianceSM Gold
  • Premier Silver
  • Star Alliance Silver
  • Customers who have purchased Premier Access
  • United MileagePlus Explorer, Club, Presidential PlusSM and Awards Cardmembers

Groups 3 – 5

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

Group 5 may not be applicable to United Express® flights.

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

Improving your boarding experience

We're continuously working on ways to improve your United travel experience, and our boarding process is just one of many areas we're focused on. As you travel throughout the United network, you may experience some variations in our boarding order as we work to determine what's best for our customers. In the future, you may see changes as we make boarding easier and more intuitive. We look forward to sharing additional enhancements with you.