United Moves to Contactless Payments Aboard Flights


The Chicago-based carrier is quietly moving away from taking cash and plastic aboard flights, and instead is only accepting in-flight payments using their mobile app.


Physical Payments Get Grounded for App Payment

Under their new plan, United is turning their app into the exclusive payment option for future flights. Before flyers board their next flight, they will need to save a payment method to their profiule While credit cards are preferred, registered PayPal users on select flights will be able to use their account to make purchases.


There are four ways flyers can add a payment method to their app. Members of the United MileagePlus program can save a payment form to their account either by logging into the United website or app and can use it across flights. MileagePlus flyers can also use their reward miles to make in-flight purchases.


Those who don’t want to attach a payment option to their MileagePlus account (or don’t have a frequent flyer account with United) can add a credit or debit card to their flight profile at check-in. United allows flyers to save a card while checking in on the United app or United.com. If flyers don’t decide to add a card at check-in, flyers will still have one final chance to add a payment plan after check-in through their smartphone app.


The card remains on file for a period of time determined by the user. For those who choose to add a card at or after check-in, United will only keep the information in their systems for the duration of the checked flight and will be removed within 12 hours of arrival. Travelers who decide to add their card to their MileagePlus profile will be able to use them across all United flights without the need to re-add information between trips. All receipts will be available on the United website.


United Moves to Make All Services Available on the App

The shift to going all digital is part of a bigger shift by United to put nearly every flyer resource in their smartphones. In 2021, the carrier added live customer support to their app, accessible by scanning a QR code at select airport locations.

Source: frugal travel guy

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