United Airlines


United Airlines with Continental Airlines (and United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connection) flies almost 6,000 flights per day to nearly 400 airports around the world.

Contact details


Reservations: 0845 8444 777 (Monday to Friday 7am-7pm, Saturday and Sunday, 8.30am-5pm)



United Airlines Check-in

Recommended check-in times vary from airport to airport. From Heathrow Airport, the airline recommends passengers check-in at least two hours before their flight is scheduled to depart. Check-in desks close 45 minutes before take-off. At airports in the Americas, check-in and baggage check times also vary by airport. Check-in and baggage check should be completed 45 minutes before the flight is scheduled to take off at Seattle or Washington DC, but the time limit at New York JFK or San Francisco Airport is 30 minutes.

Check-in is available starting 24 hours before your scheduled departure.

There are self-service check-in units at Paddington Railway Station in London. The units are located near the platforms used by the Heathrow Express train.

United Airlines baggage allowance

Carry-on: one bag and a personal item such as a handbag or laptop computer. The bag should not measure more than 23 x 35 x 56cm (9 x 14 x 22in) or 114 linear cm (45 linear inches - length + width + height). 

Checked: the allowance varies according to class of travel. In general, Economy-Class travelling from the UK to North America may bring the first bag free of charge. Checking-in a second bag costs £50. Travellers taking flights in the Americas may check-in one piece of luggage free of charge. Checking-in a second bag costs $30 USD (about £18). 

Excess: excess fees are in addition to overweight or oversized charges. Travelling from the UK, each excess bag is charged at £130. If a piece of luggage is overweight (weighing 23-32kg or 51-70lbs) the cost is also £130. A piece of luggage weighing 32-45kg (71-100lbs) costs £260. An oversized piece of luggage (bigger than 158cm or 62 linear inches) costs £130. Special items such as musical instruments cost £130 to transport.

United Airlines legroom

Varies according to aircraft. In general, Economy Class offers 79cm (31in) of legroom. Economy Plus travellers enjoy a little more, between 89 and 91cm (35-36 inches).

Pre-arranged seating

Passengers may select seats during the booking process, passengers may also select seats via EasyCheck-in Online, available within 24 hours of the flight. United will assign travellers a seat (based on availability) if they do not select one during booking. ExitRow seating is reserved for eligible passengers and Economy Plus seating is available for a fee.

Passenger change details

Depends on the ticket purchased. If you buy a non-refundable ticket, there will be a change fee plus any difference in the fare.

Child fares

There's a discount for infant flyers (travelling in an adult's lap) on international flights. On domestic US flights, there is no charge for an infant traveller. Child (2-11) discounts are available on international flights. On a flight from London to Los Angeles for example the discount is about 15 per cent. On domestic US flights there is no discount for child travellers.

Senior fares

United's Silver Wings program is no longer accepting members. There are no discounts for travellers aged 65 and older on international flights.


The transportation of pets is restricted in several cases and tavellers are requested to contact the airline (0845 8444 777) to arrange carriage.

Carrying musical instruments

Passengers may bring a small musical instrument (guitar or similar) on board flights as part of their carry-on allowance. If checking-in, musical instruments are only accepted in a hard-sided case.

In-flight service

Economy-Class travellers on international flights enjoy complimentary meals and drinks (soft drinks, tea and coffee) and complimentary video and audio. All 767 and 777 aircraft (three-cabin set up) have seat-back video screens. Pillows and blankets are provided free of charge. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase on all flights, however these are included in the ticket price on international trans-Pacific flights and flights within Asia. Hemispheres magazine is available on every flight. On domestic US flights soft drinks, tea and coffee are complimentary. Alcoholic drinks are available for purchase as are a variety of meals - snack boxes, a la carte snacks, sandwiches and salads. Audio entertainment with headsets (no charge) and movies on flights of three hours or longer are also complimentary. There is television programming on all flights shorter than three hours. Hemispheres magazine is available to read on every flight.

Air miles

Mileage Plus, the frequent-flyer programme for United, allows passengers to earn miles when flying with United or any of its partners. Passengers of Continental will also earn miles on qualifying flights.

Airline food link

See photographs of United's in-flight meals taken by fellow flyers and read reviews at AirlineMeals.net.

In-flight magazine

United's in-flight magazine, Hemispheres, is published monthly. It is available on every flight and can be read online.

Airline alliances

The airline is a member of the Star Alliance.