For those traveling now and in the near future, United have implemented temporary changes to promote social distancing in the air and on the ground. United want to provide clarification and additional actions they are taking on seat assignments.
When you book
United have adjusted their seat selection systems to avoid where possible seating customers next to each other, except when traveling together. Where possible, they are also alternating window and aisle seats when seats are in pairs. Whilst they cannot guarantee that all customers will be seated next to an unoccupied seat, based on this historically low travel demand and the implementation of these measures, that is the likely outcome.
When you travel
Travel demand has decreased dramatically and even though they have reduced their schedule by 90%, the vast majority of flights (85%) are less than half full. However, because their schedule is so reduced (they are only operating a single flight a day in some destinations), there are a small number of flights where customers are finding planes fuller than they expect.
Starting next week and continuing through June 30, United will allow customers on flights that are expected to be closer to full capacity to choose to rebook on a different flight or receive a travel credit. They will do our best to contact them about 24 hours before their departure time so they can decide whether to adjust their plans before they arrive at the airport – and United will provide this option at the gate, if more than 70% of customers have checked in. Customers who have additional questions may contact United for reseating options.
United Airlines Network Planning and Operations teams will also continually evaluate opportunities for additional capacity on routes where they are seeing routinely higher load factors and specific flights with high projected loads.
Other ways United are promoting social distancing during travel include:
Boarding fewer customers at a time to allow for more distance during the boarding process. Following pre-boarding (a process that will not change), they will board back-to-front by rows, but will space out customers to minimize crowding in the gate area and on the jet bridge.
Implementing a temporary front-to-back deplaning process as customers exit the aircraft.
Processing Complimentary Premier Upgrades at the departure gate in priority order.
Rolling out touchless kiosks - at select airports, you can now check in to your United flight without touching a screen, even if you're checking bags. . Click here to learn more from the United Airlines website.
Providing individually wrapped hand sanitizer wipes to our customers as they board the aircraft.