United Airlines


Using United's wheelchair service
Every airport United serves has wheelchairs available, and virtually all of the cities we serve have jet bridges or special equipment to board customers who cannot climb stairs. Also, airports have narrow aisle wheelchairs for customers who require them to reach their seat in the airplane. Our reservations personnel can help you with information and order a wheelchair for points of departure, connection and destination. When you request a wheelchair, we need to know if you are able to walk without assistance and how far, and if you can ascend and descend stairs without assistance. You can request a wheelchair by calling
1-800-241-6522 and selecting the "reservations" option.
United will check your personal wheelchair free of charge along with luggage. Battery-powered wheelchairs—with dry cell, wet cell, gel cell, or non-spillable electric storage batteries—are acceptable, but certain safety procedures must be followed in preparing the wheelchair for carriage. Reservations personnel will be happy to answer any specific questions.

If you use United's wheelchair service, we will provide an attendant at no charge to assist you in moving through the airport. This service is intended to assist passengers in moving to or from the gate area or the plane. Wheelchair attendants may provide assistance in getting passengers to an airport lavatory but cannot provide any assistance within the lavatory. If an attendant is not wanted, we will, where possible, provide you with a United wheelchair for independent use. You may be required to leave your driver's license as security until the wheelchair is returned.

Using your own wheelchair
We are happy to accommodate customers who prefer to use their own wheelchairs to and from the gate area. You may check your wheelchair at the gate and also request to use it between flights, during lengthy layovers. Where the connecting time between flights is short, you may prefer to use United's wheelchair service to expedite transportation to the connecting flight.

A collapsible wheelchair can be stored in the aircraft cabin. Please note cabin storage space is limited and does vary by aircraft type. So when you arrive at the gate be sure to tell the gate agent. The agent can advise you about stowage options for your flight and ensure that the proper tag is placed on your wheelchair. United's baggage personnel need the tag so they know to bring you the wheelchair to the arrival gate when you are departing the terminal, or to bring it within the terminal during layovers between flights. Although United employees will make every effort to deliver the wheelchair to the gate promptly, the facilities at the particular airport may slow this process and require some patience.

If you need extra time at the gate to board, you will usually have the opportunity to "pre-board" prior to others in order to be safely and comfortably seated. If you use your own wheelchair at the gate, you may wish to check in and board early so United personnel can prepare and load your wheelchair.

Airport wheelchairs are in great demand during certain travel periods. Our airport personnel will appreciate your patience if you must wait a few minutes for a chair. If you have any questions, concerns or special requests, please contact a United Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) located at any United airport location.

Mobility assistance

Airport and flight connections assistance
United will provide in-airport wheelchair service at no charge to passengers with mobility impairments or other disabilities. This service is intended to assist passengers in moving through the airport to reach a gate area. Wheelchair attendants are able to assist semi-ambulatory customers in getting to and from the aircraft seat during boarding and disembarkation. They may also provide assistance in getting passengers to an airport lavatory, but they cannot provide any assistance within the lavatory.

In-flight assistance
Every United aircraft and gate area has available a specially designed wheelchair for mobility-impaired customers to use. These wheelchairs are referred to as "aisle chairs" because they fit in the aisles of our aircraft and may be used to move about the cabin.

Once passengers are onboard the aircraft, our flight attendants can help with stowing and retrieving carry-on items, as well as providing wheelchair assistance to move passengers to and from the aircraft lavatory (although they cannot provide assistance inside the lavatory). Flight attendants may also provide assistance with taking oral medication, identifying food items on meal trays and opening packages.

While United flight attendants are able to provide some types of assistance, as described above, they are not able to provide continuous personal assistance onboard the aircraft. Flight attendants are not permitted to carry or lift customers, provide medical services such as giving injections, or assist with eating or personal hygiene.

United requires any passenger who has any of the limitations listed below to travel with a companion who is able to provide necessary assistance. These limitations include:

needing personal or continuous attending care
being unable to follow safety instructions from our personnel
having a mobility impairment that would prevent the person from being able to assist in his or her own evacuation of the aircraft in the event of an emergency
A companion who is traveling for the purpose of assisting another passenger must book a ticket for travel on the same flight as the person needing care.

Deaf or hard of hearing

Please let us know if you are deaf or hard of hearing, so we can provide you with information during delays and an individual safety briefing if you wish.

Hearing dogs for the deaf or hard of hearing are also permitted on board with their owners free of charge.

Unitedý offers a special TTY reservation service. To make flight reservations using this service, please call 800-323-0170. The phone links your telecommunications device with one in United's reservations office and allows you to send written communications to a trained reservation agent 24 hours a day.

Blind or sight impaired

Federal aviation regulations require that canes be stowed prior to takeoff and landing as a safety measure. When flying, if you need assistance our employees will explain emergency procedures and aircraft surroundings.

Service animals

United Airlines and United Express welcome service animals accompanying persons with disabilities. There is no fee for service animals, and they may travel in the aircraft cabin as long as they do not obstruct an aisle or any other area used for emergency evacuations.
It may be helpful to outfit your service animal with a harness or vest to make the animal’s status obvious to airport personnel. If the animal’s status is questioned, you simply need to provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is assisting a passenger with a disability.

Please note that quarantine restrictions may apply. Check with your travel agent or a United reservations agent at least one month prior to departure to find out if there are any regulations specific to your destination.

Emotional support animals
Emotional support animals are considered to be service animals. However, a customer traveling with an emotional support animal will need to have documentation on letterhead from a licensed mental health professional, dated within the past 12 months, stating that the customer is under professional care for a mental-health-related disability, and that the animal’s assistance is essential to his or her mental health.

Therapy animals
Therapy animals, which are pets that have been trained and registered by a therapy organization in order to visit nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other facilities, are not considered to be service animals. When traveling with a therapy animal, standard pet-related regulations and restrictions will apply.

Destination-specific information

There are restrictions regarding the entry of service animals into Hawaii. Customers planning to travel to Hawaii should contact the Hawaii Animal Quarantine Branch manager directly for quarantine requirements. The 24-hour phone number is 808-837-8092. You may also view animal quarantine information at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture web site.

United Kingdom
United Airlines is permitted to accept service animals on flights to the United Kingdom. Because UK regulations for accepting service animals are very strict, both United and our customers must carefully follow the appropriate procedures.

As part of those procedures, any customer who intends to travel with a service animal must obtain a preapproval letter from Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), a UK government agency. Please note that the preapproval process for transporting service animals to the UK can take up to two months.

Visit the Defra web site for more information about requirements and procedures for taking animals into the UK, or contact Defra by phone at +44 870 241 1710, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. UK time. (Please note: Before dialing the number above, you must first enter the international direct dialing code. In the United States and Canada, this code is 011.)

Other international destinations
Many countries restrict the entry of animals. Restrictions vary by country, and customers should contact the appropriate embassy or consulate at least four weeks before departure to make sure that all necessary procedures are followed.