Priority boarding on United Airlines will you get you on the plane before other passengers. Active US military members or families with children 2 years old or younger are entitled to preboarding. Otherwise, you can earn your spot in the first boarding groups with elite status, by purchasing priority boarding or by using an eligible United credit card with complimentary priority boarding.
How to get United Airlines priority boarding
You can get United priority boarding if you:
Purchase a higher fare class. Flying on United Polaris, United First and United Business classes gets you Group 1 boarding.
Earn elite status. Premier 1K members get preboarding, Premier Platinum and Gold members board Group 1, and Premier Silver members board with Group 2.
Earn elite status with partner airlines. As a member of the Star Alliance, United grants priority boarding to frequent flyers on partner airlines. Once you reach elite status with a partner airline, that status converts to elite status with the alliance. Star Alliance Gold members board with Group 1, while Silver members board with Group 2.
Get an eligible United credit card. The United℠ Explorer Card and the United MileagePlus® Club card let you board with Group 2. Companions traveling on your reservation also benefit from this perk.
Being an active duty US military member. Carry your military ID to preboard your United flight.
Purchase United priority boarding. If you don’t meet any of the conditions to earn United priority boarding, you can buy one starting from $15.
Who gets priority boarding?
A certain hierarchy is laid out to determine who boards the plane first. Check out the table below to find out where you might stand in the line.
Customers who need assistance
Active members of the US military
United Global Services members
Families traveling with children 2 years old and younger
Premier 1K members
Premier Platinum members
Premier Gold members
Star Alliance Gold members
Customers seated in premium cabins: United Polaris, United First and United Business
Premier Silver members
Star Alliance Silver members
Customers who have purchased Premier Access or Priority Boarding
United℠ Explorer Card and United Club cardmembers
Group 3 – 5
Compare credit cards with United Airlines priority boarding
Only two United credit cards let you board with Group 2 by simply being a card member.
How to get United Airlines priority boarding with your credit card
Using an eligible credit card to snag priority boarding is simple:
Get an eligible United Airlines credit card.
Use your card to purchase United airfare and include your MileagePlus number on your reservation.
You will automatically receive a Group 2 priority boarding.
If you don’t belong in any of the groups entitled to get United priority boarding, you can either purchase one for your flight or you can get an eligible United credit card and get priority boarding on United-operated flights. For more information on the MileagePlus program and its benefits, check out our full United MileagePlus guide.
However, if you prefer a different airline, check out other airline cards that offer priority boarding and compare your options.
The boarding group is printed on your boarding pass. For example, boarding group 3.
You need to fly a certain number of qualifying miles or segments with United Airlines and to spend a certain amount of qualifying dollars on United tickets. Check out our guide on the MileagePlus program to learn more.
Not unless they are on the primary cardmember’s reservation.
Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.
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