I have flown a handful of times in the past year due to personal issues. The handful of flights have been on American Airlines. There was a one way trip from Oklahoma City and a roundtrip to Costa Rica to which I am currently writing a trip report. My segments are about to grow and I get to fly on United Airlines for the first time in over two years. More importantly, I will get to spend time with my family Thanksgiving. As I reviewed my reservation, I noticed something very different from the last time I flew on the airline…United Airlines’ Travel Ready Center.
What is the United Airlines’ Travel Ready Center?
The Travel Ready Center, launched in April 2021, is exactly as the name depicts, a place for passengers to ensure they are travel ready prior to arriving at the airport.
In the past, the United Airlines app did not display travel information until 24 hours prior to the flight. This has changed drastically. I was able to view my flight information more than 96 hours prior to the first leg. In the bottom corner of the flight information section was a button for the Travel Ready Center.
Once I clicked the option, the page titled “Prepare for Your Upcoming Flight”. It included the flights of the day and the travelers. In my case, the travelers will be my son and I.
A Legal and Privacy Acknowledgement was found next. It discussed entry requirements and COVID-19 restrictions. NOTE: There are not any COVID restrictions for travel solely within the United States. Is this center solely for international travelers? It looks like United Airlines’ version of American Airlines’ VeriFly.
COVID-19 requirements, destination entry forms and a check-in option were next. The status for COVID and entry were green already. These sections would a different color with instructions on items needed.
The are four status colors, which can be in the Travel Center Status Guide: blue, orange, red, and green.
Blue/Action Needed: the traveler has not completed the requirements necessary to travel to with United to their destination.
Orange/Pending Approval: You meet all requirements, but United has to verify at least one of your documents or your documents are pending verification.
Red/Not Travel Ready: The uploaded documents have been rejected.
Green/Travel Ready: the traveler is ready to check in, documents have been verified by United or there are no requirements for the passenger to meet at this time.
I clicked through the COVID requirements and entry forms to see the following messages. It was very anti-climatic.
When I clicked into the check-in page, the “check-in” button was greyed out. The additional information on the page was directed to international travelers.
The additional resources section included a Know Before You Go, Travel Center Status Guide, Legal/Privacy Acknowledgment from earlier, COVID-19 updates, what to expect when you fly, how to change your flight, and a baggage FAQ. While are a lot of options, I feel this one stop would be beneficial to the infrequent traveler. Everything is readily accessible. The last four items in this section lead the user to hyperlinks.
I was initially confused and filled with anxiety when I saw Travel Ready Center. The feelings quickly subsided when I saw our statuses were green and the Travel Ready Center is mostly for international travelers. I would like to commend United Airlines on the new (to me) updates to the app. Seeing my itinerary, with all of this additional info, more than 96 hours prior to departure is a welcome relief. Well done.
Have you guys heard of this?