New United Airlines minimum check-in times started June 15, 2011

I hadn’t known of this change until grabbing the flyer below last weekend at LAX, but United Airlines rolled out new minimum check-in times that became effective June 15, 2011. It looks to me like they’ve aligned things with Continental’s timelines and while still requiring 45 minutes at most major airports when checking bags (30 minutes without), it’s personally welcome for me that some of the smaller stations now have a 30-minute cutoff, like Burbank and Reno. I’m not sure I’d want to gamble with only 30 minutes at larger airports like New York’s JFK, Philadelphia and Phoenix, but your mileage may vary.

The list of airports requiring 45 minutes are:

  • Atlanta
  • Chicago O’Hare
  • Cleveland
  • Denver
  • Guam
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Kona 
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Newark
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Tampa
  • Washington Dulles (IAD)

Non-stop international flights require one hour, with 90-minutes for some departures from Micronesia and 75-minutes for Lima, Peru.

a close up of a card


  1. The reduced check-in times for JFK and Reno are a huge plus for me (esp on my ski trips).

    Why would you worry about JFK for United? They operate from a small terminal not connected with anything else (18 gates with long layovers for most planes). There are only 3 UA destinations at JFK, SFO, LAX and IAD. The distance from check-in to the gate is very short. I was always surprised by the longer check-in requirement at JFK but I think that was left over from the days that UA operated international flights from JFK.

    • I see your point, but part of my issue here would be with clearing security at peak times. Even though there’s now an elite line there, I still wouldn’t want to arrive at 32-minutes before a flight at JFK (even without a bag).

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