United’s app isn’t aesthetically clean or intuitively designed, but I’ve never been much for form over function. I find it much more useful than many other apps, especially American’s. This is surprising in many ways because I find the SHARES passenger service system that United uses to be significantly behind competitor platforms.
United just announced a new improvement to their app. When you’re traveling on United and connecting onto one of 19 airline partners you’ll be able to check-in for the downline partner and receive a boarding pass for the partner airline’s flight segment all inside their app.
Here are the supported partners:
There are several Star Alliance airlines not supported: Air China, Singapore, Air India, Avianca, Copa, EgyptAir, Ethiopian, Juneyao Airlines, South African Airways, TAP Portugal. Interestingly it’s not just Star partners on the list — Azul and Cape Air are supported.
Since Shenzhen Airlines is included I think we can assume Air China’s exclusion isn’t government/regulatory in nature. Star partners with the worst tech (like Air India) and that are the biggest basket cases (South African Airways) are unsurprisingly not supported. And partners with the worst relationships with United (Singapore) as well.
United says they’ll be adding support for additional partners going forward.
We’ll see how each partner handles the United mobile app boarding passes in practice. I frequently find that partner airlines want to reprint even paper boarding passes issued by another airline. Nonetheless it’s a nice improvement to know that a boarding pass has been pulled for the partner segment and that you’re checked in for that flight, and to be able to do it without visiting the ticket counter at your point of departure.