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United Airlines: Travel Ready documents?

So when I was going through my flight trip details online today, United offered me the option to upload my scanned passport so they can verify that I’m “travel ready” and can then issue my boarding pass. Alternatively, I can scan my passport at a kiosk at the airport to get my boarding pass.

If I choose the upload option at home, I’m prompted with a screen that the documents might go through a third party. That stopped me in my tracks.

What’s your experience with using United’s upload scanned party option. It seems like a potential for another node for data breach. And what will the third party do with the document details beyond verify them for authenticity?

Posted by
13226 posts

My airline of choice is Delta and I have used their FlyReady program for several years with no issues (including uploading vax card photos when that was a thing). I still have to show my physical passport at either the check in desk or at the boarding gate so they can verify I have it. I have been able to print (or download to AppleWallet) my boarding passes a few times, then get the passport checked later. I usually go in to the airport by the Delta desk and if it's not busy will just have them verify the passport is with me.

I don't have any idea whether Delta uses a 3rd party but I'd guess they do.

Posted by
117 posts

Have you tried it in the United app on your phone? When I did that, I had no problems at all scanning my passport to be travel ready. I was not able to on a laptop.

Posted by
337 posts

I haven't tried uploading using my mobile phone. I think I'll scan the passport at the airport kiosks.

Posted by
465 posts

During the pandemic, it was really helpful to have this sorted before arriving at the airport, less hoops to go through at check-in. I don't think it's so important now, but I haven't noticed the 'third party' notification. I too do it ahead of time on the UA mobile app, it's just one less thing to think about at the airport!

Posted by
2679 posts

So they data breach this third-party and they have your passport. They don’t have your drivers license, since your address is not on the first two pages of the passport they don’t have your address, they don’t have your Social Security number

what can you do with a passport number? Forge a passport is about the only possible thing and honestly that’s not where you see a lot of identity theft. You can’t take out open a line of credit, you can’t open a bank account. You can’t do anything that the dark web wants with a passport number. as far identity theft goes it’s basically useless. Don’t worry about it. (and unless you’ve been in a cave and not used your credit card or paid a bill in the past 10 years your “good info” is already on the dark web.)

Posted by
6826 posts

Its not your real question, but United keeps asking me to re-enter my passport number when I check-in for the flight, even though I was told I was "Travel Ready" two months before. I have no confidence in their computer systems.

Honestly, the revelation that big box retail used to (I hope) use the same network for Point Of Sale terminals and building HVAC, resulting in infected heating technician's laptops enabling the theft of thousands of credit card numbers does not give one much confidence in penny-wise corporations.

Posted by
359 posts

If I choose the upload option at home, I’m prompted with a screen that the documents might go through a third party. That stopped me in my tracks.

Yes the passport scanner / process is a third partner, it is not native UA IT.
At introduction it was Jumio. Not sure if that is still true

I have used it and it saved me from having to go to the check in counter. Do whatever you feel comfortable with

Posted by
161 posts

I uploaded my passport to UA. The only trouble I had is trying to get a pic that rhe app would accept. It's challenging to get the passport unfolded enough and also have the correct lighting for the app to accept the pic.

Posted by
196 posts

Couldn't get a good scanned PP pix so manually entered my info for our UA flight from ZRH-ORD. No issues whatsoever.
DH had no problems uploading and scanning his PP though it took a few tries. It was actually quicker for me to enter the info than for him to struggle with adequately scanning!

Posted by
5815 posts

I don’t recall ever having to scan my passport. I did manually enter the information a few years ago and saved it for future flights. On my recent flight United just asked me to confirm the info was the same. At the airport United will still scan your passport when checking bags or at the departure gate.

Posted by
592 posts

In the scheme of things scanning your passport for United is nothing. Think of all you have let out there into the world already, PayPal, Apple Pay, your google photos. A myriad of exposure all over the place. You think you are safer because you withhold your passport info from United? You think you have control? Not at all. To live in the modern world you have had to relinquish that many times. We are all prey. You are more likely to get your wallet pickpocketed while a tourist than worry about your passport in United. Keep a perspective.