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"This is not a Boarding Pass" - What is required for international online checkin?

"This is not a Boarding Pass" - What is required for international online checkin?

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Old Mar 6, 12, 8:36 am
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"This is not a Boarding Pass" - What is required for international online checkin?

Just did OLCI this morning for my YYZ->EWR->IAH flight on 3/7. Checkin went fine, but when I got the end, I was unable to print my boarding pass. Got a fairly bland screen with the following.

This is not a boarding pass.
You are checked-in, but we are unable to provide any
boarding passes for your itinerary via united.com.
Here is how to obtain your boarding pass(es).

Then it goes on to tell me to get my BP at the airport kiosk? Whats going on here, is this because I'm on the return leg of a flight that spanned integration day? Or because I'm flying out of a non-US Airport (YYZ)?

I have to check bags anyway, so its not a big inconvenience, but just something I've never seen before.

Last edited by drowelf; Mar 6, 12 at 8:37 am Reason: More information
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Old Mar 6, 12, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
Then it goes on to tell me to get my BP at the airport kiosk? Whats going on here, is this because I'm on the return leg of a flight that spanned integration day? Or because I'm flying out of a non-US Airport (YYZ)?
It's because it's an int'l flight. Had this happen before to me as well.

You need to show your documents at the airport and all will be well.

<edit to add> Saw the same exact screen, and was frustrated as well.

EmailKid

Last edited by EmailKid; Mar 6, 12 at 9:08 am Reason: additional info
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Old Mar 6, 12, 9:03 am
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But I'm curious if its going to be this way from now on. I fly this route 2-3 times a month for the past decade and I've never had an issue with printing a BP.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
But I'm curious if its going to be this way from now on. I fly this route 2-3 times a month for the past decade and I've never had an issue with printing a BP.
I too was able to print BPs before, and actually was able to checkin online and print BPs the last time I flew. Perhaps once your credentials are in the new system you will be able to do it again.

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Old Mar 6, 12, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
But I'm curious if its going to be this way from now on. I fly this route 2-3 times a month for the past decade and I've never had an issue with printing a BP.
Happened to me every time I flew to the Middle East on United.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 9:38 am
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inter'l flight
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Old Mar 6, 12, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
I too was able to print BPs before, and actually was able to checkin online and print BPs the last time I flew. Perhaps once your credentials are in the new system you will be able to do it again.

EmailKid
Is it going to want my passport scanned at the kiosk again?

The OLCI process was exactly the same as pre 3/3. I was presented with the passport info screen confirmed the information and expected to be able to print my BP. If I'm going to have to go through this every time, Its definitely not a change I'm going to like.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
Is it going to want my passport scanned at the kiosk again?

The OLCI process was exactly the same as pre 3/3. I was presented with the passport info screen confirmed the information and expected to be able to print my BP. If I'm going to have to go through this every time, Its definitely not a change I'm going to like.
I had this problem and I had the gate agent manually load my passport info. I have had no problems since then.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
Is it going to want my passport scanned at the kiosk again?

The OLCI process was exactly the same as pre 3/3. I was presented with the passport info screen confirmed the information and expected to be able to print my BP. If I'm going to have to go through this every time, Its definitely not a change I'm going to like.
You are correct, sir!

For international flights only, the Legacy CO system would require a fresh passport scan every 90 days (IIRC), and would display that "Unable to Provide..." message. Presumably, since SHARES is the new PSS for the merged UA, that's still true. Once the system registers your scan at a kiosk, you should be able to print BPs from OLCI without an issue. OLCI for US domestic flights should be unaffected.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 11:39 am
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From what I've noticed when this comes up on the legacy CO, now new UA system is YOU ARE CHECKED in, but BP won't be issued until a passport scan or a agent doing a document check.

The legacy United system on flights from the US to Intl would also do the same, check you in but not issue BP and request a doc check (for those with non US passports especially) - on UA this meant an agent doing the doc check NOT a kiosk - so this is a big benefit. However Intl to US would fail to check in entirely if you didn't have a US passport and weren't visiting on ETSA (e.g. are a US resident) - I got hosed many a time on getting on the DM early for at departure upgrades because I couldn't check in till I got to the airport. Continental on BOTH these scenarios checked you in but left it to you to get your BP at a kisok or an agent.

I MUCH prefer this to failing to let me check in at all... I do rather prefer Air Canada's way... They give you a Boarding pass but label it CLEARLY on the top "Document check required by agent" - They will do this if you check in bags or if no bags they call you at the gate prior to boarding. Don't know why new UA can't just do this. ESPECIALLY if you are an Elite.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Critic View Post
You are correct, sir!

For international flights only, the Legacy CO system would require a fresh passport scan every 90 days (IIRC), and would display that "Unable to Provide..." message. Presumably, since SHARES is the new PSS for the merged UA, that's still true. Once the system registers your scan at a kiosk, you should be able to print BPs from OLCI without an issue. OLCI for US domestic flights should be unaffected.
Sorry, but my experience that is not the way the legacy system worked. I've been flying CO Metal into and out of Canada at least twice a month for the last decade and this is the very first time I have been unable to print a boarding pass via OLCI.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 5:23 pm
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Originally Posted by drowelf View Post
Sorry, but my experience that is not the way the legacy system worked. I've been flying CO Metal into and out of Canada at least twice a month for the last decade and this is the very first time I have been unable to print a boarding pass via OLCI.
It's probably because you travel so frequently that you haven't needed to "refresh" your passport information. You probably had your passport swiped or entered by an agent once a few years ago and forgot about it.

It was definitely a known Continental practice, started a few years ago, as per this 2008 post (#9 in the thread) from UA Insider (technically, CO Insider at that time):
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/conti...l#post10538073

I fly Canada-US usually at least monthly, though more UA than CO, so sometimes I've been required to have the passport re-scanned, and then I can continue to check in online again for a while.

It's very annoying when it happens and I don't know why only CO had this rule.
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Old Mar 6, 12, 5:27 pm
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I had to swipe on 3/3 for a new passport (yes, it does work at a kiosk without agent intervention if it's not a visa required country). I'm flying back on Thursday, will try to remember to post here if I got the BP.
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Old Mar 7, 12, 11:19 am
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Now for the funny ending. Completing check-in this morning at YYZ.

1) Kiosk does not ask me to swipe my passport.
2) No agent check of my passport when checking bags.

But ..... as I go through security I take a look at my BP and I notice that I've won the "You've been randomly selected for extra screening" lottery. In case you don't know, its often indicated by printing SSSS on the lower right corner of your boarding pass. I got an extra stamp too, from Canada TSA, that had to verified at the gate before I could board.

So now I'm really confused as to why I could not get a Boarding Pass during OLCI, unless its all related to this random selection process. Well I'll be back in a couple of weeks and we will see what happens this time around.

BTW at YYZ (Terminal 1) US Airways now has the old Continental Check-in Area. United has expanded to take the entire block of the J Hall (used to be United/US Airways shared)
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Old Mar 7, 12, 11:39 am
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I fly monthly YUL to US, mostly on UA, and I get maybe once in 10 or 15 times the annoying "can't give you a boarding pass" on OLCI. The main issue with that is that the counter (and the kiosks) shuts off 60 mins before departure, so if you don't get there on time you're out - while with a printed boarding pass nobody cares as long as you make it to the gate before departure. Sounds like a small issue, but at 5am it's not... I don't know what the CO rules are - we'll see.
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