United Airlines offers PayPal QR codes as new payment option

  • Latest touch-free payment offering lets customers buy snacks, drinks, and other inflight purchases while on board by just scanning a QR code.
  • United Airlines passengers can use new PayPal QR code payment option inflight – with or without Wi-Fi.
  • Partnership starts in Chicago next month and will roll out system-wide before the end of the year.

United and PayPal today announced a new way to make touch-free inflight purchases, even in areas without Wi-Fi. Starting next month, United customers on select flights can simply show a flight attendant the PayPal QR Code in the PayPal app and use it to buy snacks, drinks and other inflight purchases while onboard.

United Becomes First Airline to Introduce PayPal QR Codes as Inflight Payment Option

United Airlines is the first airline to offer PayPal QR Codes, and this partnership is part of United’s easy-to-use, industry-leading suite of contactless payment tools. United was the first airline to give customers in economy cabins the option to pre-order snacks and beverages from the airline’s app and website, and also offers customers the ability to easily store payment information in a digital wallet.

PayPal QR Codes can be used on select flights departing from Chicago O’ Hare International Airport in November and before the end of the year, will extend to all flights across the entire network where contactless payment is available.

“Our contactless payment offering is built on simplicity and choice and it’s another way we’re improving the overall experience of flying United,” said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United Airlines. “PayPal is a terrific partner and this technology gives our customers another easy way to make purchases, even when they’re not online. We expect to introduce even more new and innovative options for our customers in the future through our collaboration with PayPal.”

How It Works

  • If you haven’t already, download the PayPal app and set your preferred payment method for QR code payments, prior to leaving the gate.
  • To make an inflight purchase, Click the ‘Pay with QR codes’ button.
  • Then click the ‘In-flight Purchase’ button.
  • Show the QR code to the flight attendant to scan.
  • Look for an emailed confirmation receipt upon landing.

“We’re excited to be partnering with United to introduce our new offline QR code functionality, adding more ways for customers to check out with PayPal in more places, especially in offline or low connectivity areas,” said Frank Keller, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Segment Solutions and Digital Commerce at PayPal. “Bringing PayPal QR Codes inflight reinforces our commitment to offering customers choice and provides a new level of touch-free convenience for consumers when making in-flight purchases, within the PayPal app they know and trust.” 

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