United Airlines and PayPal announced on Wednesday that the two companies have teamed up to offer a more touchless alternative for inflight purchases. From the beginning of November, United passengers on selected flights departing from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), can use a PayPal QR scan code to pay for in-flight beverages, snacks, or other services.
United is also the first U.S. carrier to begin offering this new inflight payment option which can even be used in areas without Wi-FI service. The North American carrier continues to give customers in its economy seats the option to pre-order snacks and beverages from the United app and website, as well as taking payments through smartphone digital wallets.
According to United, the PayPal QR code payment option is “built on simplicity and choice” and aims to improve the overall flying experience. The contactless payment system is very similar to digital e-boarding passes and requires just a simple scan of the QR code.
“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.”
Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United
“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.”
Frank Keller, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Segment Solutions and Digital Commerce at Paypal
Over the summer months, United Airlines has been actively revamping its entire order-on-board in-flight service menus. The U.S. carrier is trying to enhance the customer flying experience by offering more variety and flavorful snacks and meals while remaining committed to minimal contact and touchpoints. So far, United has changed its “fresh menu” offerings for the carrier’s morning, afternoon, & evening dining options in addition to three new snack boxes, A La Carte snacks, and Adult Beverages.
The addition of another touch-free way and ease of use for purchasing in-flight meals and other services should help boost consumer expenditure and ancillary revenue for United while maintaining a pleasant and safe flying experience for guests onboard, even as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on.
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