Hello all you beautiful people out there! I wanted to take just a quick moment this morning to alert you all to something I have stumbled upon now twice in the past 48 hours. United Airlines is now, seemingly, requiring passengers traveling from the US Virgin Islands to upload a copy of their passports in order to check in online.
Over the weekend, Teddy and I ran a term charter and the guests on board were attempting to check in for their outbound flight. I wasn’t really paying too much attention to what was going on as I was cleaning up from breakfast. But, then I overheard them having problems with uploading their passports for check-in. I was like…wait a minute….
They were traveling to Boston via a domestic layover on United. I insisted that couldn’t be right as I have NEVER needed a copy of my passport to check in online. They gave up on their attempts and decided to check in at the counter in person instead and we went about our day. But, upon further investigation this morning I stumbled upon a commentary written in the Source by a USVI resident who was having the same issues with United earlier this month.
Her report says that she called the airline after running into a similar issue and “learned that United now considers residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands to be international visitors to the mainland U.S.” Which means that visitors will also need to upload a copy of their passports in order to check in online to travel home.
Now, I’m not sure what this means for those of you flying on United with the USVI as your destination, but I would love to hear from you if anyone has had a similar issue. It is incredibly busy down here right now, with summer vacation in full swing, and if United is disallowing anyone without a passport to check in online then their ticket counter is likely to be SWAMPED on day of travel!
As we all know, throughout the course of the everchanging COVID mandates over the past year, the airlines sometimes are a bit more in the slow lane of the information superhighway 🙂 And WE all know that the US Virgin Islands are, in fact, a domestic destination. But, this is what is currently happening with United Airlines. And, weirdly, I went through the steps of booking a flight with United all the way to the payment information to investigate this further and was not prompted to enter my passport number anywhere in the booking process. I have not heard of it happening with any other airlines as of now, but if you are visiting us in the near future and you have a passport, bring it along in order to expedite your airport experience with online check in and avoiding the ticket counter.
To those of you who do not have a passport, don’t freak out! We are a domestic destination and a passport is NOT required to get home and I’m sure the folks locally here at the ticket counter understand that.
If you read the article in the link above, you might agree with me when I say that it sounds like some kind of an automated update happened with United’s systems and hopefully this will all be rectified soon!
And to all of you, as mentioned above, it is BUSY in the USVI right now. So, arrive at the airport three hours prior to departure and check out the new bar in the duty free area, the new café or the variety of shopping kiosks within the airport. Oh, and WIFI is free too, so you can get a head start on uploading all of your vacation photos and reliving your magical trip to St. John 🙂