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United Airlines (UAL) to Offer PayPal Inflight Payment Option

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United Airlines Holdings (UAL - Free Report) has partnered with PayPal (PYPL - Free Report) to offer customers touch-free inflight purchases even where Wi-Fi is not available. Beginning next month, customers on select flights can buy snacks, drinks or make other inflight purchases by simply showing a PayPal QR Code on the app.

As part of its contactless payment tools, the carrier already offers customers the option to pre-order snacks and beverages from its app and website, while also offering them the ability to store payment information in a digital wallet.

Initially, United Airlines will make the PayPal QR Code facility available on select flights departing from Chicago O' Hare International Airport, in November. Before the end of the year, it will be extended to all flights across the entire network where contactless payment is available.

Under this payment method, customers need to download the PayPal app and set their preferred payment method for QR code payments, prior to leaving the gate. As per the given options, the app can then be used to generate the QR code to be scanned by the flight attendant.

As air-travel demand continues to rebound, United Airlines’ move to enhance customer experience is encouraging. To cater to the recovery in travel demand, the airline has been focusing on expanding its network. Last month, it announced a new service between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria, set to be launched on Nov 29, subject to government approval. Earlier this year, United Airlines launched new services connecting New York/Newark with Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as Washington, D.C. and Accra, Ghana.

Other airlines are also widening their networks to take advantage of the improved travel demand. In line with its efforts to rebuild international travel, Delta Air Lines (DAL - Free Report) has resumed services from Seattle, WA (three times a week) and Detroit, MI (four times a week) to London Heathrow on Oct 7 and Oct 11, respectively. In addition, Delta’s existing daily service between New York and London Heathrow has been increased to twice daily from Oct 6.

Last month, Southwest Airlines (LUV - Free Report) announced plans to expand its network to offer customers additional services to Hawaii, nearly two dozen new flights to Austin, TX, as well as new international services. The services are set to commence next year.