United Airlines to end cash transactions on-board flights within the US and on some other flights

Monday, March 2, 2009, 9:15 by Aviation Correspondent


United Airlines has announced that it will phase out cash transactions aboard its flights within the United States and also on flights to and from Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean and start accepting credit cards and debit cards for purchasing cocktails and other items in-flight from March 23, 2009.

However, passengers will still have a cash option during a “brief transition period” to the ‘EasyPurchase’ plan, but United Airlines did not say when that transition period will end. 

Cash as well as credit cards and debit cards will still be accepted on United Airlines’ overseas flights, the carrier said in a statement. 

United Airlines, a subsidiary of UAL Corporation with corporate offices in Chicago, the United States, is also the largest carrier at Denver International Airport. The airline said in the statement that it would accept both cash and credit cards on flights to and from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America. 

United Airlines said it would carry on the cash-only policy on its United Express regional flights. 

The carrier said in the statement that it received “a positive reaction” from passengers when it tested onboard purchases with credit cards and debit cards over the past year. American Airlines, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the United States, had said a few weeks ago that it would shift to “cashless cabins” for flights within the United States from the summer of 2009. 

Other United States-based airlines such as Frontier Airlines, the low-cost carrier headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Southwest Airlines and US Airways have already shifted to cashless cabins. Flight crew on these airlines use hand-held readers to make the transactions. 

United Airlines has hubs at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Denver International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.