Pass Travel UPDATE                     October 3, 2017 updated 5/24/19

1) Pass Travel improvements

2) Changes to Pass Travel Tax Reporting for Retirees

3) Update your contact information NOW

4) Savvy Traveling: United app, KTN

5) More flights!

6) Discounts; cars, cruises, hotels 

7) RAFA website

 1) Pass Travel Improvements                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

As promised, United recently contacted the retiree groups via a conference call, responding to the groups’ Pass Travel improvement suggestions from the April retiree summit in Chicago. Laura Motelet, Managing Director of the Employee Travel Center & HR Administration, gave us the good news:

"We are excited to announce that beginning in 2018, instead of only being able to change enrolled friend(s) once per year, retirees will have the opportunity to change their enrolled friend(s) twice: mid-year and during year-end open enrollment. Retirees will continue to have up to two active enrolled friends at one time, but this change will allow retirees to register up to four enrolled friends during different time periods within a calendar year. This enhanced pass travel privilege applies to retirees only; all other aspects of the Enrolled Friend program remain unchanged".

Note: Open enrollment in December 2017 (Dec. 1 – Dec. 28 until 7:00 p.m. CT) will remain the same as usual. In June 2018 (Jun.1 – Jun. 28 until 7:00 p.m. CT) a second open enrollment will take place only for retirees to either change or keep their Enrolled Friends for the remainder of the year (July-December).  Full details are coming soon on Flying Together > Travel > Pass Riders (left column) > Retirees.

The ETC announced three improvements to the myUAdiscount program in mid-October: 

1) Waived in-cabin pet fees (savings of $125 each way)

2) Waived unaccompanied minor fees (savings of $150 each way)

3) Boarding Group 3 or higher (depending on Mileage Plus credit card purchase or  MileagePlus Premier status).

More information is posted on Flying Together > Travel > myUAdiscount Program

In a previous conference call we learned of three other Pass Travel improvements: (1) better access to the ETC, (2) 24/7 online support via USAW and (3) a new, improved employeeRES coming in 2018. 

For the FULL STORY, read the News article here:

2) Changes to Pass Travel Tax Reporting for Retirees


Imputed Taxes on Pass Travel are changing.

For pass travel on or after November 1, 2017, any taxable imputed income will be reported to you on Form W-2 and will no longer be reported to you on Form 1099.  As a result of this change, starting on November 1, 2017, United will begin to collect any federal and state withholding taxes that apply to your taxable pass travel income via quarterly invoice. The first invoice will be sent in March 2018 for any travel from November 1, 2017, to January 31, 2018, and invoices will be sent every three months thereafter. The invoices will be mailed via U.S. mail and they are payable by check or money order.

Despite the adjustment in reporting, there is no change to how pass travel is taxed. Pass travel for retirees and their spouses, parents and dependent children under age 26 is still not taxable. Pass travel for a retiree's domestic partner and enrolled friends is taxable. 

Note: In January of 2018, you will receive a Form 1099 reporting your taxable pass travel income for travel Nov. 1, 2016 to Oct. 31, 2017, if your taxable pass riders accrued $600 of imputed taxes (pass tax value) or more in that period. Go to Flying Together > Travel > Pass Travel Report (blue tile) to check on the total “Pass Tax Values” accumulated. No withholding taxes will be collected for travel prior to Nov. 1, 2017.  

In January 2019 we will receive W-2 forms for imputed taxes accrued Nov 1, 2017-October 31, 2018. The W-2 form will reflect the quarterly payments we will have made.

Read more important W-2 Pass Travel Tax Reporting information on Flying Together here.  Or go to Flying Together > Travel > W-2 Pass Travel Tax Reporting (in left column).

Note: The online chart shows “Extended Family Buddies” and “Buddies” are subject to tax; this only applies to employees who recently retired in the last 30 days.  

3) Update your contact info NOW!


The ETC sent retirees information via email and U.S. mail about #1 and #2 above, did you receive it? NO? It’s important to update your contact information in 3 places:

1) The “Saved employeeRES information” box on your “Employee Travel Profile” in the “Quick Links” tab in “employeeRES” (“Book a Flight” on Flying Together >Travel).

2) In “Personal Information” in “Your Profile” (in top menu bar) in “YBR” (Your Benefits Resources) on Flying Together > Employee Services or go to

3) In our RAFA database by contacting your council President here.

United will be contacting retirees soon about open enrollment for health care Oct.  30 – Nov. 10, 2017. Make sure your phone number, email and postal mailing addresses are all up to date in YBR (and RAFA!).  Stay in touch; update employeeRES with your latest email address and phone number. 

4) Savvy Traveling: Use the United app!  Get a KTN!


Use the United app for easy booking and flying for both space available and myUAdiscounttravel. To learn more, go to Flying Together > Travel > United app & Pass Travel tab (in the left column). Or click this RAFA page link for more info: Use the United app and link with Mileage Plus.

KTN:Join a Trusted Traveler Program to obtain a “Known Traveler Number” to be eligible for TSA PreCheck and expedited customs/immigration entry. Visit Flying Together > Travel > “Preparing for Travel” (left column) > “Trusted Traveler Programs”.   Links on that page will take you directly to sign up on the GOES system. There are various programs with different pricing.

Once signed up online, you will apply for an interview (the first available interview for me was 4 months later!).  Revisit the webpage often to try and move up your interview date. Some locations have drop-in wait lists for interviews. Take a good book, you may have to wait awhile!

IMPORTANT! After you pass the in-person interview you MUST input your “KTN” (Known Traveler Number) in two places:

1) For space available travel put the KTN in "My profile"

      On a computer: Go to > Travel > employeeRES > My profile > Manage profile
   Scroll down to Employee Identification information and fill in the Known traveler no.
 Scroll down to hit Save identification info.
     On a mobile device: Got to > employeeRES > Quick Links > Employee travel profile > My profile > Manage profile.
        Scroll down to Employee identification information and fill in the Known traveler no.

Scroll down to hit Save identification info..

2) For revenue travel (including use of myUAdiscount) go to your MileagePlus account > MileagePlus > My Account > Profile > Edit Traveler Information > Known Traveler Number

For both space-available and revenue (myUAdiscount) travel: use the United app linked with your Mileage Plus number AND join a Trusted Traveler Program; you will fly like the wind!

5) More flights! Enhance your Pass Riding bucket list

Starting October 2017:

Daily LAX-SIN (Singapore)

Daily EWR-EZE (Buenos Aires)

More frequency begins December 20th to Hawaii: 

DEN-KOA, DEN-LIH and DEN-OGG will become daily, year round.

LAX-ITO will increase to daily. LAX-KOA & LAX LIH increase to 2x daily. LAX-OGG increases to  3x daily.

ORD-OGG will increase to daily (except Tue/Wed)

SFO-KOA increases to 3x daily. SFO-LIH to 2x daily. SFO-OGG to 5x daily.

Current flights to HNL will continue from DEN & ORD (daily), LAX & SFO (5x daily).

UA also connects to HNL daily from IAH, EWR, IAD, GUM & NRT. 

Starting January 2018 (subject to govt approval)

Daily IAH-SYD (Sydney)

New flights to Europe for summer 2018:  

Daily EWR-OPO (Oporto)  757  May 4th -Oct 4th

Daily EWR-KEF (Reykjavik)  757  May 23rd - Oct 4th

Daily SFO-ZRH (Zurich)  787-8   Jun 7th - Oct 27th

Daily IAH-EDI (Edinburgh)  757  May 23rd - Oct 4th

6) Discounts on cars, cruises, hotels

The website offers discounts for employees and retirees on hotels, cruises, resorts, and rental cars when you travel for leisure. It’s easy to book and to save as much as 60 percent off! Simply click on the ID90 Travel banner in employeeRES (you may have already noticed it under ‘My ePass Balances’) when you make your space available travel plans to see what discounts are available at your destination or search for exclusive rates at more than 380,000 destinations worldwide.

7) “Recent News” on Flying Together>News

Click the dark blue “Recent News” link above to see other stories. 

Here are some you might like:

06/19: MERGED CMS for Flight Attendants October 2018

06/29: Mileage Plus changes

06/30: History of United at SFO Museum

07/06Diversity in London

07/11: Oscar stands with United Flight Attendants

07/20: John Slater to become Inflight SVP

07/26: Non-stop DEN-LHR in March 2018

08/08: New flights to ski resorts this winter

08/17: No more early-outs! But there's insurance if you retire

09/01: Hurricane Harvey relief

09/11: Oscar: We will never forget

09/12: More ways to get to Europe next summer

09/18: Farewell Flight for 747: SFO-HNL Nov 7th

09/20: Safety is Global III new inflight video

10/02: Oscar: Compassion for Las Vegas victims

10/02: Pax can name their price to change oversold flight

Here’s a 7/18/2017 Airwise article about $10 billion renovation of JFK:

8) Have you seen our RAFA website?

   Check out the Travel Benefits tab here:

  Read the Pass Travel Program Summary, helpful links, phone numbers and more.

For other Pass Travel Topics: Previous Travel UPDATES

Compiled by Kirk Moore, RAFA Travel Benefits Committee            

© Retiree Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software