United.com online check-in is usually pretty reliable. It always “just works,” except when it doesn’t. Now is one of those times for me. When I tried to check in, I got the dreaded message below:
This is a pretty ambiguous message, and it often means there’s a plane swap happening. As you can see, this flight is supposed to be a 767. How do we find out if a plane swap is the issue? Oddly enough, we have to go to United’s cargo website, unitedcargo.com. Now when you get to the cargo site, don’t check the status of the flight. Instead, check the schedules.
So click the schedule, enter in your flight routing, and then you’ll get a table like below:
As you can see, flight 847 is down there on the bottom, listed as a 747. And when UA does a plane swap, they don’t let you check in online. So anyhow… I like 747s better, and since I booked my ticket late, I had a bad seat in the back on the 767. So this plane swap will hopefully benefit me. Now I just need that upgrade to clear!
So if your flight doesn’t let you check in online, this is how you find out for yourself. I’m not sure why UA doesn’t tell you, maybe because they don’t want to alarm the non frequent fliers.