United Airlines to let passengers pay for airport food and drinks using award miles

A Boeing 787 in United  Airlines livery

United Airlines is to install more than 6,000 iPads across Terminal C of Newark Liberty International Airport to enable members of the airline’s MileagePlus reward scheme to use their award miles to pay for food, beverages and other airport amenities. Support for NFC payments is expected to be added in the future.

The iPads are being provided by technology provider OTG as part of a US$120m project to transform the shopping and dining experience at the terminal and can also be used by passengers to view arrival and departure information.

“Customers will be able to scan their boarding pass or enter their MileagePlus number on any of the almost 6,000 iPads that will be available throughout the terminal’s restaurants, bars and gate areas when the project is complete,” the companies say.

“The iPad will display the customer’s up-to-date flight information and offer dining or beverage options in up to 20 different languages. The cost of the items will be displayed in both dollars and miles and at checkout, MileagePlus members will have the option to pay with award miles, offering a seamless experience for the savvy traveler.”

“Apple Pay, Softcard and other NFC-based mobile payment technologies are anticipated with the permanent program for Terminal C,” United Airlines, which recently announced that its MileagePlus credit cards can be added to Softcard’s NFC mobile wallet, told NFC World+.

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