Vaccinated? You could win free United flights — in any cabin — for a year

May 24, 2021

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Getting a COVID-19 vaccine now includes some sweet travel perks — if you’re one of the winners in United’s newest sweepstakes.

On Monday, the Chicago-based carrier announced its “Your Shot to Fly” campaign, in support of the Biden administration’s effort to encourage more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

As part of the promotion, 30 lucky MileagePlus members will win a round-trip flight for two, in any class of service, to anywhere in the world United flies. Five grand-prize winners will receive one year of free travel worldwide — in any cabin — for themselves and a companion. Note that the grand prize is limited to a total of 26 round-trip flights taken during the year.

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To enter the sweepstakes, MileagePlus members will need to upload their vaccination certificate between May 24 and June 22 to the carrier’s mobile app or website at If you’re using the mobile app, look for the United Travel-Ready Center when uploading your certificate. The promo is limited to one entry per person.

(Photo courtesy of United)

The winners of the 30 free round-trip tickets will be selected at random throughout the month of June, while the grand-prize winners will be announced on July 1.

To be eligible, you need to be at least 18 years or older, and a U.S. resident who’s received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine — any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines will work.

Since these sweepstakes are designed to encourage those who haven’t yet received their shot to go out and get vaccinated, United isn’t requiring a completed vaccination series to be eligible. (To be considered fully vaccinated according to the CDC, you’ll need to wait two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks after the second shot of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.)

The “Your Shot to Fly” campaign is only open to MileagePlus members — if you’re not yet a member, you can enroll during the promotion to become eligible. All flights won as part of the sweepstakes must originate in the U.S. and take place on United or United Express.

Though the sweepstakes are designed to encourage vaccination, United is offering a mail-in entry option for those who are unable to receive the shot due to medical reasons, or for those who have privacy concerns with uploading their vaccination certificate. You’ll need to send a completed affidavit that explains your ineligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, along with your MileagePlus profile details to MileagePlus Vax Sweepstakes, PO Box 158, Freeburg, IL 62243-0158.

In explaining the campaign, United CEO Scott Kirby said that “thanks to the vaccine, more and more destinations are opening up for travel – and we know our customers are eager to fly. We’re excited to give people one more reason to get vaccinated so they can reunite with friends and family or take that long-awaited vacation which all could be just one shot away.”

In fact, the vaccine is at least partially responsible for some of United’s new long-haul routes. The Chicago-based carrier recently announced new nonstop service to Croatia, Greece and Iceland — three countries that are reopening to vaccinated Americans. These routes join existing flights to Italy, Portugal, Spain and France, among others, that are on the docket to resume this summer, as these countries also reopen to vaccinated tourists.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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