United Airlines has introduced a new mobile app feature to streamline you experience in case of travel disruptions. The feature presents personalized re-booking options, bag tracking, and meal or hotel vouchers when eligible.
Why the New Feature
Despite United’s performance claims of low mainline flight and seat cancellation rates, some flights are still affected by weather, mechanical issues, or other unforeseen circumstances that force delays or cancellations. According to United, nearly 50% of customers already self-serve during disruptions using the app or website and this new feature aims to enhance transparency, save time, and reduce customer stress during disruptions.
How It Works
• Users are notified through the app about flight delays or cancellations exceeding 60 minutes.
• They can check the status of their flight and their re-booking status.
• The new feature allows bag tracking and viewing of eligible hotel, meal and/or rideshare vouchers.
• Users can also virtually connect with a United customer service agent for assistance through text, phone or video chat.
“Our goal is to get our customers to their destination on time, but we know things don’t always go as planned and that’s when a tool like this can make a real difference. Our new mobile app feature offers more transparency, saves time and reduces stress for our customers, and it shortens lines at customer service desks so our employees can better assist passengers with complex issues or questions.”Linda Jojo, Chief Customer Officer for United
The Broader Context
This initiative is a continuation of United’s efforts to leverage technology for improving customer experience. Prior changes to that end include:
• Free family seating: a feature that ensures children under 12 are seated next to an adult in their party, even in Basic Economy.
• Automated customer communications: real-time updates on boarding, gate location, disruptions, and more, providing real-time flight status information via text message.
• Flexible refunds and travel credits: launched in September 2021, these options allow customers to easily find, apply, and combine credits at check-out.
• No change fees: introduced in August 2020, this policy abandoned change fees, and allows more flexibility for travel plans by offering all customers the ability to fly same-day standby for free.
Editorial Note: Information and opinions articulated in this article are solely those of the author’s, not those of a credit card company, bank, airline or hotel chain. This article has not been reviewed or approved by or otherwise endorsed by any of these companies or organizations.