With more and more cancellations all the time, travelers have looked for resources to quickly get updates and reschedule flights. United Airlines has heard the call for an easy-to-understand and streamlined way for travelers to re-book flights and get transparency about cancellations. They recently updated their app to speed up the process and give customers the best solution when their flight plans change.
Previously, rescheduling flights required travelers to book a flight by phone, online, or wait in line at the airport. Now, you have all of the information necessary to see how long your flight will be delayed and book another flight in its place. United said that over 50% of their customers use the app or website during delays and cancellations, so they wanted to improve the experience.
According to United Airlines, “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. Plus, it's another example of United's continued investment in new technology and tools.”
Once a flight has been delayed by 60 minutes, United customers will get access to several options. You will be able to see delay estimations and get notifications if your flight gets delayed further or re-booked. United will also display meal, hotel, and ride vouchers when applicable if your flight is delayed too long or canceled altogether.
You don’t need to take action when your flight is delayed as the United app will offer you options as soon as the time comes. This automation is possible because of how frequently United updates its system with flight information. Customers who don’t use the app can still request flight information and reschedule flights, but they will have to call United or speak to representatives at the airport.
It’s also much easier to contact a United agent directly through the app. Customers can reach United representatives via video chat, call, or text. This makes it easier to get clarification and further explore your options if you are unsatisfied with the rescheduled flights available without having to visit the service desk at the airport.
The newly updated app also lets you track your checked bags from the time you turn the over to when the flight lands. United customers that don’t use the app can still sign up for delay and cancellation notifications online, but the app offers more features. As of May 2023, United Airlines was the first airline to offer Live Activities.
This gives travelers access to a flight countdown timer, gate information, and their boarding passes. Never before have travelers had access to key flight information leading up to the moment of the flight. You have the option to leave your flight countdown on at the top of your fun screen even when you use other apps.
Not only does the new app help United customers but it is also poised to help declutter airports and reduce wait times. Fewer customers will need to brave the long lines at United’s customer service desk at the airport. Unfortunately, United flights frequently face delays and cancellations because of the location of many of the airports they operate out of, according to a representative.
The new and improved United app may seem like it came out of nowhere, but it dates back to November 2022. United took advantage of the busy holiday travel season to slowly implement the new re-booking features. It wasn’t until now that the new upgrades were integrated into the app.
United Airlines has recently seen an increase in flight punctuality. According to Forbes, 76.9% of United’s flights were on time throughout March. This puts them in the company of the other most punctual airlines, including Delta and Alaska Airlines.
Even still, United Airlines falls behind the most punctual airlines by at least 2%-3% per month much of the time. While the new app may not improve United’s punctuality, it makes it much easier for customers to get quick solutions for delays and cancellations. The latest update is still new, but United’s recent commitment to customer service implies that they will support and improve it for years to come.