United Airlines today announced a new mobile app feature that aims to save customers time and reduce stress if their travel plans get disrupted. Now, instead of waiting in line to talk to an agent or search for new options, the airline’s new self-service tool automatically presents travelers personalized re-booking options, bag tracking information and meal and hotel vouchers when eligible if their flight is delayed or canceled.
While United had the lowest mainline flight and seat cancellation rates of any airline in the country during the first three months of the year, the carrier still has the most flights impacted by weather given the location of its major domestic hubs.
According to the airline, nearly 50% of its customers already turn to the app or united.com to self-serve during disruptions, so United began beta testing the new feature at the end of last year. United found that customers responded well to having alternate travel options automatically served to them in the app and that airport employees appreciated reducing the number of people physically waiting in line.
When a flight is delayed by more than 60 minutes or canceled, customers will automatically see options for delays and cancellations on the home screen of the United mobile app. Here’s how it works:
- Get notified: Click the link in the automatic text notification or enter flight details in the mobile app or united.comto open the tool. For customers who have their reservation already loaded in the app, they’ll see a prompt right on the home screen.
- Check flight and re-booking status: Confirm the status of your flight and see if you’ve been re-booked. Customers also have the option to look at other flight options and book based on their preference.
- Track your bags: Follow the status of your checked luggage to see when it is checked-in, loaded on your flight and received at your final destination.
- View eligible vouchers: Receive hotel, meal and/or rideshare vouchers if eligible.
- Connect to a United customer service agent virtually: Call, text or video chat with one of hundreds of United agents who can offer the same assistance as the agents at the airport.
For those without the United mobile app, the self-service tool is accessible on a mobile device or computer at united.com, and customers still have the option to connect in-person with a customer service agent.