CHICAGO, IL – United Airlines customers flying through the airline’s hubs in the continental United States will now find navigating through the airport easier and more interactive. United has updated its mobile app to include:
• New, interactive indoor maps for its Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington hubs, with more airports to be added soon
• “Indoor location” functionality, currently in beta testing for customers traveling through Newark Liberty International Airport, using beacons to help customers navigate the airline’s Terminal C complex
• New self-booking functions that offer more options for faster re-booking in the event of a flight delay or cancellation
The updates are available for iOS devices and are coming soon for Android devices.
New, Easy-to-Use Hub Maps
The new, interactive maps enable customers to search quickly for nearby airport vendors and services such as restaurants, ATM locations or family restrooms, and enable travelers to easily navigate to gates throughout the terminal. Several airport maps also include navigation to rental car facilities and on-site airport hotels.
If customers have a boarding pass stored in the app, the map will automatically default to start navigation at that specific gate location. Alternatively, the user can place a pin at his or her current location to indicate where he or she is in the airport. The app will guide customers to their desired destinations within the terminal, estimating walk times to make flight connections that much easier.
“Travelers are accustomed to using maps and navigation apps throughout their daily lives – and that shouldn’t end when they walk into the airport,” said Scott Wilson, United’s vice president of eCommerce and Merchandising. “These new features of our app will make travel easier and more personal for our customers.”
United tapped LocusLabs – a San Francisco-based tech start-up that provides the most information-rich indoor maps, search, and location services in the industry – to create and scale-out the custom indoor experience for the app.
“Indoor Location” Feature for Newark Travelers
Taking navigation a step further, United is testing additional map functionality for customers using the app at the airline’s New York/Newark hub. Through the use of Bluetooth low-energy beacons, the Newark Liberty airport map will use “indoor location” technology to pinpoint a user’s location within the airport to navigate toward various locations – eliminating the need for the user to pin his or her location. United intends to expand the feature to other airports based on customer feedback.
Self-service Tools for Quicker Re-booking
United is also expanding the self-service functions available to customers in the event of a flight delay, cancellation or missed connection. Through a few clicks in the app, customers may choose from a variety of flight options including alternate airports or, if a confirmed seat isn’t available on their preferred flights, add themselves to a standby list for an earlier flight.
United’s mobile app has seen more than 20 million downloads since its launch in November 2013 and is one of the top-five travel apps in Apple’s App Store. In 2014, United was the first U.S. airline to enable customers to scan their passports to check in for international flights via their mobile devices, and it was the first airline to partner with Uber for ground transportation services through the airline’s app.
This year, United was named as an honoree in the Mobile Sites & Apps – Travel category for The Webby Awards and was also named a Digital Edge 25 award winner by IDG Enterprise for its use of mobile technology.
For two decades, United has led the industry with self-service and mobile technology solutions for flyers. The airline was the first U.S. carrier to deploy self-check-in kiosks in its airport terminals, first to introduce mobile boarding passes and first to offer mobile boarding at all of the domestic airports it serves.