Just in time for the busy summer travel season, United Airlines is introducing ConnectionSaver, a new tool dedicated to improving the experience for customers connecting from one United flight to the next. ConnectionSaver is powered by new technology that automatically identifies departing flights that can be held for connecting customers, while ensuring those who have already boarded the aircraft arrive at their destination on time. ConnectionSaver also sends personalized text messages to every connecting customer (who has opted in to receive notifications) with clear directions to the gate for their connecting flight and information about how long the walk will take.
United's ConnectionSaver technology automatically scans flights for customers who are making tight connections to determine if the connecting flight can be held without inconveniencing other customers. The ConnectionSaver tool takes into account factors such as the time it will take for late connecting customers to travel gate-to-gate as well as the impact the hold may have on other flights and customers.
"Through improved technology and our dedication to running a reliable operation, customers with tight connections are making their flights. With summer travel picking up, as many as 150,000 customers will make connections on United flights every day and our goal is to provide our employees and these customers with the most up-to-date information to make connecting as stress-free as possible," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United.
United launched its ConnectionSaver tool on all flights at Denver International Airport in February, and then expanded it to Chicago O'Hare International Airport – two of the airline's busiest hubs with thousands of connecting customers every day. During the past four months, more than 14,400 customers, who would have otherwise missed their connections, were able to make their flights thanks to ConnectionSaver. Flights that were held for connecting customers were delayed an average of six minutes. This ConnectionSaver technology will expand to the airline's hubs by this fall and to all other airports that United operates at in the future.
"ConnectionSaver only works if it allows us to care for as many customers as possible – without inconveniencing others – and that's exactly what this technology has shown it can do. We're determined to capitalize on as many opportunities as possible to better serve and care for our customers and that's part of what sets United apart from our competitors," said Enqvist.
The ConnectionSaver program also includes text notifications personalized for customers making connections through the airline's hub airports, that will help them navigate and travel efficiently to the gate for their next flight. Once customers land at their connecting airport, they will receive a text message that tells them the gate where they are arriving, the gate where they will depart and the expected travel time between the two gates. The texts will also include a link with step-by-step directions to the next gate and a map of nearby amenities.
Earlier this year United added more detailed and helpful connection information to its reimagined mobile app. Customers using the latest version of the app will be prompted with information about their arrival and departing gates and a map of the airport once they land.
Every customer. Every flight. Every day.
In 2019, United is focusing more than ever on its commitment to its customers, looking at every aspect of its business to ensure that the carrier keeps customers' best interests at the heart of its service. In addition to today's announcement, United recently announced that luxury skincare line Sunday Riley will make products exclusively for United customers to experience in amenity kits, released a re-imagined version of the most downloaded app in the airline industry and made DIRECTV free for every passenger on 211 aircraft, offering more than 100 channels on seat back monitors on more than 30,000 seats.