After a five-month trial run at two of its biggest hubs, United Airlines has decided to expand its new ConnectionSaver app to more airports across the country that are serviced by United.
The app works in two ways. It sends personalized text messages to United passengers with information about their connecting flights—the next gate, how long it will take to get there and nearby amenities.
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But if time is of the essence, the app also alerts gate agents and crew of the connecting flight to be aware that passengers are on their way and to hold the flight—for whatever is considered a reasonable amount of time—in order to make the transfer.
United told USA TODAY, “The tool takes that all into account when deciding whether or not to hold the departing aircraft. The goal of the tool is to help connecting customers while not inconveniencing others. So if it will cause customers who are already boarded to miss their connections, or for the plane to arrive at its destination late, the tool will not advise for the departing flight to hold.”
United said the test run for ConnectionSaver at its headquarters at Chicago’s O’Gare International Airport and at another busy hub, Denver International Airport, more than 14,400 customers who had connecting flights were able to make their flights thanks to the app.
“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,” United Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist said in a press release. “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.”
United plans on rolling out the app at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Newark-Liberty International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport by August 13. More airports will be added after summer.