United adds maps function to app

14 Aug 2015 by GrahamSmith

United app airport mapUnited Airlines has updated its mobile app with new rebooking functions and interactive indoor maps of seven US airports.

The carrier said the new maps enable passengers to search "quickly" for nearby shops, restaurants, cash machines, toilets and other services.

Walking times are estimated and passengers can place a pin at their exact location at any moment. If passengers have a boarding pass stored in the app, then the technology will automatically default to start navigation at the specific gate.

Currently, there are maps available for United's hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York Newark, San Francisco and Washington DC. More airports are due to be "added soon".

United said it is testing bluetooth "low-energy beacons" in Newark airport to pinpoint a user's location, thereby eliminating the need to pin your own location.

The airline is also expanding rebooking functions on the app so that in the event of a delayed or cancelled flight, passengers can choose from options including alternate airports and "if a confirmed seat isn't available on their preferred flights, add themselves to a standby list for an earlier flight".

Scott Wilson, United vice president of ecommerce and merchandising, said: "Travellers are accustomed to using maps and navigation apps throughout their daily lives – and that shouldn't end when they walk into the airport.

"These new features of our app will make travel easier and more personal for our customers."

The app update is available for iOS software and is "coming soon" for Android devices.

United introduced new amenity kits on long-haul flights earlier this month (see news, July 8).

Graham Smith

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