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United aims to reduce wait times by sending vouchers to phones

When a flight is canceled or delayed more than 60 minutes, United says its app can automatically notify customers.
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Posted at 3:54 PM, Jun 23, 2023

United Airlines wants to cut down on the amount of time people wait to talk to an agent, especially when there is an issue with their flight. 

The company announced this week that its new mobile app offers various features that allow customers make changes to their itinerary. 

"Our goal is to get our customers to their destination on time, but we know things don't always go as planned and that's when a tool like this can make a real difference," said Linda Jojo, chief customer officer for United.

When a flight is canceled or delayed more than 60 minutes, United says its app can automatically notify customers. They can then use the tool to book other options.

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In addition, United said the app will automatically load vouchers for hotels, meals and rideshare services when a customer is eligible for them.

The airline said it began testing the app last year, noting that customers "responded well" to the updates. The company adds that airport employees appreciated that fewer customers were forced to wait in line for services that were available at their fingertips. 

For those issues that the app cannot handle, United says it can connect customers with an agent vial call, text or video chat.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 19% of all flights arrived late last year. The cancellation rate for all airlines was about 4%. So far in 2023, delays are up to about 21% and cancellations have dropped to 1.65%.