United Airlines Redesigns Mobile App to be More Accessible for People with Visual Disabilities - United Hub

United Airlines Redesigns Mobile App to be More Accessible for People with Visual Disabilities

United increased color contrast, added more space between graphics and reorganized page flows to result in better integration with screen reader technologies;
October 28, 2020

CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today launches a redesigned version of its mobile app, with new enhancements intended to make travel easier for people with visual disabilities. Throughout its award-winning app, the carrier has increased color contrast, added more space between graphics and reordered how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with the screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack that are built into most handheld devices and read aloud on-screen messages and notifications. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app. According to the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, more than 25 million Americans have self-reported travel-limiting disability. The improved accessibility of the app is just one of the ways United is continuing its commitment to accessibility and inclusion of customers with disabilities.

"The parts of the travel experience that we all take for granted like checking luggage, getting your flight status and accessing a boarding pass can still be a challenge for someone with a visual disability," said Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President for Technology and Chief Digital Officer, United. "These new accessibility enhancements are part of our continuing commitment to level the playing field, unlock all the customer benefits of our app and give people with disabilities more independence while traveling."

Visually impaired customers will notice that these changes make it easier to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more. Ray Campbell, a member of United's digital team who's visually impaired and sits on the board of the American Council of the Blind, played a key role in helping redesign the app, and walks through how these changes make flying easier for him in this video.

"Optimizing mobile apps for tools such as VoiceOver and TalkBack has been a game changer, allowing people with visual disabilities to fully utilize smartphone technology in their daily lives," said Campbell. "It's just as important for someone with a visual disability to easily access day-of-travel information and features as for any other customer. By improving the accessibility of the United app, we are truly living out United's mission of caring for all customers."

Beyond the accessibility changes, the United digital team enhanced the current offering while keeping the features that helped the app win a Webby People's Voice award in 2019.

  • For our MileagePlus® program members, the app now features a refreshed account experience for members to easily check balances, track Premier® progress, explore MileagePlus benefits, access past activity and more, all in one place.
  • The airline is also expanding a popular feature previously only accessible to MileagePlus members. Now, all 37 million customers who have the United app will see a contextualized home screen starting 48 hours before their flight which provides dynamic updates based on where a customer is in their travel journey. For example, customers can see the boarding status of their flight on their homescreen, access personal device entertainment onboard with one click, find a link to a map with gate-to-gate directions for connecting flights and click a quick access button to track any checked bags upon arrival.
  • United made slight tweaks to navigation based on customer feedback to make the app more intuitive, including making the bottom navigation persistent throughout the app. Another example is the "More" menu, which was reorganized and now contains the "Inbox" feature, which includes timely messages about boarding announcements, gate changes and other travel updates.
  • Customers will notice a new color palette that's consistent with the refreshed branding the airline debuted in 2019. United's digital team also made subtle design adjustments to make things more consistent and easier to find, like always using a purple bar to highlight the main call-to-action on a page and ensuring alerts and flight status icons appear the same way in every page on the app.
  • All of these changes are underpinned by a new back-end platform, which will ultimately make the app faster and more responsive.

The redesigned app is available for download today for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® devices (as an iPhone app) and for Android devices.

Since the start of the pandemic, United has been a leader among U.S. airlines in enacting new policies and innovations designed to keep employees and passengers safer when traveling. It was the first U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, quickly following with all customers and employees. United was also among the first U.S. carriers to announce it wouldn't permit customers who refused to comply with the airline's mandatory mask policy to fly with them while the face mask policy is in place. United was also the first U.S. airline to roll out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and the first to require passengers take an online health assessment before traveling. The airline also recently announced it will apply Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to its entire mainline and express fleet before the end of the year.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

United Strengthens Sustainability Commitment Through Collaboration with More Than a Dozen New Community Organizations

Airline supports organizations focused on clean-technology innovation, recycling strategies, and grassroots environmental education and justice

United works with more environmental, nonprofit partners than any other major U.S. airline

May 13, 2021

CHICAGO, May 13, 2021 – United announced today that it has teamed up with more than a dozen new environmental, nonprofit partners to advance sustainability efforts across the airline's hub cities as well as Hawaii, complementing the airline's commitment to become 100% green and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 100% by 2050.

United Expands Beer, Wine and Snacks to Nearly All Flights Over Two Hours

Starting in June, White Claw® Hard Seltzer, beer, wine and all-new snack menu items will be available for purchase using United's contactless payment technology
May 12, 2021

CHICAGO, May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting June 1, United customers on most flights over two hours will be able to purchase beer, wine and White Claw® Hard Seltzer, making United the first major airline to offer the hard seltzer onboard its aircraft. On June 15, United will introduce a revamped menu of for-purchase snacks and brand-new premium cabin meal options on most flights over 1,500 miles and hub-to-hub flights over 800 miles or more than two hours. Customers will be able to purchase these offerings from the Buy-On-Board menu using United's new mobile wallet technology.

United and Abbott Partner to Make Return to U.S. "Worry Free" for International Travelers with Home-Testing Kits

Newly issued guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now accepts rapid, self-administered testing option that meet its criteria
May 12, 2021

CHICAGO and ABBOTT PARK, Ill., May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United and Abbott today announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration to use Abbott's BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Home Test and Abbott's NAVICA app to help make the international travel experience more seamless. Recently updated CDC guidelines permit travelers to self-administer a rapid antigen test under the real-time supervision of a telehealth service and use the verified negative test result to board an international flight to the U.S. if they test negative.

United Airlines Expands India Relief Efforts with Online Fundraising Campaign

Airline providing up to 5 million bonus miles for donations and matching up to $40,000 in cash donations to disaster relief partners
May 04, 2021

CHICAGO, May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, United Airlines expands its efforts to support those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in India with the launch of a new online fundraising campaign. Customers can donate to the airline's relief partners: Airlink, Americares, GlobalGiving Foundation and World Central Kitchen. United is offering up to 5 million bonus miles to encourage MileagePlus® members to support this effort and will match each donation up to a total of $40,000 in cash donations. In addition, United is currently the only U.S. airline serving India, and over the last few days has helped transport more than 300,000 pounds of critical medical supplies to the region.

"Throughout the pandemic, we have been committed to leveraging our resources and relationships to provide support to communities hit hardest by COVID-19," said Luc Bondar, vice president of marketing & loyalty and president of MileagePlus at United. "As India faces this crisis, our generous customers, employees and MileagePlus members have stepped forward to ask how they can support those in need, and we are proud and humbled to facilitate this critical work."

United is working directly with its partner organizations, as well as engaging with community leaders to assist the impacted communities. Focus areas for some of the airline's partners include:

  • Airlink: Transportation of medical supplies and PPE
  • Americares: Supporting COVID-19 treatment facilities, donating critical medical equipment, PPE and supplies for health workers and educating the community on COVID-19 prevention and vaccination.
  • World Central Kitchen: Hot meal distribution to health care workers by partnering with local restaurants

In addition to its fundraising efforts, United will also continue to leverage its cargo operations to transport greatly needed medical equipment to the region. Between April 28 and May 2, United operated 20 flights that transported more than 300,000 pounds of medical supplies to India. This included donations from the U.S. India Chamber of Commerce and the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce in Houston that brought 50 ventilators through the USICOC Foundation to the Indian Red Cross Society. United is continuing to coordinate humanitarian cargo efforts with partner, Airlink, which provides tactical coordination to help break through supply chain barriers to execute rapid response airlifts of humanitarian aid. United has proudly served India since 2005 and employs more than 300 individuals in the country. The online campaign platform is currently scheduled to be available for donations through June 15. United will continue to evaluate how it can provide support to the region.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of UAL is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

United Celebrates 40 Years of MileagePlus by Awarding Millions of Miles to Healthcare Workers

Airline celebrates loyalty program anniversary with contest to recognize healthcare workers
May 03, 2021

CHICAGO, May 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the MileagePlus® program this month, and to recognize this milestone the airline is giving away four million miles to essential healthcare workers. The contest will recognize four deserving healthcare workers with one million miles each. In addition, United is showing its appreciation to MileagePlus members around the world with domestic and international fare sales, surprise customer giveaways and 10 exclusive promotions with MileagePlus partners.

United Offers MileagePlus Premier Members Bonus Miles and New (Faster) Ways to Earn Premier Status

MileagePlus® Premier® members can "Pick Your Path" with three offers designed to provide value to members whether they're ready to travel now, or if they plan to begin flying at a later date
April 29, 2021

CHICAGO, April 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today introduced three new promotions that let eligible MileagePlus Premier members "Pick Your Path" depending on their upcoming travel plans. The new promotions give members the chance to fast track their Premier status or earn bonus miles and will run from April 29 to July 27, 2021. Offers include:

  • A 'Welcome-back Bonus' promotion that gives members deposits of bonus Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) for their first three trips.
  • An 'Easy PQP' offer which provides member with a PQP deposit without needing to travel.
  • And an offer which allows members to earn double miles through the MileagePlus X app.

"While demand for travel is steadily increasing, we recognize that different customers are beginning to return to travel at different times," said Luc Bondar United's vice president of marketing and loyalty and President of MileagePlus. "Offering three separate promotions allows us to meet our Premier members where they are and gives our members the opportunity to select an offer that is meaningful to them whether they're ready to travel now or if they'd rather receive miles to save for a trip later on."

Welcome-back Bonus PQP

United is offering an option for eligible Premier members to earn up to 25% of the outright PQPs required for their current status level with the Welcome-back Bonus PQP offer. Combined with the 25% PQP deposit that United gave members at the start of this year, members who choose this option will have the opportunity to earn half of the PQP-only requirement to requalify for their status level.

Easy PQP

Premier members who aren't planning any travel before July 27, 2021 can choose to receive a 10% deposit of the outright PQP requirement for their current status level with the Easy PQP option. Members will automatically receive between 350 and 1,500 PQPs depending on their status level.

Bonus Miles Through MileagePlus X

Eligible U.S.-based Premier members who prefer to save up for their next trip can choose to earn double miles (up to 10,000 bonus miles total) on all transactions made with MileagePlus X. With the MileagePlus X app, members can buy eGift cards from hundreds of merchants, dine at participating restaurants, or shop online and earn miles for each purchase.

Members have until May 13, 2021 to choose their promotion option or they will be automatically enrolled in the Welcome-back Bonus PQP offer. To be eligible, members must have held Premier status on April 19, 2021. Eligible Premier members can visit united.com/pickyourpath or sign into the MileagePlus X app to make their selection.

These new offerings build on announcements United introduced last year including reducing Premier qualifying thresholds, automatically giving members 25% of the PQP requirements for their status level and offering additional promotions for travel earlier this year. To learn about all of the changes United made to its Premier program in the last year visit https://mileageplusupdates.com/.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

 

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

United Airlines Continues to Build Summer Network, Adding Over 480 Daily Flights to its U.S. June Schedule

Airline restarting 16 routes and adding nine new routes to destinations including Hawaii, Alaska and national parks
April 23, 2021

CHICAGO, April 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In June, United will fly its largest schedule since before the pandemic to meet growing demand for summer travel. The airline is adding more than 480 daily flights to its U.S. schedule to offer an average of over 3,100 total daily domestic flights to more than 240 U.S. destinations. This includes the addition of new flights to Hawaii, Alaska and Montana. Overall, United plans to fly 67% of its domestic schedule and 60% of its overall network schedule compared to its 2019 June schedule.

United Customers Can Now Schedule COVID Tests and be Automatically Cleared for Travel Directly through the Travel-Ready Center

United's industry-leading digital platform gets even more useful with the ability to schedule tests and have results directly verified through United's Travel-Ready Center on web and mobile
April 21, 2021

CHICAGO, April 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the Travel-Ready Center launched in January, United customers have been able to easily access testing or vaccine requirements needed for travel destinations, upload completed testing results and vaccine records as well as have them verified, all within the United App. Today, the industry-leading digital platform gets even better as customers can now choose from more than 200 COVID-19 testing providers across the country, book appointments and receive confirmation whether their test results meet their destination's requirements. Once the test is validated, customers will see a status indicator informing them that they are "travel-ready" and receive their mobile boarding pass. United is the only airline that offers its customers these services as part of an integrated experience within its app and website and since launch, the airline has processed more than 275,000 COVID-19 tests through the Travel-Ready Center.

United Releases First-Quarter Financial Results - Rebounding Demand is Driving Clear Path to Profitability

Expects positive adjusted EBITDA margins* later this year
April 19, 2021

CHICAGO, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced first-quarter 2021 financial results. The company has its eyes on the future, making continued progress on its commitment to remove $2 billion in structural costs and investing in key customer programs that will position the airline to capitalize on the recovery of business travel and long-haul international demand.

United Airlines Adds New Flights to Croatia, Greece and Iceland as Countries Begin to Reopen to Vaccinated Travelers

United is the only airline that allows customers to upload vaccine results within its mobile app and website through the airline's Travel-Ready Center
April 19, 2021

CHICAGO, April 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United is adding three new flights to its international network, giving travelers more options for summer travel by flying direct to countries that are starting to reopen to vaccinated visitors. Starting in July, United will offer new direct flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Dubrovnik, Croatia, from Washington Dulles International Airport to Athens, Greece and from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Reykjavik, Iceland, all subject to government approval.

United Airlines to Lead Industry Switch to Sustainable Aviation Fuel with Global Corporations, Customers

New United Eco-Skies Alliance Program includes global corporate leaders who, with United, will pay towards more sustainable aviation fuel, all companies invited to participate
April 13, 2021

CHICAGO, April 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines continues to lead the industry towards a more sustainable future with the launch of the first-of-its-kind Eco-Skies Alliance SM program. Working with the airline, more than a dozen leading global corporations will collectively contribute towards the purchase of approximately 3.4 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) this year. With its nearly 80% emissions reductions on a lifecycle basis compared to conventional jet fuel, this is enough SAF to eliminate approximately 31,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, or enough to fly passengers over 220 million miles.

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