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 Airlines Receives Hospital-Grade Certification for Cleaning and Safety

United is the first of the four largest U.S airlines to be certified Diamond by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying
January 12, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, United Airlines was recognized by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying for providing a hospital-grade standard of cleanliness and safety during the travel journey. United is the first airline among the four largest U.S. carriers to receive the highest possible certification - Diamond - in the new APEX Health Safety audit powered by SimpliFlying. This new scientifically-based certification is designed to create a recognized, global standard for health and safety across the aviation industry.

"Since the start of this pandemic, United has been committed to pursuing industry leading safety measures to protect the wellbeing of our customers and employees," said Sasha Johnson, United's vice president of Corporate Safety. "This recognition from APEX and SimpliFlying underscores that United will continue to innovate and raise the standard when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19."

To achieve this certification, United submitted detailed responses for audit against a 58-point checklist covering ten categories, including things like testing, contact tracing, on-the-ground procedures, in-flight measures, and strategic partnerships. For each cleaning and safety measure noted on the checklist, United shared proof points for further review by the APEX and SimpliFlying experts. United's certification as a Diamond airline means that the company's initiatives were at least 200 points above the gold-standard baseline APEX and SimpliFlying established as the minimum required to ensure passenger safety and well-being.

"United Airlines' tremendous customer-centric investments definitively merited the Diamond level of health safety across a broad scoreboard of categories focused on passenger wellbeing," APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader said.  "We applaud United's thought-leadership across key initiatives that have benefited both customers of United Airlines and the airline industry. Passengers and airline team members should be proud of United Airlines' continuous advancements for customer wellbeing."

The United CleanPlusSM program, which includes its partnerships with the Cleveland Clinic and Clorox, was one of the many efforts APEX and SimpliFlying cited when granting the airline this certification. Medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic have helped ensure United's policies and protocols reflect the latest scientific guidance, and Clorox has helped the airline redefine disinfection procedures to support a healthier environment. Other efforts APEX and SimpliFlying called out when granting United this certification include:

United was also the first major 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.

To learn more about United's cleaning and safety efforts, visit United.com/CleanPlus.

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 to Hold Webcast of Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results

January 06, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines will hold a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results on Thursday, January 21 at 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET. A live, listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available at ir.united.com. The company will issue its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results after market close on Wednesday, January 20.

The webcast will be available for replay within 24 hours of the conference call and then archived on the website for three months.

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

A Message From Scott Kirby and Brett Hart

December 21, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- J. Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer, and Brett Hart, President, today issued the following message to all United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) employees:

United Team:

We're writing today with some really good news: the Administration and Congress have come together in a bipartisan way on a relief bill that includes several items, including an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) for the airlines.

United Named Best Overall Airline in the World by Global Traveler Readers

United received ten awards including Best Overall Airline, Airline of the year and Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program

December 17, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 17, 2020 – Readers from Global Traveler, a publication written for business and luxury travelers, named United Airlines the Best Overall Airline in the World as part of this year's GT Trusted Reader Survey. Additionally, a select panel of Global Traveler employees and Advisory Board members named United Airline of the Year, an honor which is based on on-time arrivals and departures, safety, brand image and more. And for the 17th consecutive year, MileagePlus® was named best Loyalty Program by Global Traveler readers. The airline earned top scores from readers in ten categories across FXExpress Publications, Inc. awards, which include Global Traveler, The Trazees and the Wherever Awards.

United and CDC Work Together on Contact Tracing Initiative for All International and Domestic Flights

Program designed to collect detailed, real-time information that will better support CDC efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19
December 16, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced a program to collect customer contact information for all international and domestic flights. During the check-in process, United customers will be prompted to voluntarily opt-in and provide contact information such as an email address, phone numbers and an address of where they will be once they reach their destination, details that were previously difficult for the CDC to obtain in real-time. This effort represents the airline industry's most comprehensive public health contact information collection program to date and the immediate access to the data will better support the CDC's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and around the world.

United Makes Bold Environmental Commitment Unmatched by Any Airline; Pledges 100% Green by Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions 100% by 2050

United will meet this ambitious goal by making industry-leading investments in new technology and sustainable fuels - not from buying carbon offsets
December 10, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today is taking its most ambitious step yet in leading the fight against climate change: pledging to become 100% green by reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100% by 2050. United, which in 2018 became the first U.S. airline to commit to reducing its GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, will advance towards carbon neutrality by committing to a multimillion-dollar investment in revolutionary atmospheric carbon capture technology known as Direct Air Capture – rather than indirect measures like carbon-offsetting – in addition to continuing to invest in the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). With this unprecedented announcement, United becomes the first airline in the world to announce a commitment to invest in Direct Air Capture technology.

United Launches Virtual, On Demand Customer Service at the Airport

New "Agent on Demand" platform gives customers live, fast, contactless access to information and assistance at all U.S. hubs;
December 08, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United passengers will soon have access to virtual, on demand customer service at the airline's hubs, giving people an easy, contact-free option to get real-time information and support. Customers can access "Agent on Demand" on any mobile device to call, text or video chat live with an agent and get answers on everything from seat assignments to boarding times. Agent on Demand is currently available at Chicago O'Hare and Houston's George Bush International Airports and is rolling out to United's hubs by end of year.

United Adopts Tax Benefits Preservation Plan To Protect Valuable Tax Assets

Preserving long-term stockholder value by adopting a rights plan intended to protect tax assets Rights plan in effect immediately; will be submitted for stockholder ratification at 2021 annual meeting
December 04, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines Holdings, Inc. ("UAL" and, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, the "Company") today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously adopted a tax benefits preservation plan (the Plan) to preserve and protect the Company's ability to use its large net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) and other tax assets under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). The Plan is similar to plans adopted by other companies with significant NOLs.

As of Sept.30, 2020, UAL reported consolidated federal NOLs of approximately $8.2 billion. These NOLs, which have increased significantly in recent months, are available to reduce the Company's future federal income tax expense and represent significant value to the Company. The purpose of the Plan is to protect the Company's ability to use these tax assets, which would be substantially limited if the Company experienced an "ownership change" within the meaning of Section 382 of the Code. Generally, an "ownership change" occurs if the percentage of UAL's stock owned by one or more of its "5-percent shareholders" (as such term is defined in Section 382 of the Code) increases by more than 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. 

In light of the volatility and decline in the market price of UAL's common stock resulting from the sharp decline in demand for air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other macroeconomic factors and in light of potential transactions involving the sale or issuance of UAL common stock, UAL's Board of Directors determined to adopt the Plan to prevent an inadvertent impairment of the Company's NOLs.

Pursuant to the Plan, UAL will issue, by means of a dividend, one preferred share purchase right for each outstanding share of UAL common stock to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 14, 2020. Stockholders are not required to take any action to receive the rights. Initially, these rights will not be exercisable and will trade with, and be represented by, the shares of UAL common stock.

UAL intends to submit the Plan to a vote of its stockholders at its 2021 annual meeting.  The Plan will expire on the first business day following the certification of the voting results for UAL's 2021 annual meeting, unless UAL's stockholders ratify the Plan at such meeting, in which case the Plan will continue in effect until Dec. 4, 2023, unless terminated earlier in accordance with its terms.

Under the Plan, the rights generally become exercisable only if a person or group (an "acquiring person") acquires beneficial ownership of 4.9% or more of the outstanding shares of UAL common stock in a transaction not approved by the Board. In that situation, each holder of a right (other than the acquiring person, whose rights will become void and will not be exercisable) will be entitled to purchase, at the then-current exercise price, additional shares of UAL common stock at a 50% discount. The Board, at its option, may exchange each right (other than rights owned by the acquiring person that have become void) in whole or in part, at an exchange ratio of one share of UAL common stock per outstanding right, subject to adjustment. Except as provided in the Plan, the Board is entitled to redeem the rights at $0.001 per right.

If a person or group beneficially owns 4.9% or more of the outstanding shares of UAL common stock prior to today's announcement of the Plan, then that person's or group's existing ownership percentage will be grandfathered. However, grandfathered shareholders will generally not be permitted to acquire any additional shares. 

Additional information regarding the Plan will be contained in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by UAL with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sidley Austin LLP is acting as legal counsel to UAL.

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, 872.825.8640, media.relations@united.com

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

United Introduces Customer COVID-19 Testing from Houston to Latin American and Caribbean Destinations

United and Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory team up to offer self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 tests to help ensure travelers meet country entry requirements
November 23, 2020

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United announced today it is expanding its customer COVID-19 testing efforts to include flights out of Houston to select destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Starting for flights departing on December 7, customers originating from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will have the option to take a self-collected, mail-in test that meets local entry requirements for the following destinations, allowing them to reunite with family or start their vacation immediately:

  • Aruba (AUA)
  • Belize City, Belize (BZE)
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA)
  • Lima, Peru (LIM)
  • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Panama City, Panama (PTY)
  • Roatan, Honduras (RTB)
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
  • San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

    United Introduces Customer COVID-19 Testing from Houston to Latin American and Caribbean Destinations

    United and Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory team up to offer self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 tests to help ensure travelers meet country entry requirements
    November 23, 2020

    CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United announced today it is expanding its customer COVID-19 testing efforts to include flights out of Houston to select destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Starting for flights departing on December 7, customers originating from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will have the option to take a self-collected, mail-in test that meets local entry requirements for the following destinations, allowing them to reunite with family or start their vacation immediately:

    • Aruba (AUA)
    • Belize City, Belize (BZE)
    • Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA)
    • Lima, Peru (LIM)
    • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
    • Panama City, Panama (PTY)
    • Roatan, Honduras (RTB)
    • San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
    • San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)
    • Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

    "Widespread testing is key to unlocking international borders and safely reopening global travel. This is particularly important for our customers in Houston, who rely on United to keep them connected with their family and friends in Latin America and the Caribbean," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United. "We'll continue to lead the way on testing – United was the first to announce a customer COVID-19 testing program and the first to offer free tests on flights across the Atlantic – and we'll look at new, innovative ways to make the travel experience even safer."

    The self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 test is $119. The test will be administered by Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL) and processed at their COVID-19 testing laboratory in San Antonio, Texas. United will reach out to customers 14 days ahead of their flights to provide instructions on ordering a test and the testing process. United encourages customers to research the local requirements for further questions specific to their destination. Customers are advised to take the tests 72 hours before departure and should expect to receive results via email within 24-48 hours of mailing in their test.

    "As the energy capital of the world and most diverse city in the United States, Houston plays an influential role in linking global economies," said Sylvester Turner, City of Houston mayor. "As we fight against a second wave of the coronavirus, the private and public sectors, with guidance from public health experts, must work collaboratively and judiciously to reopen the global economy. Although a vaccine would be the ultimate solution, United's expansion of its customer testing program is a step in the right direction. I commend United for their leadership and forward-thinking."

    ADL's self-collection kit includes a plastic tube, a nasal swab and instructions on how to properly collect a specimen. ADL's telehealth system will be available to support customers traveling to countries that require a health care professional to supervise the COVID-19 test. United has worked closely with officials in each country to ensure that any customer – both visitors and nationals returning home – who tests negative will be able to enter the country.

    "Accurate and reliable testing is not only critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19, but essential in helping get this virus under control," said Stan Crawford, chief operations officer for ADL. "We are invested in United's commitment to ensuring customers not only meet their destination's entry requirements but that, when they do travel, they do so in a way that is safer."

    Click here for b-roll and visual assets of ADL's self-collection kit and testing 

    In addition to adding another key element to its layered approach to safety, United has also seen a positive impact on travel demand and significant increases in customer load factors and revenue when testing options are available. For example, after United announced its COVID-19 test for customers traveling from San Francisco to Hawaii and allowing them to avoid a 14-day quarantine, the airline saw a nearly 95% increase in passengers compared to the prior two-week period. Last week, United launched the world's first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot between Newark Liberty International Airport and London Heathrow Airport. Through this pilot program, all crew members and customers over the age of two on select flights will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test and provide a negative result in order to take the flight, ensuring that everyone on board over the age of two has tested negative before departure.

    A safer travel experience: United CleanPlusSM

    Since the start of the pandemic, United has been a leader 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. United is applying 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. 

    The latest research, including a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense, shows COVID-19 exposure risk on board United aircraft is almost zero due to the airline's advanced air filtration systems, mandated mask policy and diligent cleaning protocols.

    For more details on all the ways United is helping keep customers safe during their journey, please visit united.com/cleanplus.

    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".

    About Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory

    Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL) is a leader in scientific testing standards for the COVID-19 virus, both in the U.S. and internationally. Located in San Antonio, Texas, ADL has over 80 years of combined experience in clinical diagnostic testing procedures and works globally with local communities to provide safe and healthy lifestyles. For more information, call ADL at 1.800.834.3522 or visit our website at ADLHealth.com.

     

    SOURCE United Airlines

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

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