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 Names Laysha Ward to Board of Directors

February 24, 2021

CHICAGO, Feb. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines Holdings, Inc. (UAL) announced today that Laysha Ward is joining its Board of Directors. Ward, currently Executive Vice President and Chief External Engagement Officer of Target Corporation, brings an impressive resume with more than three decades of corporate leadership experience to the UAL Board.   

"Laysha and her credentials are the right addition to our already strong board of directors at a pivotal moment for our company," said United CEO Scott Kirby. "United will benefit from Laysha's insight on a wide range of topics that will be essential to our success as we recover from the impact of COVID-19, including her expertise in the areas of community and stakeholder engagement, corporate responsibility and diversity, equity and inclusion."  

"When we began the search for a new board member, we were focused on finding a leader with both strong business acumen and a unique perspective that will help United capitalize on our strengths as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis," said Oscar Munoz, Executive Chairman of United Airlines. "I'm eager for Laysha to get started because I know she will add value right away as we evaluate the strategic opportunities for United Airlines and its incredibly bright future."

"At a pivotal time for the airline industry, I look forward to joining the UAL board and helping the company fulfill its purpose of connecting people and uniting the world," said Ward.

In addition to her executive role at Target Corporation, Ward serves on the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Advisory Board, the Stanford Center for Longevity Advisory Council, and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, the Economic Clubs of New York and Chicago, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and The Links. Ward also serves on the board of directors of Denny's Corporation, as well as the boards of Greater MSP, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Northside Achievement Zone. 

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 Announces Plans to Begin New Daily Nonstop Service Between Boston Logan and London Heathrow

United will be the only U.S. carrier to offer nonstop service between the nation's top seven business markets and London Heathrow
February 19, 2021

CHICAGO, Feb. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to expand its global route network with new, nonstop service between Boston Logan International Airport and London Heathrow. This new service builds upon United's growing presence in London and provides customers on the East Coast with another convenient option to get to London. United plans to operate its premium Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on the route, with 46 United Polaris Business Class and 22 United Premium Plus seats. The aircraft features the highest proportion of premium seats on any widebody aircraft operated by a U.S. carrier between London and the United States.

Aloha, Summer! United to Offer the Only Nonstop Flights Between Orange County, California and Honolulu

New Orange County service begins May 6 and new, first-ever nonstop service between Chicago and Kona and between New York/Newark and Maui starts June 3

Customers departing Orange County and United's hub airports can save time by showing proof of negative tests to skip document screening process in Hawaii

February 12, 2021

February 12, 2021 – United Airlines today announced new convenient options for Hawaiian getaways this summer, offering the only nonstop flights between Orange County, California and Honolulu. The new route joins United's previously announced service between Chicago and Kona and New York/Newark and Maui. With the additional new flights, United will offer nonstop service on more than 20 routes between the mainland and Hawaii. United's Orange County – Honolulu service will be available for purchase on united.com beginning Saturday, February 13.

United to Work with Archer Aviation to Accelerate Production of Advanced, Short-Haul Electric Aircraft

Arrangement adds to United's commitment to invest in emerging technologies that combat climate change
February 10, 2021

CHICAGO, Feb. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced that it has completed an agreement to work with air mobility company Archer as part of the airline's broader effort to invest in emerging technologies that decarbonize air travel. Rather than relying on traditional combustion engines, Archer's electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are designed to use electric motors and have the potential for future use as an 'air taxi' in urban markets.

United, Chase and Visa Team Up to Celebrate Black History Month

United Explorer and United Club Visa Cardmembers earn five total miles for every dollar donated to select charities supporting civil rights and education
February 04, 2021

CHICAGO, Feb. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of Black History Month, United Airlines, Chase and Visa are encouraging and rewarding United Credit Cardmembers who make donations to non-profits focused on providing access to educational opportunities for Black students and supporting human and civil rights policies. Between February 1 and March 15, 2021, United Explorer and United Club Visa Cardmembers will receive five total miles for every dollar (up to $1,000) in donations made to the following organizations:

  • The Thurgood Marshall College Fund – a non-profit organization established in 1987 as the nation's largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF's member-schools include 47 publicly supported Historically Black College and Universities that enroll nearly 300,000 students.
  • The Leadership Conference Education Fund – an organization that builds public support for laws and policies that promote and protect civil and human rights.
  • The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund – a premier legal organization fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education.
  • United Negro College Fund – a non-profit that supports under-represented students looking to continue their education.

United Earns A Decade of Perfect Scores on Human Rights Campaign Foundation's LGBTQ Workplace Equality Index

United's track record as industry-leader for LGBTQ inclusive initiatives continues, with airline being named a "Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality"
February 03, 2021

CHICAGO, Feb. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced it has received its 10th consecutive perfect score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The scorecard is a benchmarking report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. The perfect score places United on the prestigious 2021 list of "Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality."

United Makes Hawaii Travel Easier with Expanded COVID Testing and Pre-Clearance Program

Customers traveling to the islands can save time by showing proof of negative tests at United's hub airports and skip document screening process in Hawaii
January 27, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning February 1, United customers traveling to Hawaii who have a valid negative COVID-19 test can show their results before boarding to save time and skip document screening lines upon arrival. The new pre-clearance process will be in place for customers traveling on 110 of United's weekly flights to Hawaii.

United Launches Industry-Exclusive Technology to Ease the Burden of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

United's "Travel-Ready Center" will allow customers to upload and validate test results, review local entry requirements, find testing providers, and store vaccination records - all in the United app and United.com
January 25, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today launched the "Travel-Ready Center" - a new, digital solution where customers can review COVID-19 entry requirements, find local testing options and upload any required testing and vaccination records for domestic and international travel, all in one place. United is the first airline to integrate all these features into its mobile app and website.

"While pre-travel testing and documentation are key to safely reopening global travel, we know it can be confusing for customers when they're preparing for a flight," said Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President for Technology and Chief Digital Officer, United. "Starting today, our 'Travel-Ready Center' gives customers a personalized, step-by-step guide of what is needed for their trip, a simple way to upload required documents and quickly get their boarding pass, fully integrated within our app and website."


United Announces 2020 Financial Results: 2021 Will Focus On Transition To Recovery; Expects To Exceed 2019 Adjusted EBITDA Margin By 2023*

Company continues to improve core cash burn in the face of continued COVID-19 headwinds; sharpens focus to prepare for recovery
January 20, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results. The company continues its efforts to lead the industry as it manages the most disruptive crisis in aviation history.