On December 13, 2012, we celebrate the first anniversary of United Hub – our website dedicated to keeping customers informed of all things related to United travel, including united.com
, our fleet
, our MileagePlus® program
and our travel tools
In the beginning
“The Hub” was conceived as the primary resource to help support our customers and co-workers through the transition on March 3, 2012 from Continental and United’s two separate technology platforms to a single passenger service system (PSS). Focusing on the new integrated travel website and booking tool, we carefully developed our content to articulate how to use our unified website, mobile apps and kiosks to book and manage travel reservations. Our highest priority was to prevent surprises and provide guidance to our customers to help ensure a smooth travel experience.
From the very beginning, we envisioned a site with a broader reach, greater flexibility and more expansive functionality than what was initially projected. Adopting an agile approach to project development, our lean five-member team and a team of talented IT consultants began the process in August 2011. Within the space of a few months we planned, developed and launched unitedhub.com.
The Hub went live on December 13, 2011, with articles, how-to videos, tips and FAQs. Our content focused on merger-related topics including the new boarding process, Economy Plus®
seating expanding to the Continental fleet, MileagePlus PINs and passwords, United ClubSM
being the new name in lounges, checking in online and with the United app and at kiosks, and a host of other subjects.
We also had different customer feedback tools ready for launch. Our polls, surveys and feedback form gave our customers the opportunity to tell us how we were doing with the PSS transition – and with the Hub itself.
We paid particular attention to assisting customers with key travel-management tasks on the new united.com and consequently published how-to articles and Quick Tips videos featuring screen-by-screen walkthroughs on how to book a ticket, how to check in and how to take advantage of our mobile app.
After March 3, with the foundation of the Hub firmly established, we shifted our focus from supporting customers through the merger transition to creating greater awareness about our products and services, covering breaking news and capturing the attention and imagination of United enthusiasts.
We ran articles about United’s Proud to Fly Challenge for the 2012 Olympics, fleet additions (737-900ERs), new routes, MileagePlus awards, our OutPerform Recognition Program, terminal locations, new mobile app features, new amenity kits for customers in premium cabins, FareLockSM
and more. We augmented our Quick Tips videos with company videos and we built out our Connections
section with Hub Asks
: a question of the month with customer responses.
Over the summer we went through our own exciting transition as our team moved from the Ecommerce division to the Marketing division and officially became the Social Media arm of the company. With this change, we expanded our team to encompass our co-workers managing Facebook and Twitter. This gave us the opportunity to better integrate our social channels with the Hub, incorporating more ways for customers to connect with us and each other through Facebook
and increasing the avenues for attracting advocates of our airline.
In late July, we live-streamed our first Boeing 787 Dreamliner emerging from the paint hangar in its new United livery and held a Tweetchat onsite at the special 787 First Look event
for co-workers, press and Boeing employees. We also developed a rich virtual tour on the Hub that highlights the key technology innovations of this feature-friendly aircraft.
To accommodate all the exciting news about the 787, we expanded the Hub, adding a tab
dedicated to our new 787 fleet, complete with videos, an infographic and a photo gallery.
Looking to the future
As we cross the threshold into the Hub’s second year, we’re working on many exciting new features that we can’t wait to introduce to you. If you have ideas for what you’d like to see added to the Hub, please submit an article comment.