Improvements to on board entertainment and WiFi experience - United Hub

Improvements to our on board entertainment and Wi-Fi experience

By The Hub team, April 12, 2018

We know that for a lot of our customers – business and leisure alike – the ability to connect online and use entertainment options while in flight plays an important role in choosing an airline. Having access to a reliable onboard connection is vital for our customers who need to finish up on work, check emails, stay connected or simply stay entertained throughout their entire journey.

United is an industry pioneer in offering satellite Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment (PDE), and we still have the largest fleet of satellite Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft worldwide. Last year, we noticed our Panasonic Wi-Fi product, which is the streaming service on many of our Airbus, 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft, wasn't as reliable as we would like, and we are took that as an opportunity to do better by making investments to improve this experience for our customers. Here are a number of steps we have taken and are still taking to do that:

  • More connection points - We are working with Panasonic to improve the quality of the Wireless Access Points (WAPs) on all of our Panasonic aircraft. These devices connect the user with the Wi-Fi and PDE on the aircraft. More and better WAPs mean more customers can tap into a strong, steady connection at the same time.
  • More bandwidth - We are also installing new broadband controllers on all the aircraft. These units connect the aircraft to the satellite network and will largely solve the outage issues we experience on our Panasonic fleets. In addition, the controllers will also increase throughput by over 20 times and allow for much quicker connection speeds.
  • More coverage - Panasonic is also adding satellites to its network, so our customers will benefit from better coverage, speed and bandwidth.

In addition to providing more reliable Wi-Fi, we have also recently expanded our PDE option to all aircraft with DIRECTV live streaming for purchase to provide at least one free entertainment option on all Wi-Fi equipped aircraft (which is any aircraft with more than 70 seats). Between February and April of this year, we installed personal device entertainment onto more than 200 aircraft that previously only offered DIRECTV. Customers can now use a personal laptop, Apple iOS device or Android device to access a library of complimentary movies and TV shows, in addition to having the opportunity to purchase DIRECTV to view live programming.

We are also committed to improving our entertainment options for customers with disabilities. Earlier this year, we began offering a new main menu category on seatback on-demand that is labeled Accessible Entertainment. This new section makes it easier for customers with hearing and vision challenges to find accessible entertainment options, grouping all of the titles that are either audio descriptive or closed captioned in one main menu category. Seatback on-demand is one of our entertainment options available on 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.

Customers can download the latest United app to access personal device entertainment on Apple or Android mobile devices. They can also visit www.unitedprivatescreening.com to learn about what entertainment options are on their upcoming flight, watch movie trailers and filter content by language, genre, audio description and closed captioning availability.

We are always working on improving our product and making changes that will help us provide the consistent, high-quality connectivity our customers expect. These enhancements are a just a few of the investments we are working on that will improve your customer experience.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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