Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Fri August 14 2015

United Airlines Beefs Up Mobile App With Self-Booking, Airport Maps

Airlines & Airports | United Airlines | Patrick Clarke | August 14, 2015

United Airlines Beefs Up Mobile App With Self-Booking, Airport Maps

There should be little doubt that United Airlines is embracing mobile technology. 

The airline announced a series of updates and additions to its mobile app Thursday, including interactive indoor maps of its hub airports as well as functions that allow passengers to quickly rebook flights. 

"Travelers are accustomed to using maps and navigation apps throughout their daily lives – and that shouldn't end when they walk into the airport," said United's vice president of eCommerce and Merchandising Scott Wilson in a statement. "These new features of our app will make travel easier and more personal for our customers."

United said the updates are currently available for iOS devices and will be available soon for Android devices.

The interactive maps will lead travelers to departure gates and allow them to search for nearby goods and services. The detailed maps, which will also provide directions and estimated walking times, are currently available for the carrier's hub airports in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, San Francisco and Washington.

The indoor maps were designed by LocusLabs, the same company that developed similar interactive maps for American Airlines' app.

Meanwhile, the new self-booking functions will provide users with more options in the event that their flight is delayed or canceled. Users can now quickly add themselves to a standby list for an earlier flight or rebook through an alternate airport. 

United also announced that it is testing "indoor location" technology with customers at Newark Liberty International Airport. The process involves using Bluetooth beacons that pinpoint a users' exact locations within the airport so that customers don't have to pin their current location in order to get directions. 

Pending customer feedback, United plans to expand the feature to other hub airports.

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