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4 reasons to upgrade to United's latest mobile app

Oct. 28, 2020
3 min read
United 737 Newark Zach Griff
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In the years leading up to the pandemic, airlines were already focused on modernizing the end-to-end airport experience by making it more touchless.

Some recent developments include self-check-in kiosks, automated boarding by facial recognition and touchless lavatories. But then the pandemic took hold, accelerating the need for a touchless future.

A key element to (safely) engaging with an airline is through a mobile app — allowing you to check-in, print bag tags, download a boarding pass and more all on your own device. Most major U.S. carriers have a robust app, and United's is getting four exciting new enhancements.

The latest version — 4.0 — is available on the App Store and Google Play Store now, so let's take a look at why you should upgrade.

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Day-of-travel updates

As a Premier 1K, the United app is one of my most used (pre-pandemic, at least).

Whenever I have an upcoming flight, the app intelligently displays important day-of-travel reminders on the home page. This includes notifications like boarding time, flight status, directions to the gate and more. Once onboard, the home screen provides easy access to complimentary entertainment options.

Previously, this day-of-travel flow was limited to MileagePlus members. But on the latest version, it's available to everyone, including non-frequent flyers.

Redesigned MileagePlus member account page

There are also some welcome changes for MileagePlus members. Recently, the Chicago-based carrier has been working to improve the My Account page on the desktop site.

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That new experience is now being introduced on mobile devices. For now, you'll see phase one of the redesign — mileage balance and activity, updated Premier status qualification trackers, access to your travel credits, PlusPoints and more. And United is not stopping there — the carrier has promised more improvements to come to the My Account page.

Accessibility improvements

With the latest update, United is making it easier for people with visual disabilities to use the mobile app.

Specifically, the carrier has increased color contrast, added more space between graphics and reordered how information is displayed and announced. This way, screen readers will be able to convert text to audio in a more seamless, logical sequence.

In addition, all day-of-travel screens will support screen readers in this update, making it easier to check-in, monitor flight status, track bags and more.

Improved consistency and navigation

In 2019, United unveiled a new livery along with a refreshed color palette. While it'll still take a while to repaint the entire fleet, the mobile app has a new, yet familiar look.

Now, whether you're booking a flight or checking in on your phone or computer, the experience will look and feel the same. In addition, the bottom bar has been retooled for easier navigation, and the "More" button has also been reorganized.

Bottom line

Though you might not be ready to take to the (friendly) skies, there's one thing you can do now to help you prepare for that day — download the latest version of the United app.

With accessibility improvements, a redesigned account page and expanded access to day-of-travel updates, there's more to love about the United app.

The carrier has also promised more updates to come. Hopefully, that will include support for widgets, something you'll already find on American's latest app.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)