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4 reasons to upgrade to United's latest mobile app

Oct. 28, 2020
3 min read
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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 United.com 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)

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees