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United’s smartphone app just became a lot more powerful, for flyers and flight-tracking enthusiasts alike. Now, in addition to checking the status of United flights — both those operated by UA and those flown as partner-operated codeshares — you can now look up realtime flight details for all of United’s Star Alliance partners. I had no problem pulling up Air New Zealand’s flight from London (LHR) to Los Angeles (LAX), for example, along with United’s own.
American and Delta apps will show you the status of partner flights, too, but only if they’re operated as a codeshare, with an AA or DL flight number attached.
For now, it seems that the app can only display departure and arrival times — it updates in real time in the case of a delay, but there isn’t much info on offer. Gate information also doesn’t appear to come up, so you’ll still need to check airport monitors or your boarding pass to find out where you need to be. You can also pull up similar flight status details by asking Amazon’s Alexa, or via Google Home.
Hopefully United will eventually find a way to add much more functionality, including live seat maps, amenities, aircraft type, delay details and the ability to set push notifications for a particular flight — all of these features are available for flights operated by UA. But if you’re connecting to a partner or traveling on an award, this initial info push is certainly an improvement over what we had before.
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