Skip to content

United Airlines has saved 40,000 connections by holding flights

Sept. 09, 2019
2 min read
United Airlines has saved 40,000 connections by holding flights
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

United Airlines recently introduced a new "ConnectionSaver" tool that allows agents to hold flights at the gate if it means saving the connections of several passenger.

Now, less than three months after rolling out ConnectionSaver — and just weeks after expanding it to all of its domestic hubs — the product is receiving "tremendous" positive feedback from passengers, Ankit Gupta, United's vice-president of domestic network planning, said last week at the Regional Airlines Association (RAA) annual convention in Nashville.

“If you can wait three minutes and save 10 passengers’ [connections], you want to wait three minutes on the gate," he said Friday (Sept. 6). "We saw such a great success that we have rolled it out across the board."

To date, United has saved the connections of roughly 40,000 passengers with an average departure delay of only four minutes, said Gupta.

Related: United to Hold More Flights for Connecting Passengers

The idea behind ConnectionSaver is that if a flight can leave late but arrive on time — something that is often possible with schedules padded on routes at many of the busiest airports — the flight can wait four minutes at the gate in order to allow connecting travelers to make the flight.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

When passengers misconnect, airlines must rebook them on already crowded flights — Delta Air Lines flights were more than 90% full in July and August — and in some cases pay for food and accommodations if the delay is overnight.

Gupta said United plans to roll out more technological innovations like ConnectionSaver that benefit passengers in the coming years.

Featured image by Alberto Riva/TPG.

Related: Sign up for our daily newsletter to get the latest news and frequent-flyer info delivered right to your in-box

Featured image by Alberto Riva

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers