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. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
United Airlines launched a pilot program in January of this year that tells passengers exactly why their flight is running behind schedule — down to crew members who missed their connections or the exact mechanical issue.
TPG noticed the change when one of our editors was flying out of Houston (IAH), she got an alert in her United app saying that crews were working to fix the Boeing 737-700’s fuel panel. “We found you a new plane as our maintenance team needed additional time to a fuel panel on your original plane,” the maintenance alert read.
A spokesperson for United told TPG that the pilot program for the detailed status alerts has so far only rolled out in the carrier’s main hubs at Houston (IAH) and Chicago O’Hare (ORD), as well as flights that divert to those two airports. In addition, the new program only applies to mainline aircraft.
The alerts detail everything from specific maintenance and mechanical problems with the aircraft to weather delays and issues with late crew arrivals.
“We will do what we can to provide additional clarity,” the United spokesperson said, adding that the airline has recently seen customer satisfaction scores improve because of the detailed alerts.
TPG readers weighed in on the new program by commenting in the TPG Facebook Lounge:
Michael G. noted: Aviation geek or no, it’s nice to know the reason.
Avi R. wrote: I like it. They are finally transparent.
Mialisa G. said: I prefer this to being kept in the dark. I wish all airlines would do it!
Patrick M. said: Good info is provided for mainline United flights… not so for their United Express affiliated companies. Often for these regional carriers even basic on-time or delayed info is not provided at all.
And reader Kim K. suggested a helpful tip: It is good because if you take screen shot I can use for travel delay insurance.
The alerts are sent out through United’s app and also via email, depending on the contact information passengers provide when booking. United hopes to expand the alert program later this summer to United Express and its regional carriers.
Featured image courtesy United.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards