Last night at the 23rd Annual Webby Awards in New York City, United Airlines accepted the “People’s Voice” Webby Award in the “Business and Finance” category for the airline’s reimagined mobile app, which debuted earlier this year. The Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet, including apps. This year, 13,000 entries came from every U.S. state and more than 70 countries to be considered for this honor.
Already the top downloaded airline app for Apple and Android phones, the refreshed app features a more dynamic experience that updates customers at each step of their travel journey, making it the perfect travel companion. The app includes features customers know and love from the previous version, such as bag tracking, while adding enhancements that make managing travel easier from booking to landing. United’s in-house digital team spent over a year designing and creating this updated app, including eight months during which customers and more than 18,000 employees provided feedback to create the final version.
“We’re working hard every day to use technology to improve the travel experience,” said Linda Jojo, chief digital officer at United. “What makes this recognition so special is that our win is because of our customers who voted for us – we love knowing they value the app that we created with them in mind.”
Highlights from the improved app include:
• A navigation bar that gives customers quick access to some of the most popular tools such as flight status, and some new handy features like My Trips.
• A My Trips tab in the navigation bar that allows customers to easily access information about their upcoming trip and stores boarding passes when customers are checked in for their flights.
• An inbox that stores important push notifications United sends customers about their flight, such as if a flight status changes, gate changes and alerts about when boarding for a flight has begun.
• Dynamic boarding times will be updated throughout the app in the event that departure times change to give customers the latest information even when they are not at the gate. This builds on the airline’s recent addition of boarding notifications, which were added when United rolled out its Better Boarding process.
One of the biggest updates to the app comes during the travel period, when the home screen updates to give customers the most helpful information for each step of their travel journey. The home screen will begin to update starting 48 hours before a flight and will continue updating throughout various phases all the way through arrival at the final destination with the most useful information. For instance, customers connecting will find a screen that allows them to easily access airport maps, so they can easily navigate to the next gate. Bringing the most useful information to the forefront will make the entire journey less stressful and more intuitive.
The app also includes an updated design with more engaging content. When a customer does not have an upcoming trip, the app will open to a beautiful destination image to provide travel inspiration. Content on the home screen is also more personalized to each user; for example, customers who recently passed loyalty milestones will be recognized on the home screen, and the app will also celebrate customers on their birthday.