United is increasing their use of Apple devices, announcing last week that they intend to equip 6,000 customer service reps with an iPhone 6 Plus and a custom United iOS app. The device and app will assist with boarding passes, bag tags, and reservation changes. United notes that future enhancements will allow the devices to complete the full check-in process similar to traditional airport kiosks.
Last year, United provided 23,000 iPhone 6 Plus units to flight attendants while 13,000 iPads were distributed to pilots in 2011.
United today announced the airline will equip its customer service representatives in the company’s U.S.-based hubs with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, enabling agents to meet customers’ needs more quickly while having access to additional operational information at their fingertips.
United will begin distributing the devices to its more than 6,000 hub-based customer service representatives next year. The iPhones will enable agents to assist customers who have checked into their flights with several pre-departure actions, including printing boarding passes and baggage tags anywhere in the airport. Customer service representatives will also be able to assist customers with alternate flight options, helping employees at customer service locations provide additional attention to those with more complex needs.
Future enhancements will include tools to provide full check-in capabilities in airport lobbies and the ability to offer customers much of the same functionality as traditional airport kiosks.
“Our employees told us they needed better tools to serve our customers, especially during severe weather and busier travel times,” said Jon Roitman, United’s senior vice president of airport operations. “We have seen great success with the custom-made tools on the iPhone 6 Plus and believe expanding the use of a smart phone device with other applications is a great investment in our employees.”
The deployment of the iPhone 6 Plus to United’s hub customer service representatives follows the airline’s distribution of iPhones to flight attendants last June and iPads to pilots in August 2011.