United Airlines to Equip 6,000 Customer Service Representatives With the iPhone 6 Plus

Wednesday December 2, 2015 7:01 AM PST by Mitchel Broussard

United Airlines today announced a plan to equip its customer service representatives in each United States-based hub with Apple's iPhone 6 Plus. The airline said that the plan will allow each rep to assist passengers' needs faster while giving them access to "additional operational information" without needing to search for outside help.

united iphone 6 plus

"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."

Estimated to begin in 2016, United will distribute an iPhone 6 Plus -- 2014's 5.5-inch display iPhone -- to more than 6,000 of its representatives across the United States. The new initiative will let the company's reps print boarding passes and baggage tags before departure, and even help customers find alternative flight options. Future enhancements to the program will bring fully-realized check-in opportunities and enough well-rounded features to give customers "much of the same functionality as traditional airport kiosks."

Previously in June, United distributed iPhones to its flight attendants in an effort to provide better customer service in-flight to passengers. That initiative was announced a year ago, so today's customer service representative program will probably see a similar six month gestation period before launching.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
57 months ago
What anyone has flown United knows: If you have their app, you're likely to know more about your delayed/canceled/changed flight than the ticket/gate agents do, and you'll know it sooner.

United's solution? Give their employees phones with the app. Brilliant.

I don't fly United anymore.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

How do you know the iPhone based solution has no printer? There might be a laser printer under the counter and the phone and can the prints there.


He was referring to IN-FLIGHT purchases.

American Airlines hasn't accepted cash for in-flight purchases for at least the past year. They use a PDA device (not sure of the vendor) to swipe the card and enter the amount. The transactions are transmitted in a batch after landing, although it might use inflight WiFi if it's available.

They have no receipt printer on the plane, but you can go online and print a receipt after the charge is posted.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

The iPhone 6 Plus is the wrong device for in-flight, and people have complained about it. Their solution has no receipt printer.


How do you know the iPhone based solution has no printer? There might be a laser printer under the counter and the phone and can the prints there.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago
I was printing off shipping labels using my wireless printer last night so the iPhone is more than capable of Printing. I didn't even need to configure it. It "just worked" :).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

What anyone has flown United knows: If you have their app, you're likely to know more about your delayed/canceled/changed flight than the ticket/gate agents do, and you'll know it sooner.

United's solution? Give them phones with the app. Brilliant.


Wording of the article seems to hint that there'll be more applications being released for their customer service reps, so it's not all the same app you use.

and believe expanding the use of a smart phone device with other applications is a great investment in our employees."

Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
57 months ago

If those additional apps are anywhere near mimicking the existing tools they have, those employees will be better off getting their own phone to using United's consumer app, or even external apps like TripIt and Flight Update Pro. Whatever tools United has given their staff up to now chronically leaves them sorely underinformed about what their own company is doing.


OK, well at least they're doing something to make it better, I suppose. If it has been as bad as you said, it's good to start some positive change.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Kuo: Apple to Launch Several Macs With Arm-Based Processors in 2021, USB4 Support Coming to Macs in 2022

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:19 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple plans to launch several Mac notebooks and desktop computers with its own custom designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap,...

Apple Says MacBook Air With Retina Display Can Exhibit Anti-Reflective Coating Issues, Unclear if Eligible for Free Repairs [Updated]

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:16 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple this week acknowledged that MacBook Air models with Retina displays can exhibit anti-reflective coating issues, as indicated in a memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors. "Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can exhibit anti-reflective (AR) coating issues," the memo states. Apple's internal service documentation ...

Hands-On With the New 2020 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

Wednesday March 25, 2020 2:10 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple last week announced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and as of today, the new iPads are arriving to customers. We picked up one of the new 12.9-inch models and checked it out to see just what's new and whether it's worth buying. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. When it comes to design, the new iPad Pro models are identical to the 2018 iPad Pro models, but ...

Apple Considering Delaying iPhone 12 Launch 'by Months'

Wednesday March 25, 2020 12:51 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is preparing to delay the launch of the 2020 iPhones expected to be equipped with 5G technology, according to sources with knowledge of Apple's plans that spoke to Japanese news site Nikkei. Apple has reportedly held internal discussions about the possibility of delaying the launch "by months" over fears of how well iPhones would sell in the current situation, and supply chain sources...

Hands-On With the New $999 MacBook Air

Thursday March 26, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Alongside new iPad Pros last week, Apple also refreshed the MacBook Air, adding more storage, faster 10th-generation processors, and an updated keyboard. We picked up one of the new machines to take a look at some of the upgrades added in the 2020 update. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, there are no real external changes to the MacBook Air's body,...

Apple Offering 90-Day Free Trials for Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X

Thursday March 26, 2020 2:58 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is offering new free trial options for Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, its video and audio editing software designed for professional projects, giving customers 90 days to try them out prior to a purchase. The new longer trial options will be beneficial to those who are working from home, including students who are no longer able to work in a classroom environment, and those who are...

Apple Watch Series 6 Could Feature Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, Pulse Oximetry and Sleep Tracking Support

Friday March 27, 2020 11:28 am PDT by Juli Clover
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 set to be released this fall could include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the crown of the device, according to Israeli site The Verifier, which cites "senior sources" who have worked with its staff for a "number of years" as the source of the rumor. It's not clear how the alleged Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be implemented, as the Digital...

Apple Launches COVID-19 Website and App With Screening Tool and Resources

Friday March 27, 2020 9:00 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple today announced that it has released a new COVID-19 website and iPhone app with a screening tool and other resources to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of the novel coronavirus. Apple partnered with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and FEMA on this initiative. The website and app allow users to answer a...

Deals: Huge Refurbished iPhone Sale Discounts iPhone 7, 8, X, XR, and XS (From $120)

Friday March 27, 2020 5:47 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Woot is back today with a big sale on refurbished iPhones, including markdowns on the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Woot. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. As with every Woot purchase, those...

A12Z Bionic Chip in iPad Pro Allegedly a Renamed A12X With Extra GPU Core Enabled

Thursday March 26, 2020 6:35 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models are equipped with an A12Z Bionic processor that's remarkably similar to the A12X chip in the 2018 iPad Pro models, offering little in the way of performance improvements. The A12Z does, however, feature an 8-core GPU while the A12X includes a 7-core GPU, which sets them apart, but new evidence shared by NotebookCheck suggests that the A12Z Bionic is simply a...