American And United Roll Out New Digital Tools For Passengers

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American and United have separately rolled out new digital tools to help passengers navigate a unique travel experience. While American’s is app-based, United has rolled out a new online search map for flights. Here are the latest tools available to passengers.

United and American Getty
United and American have separately rolled out new digital travel tools. Photo: Getty Images

American bets on its app

For Apple-owning customers with the latest iOS, the updated American Airlines app has some new features: App Clips and widgets. With App Clips, customers can scan a QR code found on the home screen of an airport kiosk. Scanning this will prompt the passenger to complete the check-in process on their Apple device and receive a mobile boarding pass.

This is part of the airline’s new touchless travel experience. For now, this will only be available at kiosks departing the airline’s largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). However, the airline plans to roll out this feature to other airports across its network.

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American app
The new widget and App Clip functions through the American Airlines App, as shown on an iPhone. Photo: American Airlines

With widgets, customers will be able to see the American Airlines app as a tile on the home screen of the iPhone. That widget will display information about your flight, such as when your flight is scheduled to depart, which gate the aircraft is leaving from, and other information that might otherwise require some digging or spending some time at starting at an airport monitor.

Currently, the feature is only available on iOS devices. Given the prevalence of iPhones in the United States, it is not surprising to see American Airlines roll it out on only one platform as a kind of test run before launching it more broadly.

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An international travel tool

Earlier this month, American Airlines also launched a new travel tool powered by Sherpa. This online tool provides customers with up-to-date information on travel guidelines. Simply enter your origin and destination, and you will be able to see whether you are allowed into the country or state, and what kinds of procedures or quarantines you may need to undertake. You can access that tool here.

American Airlines 787-8 Dreamliner
American’s Sherpa-powered tool lets customers see what restrictions are in place on travelers. Photo: Getty Images

Do note that guidelines may change for a country, state, or city in the future, so do not rely heavily on the tool for planning travel far out. Instead, for planning a trip in the coming weeks, the tool will help gauge what kinds of measures are in place that could restrict your vacation.

United’s new map search tool

Separately, United Airlines has launched a new “Map Search” feature for bookings. The online tool allows customers to select a departure city and see what the lowest-priced United flights are to various destinations. There are other ways to narrow your search. You can either leave your dates flexible or, if you have strict travel dates, you can input those and see what destinations are available. There is also the option of putting a price cap on and selecting nonstop flights.

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Passengers flying from a United hub who sort by nonstop options will have far more nonstop options than travelers from other cities like Billings in Montana. Photo: Getty Images

For those looking for more concreteness to their search, you can filter by any of the following destination themes or offerings:

  • National Parks
  • Beaches
  • Beer & Breweries
  • Culture
  • Food & Drink
  • Hiking
  • Outdoors
  • Romantic
  • Skiing & Snowboarding
  • Snorkeling & Scuba Diving

Here is an example of a search from New York (EWR) with no filters and flexible dates:

United Map
A search example out of Newark with no filters. Screenshot: United’s Map Search Website

If you are a MileagePlus member, once you log in, you can also see where you have already flown on United Airlines using the “Where I’ve Been” feature.

The map search functions work for international and domestic destinations, meaning customers can plan ahead and find getaways across the globe. Do note that some cities shown on the airline’s tool will require connections on a partner airline.

Are you going to take advantage of any of these new digital travel tools? Let us know in the comments!

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