United Airlines’ ConnectionSaver tool has proved to be a very successful experiment. Since its launch in February 2019, the product has helped United and its customers to save 40,000 flight connections.
The ConnectionSaver tool is a success for United
As reported by The Points Guy, Ankit Gupta, United’s vice-president of domestic network planning, spoke at last week’s Regional Airlines Association (RAA) annual convention in Nashville. He declared that the technology has received “tremendous” positive feedback from passengers.
Gupta also mentioned that the success of the tool led to the decision to roll it across the board at United. “If you can wait three minutes and save 10 passengers’ [connections], you want to wait three minutes on the gate,” argued Gupta.
Besides launching the successful ConnecionSaver tool, United also redesigned its mobile app this year to include helpful connection information.
What is the ConnectionSaver tool?
The ConnectionSaver tool is a new technology that identifies departing flights that can be held for connecting customers automatically. The tool sends unique text messages with directions and timing to the gate to connecting customers who have opted-in to receive updates. The text also includes step-by-step directions to the gate where passengers need to board for their connection, as well as a handy map of the amenities nearby.
The idea behind the ConnectionSaver is to eliminate the guesswork from deciding when and whether to hold a flight for a couple of minutes for connecting customers. Simply put, if a flight can leave late but still arrive on time, it can wait four minutes at the gate for connecting travelers to have time to board.
The tool was initially tested in Denver in February 2019 and then extended to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. By June 2019, when United announced the official introduction of the tool to several of its airports, more than 14,400 customers had used ConnectionSaver successfully.
According to a memo from United published by Live and Let’s Fly in July 2019, when the system was rolled out in Houston and Newark,
“ConnectionSaver is sophisticated enough to tell us the expected ripple effects of delaying any one of our flights at any given location. It’s also highly configurable to meet the changing needs of our airline and designed to integrate with our existing technology systems.”
ConnectionSaver rolled out across the board
Ankit Gupta announced at the Nashville event that the technology has already been rolled out across the board in light of its success. The system was initially tested in Denver, then rolled out in July and August for destinations including Houston, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington.
United Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist previously said in a press release,
“We’re determined to capitalize on as many opportunities as possible to better serve and care for our customers and that’s part of what sets United apart from our competitors.”
Gupta also added that United plans to roll out similar technological innovations in the near future.
Have you tried ConnectionSaver? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments.