Monday, July 15, 2024

United to Text Passengers Live Weather Maps to Track Delays

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There can be few things as frustrating as when your flight gets delayed or canceled due to inclement weather either on your route or at your destination.

United Airlines is trying to increase transparency over weather-related flight disruptions with customers by starting to text customers links to live weather radar maps so that passengers can track weather patterns as their flights are rescheduled.

On Wednesday, the airline said it would be rolling out real-time weather maps as the first of its kind in the industry using gen AI tools in order to send the maps to the correct customers.

Related: United Airlines Loses $2 Billion After Waiving Change Fees

“With more people traveling this summer than ever, we wanted to give our customers an easier way to stay connected to real-time information about their flight and texting was the simplest solution,” Jason Birnbaum, United’s CIO explained in a company statement. “We know customers appreciate transparency and by combining innovative technology-enabled tools with people power, we can give more people, even more in-the-moment details about their flight.”

United explained that the technology will work by having specialized customer service teams that will tap into the gen AI technology to create messages to customers explaining why a flight has been canceled with as much background information as possible.

When this becomes weather-related, the messages will now include live radar maps of local weather and walk passengers through a detailed explanation of how weather happening in real-time in one part of the country can affect their flight.

Customers on all flights will be able to access these weather maps via the United app regardless of if their flight is disrupted.

Related: Leaked United Airlines Memo To Flight Staff: No Cell Phones

“The release of these new innovations comes as United expects its busiest Fourth of July weekend on record with more than five million passengers flying between June 28 and July 8, up more than 7% compared to last year,” United said.

The airline had a strong Q1 2024, with total operating revenue reaching roughly $12.5 billion at a 9.7% increase from the same time last year.

United was down just under 12% year over year as of Wednesday afternoon.

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