United Airlines on the future of mobile and tracking performance

Matt Lincoln, manager – Digital Insights and Optimization at United Airlines believes that having a strong mobile app and a strong digital strategy and user experience is critical to customer service and company performance. He tells us the airline is focused on staying at the lead in this area.

“Our goal is to make every United experience a positive and seamless one from the beginning of the journey to the end, including streamlined booking and boarding and on-time departures and arrivals,” Lincoln says.

“As more and more people use mobile devices in their daily lives, we need to make sure we are on the cutting-edge of the latest technology for a better experience for our customers. In order to do that we need to focus on mobile technology and continue to provide an industry-leading mobile app experience.”

The airline uses App Annie to better understand how its customers use the app and how it performs compared to competitors. United monitors app reviews and tracks a series of experience metrics including active users, market penetration, duration and frequency of use; as well as the effectiveness of notifications. Lincoln’s team also looks at United customers’ cross-app user patterns to inform marketing efforts and evaluate partnerships.

Lincoln tells us:

“These insights, among others, gauge the value customers place on specific features, while identifying features that need to be more user friendly and engaging, and keep track of feature launches competitively to understand what is working and what needs improvement.”

“For example, United recently launched mobile bag tracking within the app, and through listening to feedback and monitoring the launch of the feature, we have been able to provide our customers with a satisfying experience and learn from past launches from across similar applications.”

“While we lead across the travel industry in downloads, we need to continue to push ourselves and the experience further to improve the travel experience for our customers. We were the first major airline to launch voice capabilities through Alexa and Google home. Additionally, we were the first to launch mobile boarding passes through our app for partner airline flights. By focusing on learning and listening to our customers we hope to push ourselves forward to create the optimal app and experience our customers deserve, while continuing to stay ahead of what is a fast evolving and always changing landscape.”

Lincoln describes the principles guiding United’s digital strategy by saying:

“In the digital world, no one can afford to let their experience stagnate. We must always be analyzing, evolving, and improving our approach to keep pace with the times. This is especially important as it relates to our app and new technologies our customers are using. By utilizing a test and learn mindset, being our own biggest critic, and listening to our customers we will meet the changing landscape head-on.”

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Marisa Garcia

About the Writer :: Marisa Garcia

Marisa Garcia is the tnooz aviation analyst. She has covered travel technology, design, branding, and strategy for leading publications, including Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, APEX Magazine, AirlineTrends, and Travel+Leisure. She also shares industry insights on her site Flight Chic. Fly with her on Twitter.



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  1. udi

    This is funny, United is actually the model on HOW NOT TO! design a mobile app

    On the internet you can find 160 powerpoint on all the flows in their UX and Design


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