United adds interactive indoor maps and beacon-enabled wayfinding to iOS app


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United app maps
The updated United Airlines app allows passengers to make use of mobile wayfinding at seven of the carrier’s US hubs.

United Airlines has released an extensive upgrade to its app, which now offers interactive indoor maps, beacon-enabled wayfinding and a new self-booking function that simplifies the rebooking process during disruption situations.

The indoor maps are available at United’s Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco and Washington hubs. Passengers can use the app to search for nearby points of interest within the terminal, including departure gates, restaurants and ATMs.

If they have a boarding pass stored in the app, the map will automatically default to start navigation at that specific gate location. Alternatively, the user can place a pin at their current location and the app will guide them to their desired location, providing estimated walking times along the way. United has worked with FTE Global 2015 exhibitor LocusLabs to create and scale-out the custom indoor experience for the app.

Meanwhile, the beacon-based “indoor location” functionality is currently in beta testing at Newark Liberty International Airport’s Terminal C. The use of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons eliminates the need for the user to pinpoint their location.

Scott Wilson, United’s Vice President of eCommerce and Merchandising, explained: “Travellers are accustomed to using maps and navigation apps throughout their daily lives – and that shouldn’t end when they walk into the airport. These new features of our app will make travel easier and more personal for our customers.”

The new re-booking tool has been introduced to help simplify the passenger experience in the event of a flight delay, cancellation or missed connection. Passengers can use the app to choose from a variety of flight options, including from other airports. If a confirmed seat isn’t available on their preferred flight, they can use the app to add themselves to a standby list for an earlier flight.

All of the features are available on the latest version of United’s iOS app and will soon be added to the Android app.