United Airlines is rolling out technology on its mobile app that will tell you exactly why your flight is delayed.
Usually when a delay occurs, we will see messages like these:
That’s better than just saying delayed, but still leaves a fair amount to the imagination.
But on select mainline flights to/from Houston (IAH) and Chicago (ORD), United is testing out a far more detailed status update.
For example, a delayed flight from Chicago to Orlando:
Thus far, I’ve seen it only on a couple of flights out of IAH or ORD. Some mainline flights still reflect the “old”, less detailed display.
It is always nice to know why a flight is delayed: this new feature, which will hopefully be expanded systemwide, will empower consumers with up-to-date information. But more importantly, I think this is a great tool to hold United accountable for delays.
So often, when delays occur we are told one thing at the gate and another over the phone or when we write customer service. Mechanical delays become weather delays, thus eliminating compensation.
If we can now see precise reasons for delays, a quick screenshot will ensure that United does not later argue the delay was due to another reason.
In keeping United accountable, this new delay tool gives customers an unprecedented level of detail concerning flight delays. I hope it will expand systemwide.
They should offer similar transparency when denying boarding to passengers. Maybe a smartphone notification (in his foreign characters) would have quelled Mr. Dao.
My late flight last night (coded “operational difficulties”) had multiple seats that needed to be replaced due to puking on the inbound segment…wonder how they will explain that one 😉