United Airlines’ “Connection Saver” concept is a revolutionary invention that has already helped countless passengers catch connecting flights that would have otherwise been missed.
Passengers often have no control over missed connections. Weather delays and other causes can be the culprit. Frankly, this problem has been a contention of irritation among passengers for decades.
So, United took a serious look at the problem and came up with a solution. The solution was the United Airlines Connection Saver Program.
Have you ever missed a connecting flight? If so you can most likely identify with how not only you but your fellow passengers feel about that problem. United’s solution was welcoming news.
How does the United Airlines Connection Saver work for you?
The Connection Saver is a program analyzing your incoming airplane as well as your departing airplane for your connecting leg. The program is available to serve you, as a United passenger. If your arriving flight is delayed United will hold your connecting flight, when practical, to ensure you don’t miss your connection.
The program allows for a prediction of possible missed connections. The program further evaluates when it’s practicable for United’s staff to hold departing flights for you.
How about the connecting flight ending up arriving late as a result of holding for an inbound flight?
If the flight being held departs a few minutes later than scheduled, there are things the airline can attempt to do to make up for time lost on the connecting flight.
Pilots are in a position to help greatly in this regard, still getting the connecting flight to the destination on time. Techniques used to arrive on time include pilot-executed route short-cuts, and flying at a faster speed or cruising at a different altitude, in coordination with Air Traffic Control and airline flight operations personnel.
An efficient airline like United works like a fine-tuned symphony, where each employee plays an important part.
United’s Connection Saver, a fairly new program
United began using its program in February of 2019 under a limited scope. Full use of the program, encompassing United’s entire network, took place in June of 2019.
According to airline officials, the program has helped an estimated 36,000 passengers so far.
Oscar Munoz, United CEO, an update on United Airlines
Oscar Munoz is a mover and shaker in the airline industry today. Always working towards improvements of United products here is what he bluntly said about the Connection Saver at CNBC’s Evolve Summit:
“On-time departure scores be damned. We don’t care. We have saved tens of thousands of connections.”
United estimated that 150,000 passengers a day would need flight connections during the summer. The Connection Saver ensured a pleasant and practical solution for many passengers, ensuring they did not miss their connecting flight.
Additionally, passengers connecting can opt-in to receive text messages about connecting directions through the airport.
Connection Saver, now a successful program
United has completed its first summer flying season, using a successful Connection Saver program. Now the question is, will other airlines take a closer look at United’s success to create their own version of a passenger missed connection counter-measure program?
Featured Image: United Airlines, Newark (EWR) Airport. Credit: Unsplash.