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Making international check-in a breeze

Customers traveling to China now have the ability to scan their Chinese visas using the United app to complete the check-in process electronically. This exclusive feature removes a step from the check-in process that could previously only be done at the airport. As the U.S. airline with the most nonstop flights to China, this adds to our existing capability to scan passports, making international travel even more convenient. Building on this industry leading scanning technology, we plan to add other travel documents in the future.

Higher quality earbuds

Based on customer and flight attendant feedback, we recently upgraded the audio equipment available to our United Economy customers. The earbuds feature a stronger speaker and a silicone in-ear tip to help with noise reduction, and will replace all current United Economy audio equipment. The new model of earbuds will be available on all flights with video screens or tablet rental programs across all fleet types. The earbuds will be distributed upon customer request, but since many customers bring their own headset or earbuds, we will not provision earbuds for 100 percent of seats to reduce waste.
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New snack options

Customers can now enjoy new food and drink options onboard. Beginning on Sept. 1, we replaced the complimentary Asian-style snack mix and zesty-ranch mix with a new savory snack mix consisting of honey sticks, pretzel twists and cheddar sticks. We’ve also refreshed our Bistro on Board menu. For breakfast, customers will now have the option to enjoy a chicken sausage and egg skillet with gouda, spinach and sweet potatoes, or the harvest ham baguette with cheddar cheese and maple cream cheese. New lunch and dinner options include a Greek-style chicken wrap with feta, roasted red pepper cream cheese and spinach and a roast beef baguette with three-pepper gouda, caramelized onions and cream cheese.

Bringing back kiosk receipts

Based on feedback from customers and employees, we have added back to the airport lobby kiosks a way to get your ticket receipt. A physical receipt won’t print at the kiosk; instead, we will ask you for an email address. We’ll email you the receipt information so you’ll have it on hand and closer to the top of your inbox during your travels.
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Better food, shopping coming to IAH terminals

We’re transforming the eating and shopping experience in Terminal B South, Terminal C (including the new C North Concourse, which opens in 2017) and Terminal E at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport in partnership with OTG. The new additions will elevate the in-terminal experience with new restaurants inspired by some of the region’s most notable chefs, gourmet markets and world-class retail and duty-free shops. In addition, nearly 8,000 iPad tablets will be available for customers to use for free to track their flights, order from the terminal’s restaurants and purchase travel amenities for delivery directly to their seat in the terminal while browsing the Internet.

New beer

Customers asked us for more adventurous and interesting beers, so in response to that feedback, beginning July 1, 2016, we will offer Goose Island Four Star Pils on flights worldwide for $7.99.

Premium scotch

Customers – including our Airtime readers – asked us for a premium scotch, so beginning in July 1, 2016, we’ll be offering Glenfarclas single malt Scotch whisky on flights worldwide for $8.99.

Bringing back mid-flight snacks

In June 2015, we began offering a more robust, three-course meal and stopped offering a complimentary mid-flight snack to Economy customers on international flights, adding our Choice Menu Snack Shop items in these markets. A year later, on June 1, 2016, we’ll bring back those mid-flight snacks in response to customer feedback. We will offer a small sandwich and candy on flights over 12 hours as well as flights from Europe to and from the U.S. West Coast.

Better snack before arrival

Our Economy customers have told us that they’d like a more robust breakfast offering on overnight flights from the United States to Europe. In response, beginning June 1, 2016, customers on these flights will receive an enhanced snack just prior to landing in Europe that will include a heated croissant with jam and yogurt, rather than simply a pre-packaged croissant.
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Minimizing delayed, damaged bags

We are installing covered jetbridge conveyor belts that will expedite handling of gate-checked customer luggage at departure and arrival on United Express flights, minimizing delays and potential for damaged bags. We have installed 12 at Newark’s Terminal A and plan to upgrade another 32 gates at other locations including Cleveland Hopkins, Orlando, Chicago O’Hare and San Francisco.
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