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United Launches Virtual ‘Agent on Demand’

New mobile phone customer support tool rolls out at Chicago O’Hare and Houston George Bush airports with other locations coming soon

December 10, 2020

United Airlines has launched a virtual ‘Agent on Demand’ service, enabling customers to access calls, texts or video live chat with a member of United staff via their mobile phones. The service has launched at Chicago O’Hare and Houston George Bush International airports, with plans to roll it out to other United hub locations by the end of the year.

Travelers access the service by scanning a QR code displayed on signage at the airport, or through self-service kiosks at selected gate areas. Once connected, they can choose to talk with an agent by phone, chat or video depending on the traveler’s preference.

Examples of queries which United says might be resolved through the service include questions on seat assignments, upgrades, standby list, flight status and rebooking. The carrier also said that a translation functionality is integrated into the chat platform, allowing customers to communicate with agents in over 100 languages.

“Agent on Demand allows customers to bypass waiting in line at the gate and seamlessly connect with customer service agents from their mobile device, ensuring they continue to receive the highest levels of service while also prioritizing their health and safety,” said Linda Jojo, United’s executive vice president for technology and chief digital officer.

The virtual service is one of a number of technology initiatives United has undertaken recently to smooth the airport experience for travelers. In November, the airline introduced a redesign of its mobile app to better assist the visually disabled. The redesign also included faster processing, increased personalization options and more intuitive navigation.