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United Launches Innovative Mobile App Seat Preference Feature

Customers can choose their preferred seat type, such as window, aisle, exit row, or bulkhead seats, even if unavailable at booking

by Rachel Dube

April 15, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of United

United Airlines has introduced a new seat preference feature in its mobile application, allowing passengers to request their preferred seat type and automatically get moved if one becomes available. The feature was launched at the end of March and is only available on United flights.

With this new feature, customers can request their desired seat type if it is unavailable when booking their flight. They can choose from various preferences such as window, aisle, exit row, or bulkhead seats. Once a preferred seat becomes available, the app will automatically assign the seat and notify the passenger of their new seat assignment.

United has one of the most technologically advanced apps in the aviation industry. In May, the North American carrier became the first to implement Live Activities for iPhone, allowing passengers to access their boarding pass, gate, and seat number in real time.

The app also has user-friendly features such as a countdown clock that shows the time remaining until departure, up-to-date information on the baggage carousel, and alerts for any timely flight details.

In April, the airline also introduced Mile Pooling, which allows travelers in its frequent flyer program to pool miles together. To spread the miles around, a ‘pool leader’ creates a group and invites up to four family members or friends to participate. Each member in the group can contribute as many miles as they want to the communal pool, and the group members can then redeem the miles so they can book award flights. Through the program, flights can only be booked for United, which means you can’t use them for its Star Alliance partners.

Route Expansion

United unveiled three new flight routes in March that will debut later this year. They will expand the airline’s route network in Africa, South America, and Asia.

Currently, the carrier has the most diversified route network among all U.S. airlines. It offers nonstop service to 134 international destinations across 67 countries. United also has more flights across the Atlantic and Pacific than all the U.S. carriers combined and plans for continued expansion.

Launching a new route from Newark (EWR) to Marrakesh will make the carrier the first to offer direct flights to the Moroccan city. This addition will further expand its presence in Africa, building on its existing service to Accra, Ghana, Lagos, Nigeria, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Photo: United Airlines, first A321neo. Courtesy of Airbus

The carrier will also launch nonstop flights from Houston to Medellin, Colombia, and a new nonstop flight from Tokyo-Narita to Cebu, Philippines.

This summer, United will add more than 100 flights to destinations throughout the U.S. and Canada as part of a massive summer expansion. Some of the new routes and flight frequencies will head to destinations such as Anchorage (ANC), Calgary (YYC), and Vancouver (YVR).

In addition to the new routes, United has also unveiled an increase in flights to popular international destinations, including Hong Kong (HKG), Seoul (ICN), and Porto (OPO).