United will begin distributing the devices to its more than 6,000 hub-based customer service representatives next year. The iPhones will enable agents to assist customers who have checked into their flights with several pre-departure actions, including printing boarding passes and baggage tags anywhere in the airport. Customer service representatives will also be able to assist customers with alternate flight options, helping employees at customer service locations provide additional attention to those with more complex needs.
Future enhancements will include tools to provide full check-in capabilities in airport lobbies and the ability to offer customers much of the same functionality as traditional airport kiosks.
"Our employees told us they needed better tools to serve our customers, especially during severe weather and busier travel times," said Jon Roitman, United's senior vice president of airport operations. "We have seen great success with the custom-made tools on the iPhone 6 Plus and believe expanding the use of a smart phone device with other applications is a great investment in our employees."
Back in August of 2011, United distributed iPads to pilots and last June the company distributed iPhones to flight attendants.