Travel Payments

United Debuts Searchable Google Maps For Trip Planning

United Airlines has launched an interactive map feature, Map Search, to let users access flight times, prices and other data, according to a company blog post.

The feature, powered by Google's Flight Search enterprise technology, can be accessed on the company's website. It lets users compare and shop for flights based on city, budget and location. They can take things into account like national parks, skiing, cultural destinations and other such attractions like breweries, beaches and romantic destinations.

The new tool includes a map view and fares for each location on it, which will help users simplify comparisons, the post stated. Customers will be able to work with filters for the maps, including for non-stop-only flights, specific or flexible dates and one-way or round-trip options, along with specifics on price limits and preferred departure cities.

Linda Jojo, executive vice president for Technology and chief digital officer for United, said in the post that the company has "reinvented the way people search for flights and introduced something new for our customers that is simpler, provides better results and is easy to use."

"Leveraging the power of Google's Flight Search technology, we are able to provide an all-in-one solution that streamlines the search process and allows our customers to more easily find the flights that work best for them," she said, according to the post.

In addition, Map Search is another innovation in United's attempts to make flying easier, the company said. Previously, United introduced the Destination Travel Guide, which included filters for individual destinations' COVID-19 restrictions, along with recently implemented contactless check-in options and a new chatbot to help with questions about cleaning and sanitary procedures.

According to PYMNTS, the chatbot is called the United Automated Assistant, and is the company's attempt to quell pandemic-related anxieties. Users can text "Clean" to FLYUA (35982) and get information regarding mask policies, boarding procedures and more.

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The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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