United Airlines is offering a sneak peek of a "new-and-improved" website that offers a number of flyer-friendly improvements.
While the airline says it will officially launch the new version this summer following customer feedback and further refinements, customers can use the new site by clicking onto beta.united.com. The new site is also intermittently showing up when you click on united.com.
New features include:
— Search, sort and filter flights: Customers can search flights by choosing which features are most important to them, including Wi-Fi availability, preferred connection cities, aircraft type, in-seat power or the inclusion of nearby cities.
— Quicker view of fare and date combinations: Search results automatically display pricing for a 15-day window (7 days before and after their selected date) to show more options. Flights are now displayed in "each way" increments, unlike on the company's previous website that showed only round-trip fares, so those using the new site might think they are getting a bargain only to be surprised when the final total is added up.
— Upgrades: Customers can now find out if upgrades are available for a particular flight. They can view upgrade availability and redeem MileagePlus upgrades prior to purchasing tickets on all eligible flights.
— Customized widgets: The new homepage features widgets customized with MileagePlus members' travel histories as well as upcoming trips, saved searches and alerts.
An improved touch-screen-friendly interface also allows users to book flights from any device.
"We reimagined the flight booking experience from the ground up," Scott Wilson, United’s vice president of merchandising and eCommerce, said in a press release. "Much more than a facelift — we kept our customers' needs and preferences for personalized travel at the center of the design to offer an entirely new and improved experience altogether."
According to United, the site draws 2,000 visitors each minute and sees more than $1 million in revenue every hour.
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