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United’s current website has some bipolar tendencies.
It’s incredibly functional, with the most transparency of any U.S. airline website, including:
But its interface is stuck in the early 2000s. It’s ugly.
And airfare searches lack a lot of filtering and discovery tools we’re used to on other sites. So using a lot of the transparency features takes a lot of digging and clicking.
A new website has been in the works for several years now, so we were excited to see that a Beta version of it is now available to invited MileagePlus members that allows live booking.
Here’s a look at how it is shaping up for MileagePlus award travel and upgrade searches…
The award calendar and easy column layout are intact, and you can now filter Kayak style
Expert Mode is still alive and well
Dreaded mixed cabin awards are clearer
You can search for Global Premier upgradeable fares and compare them to Economy class fares side by side
Upgrade copays with miles are now displayed upfront and in the total
There are also other cool adds, like being able to select airports you don’t like connecting through in your profile and the opportunity to change the background image of the home page.
And of course there are other production bugs that we won’t mention here, that’s a natural part of the Beta process.
What’s not there
Overall, United is doing what we want. The mandate was don’t mess up what’s working, especially for power users, and make it modern.
The Beta version is keeping the transparency intact, adding a cleaner interface, and making the power user tools easier to access. It’s not the most concise layout, there is a lot of detail, but United is really taking care to make sure the heaviest users of the site are happy.
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