More than a decade ago, United Airlines began deploying iPads to its pilots to replace their bulky airplane manuals and other essential flight bag materials. Since then, the airline has furthered its integration of Apple products with day-to-day operations. Recently, United Airlines revealed its use of Apple technology has saved passengers from millions of minutes of delayed flights.
A Fully Mobile and Empowered Airline Workforce
As part of the “Apple at Work” series of success stories, United Airlines explains how its use of Apple technology across all aspects of its operations have improved the air carrier. According to the company, it has deployed more than 120,000 Apple devices since the partnership first launched in 2011.
Thanks to that integration, United says it has been able to save its passengers 13 million minutes from delays. The airline puts iPhones and iPads in the hands of all of its employees, from the flight crew and attendants to maintenance staff and baggage handlers.
In the hands of the pilots, iPads offer a collection of apps that enable the flight crews to retrieve accurate, up-to-date information at a touch without flipping through thousands of pages in paper manuals. This also reduces weight of the aircraft, saving United 326,000 gallons of fuel each year. Plus, it eliminates the annual need for 21,000 trees’ worth of paper.
Flight attendants and gate agents also benefit from United Airlines use of Apple technology. Using the company’s My Schedule custom app, gate agents can quickly receive and accept flight assignments. The airline’s flight attendants use another custom app to better communicate and manage passenger needs.
United Airlines Uses Apple Technology to Expedite Maintenance and Takeoff Approval
Maintenance operations at United Airlines are also transformed by Apple gear. The secure Touch ID feature on iPad has helped United become the first and only passenger airline to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to completely digitize maintenance release documents.
Passenger flights need a maintenance release before every takeoff. These maintenance release documents normally require a physical paper trail with authorized signatures. Thanks to the use of yet another custom app, United Airlines has enjoyed a nearly 20% reduction in delays related to quick turns. It’s also seen a 30% reduction in deferred maintenance items.
Lead Line Technician for United Airlines Mansur Zia calls the iPad the “most essential piece of equipment” the company uses.
iPad is the most essential piece of equipment we use every day. It brings the whole airline — flight crews, flight attendants, customer service, maintenance — together.
The full details of how integrating Apple technology has helped United Airlines is available to the public on the iPhone maker’s success stories video and article.