They might even hold the plane for you.

By Evie Carrick
June 17, 2019
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Flight transfers can be tricky. Even when it appears you’ve got ample time, a simple flight delay — or a lengthy gate-to-gate walk — can result in a tight or impossible transfer, leaving you waiting hours for the next flight.

United Airlines is looking to eliminate this travel stressor with a new tool that helps travelers make tight transfers. The airline recently announced ConnectionSaver, a program that was designed to make connections easier for United passengers.

ConnectionSaver works by first identifying departing flights that can be held for connecting customers while ensuring passengers who are already on board will arrive at their destination on time. Before making the decision to hold the flight, the new tool takes into account the impact the hold could take on other flights and how much time it will take the tardy connecting passengers to reach the gate.

Connecting passengers using the latest version of the United app will get personalized text messages that include directions to the connecting gate and how long it should take to get there. The airline will also send a map of the airport and available amenities.

The tool, which was tested earlier this year at Denver International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport, has helped more than 14,400 customers make connections they would’ve otherwise missed, according to a statement by the airline. During the test, flights that were held were delayed an average of six minutes.

"Through improved technology and our dedication to running a reliable operation, customers with tight connections are making their flights. With summer travel picking up, as many as 150,000 customers will make connections on United flights every day and our goal is to provide our employees and these customers with the most up-to-date information to make connecting as stress-free as possible," Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United said in a statement.

United plans to have the technology at every United hub by the fall, before expanding to every airport utilized by the airline.

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