Topic of the Week: United’s New Beta Website

United

This week, United opened up it’s new beta website to the general public. Have you played with it? Head on over to beta.united.com if you haven’t. I think it looks good, and it’s consistent with the look of its mobile app. There are some nice features to be sure. What do you think?

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32 comments on “Topic of the Week: United’s New Beta Website

  1. I took a look. The landing page is nice – simple and easy to use. But I don’t see any changes to the pages other than this – changing seats, account info, etc. Those are still the same old, same old (and too busy, etc.). Am I missing something or did they just put a pretty face on the old site?

    1. KT – They started by completely redoing the back-end with the whole flight search functionality being rebuilt. Then they created the new homepage and shopping pages. The rest will be coming, but it’ll be in stages.

  2. After a short use, I see no difference. I tried to book a flight to Hong Kong specifying the use of GPU’s, and it said it found flights, but upon careful inspection, there were only “mixed” flights, none of them allowing the GPU for over the water. Unless there is a policy change, GPU’s are replaced in your account if the over the water portion is not used, so this result is not useful to the airline or to me. I saw no way to see the upgrade inventory, which it is supposed to have. If UA is not going to allow us to see the inventory without a lot of onerous trial and error, I wish they would stop blocking Expert Flyer from displaying them.

    1. austinflyguy – That sounds like more of a bug to me. This is a beta so you should definitely click to link to give feedback.

      As for showing upgrade inventory, I see it no problem when I click on the Details link in each flight. You may have to be logged in to your account to see it, but it looks good to me.

  3. Looks great. But I tried to book a flight and got errors every step of the way. Had to go to the old site. Not ready for prime time yet.

  4. I tried to do a simple flight search and while I like the interface and the way it displays flights, the new site has some math problems. I picked an outbound flight for $179 and return for $99. The site is not clear if the price on the first flight is the total round-trip cost (like on aa.com) or just the segment cost. Either way, it gave me a total price of $250.20. Good luck figuring that one out!

    I really liked the old – old United site that had all of the outbound flights on the left column and the return flights on the right. You could select any combination and the price showed up in the middle of the two (kind of looked like an NCAA bracket). That really allowed for you to quickly balance cost vs schedule vs other factors even without the fancy filters.

    1. I agree on how their “old” site displayed the price/flights was convenient. I don’t like how the beta site is showing prices in one-way prices. Just show me the flippin’ total.

  5. I like what appears to be a US tail in the background of one of the images. It’s the only tail in the image. I have no idea how this image made it through design.

  6. Click on any of the links below the United logo and see what appears…it is the old continental website circa 2005 (if not older). this looks like a lot of lipstick and not much substance. Someone else said it too…the interface is windows 8 and a little dated today…would have been cool 3 years ago, not anymore.

  7. I only did a quick flight search – DEN to CDG – I could not find way to see the seat map with available seats. Hopefully that will be added.

  8. The choose-your-own-background option on the main page might be a little overly precious.

    Still, there was quite a bit of room for improvement from the old website. Will be good if they can manage to balance homepage functionality (where I’d say AA has gone a little too light) with speed of loading and navigation (where DL is too laggy, especially on tablets, with all of their fancy pop-up boxes).

    1. Geez, I really didn’t look at it that closely.

      Quite frankly who gives a f*ck about the background on an airline website? I go there to do business with the airline. Its one thing for Bing or something that people go to all the time to add some visual interest.

  9. Why is this news? It’s about time Can’tinental has gotten into the 21st century. All the other airlines have had their fares displayed this way for some time.

  10. Why? Believe it or not, there are still a few of us out here who will walk and/or swim before flying UAL. No rant, no examples (this time), not fat type, I just refuse to give those sob’s another dime. For anything. Ever. Honestly, I’d pay their fare schedule to a ULCC and smile about it before I’d fly UAL again.

  11. Checked the promotional fares from Washington, DC. It is cheaper to go to Hong Kong than to San Franscico. Makes no sense. Also checked an actual flight to Portland, OR. Had a choice between coach and first class, but did not readily find the coach plus seats with extra legroom.

  12. I priced out a double open jaw to europe (DEN-IAH-LHR, PRG-MUC-CLT) and it priced at $5,678 on the new site and $4,696 on the old site! all flight segments the same.. with PRG-MUC-CLT on LH (MUC-CLT on UA codeshare flight #). Not inspiring confidence in the one way pricing…

      1. I figured out where I went wrong. The PRG-MUC-CLT legs had to be built manually, as for whatever reason if you asked for PRG-CLT, the LH codeshare via MUC would not show up as an option. For the PRG-MUC leg, if you picked Economy, that bumped the fare up. If you picked Business, then all was good. The old site, of course, only showed Business if you asked for business.

  13. I think the new homepage is just awesome — looks a lot cleaner than it used to. The old one looks a bit cluttered…if the whole website switches to the new look, I love it!

  14. Yesterday I could use the old website, and today I’m redirected to the beta site for award book. And a lot of flights that were available yesterday aren’t today. Is it possible that during the rollover, award capacity has changed? I’m looking at flights seven months out, and ALL the super saver awards are gone.

    1. Availability wouldn’t changed, but you can do a test. In the bottom dark blue bar there’s a gray button that lets you rever to the “previous version of united.com”

  15. This will be the straw that break’s the back of this Global Services customer. It’s difficult to read the type: too small, too grey. The excessive amount of white space makes it difficult to compare flights quickly. The expert mode is virtually illegible. The “artists” must hate humans, and particularly they must hate anyone over the age of 24 who doesn’t have perfect uncorrected vision. Perhaps next version they can use black buttons on a black background, so it looks REALLY cool and is COMPLETELY unusable. Does ANYONE at this airline actually try to use their own product? Fly? Buy tickets? Totally out of touch and clueless.

    1. Of course they don’t buy their tickets online. Anyone at United that makes these decisions is flying free, and certainly isn’t booking online. And since they don’t get miles for flying, why should they care if there are any saver seats available, especially in business class, internationally? I wish they would take away the loyalty programs – they really don’t give you much, anyway. Why try to bullshit us into thinking they do? JMHO

      Mike Bing mb5377@gmail.com 415.893.1025 o 415.793.7700 m

      http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikebing/

  16. The green boxes appear OVER the text of this page, and make it impossible to read full comments. The text flows to the right margin, under the green boxes. At the bottom of the page, it was possible to read the full comment of “mb5377 · May 20, 2015 at 10:51 pm”, because the green boxes had stopped one comment earlier. Using Mozilla Firefox 38.0.1.

  17. What really irritates me is that not all the Star Alliance available flight comes up on a search. For example routing SFO-IST: it constantly wants to route me via Toronto on AC or Frankfurt/Munich on LH when there is a nonstop on Turkish available and bookable.

    Another thing I hate about United vis a vis Star Alliance is that when you book travel on LH in business class for a United operated flight – you get access to United’s seat inventory. BUT when you book on United (have to maximize the new rules on award miles) in business class for a LH-operated flight, it will not allow you to pre-select seats or give you access to the inventory??? How is this a benefit for *A? So now I book thru United and then have to call the operating airline to request seats…. :(

  18. United NEEDS to PROTECT MileagePlus members’ “sensitive” PERSONAL information on their webpage. It should encrypted & HIDDEN from view when logged in. MileagePlus members are vulnerable for ID theft when using public computers to access their accounts! And MANY customers/members DO USE LIBRARY and other “public” computers! PLEASE remove displays of DOB on UA MileagePlus page!
    ALSO allow PASSWORD changes! I’m NOT able to change my “OnePass” password to make it STRONGER!

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