The iPhone has a new job at United Airlines. The airline has announced that representatives for United will be using the iPhone 6 Plus in an effort to “mobilize” the airline’s customer service.
Over 6,000 United reps will be using the iPhone 6 Plus for things like ticket-printing and baggage tag-printing, and they will also have access real-time flight information.
“Our employees told us they needed better tools to serve our customers, especially during severe weather and busier travel times,” said Jon Roitman, United’s senior vice president of airport operations, in a statement. “We have seen great success with the custom-made tools on the iPhone 6 Plus and believe expanding the use of a smartphone device with other applications is a great investment in our employees.”
United Airlines is hoping that it can extend the service to create “mobile airport kiosks,” essentially allowing representatives to check passengers in from the iPhone as soon as those passengers step into the lobby. iPhones will start being distributed to representatives in 2016.
Of course, the decision from United isn’t totally unprecedented. The company has been integrating Apple products into its operations for a few years now in an effort to create a “paperless” flying experience. In fact, in June the company gave the iPhone 6 Plus to 23,000 flight attendants to process things like in-flight food sales. Not only that, but pilots at United have been using the iPad since 2011.
Despite all this, United has yet to start accepting payments from Apple Pay, with other airlines like JetBlue having announced the feature back in February.
Apple is catering more and more to airlines, having partnered with IBM to create an iOS app for pilots to access things like flight information, also allowing flight attendants to see more passenger information during flights.