Here's how airlines are using AI to make flying less of a nightmare

Here's how airlines are using AI to make flying less of a nightmare
  • Some airlines are using artificial intelligence to improve travel.

  • United Airlines uses ConnectionSaver, an AI-powered tool that helps manage connecting flights.

  • And Smart Gating technology helps American Airlines flights find the nearest available gate.

Artificial intelligence might take your job. But at least you'll be less likely to miss a connecting flight.

Industry leaders like United Airlines and American Airlines are using AI tools to create a smoother travel experience, a welcome effort for passengers who experienced an average flight delay of 53 minutes last year.

One of the most impactful ways airlines are using AI — according to The New York Times — is helping determine whether a plane should wait for its connecting passengers.

United Airlines, for example, uses ConnectionSaver, now enhanced with AI, to better manage its connecting flights. The company told Business Insider that the technology helps some 2,000 travelers make their connections every day.

A Boeing 777-222(ER) from United Airlines is taking off from Barcelona Airport in Barcelona, Spain, on February 23, 2024.
United Airlines. Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

ConnectionSaver "identifies departing flights that can be held for connecting customers, while ensuring those who have already boarded the aircraft arrive at their destination on time," the airline said in a press release in 2019 when the first iteration of the software was first released.

The tool can also send passengers — who opted to receive notifications — a personalized text detailing where the gate for their connecting flight will be and how long it will take to get there.

"United's ConnectionSaver technology automatically scans flights for customers who are making tight connections to determine if the connecting flight can be held without inconveniencing other customers," the press release says.

American Airlines has also jumped into the AI game, developing Smart Gating technology.

Smart Gating technology automatically assigns arriving American Airlines flights to the nearest available gate with short taxi times, which means aircrafts spend less time waiting on the tarmac.

An American Airlines plane prepares to land at the Miami International Airport on May 02, 2023 in Miami, Florida
American Airlines. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A December 2023 press release said the tool is intended to avoid gate conflicts, reduce ramp congestion, and limit late-minute changes.

American Airlines first used Smart Gating technology at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in 2021, and it has since been implemented at six other airports, according to the Times.

The Department of Transportation announced last month that airlines must now provide passengers with automatic refunds in response to delayed and canceled flights.

Passengers experiencing delayed baggage return and who paid for extra services they did not receive are also eligible.

"Without this rule, consumers have to navigate a patchwork of cumbersome processes to request and receive a refund — searching through airline websites to figure out how to make the request, filling out extra "digital paperwork," or at times waiting for hours on the phone," a press release read.

Read the original article on Business Insider