CHICAGO, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines is kicking off the holiday shopping season by offering a test group of MileagePlus members a new, convenient way to pay for in-store purchases and earn up to 24 award miles per dollar spent with a special preview of the MileagePlus X mobile app.
United is inviting a group of MileagePlus members with iOS and Android mobile devices to download the app, which lets members use their smartphones for in-store purchases at national retailers including Lowe's, Sears, Gap and AMC Theaters. The airline plans to expand MileagePlus X to all members and offer more retailers soon.
The MileagePlus X app enables customers to find nearby participating retailers and view the amount of miles they can earn at more than 50,000 locations. Customers can also browse a catalog of all merchants or search for specific stores.
Transactions are simple: At check-out, customers enter the total dollar amount of their purchase via the app, creating a digital merchant gift card. The cashier then scans the barcode to complete the digital gift card purchase. Award miles will instantly appear in members' accounts in addition to any miles the customer may earn purchasing the digital gift card with a MileagePlus Credit Card from Chase.
"The new MileagePlus X app builds on the increasing popularity of mobile purchasing, enabling members to make in-store purchases and earn miles without having to pull out a credit card," said Praveen Sharma, United's vice president of loyalty.
United is continuing to improve MileagePlus X and plans to launch additional features, including the ability to redeem miles for in-store purchases.
In 2013, United launched its all-new mobile app, which has reached more than 15 million downloads. This year, United became the first U.S. airline to offer customers the ability to scan their passports to check in for international flights via its mobile app. CIO Magazine recently selected United as a recipient of its prestigious CIO 100 Award, recognizing the airline's commitment to improving customer experience with mobile technology.
Early next year, United will begin to introduce its all-new united.com website, providing customers a simplified, clearer and faster user experience.
In 2007, United became the first U.S. airline to introduce mobile boarding passes, and it is the first U.S. carrier to offer mobile boarding at all 214 domestic airports it serves. United currently offers mobile boarding at 59 international airports, more than any other U.S.-based carrier.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,100 flights a day to 374 airports across six continents. In 2013, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 139 million customers. With U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates more than 700 mainline aircraft. This year, the airline is taking delivery of 35 new Boeing aircraft, including the 787-9 as the North American launch customer, and is welcoming 32 new Embraer 175 aircraft to United Express. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
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SOURCE United Airlines