6,000 iPhones will upgrade United Airlines’ customer service

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United Airlines
iPhone 6 Plus is taking flight at United Airlines.
Photo: United Airlines

The iPad has helped airlines replace the outdated paper flight manuals pilots used to lug around. Now Apple’s first phablet is ready to help revolutionize the way United Airlines provides customer service.

United Airlines revealed today that it plans to distribute over 6,000 iPhone 6 Plus units to customer service representatives at its hubs across the US, as part of the company’s effort to give employees better tools to provide faster service.

“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 VP of airport operations, in a statement today. “We have seen great success with the custom-made tools on the iPhone 6 Plus and believe expanding the use of a smart phone device with other applications is a great investment in our employees.”

The 6,000 iPhone 6 Pluses will be deployed early next year and will be used by agents to assist customers with pre-departure actions, like printing boarding passes and baggage tags. The devices can also be used to find alternative flights, and find specific information for customers’ complex needs.

In the future, United wants the iPhone 6 Plus-equipped employees to be able to check-in customers to their flight right from the airport lobby, as well as providing other services you’d find at an airport kiosk.