United Airlines flight attendants will use iPhone 6s to wish you 'happy birthday'

United flight attendants will track basic customer information on their new iPhone 6 Plus phones. Photo: United Airlines. 

United flight attendants will track basic customer information on their new iPhone 6 Plus phones. Photo: United Airlines. 

What's the line between cool and creepy?

United Airlines frequent fliers might be about to find out. United is giving all of its flight attendants iPhone 6 Plus phones this summer, and they'll be loaded with a new customer service app. By the end of August, all flight attendants will have access to basic data on customers, and United is asking crew members to use that information to improve how they interact with passengers. 

First, here's what flight attendants will know about customers, according to an internal United manual I obtained. 

Birthday. If your birthday is within one day of the flight, flight attendants will know. United would like crew members to wish customers a 'happy birthday.' Flight attendants will not know what year you were born, just the month and day.

Reaching a million miler threshold: If you're close to 1 million or 2 million miles, flight attendants are supposed to congratulate you. 

Reaching the next Premier status level: Are you a Premier Gold (50,000 miles per year) flier who is crossing over to Premier Platinum (75,000 miles) status? Expect a flight attendant to thank you for your loyalty. 

MileagePlus enrollment anniversary:  Did you sign up for MileagePlus five years ago? Or 10? Or 20? A flight attendant might congratulate you on your milestone. 

Flight attendants may say whatever they would like, and they're not required to say anything at all. But United has recommended these scripts:

Million miler threshold: “Mr./Mrs. _[name]_, I see on this flight today you are reaching _[#]_ million miles of flying with United. Congratulations! We appreciate your business and look forward to flying you on your next million with United.” 

Birthday: Mr./Mrs. _[name]_, it’s my understanding that today is your birthday. I would just like to say that on behalf of all of us here at United, we wish you a very happy birthday and thank you for flying with us on your special day.” 

Next Premier status level: “Mr./Mrs. [name], on this flight today you will be crossing the threshold to reach _[Premier level]_ status in our MileagePlus program. Congratulations and thank you for loyalty!” 

MileagePlus enrollment anniversary: “Mr./Mrs. _[name]_, I notice that you’ve been a member of MileagePlus for _[#]_ years. Thank you for your loyalty, we appreciate your business.

A United spokeswoman emailed this statement on Thursday afternoon.

“When able to, our flight attendants recognized customer milestones in the past. However, with iPhone 6 Plus, they have the tool they need to do so more consistently to enhance the customer experience.”   

What do you think? Will you like the personalized attention?

And do you think flight attendants will follow the guidelines?


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