United has showed off the capabilities of its new Bluetooth-enabled planes, with an emphasis on new features that make it easier for passengers and flight crews to connect and communicate. As part of ‘United Next’, the airline’s plan to modernise and grow its fleet, the carrier currently has Bluetooth connectivity on more than 100 planes and expects it to be on about 800 aircraft by 2032.
In addition to connecting to United’s new seatback screens, travellers can take advantage of other features when using Apple AirPods Pro, including Conversation Awareness and Adaptive Audio, Conversation Awareness lowers volume when the user starts speaking, which can make it easier to communicate with a flight attendant when ordering food and beverages. Additionally, Adaptive Audio is a new listening mode that adjusts the noise control based on the sound in a user’s environment – like the roar of plane engines.
“United was the first U.S. airline to roll out Bluetooth, and when we saw Apple’s new AirPods features, we knew it could be a game changer for our customers and our employees,” said Jason Birnbaum, United’s Chief Information Officer. “People want to stay connected while they’re in the air, but there’s also a lot of interactions between our crew and customers – the technological combination of wireless connectivity, Conversation Awareness and Adaptive Audio result in a great experience for everyone.”