United Airlines transforms cloud technology to deal with pandemic


In February 2020, Linda jojo (pictured), executive vice president of technology and chief digital officer of United Airlines Inc., was in a meeting with Amazon Web Services Inc. to discuss how technology would transform the airline.

A month later, the world turned completely upside down as a pandemic virtually halted global travel

“Nothing tells you how important your customers are than standing in the middle of O’Hare Airport and not seeing any,” recalls Jojo. “It actually happened in April 2020. We knew we had to take advantage of the crisis and think of everything. What can we do to transform our technology? “

Jojo spoke with Jean Furrier and Lisa Martin, co-hosts of theCUBE, the live streaming studio of SiliconANGLE Media, during AWS re: Invent. They discussed how the airline has developed a number of innovative solutions for customers and employees using AWS technology. (* Disclosure below.)

Become ready to travel

United turned to AWS for help with what had suddenly become a very difficult transportation climate. A team of airline employees worked with AWS tools and cloud technologies to create new solutions for a changed world that required uploading proof of testing or vaccination to book a flight.

“This group came up with something that we now call the Travel-Ready Center,” Jojo said. “We use Amazon SageMaker and we have machine learning models that will validate within seven seconds that you’re ready to fly. You can bypass the airport lobby and all the document checking going on because you are ready to travel.

Along with a renewed focus on the customer, United has also made an effort to leverage technology to make work easier for its own staff. This includes Agent on demand, a mobile solution that gives United staff access to key information in a wide range of environments.

“We made sure that the technology they were using worked on a phone or an iPad, so that we weren’t limited by the number of stations at a door,” Jojo explained. “We really focused on serving our employees. How do you give them information in the palm of their hand to treat you personally? “

Watch the full video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage from AWS re: Invent. (* Disclosure: Amazon Web Services Inc. sponsored this segment of CUBE. Neither AWS nor other sponsors have editorial control over the content of CUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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