MIDLAND, Tx. (KOSA) - Many times, air travelers have to make a run for their connecting flights after a delay, but soon some of those flights may wait up.
We’ve all been there before.
Your first flight gets delayed now suddenly you only have a few precious minutes to make it to the next gate or your trip is ruined.
Now, United Airlines passengers may not have to lace up their running shoes next time they try to catch a flight.
This fall, United is rolling out a new system in all their airports called ConnectionSaver—technology that can figure out which flights can wait just a little longer when passengers need extra time.
From the flyers we talked to, people often do need it.
“Yes, that happens so many times,” Jeams Rabel said.
Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you’re trying to get to Houston, but first you have to stop in Midland. Your flight lands here at 2:00 p.m., but your connecting flight is at 1:57 p.m., which obviously doesn’t really give you time to make it to that gate.
In this case, United may hold that flight and then shoot you a text letting you know they’re waiting for you.
In a press release, United wrote they would delay flights so long as it doesn’t inconvenience passengers already on board and would only hold flights for about six minutes.
We spoke to travelers at the Midland International Air & Space port to hear if they think the short delays would be worth it.
“If you’re only waiting like five or ten minutes, I think that’s a nice idea,” Brenda Calhoun said. “I’m sure some people would really appreciate it that have to deal with those tight connections.”
It certainly would have come in handy for Ann McReynolds who was supposed to have an hour layover before her flight to Midland, but after a delay she was left with only five minutes to sprint to her gate.
“So, I had quite a run to get there,” McReynolds said. “I had to really run to get there.”
While most people say it’s a good idea to hold the door, others worry it might not be so pleasant after the plane touches back down.
“If they’re going to hold it for me for five minutes and their program will do that for me, I’m a happy camper,” John Koepke said. “But if I’m on the plane that’s leaving, I don’t want to wait that five extra minutes because I may miss that flight where I’m landing to wherever I’m going to.”
United wrote in an email to CBS7 they plan to use these delays only if that means the flight will still make it to their destination on time.
If that’s not the case, those late travelers will just have to wing it.
United Airlines has experimented with this technology over the past few months at select airports and say it’s already helped more than 14,000 people make flights they would have missed.