United Airlines has been implementing a program at its major hubs to reduce missed connections. The program, known as ConnectionSaver, uses an algorithm that will slightly delay a flight to allow more passengers to make their connection in situations where they likely would not. This is a major issue that many legacy carriers have been facing recently; with large hubs, delays are quite common. Even the smallest delay could prevent passengers from making their connection.
While many airlines have delayed flights to accommodate for missed connections, it has been done manually. With algorithms that can accurately estimate the delay needed, more passengers will be able to make tight connections at hub airports. United has faced heaps of backlash on social media for issues with connections in the past; in fact, there have even been attempts to boycott the carrier due to their troubles with connecting passengers.
This program is currently being implemented at United's hub airports as most of their connections are made there. United, the smallest of the big three American carriers by passengers carried, has had many events that hurt its image. However it is hoped that this program will appeal to customers making connections, and this, coupled with American's poor operational performance recently, will allow United's image to improve.
I have faced many issues with connections in the past, but oddly they have not been with United. Last year, I flew American's Boeing 737 MAX 8 from Puerto Plata to Miami. After landing in Miami and going through customs and security, I only had five minutes to get from security to the other side of the airport. Luckily, I was able to make my connection, but a program similar to this on American would have slightly delayed my flight so there would not be as much of a rush.
Connections are one of the greatest causes of stress in travelers, and a missed connection can mean that a passenger does not arrive at their destination for multiple days, so other hub and spoke carriers will likely follow in United's footsteps.