Case Study

United Airlines Decreases Passenger Compensation Costs by 75%
with Digital Voucher Payouts



In the aviation industry, disruptions are inevitable. Mandated flow control, oversold flights and equipment failures can aggravate your passengers and tarnish your brand.

Worldwide, Airlines lost 21.8 million bags in 2017, resulting in a negative impact to the bottom line and more importantly, the customer experience.
In the aviation industry, weather and equipment don't always cooperate. Mandated flow control, oversold flights and equipment failures can aggravate your passengers and tarnish your brand.

Worldwide, airlines lost 21.8 million bags in 2017, resulting in a negative impact to the bottom line and more importantly, the customer experience.
United Airlines Digital Voucher

The Problem

United Airlines needed a way to compensate customers for baggage delays quickly and effectively. The current voucher process had multiple pain points for both the operations team and the passenger.

Unable to offer compensation, agents could only communicate the instructions for how to go about reimbursement, resulting in angry and frustrated passengers.

Passengers were responsible for keeping track of all receipts, filing a claim and submitting documentation to the airline for reimbursement.

Because each claim must be submitted and reviewed manually, it took an average of 10 weeks to compensate the customer for their purchases.

Due to the paper-based nature of the program, tracking and controlling program expenditures was challenging and unable to be measured in real-time.

The Solution

A great passenger experience is critical, and so is operational excellence. United Airlines needed to revamp their existing voucher program to address a number of concerns with both the passenger experience and operations.

Maintain or reduce the current cost of compensation claims

Increase customer satisfaction with "in-the-moment" compensation

Empower agents with the tools to resolve issues immediately

Deploy the new program as soon as possible

Step 1. Distribution

After a service disruption, passengers received a Digital Voucher Payout in real-time via text or email link.

By enabling agents to offer compensation immediately, customer satisfaction increased while simultaneously relieving the burden of a negative interaction from the agent.

Airline Digital Voucher Payout
United Airlines Digital Voucher

Step 2. Activation

Step 2. Activation

Passengers securely linked their Voucher Payout to the existing credit or debit card of their choice.
Passengers securely linked their Digital Voucher Payout to their existing credit or debit card.

Step 3. Pay As Usual

Passengers paid as usual for their unexpected expenses at a number of pre-defined participating locations. No paper coupons or plastic required.
United Airlines Digital Voucher Notification

Step 4. Redemption

Step 4. Redemption

Passengers received an immediate redemption notification via text and email, and a credit to their account within 1-3 business days.
Passengers received an immediate redemption notification and credit to their account within 1-3 business days.

Because passengers were able to pay as usual, they were no longer responsible for keeping track of receipts, submitting documentation and opening a claim.

Step 5. Tracking & Visibility

United Airlines administrators leveraged the Payouts Network Platform to view all vouchers issued, activated and redeemed in real time.

With Payout Networks card-link technology, the airline only paid when vouchers were redeemed, enabling significant cost savings across the program.

United Airlines Digital Voucher Console

Speed to Market


After a short 5 weeks for implementation and training, United Airlines was able to instantly issue Digital Voucher Payouts in real time to disrupted passengers. Because the program was carefully designed with compensation in mind, passengers were given a delightful and seamless experience from activation to redemption, all without the hassle of waiting in long customer service lines or spending time filling out cumbersome paperwork for reimbursement.


Prior to Wonder’s solution, agents and customer service reps didn’t have the tools to resolve the customer’s needs after the service disruption. 91% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with the new compensation program that offered an in-the-moment solution.


For every dollar that was issued by United, only 49 cents was spent by passengers. All unused funds were returned, demonstrating the unique benefit of leveraging card-linked technology for voucher redemption.


On average, customers who activated their voucher were credited $51.53 in the pilot program. In 2016 the average claim was $206.00, demonstrating the dramatic reduction in the average claim cost per customer.


Based on customers surveyed by United, overall satisfaction with the new program increased their customer satisfaction rating by 270%. This resulted in the highest-ever customer satisfaction rating after a service failure measured by the airline.

Comprehensive Security

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