United Airlines
Overview
 
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings, Inc. , is a publicly traded airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in the United Building in Chicago, Illinois. UCH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. both of which use the trade name United Airlines...

 and 702 aircraft. It is a subsidiary of United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings, Inc. , is a publicly traded airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in the United Building in Chicago, Illinois. UCH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. both of which use the trade name United Airlines...

, Inc. formerly, UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation is the former name of United Continental Holdings an airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. UAL held a 100 percent controlling interest in United Air Lines, Inc., one of the world's largest air carriers, and is a founding member of...

, with corporate headquarters in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. United's largest hub
Airline hub
An airline hub is an airport that an airline uses as a transfer point to get passengers to their intended destination. It is part of a hub and spoke model, where travelers moving between airports not served by direct flights change planes en route to their destinations...

 is Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, is a Class B international airport in Houston, Texas, serving the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located north of Downtown Houston between Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 59...

. United also has hubs at O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

 in Chicago, Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of...

, Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport , often referred to as DIA, is an airport in Denver, Colorado. By land size, at , it is the largest international airport in the United States, and the third largest international airport in the world after King Fahd International Airport and Montréal-Mirabel...

, San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

, Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

, Narita International Airport
Narita International Airport
is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located east of Tokyo Station and east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama....

 near Tokyo, Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is a public airport located nine miles southwest of the central business district of Cleveland, a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. The airport lies just within the city limits of Cleveland...

 and Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport
Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport
Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport , also known as Guam International Airport, is an airport located in Tamuning and Barrigada, three miles east of the capital city of Hagåtña in the U.S. territory of Guam. It is named for Antonio Borja Won Pat, the first delegate from Guam to the United...

 in Guam.
United is a founding member of the Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany . The alliance was founded in 1997 by five of the world's leading airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines...

, the largest airline alliance in the world, and offers connections to over 1,000 destinations in over 170 countries worldwide.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings, Inc. , is a publicly traded airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in the United Building in Chicago, Illinois. UCH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. both of which use the trade name United Airlines...

 and 702 aircraft. It is a subsidiary of United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings, Inc. , is a publicly traded airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in the United Building in Chicago, Illinois. UCH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. both of which use the trade name United Airlines...

, Inc. formerly, UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation is the former name of United Continental Holdings an airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. UAL held a 100 percent controlling interest in United Air Lines, Inc., one of the world's largest air carriers, and is a founding member of...

, with corporate headquarters in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. United's largest hub
Airline hub
An airline hub is an airport that an airline uses as a transfer point to get passengers to their intended destination. It is part of a hub and spoke model, where travelers moving between airports not served by direct flights change planes en route to their destinations...

 is Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport, is a Class B international airport in Houston, Texas, serving the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located north of Downtown Houston between Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 59...

. United also has hubs at O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

 in Chicago, Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of...

, Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport , often referred to as DIA, is an airport in Denver, Colorado. By land size, at , it is the largest international airport in the United States, and the third largest international airport in the world after King Fahd International Airport and Montréal-Mirabel...

, San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

, Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

, Narita International Airport
Narita International Airport
is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located east of Tokyo Station and east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama....

 near Tokyo, Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is a public airport located nine miles southwest of the central business district of Cleveland, a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. The airport lies just within the city limits of Cleveland...

 and Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport
Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport
Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport , also known as Guam International Airport, is an airport located in Tamuning and Barrigada, three miles east of the capital city of Hagåtña in the U.S. territory of Guam. It is named for Antonio Borja Won Pat, the first delegate from Guam to the United...

 in Guam.
United is a founding member of the Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany . The alliance was founded in 1997 by five of the world's leading airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines...

, the largest airline alliance in the world, and offers connections to over 1,000 destinations in over 170 countries worldwide. The airline's regional service is United Express
United Express
United Express is a brand name under which eight regional airlines operate feeder flights for United Airlines. They primarily connect smaller cities with United's domestic hub airports and “focus cities,” although they offer some point-to-point service such as Sacramento to Eureka.As of Sept...

.

On May 2, 2010, the boards of directors at Continental Airlines and UAL Corp. approved a stock-swap deal that would combine them into the world's largest airline in revenue passenger miles and second largest in fleet size and destinations after Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

. The new airline will take on the United Airlines name, Continental's logo, and be headquartered in Chicago. Once combined, United's largest hub will be in Houston. It will also be the largest carrier serving the New York City area via its hub at Newark Liberty International Airport. As of October 2011, the United hub airports that have completely rebranded are Chicago-O'Hare, San Francisco, and Denver. The Tokyo-Narita hub is currently in the first phase of rebranding. The Washington-Dulles hub began rebranding its United-operated ticket counters and gates on November 9, 2011; Continental-operated ticket counters and gates will be rebranded when both airlines receive a single operating certificate in late first quarter of 2012. The parent company of the new carrier will be called United Continental Holdings, Inc. The new United will be run by Continental's CEO, Jeffery Smisek, along with United Airline's CEO, Glenn Tilton, serving as non-executive Chairman of the board until his retirement two years hence.

On August 27, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 approved the US$3 billion merger. Share holders of both companies approved the deal on September 17, 2010. The transaction was completed on October 1, 2010.

As of November 30, 2011, United Airlines was issued a single operating certificate with the former Continental Airlines. . As far as the FAA is concerned United and Continental are one airline. Continental pilots started using the "United" call sign when they talked to air traffic controllers on November 30, 2011. Temporarily, until all systems are merged, passengers will check in and fly with what appears to be two separate airlines. This is because the parts of the airline that passengers see, such as check-in and frequent-flier programs, will not be fully merged until early in 2012. However, the single operating certificate issued to United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

 marks the end of Continental Airlines.

Beginnings

United Airlines traces its claim to be the oldest commercial airline in the United States to the Varney Air Lines air mail service of Walter Varney
Walter Varney
Walter Thomas Varney was an American aviation pioneer who founded forerunners of two major U.S. airlines United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Varney was also one of the most prominent airmail contractors of the early 20th Century.Varney served as a pilot in the Aviation Section, U.S...

, who also founded Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

. It was founded in Boise
Boise, Idaho
Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, it anchors the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area and is the largest city between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon.As of the 2010 Census Bureau,...

, Idaho. Varney's chief pilot, Tanner "Lee" Lueders, flew the first Contract Air Mail flight in a Swallow biplane from Varney's headquarters in Boise
Boise, Idaho
Boise is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Idaho, as well as the county seat of Ada County. Located on the Boise River, it anchors the Boise City-Nampa metropolitan area and is the largest city between Salt Lake City, Utah and Portland, Oregon.As of the 2010 Census Bureau,...

, Idaho, to the railroad mail hub at Pasco
Pasco, Washington
Pasco is a city in and the county seat of Franklin County, Washington, United States.Pasco is one of three cities that make up the Tri-Cities region of the state of Washington...

, Washington, on May 17, 1926, and returned the following day with 200 pounds of mail. May 17 is regarded in the United Airlines company history as both its own birthday and the date on which "true" airline service—operating on fixed routes and fixed schedules—began in the United States. Varney Airlines' original 1925 hangar
Hangar
A hangar is a closed structure to hold aircraft or spacecraft in protective storage. Most hangars are built of metal, but other materials such as wood and concrete are also sometimes used...

 served as a portion of the terminal building for the Boise Airport
Boise Airport
Boise Airport , also known as Boise Air Terminal or Gowen Field, is a joint civil-military, commercial and general aviation airport located three nautical miles south of downtown Boise in Ada County, Idaho, USA...

 until 2003, when the structure was replaced.

In 1927, airplane pioneer William Boeing
William Boeing
William Edward Boeing was an American aviation pioneer who founded The Boeing Company.-Biography:Boeing was born to a wealthy German mining engineer named Wilhelm Böing who had made a fortune and who had a sideline as a timber merchant...

 founded his own airline, Boeing Air Transport, and began buying other airmail carriers, including Varney's. Within four years, Boeing's holdings grew to include airlines, airplane and parts manufacturing companies, and several airports. In 1929, Boeing merged his company with Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

 to form United Aircraft and Transport Corporation
United Aircraft and Transport Corporation
The United Aircraft and Transport Corporation was formed in 1929, when William Boeing of the Boeing firms teamed up with Frederick Rentschler of Pratt & Whitney to form a large, amalgamated firm, uniting business interests in all aspects of aviation—a combination of aircraft engine and airframe...

 (UATC). In March 1928, Boeing Air Transport, National Air Transport, Varney Airlines and Pacific Air Transport combine as United Air Lines, providing coast-to-coast passenger service and mail service. It took 27 hours to fly the route, one way.

In 1930, as the capacity of airplanes proved sufficient to carry not only mail but also passengers, Boeing Air Transport hired a registered nurse
Registered nurse
A registered nurse is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program at a university or college and has passed a national licensing exam. A registered nurse helps individuals, families, and groups to achieve health and prevent disease...

, Ellen Church
Ellen Church
Ellen Church was the first female flight attendant in America .-Biography:Born in Cresco, Iowa on September 22, 1904, Church was a pilot and a nurse. Boeing Air Transit wouldn't hire her as a pilot, but did take her suggestion to hire nurses as stewardesses in order to calm passengers' fear of...

, to assist passengers. United claims Church as the first airline stewardess. On May 7, 1930, UATC completed the acquisition of National Air Transport Inc
National Air Transport Inc
National Air Transport Inc was an early United States airline that operated scheduled services between 12 May 1926 and its acquisition by United Air Lines on 7 May 1930.-Formation:Clement M...

, a large carrier based in Chicago. On March 28, 1931, UATC formed the corporation United Air Lines, Inc. to manage its airline subsidiaries.

Following the Air Mail scandal
Air Mail Scandal
The Air Mail scandal, also known as the Air Mail fiasco, is the name that the American press gave to the political scandal resulting from a congressional investigation of a 1930 meeting , between Postmaster General Walter Folger Brown and the executives of the top airlines, and to the disastrous...

 of 1930, the Air Mail Act of 1934 banned the common ownership of manufacturers and airlines. UATC's President Philip G. Johnson
Philip G. Johnson
Philip Gustav Johnson was a pioneer in the manufacturing of airplanes and in the organization of commercial airlines in the United States and Canada. Johnson served as president of Boeing, United Airlines and Kenworth....

 was forced to resign and moved to Trans-Canada Airlines, the future Air Canada
Air Canada
Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide. It is the world's tenth largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a...

. UATC was broken into three separate companies. UATC's manufacturing interests east of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 became United Aircraft
United Aircraft
The United Aircraft Corporation was formed in 1934 at the break-up of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation. In 1975, the company became the United Technologies Corporation.-1930s:...

 (the future United Technologies), while its manufacturing interests west of the Mississippi became Boeing Airplane Company
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

. The airline interests became United Air Lines. The airline company's new president, hired to make a fresh start as airmail contracts were re-awarded in 1934, was William A. Patterson
William A. Patterson
William A. "Pat" Patterson was the President of United Airlines from 1934 until 1966.Patterson was born on a sugar plantation in Waipahu on Oahu, Hawaii. When Patterson was 13, his widowed mother moved to San Francisco, California, while he remained at Honolulu Military Academy. Not liking the...

, who remained as president of United Airlines until 1963.

Expansion into a national carrier

United's early route system, formed by connecting U.S. air mail routes, operated east-to-west along a transcontinental route from New York City via Chicago and Salt Lake City to San Francisco, as well as north-and-south along the West Coast
West Coast of the United States
West Coast or Pacific Coast are terms for the westernmost coastal states of the United States. The term most often refers to the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. Although not part of the contiguous United States, Alaska and Hawaii do border the Pacific Ocean but can't be included in...

. The early interconnections during this era became the basis of major United hubs
Airline hub
An airline hub is an airport that an airline uses as a transfer point to get passengers to their intended destination. It is part of a hub and spoke model, where travelers moving between airports not served by direct flights change planes en route to their destinations...

 in Chicago and San Francisco, followed later by Denver and Washington, D.C. These four cities remain United's principal hubs to this day.

United introduced the Boeing 247
Boeing 247
The Boeing Model 247 was an early United States airliner, considered the first such aircraft to fully incorporate advances such as all-metal semi-monocoque construction, a fully cantilevered wing and retractable landing gear...

 in 1933; for the first time passengers could fly across the US without an overnight stop or changing planes. That summer the fastest flight left Newark at noon (probably EST) and arrived San Francisco at 0655 PST after eight stops; fare was $160 one-way.

On the night of October 11, 1933, a United Boeing 247
Boeing 247
The Boeing Model 247 was an early United States airliner, considered the first such aircraft to fully incorporate advances such as all-metal semi-monocoque construction, a fully cantilevered wing and retractable landing gear...

 exploded in mid-air and crashed near Chesterton
Chesterton, Indiana
Chesterton is a town in Westchester, Jackson and Liberty townships, Porter County, Indiana, United States. The population was 13,068 at the 2010 census. The three towns of Chesterton, Burns Harbor, and Porter are known as the tri-towns or the Duneland area....

, Indiana, killing all seven people aboard. Investigation revealed that the explosion was caused by a nitroglycerin bomb placed in the baggage hold. The United Airlines Chesterton Crash
United Airlines Chesterton Crash
On October 10, 1933, a Boeing 247 propliner operated by United Air Lines and registered as NC13304, crashed near Chesterton, Indiana. The transcontinental flight, carrying three crew and four passengers, had originated in Newark, New Jersey, with its final destination in Oakland, California...

 is believed to be the first proven case of air sabotage
Sabotage
Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the conscious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is...

 in commercial aviation history. No suspects or motives were ever discovered.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, United-trained ground crews modified airplanes for use as bombers, and transported mail, material, and passengers in support of the war effort. Post-war United benefited from both the wartime development of new airplane technologies (like the pressurized cabin
Cabin pressurization
Cabin pressurization is the pumping of compressed air into an aircraft cabin to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for crew and passengers when flying at altitude.-Need for cabin pressurization:...

 which permitted planes to fly above the weather) and a boom in customer demand for air travel. This was also the period in which Pan American Airways established a Tokyo hub and revived its Pacific route system that would later be acquired by United.

On November 1, 1955, United Airlines Flight 629
United Airlines Flight 629
United Airlines Flight 629, registration N37559, was a Douglas DC-6B aircraft, named "Mainliner Denver," which was blown up with a dynamite bomb placed in the checked luggage. The explosion occurred over Longmont, Colorado while the airplane was en route from Denver, Colorado to Portland, Oregon,...

, which was flying from Stapleton Airport in Denver to Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Oregon, was bombed, killing everyone on board the Douglas DC-6B aircraft. The bomb was planted by Jack Graham
Jack Gilbert Graham
John "Jack" Gilbert Graham was a mass murderer who killed 44 people by planting a dynamite bomb in his mother's suitcase that was subsequently loaded aboard United Airlines Flight 629.-Crime:...

 who placed the device in his mother's luggage with the intent of collecting on her life insurance policy. Graham was arrested, tried, and was executed a year after the explosion.

United merged with Capital Airlines
Capital Airlines
Capital Airlines was an airline serving the eastern United States that merged into United Airlines in 1961. Its primary hubs were National Airport near Washington, DC, and Allegheny County Airport near Pittsburgh. In the 1950s it was the largest US domestic carrier after the Big Four . Its...

 on June 1, 1961 and displaced American as the world's second largest airline, after Aeroflot
Aeroflot
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

. In 1968 the company reorganized, creating UAL Corporation, with United Airlines as a wholly owned subsidiary.

United Airlines has the distinction of being the only commercial airline to have operated Executive One
Executive One
Executive One is the call sign designated for any United States civil aircraft when the President of the United States is on board. Typically, the President flies in military aircraft that are under the command of the Presidential Airlift Group, part of Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing,...

, the designation given to a civilian flight which the U.S. President is aboard. On December 23, 1973, then President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 flew as a passenger aboard a United DC-10 flight from Washington Dulles to Los Angeles. White House staff explained that this was done to conserve fuel by not having to fly the usual Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

 Air Force aircraft. In keeping with the common practice of having two aircraft immediately available at all times during Presidential travel, an Air Force aircraft flew behind in case of an emergency.
Revenue Passenger-Miles (Millions) (Sched Service Only)
United Capital
1951 1835 604
1955 3968 792
1960 5759 1492
1965 12249 (merged 1961)
1970 23768
1975 26226

De-regulation

United had begun to seek overseas routes in the 1960s, but the Transpacific Route Case
Transpacific Route Case
The Transpacific Route Case was a major administrative law case argued before the Civil Aeronautics Board for much of the 1960s. Before the case, the only U.S. airlines permitted to fly transpacific routes were Pan Am and Northwest Orient...

 (1969) denied them this expansion. It did not gain an overseas route until 1983, when they began flights to Tokyo from Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

 and Seattle. United became a leading proponent of deregulation due to its perception that regulation, as it existed at the time, was a major constraint on United's ability to profitably grow. After years of focused work to bring about deregulation, the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act became law.

In 1985, United agreed to purchase Pan American World Airways' entire Pacific Division, , and L-1011-500s, and flight crew staffs for . By the end of 1986, United operated flights to 13 Pacific destinations, most of which were purchased from the ailing Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

.

Economic turmoil brought about largely by the economic climate of the 70's which lead to "stagflation", labor unrest, and the pressures of the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act
Airline Deregulation Act
The Airline Deregulation Act is a United States federal law signed into law on October 24, 1978. The main purpose of the act was to remove government control over fares, routes and market entry from commercial aviation...

 greatly hampered the industry and United, which incurred losses at a time when it was also undergoing significant changes at the top of both United Airlines and its parent company UAL Corp. Some changes due largely to the retirement of long term senior management members as well as performance driven changes at the very top in 1969 and again in 1985 following the pilot strike.

In May 1981, one week after rival American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

 launched AAdvantage
AAdvantage
AAdvantage is the frequent flyer program of American Airlines. Launched May 1, 1981, it was the second such loyalty program in the world , and remains the largest with more than 67 million members as of October 2011.Miles accumulated in the program allow members to redeem tickets, upgrade service...

, the first modern frequent flyer program
Frequent flyer program
A frequent flyer program is a loyalty program offered by many airlines. Typically, airline customers enrolled in the program accumulate frequent flyer miles corresponding to the distance flown on that airline or its partners. There are other ways to accumulate miles...

, United launched its Mileage Plus.

In 1982, United became the launch carrier for the Boeing 767
Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

, taking its first delivery of 767-200s on August 19.

In 1984, United became the first airline to serve all 50 states when it introduced service to Atlanta, Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

, Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

, Little Rock
Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock is the capital and the largest city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 699,757 people in the 2010 census...

, Fargo
Fargo, North Dakota
Fargo is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Dakota and the county seat of Cass County. In 2010, its population was 105,549, and it had an estimated metropolitan population of 208,777...

, Casper
Casper, Wyoming
Casper is the county seat of Natrona County, Wyoming, United States.. Casper is the second-largest city in Wyoming , according to the 2010 census, with a population of 55,316...

, Jackson
Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson is the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County ,. The population of the city declined from 184,256 at the 2000 census to 173,514 at the 2010 census...

, and Charleston
Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of West Virginia. It is located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in Kanawha County. As of the 2010 census, it has a population of 51,400, and its metropolitan area 304,214. It is the county seat of Kanawha County.Early...

.

Strike of 1985

On May 17, 1985, United's pilots went on a 29-day strike claiming the CEO, Richard Ferris, was trying to "break the unions." They used management's proposed "B-scale" pilot pay rates as proof. American Airlines already had a non-merging B-scale for its pilots. Ferris insisted United had to have pilot costs no higher than American's, so he offered United pilots a "word-for-word" contract to match American's, or the same bottom line numbers. The United ALPA
ALPA
ALPA or Alpa may refer to:* Alpa, a formerly Swiss camera design company and manufacturer of 35 mm cameras* Air Line Pilots Association, International...

-MEC rejected that offer. The only choice left, to achieve parity with American's pilot costs, was to begin a B-scale for United's new-hire pilots.

Ferris wanted that B-scale to merge in the captain's ranks
Pilot in command
The pilot in command of an aircraft is the person aboard the aircraft who is ultimately responsible for its operation and safety during flight. This would be the "captain" in a typical two- or three-pilot flight crew, or "pilot" if there is only one certified and qualified pilot at the controls of...

, which was more generous than American's B-scale, that never merged at all. But, the ALPA MEC insisted they merge in the new pilot's sixth-year with the airline. In the final hours before the strike, nearly all issues had been resolved, except for the time length of the B-scale. It appeared that would be resolved too as negotiations continued. ALPA negotiators delivered a new counter-proposal at in an effort to avoid the strike. However, MEC Chairman Roger Hall, who was hosting a national teleconference
Teleconference
A teleconference or teleseminar is the live exchange and mass articulation of information among several persons and machines remote from one another but linked by a telecommunications system...

 from the Odeum (a convention center in the Chicago suburbs) with F. Lee Bailey, declared the strike was on at , on May 17, without further consulting the negotiators, some of whom believed they could find agreement on all contract terms, if the negotiations were allowed to continue. Moments before the ALPA announced strike deadline, they began a "countdown of the final 30 seconds from Chicago" (the Odeum teleconference). Doing that made it impossible to extend the strike deadline, so that the final issues could be resolved without a strike.

Mr. Ferris changed United's parent company's name from UAL Corporation to Allegis in February 1987 but the name change was short lived. Following Ferris' termination by the board, Allegis divested its non-airline properties in 1987 and reverted to the name UAL Corp. in May 1988.

Record-setting flight

In 1988, using a 747SP-21 purchased from Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

, United flew a two-stop around-the-world flight to raise money for the Friendship Foundation, to which the plane was 'loaned'. The flight made a very short-lived record for fastest flight around the globe; within a month, a Gulfstream IV business jet had broken Friendship One
Friendship One
Friendship One was a successful attempt at beating the round-the-world air speed record.The flight was conducted from January 29 to January 30, 1988. It was operated by a Boeing 747SP owned by United Airlines, N147UA. A charitable foundation, the Friendship Foundation, was established and all money...

's record.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan

The decline of Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

 continued to offer new opportunities for United. In 1991 the company expanded dramatically, purchasing Pan Am's routes to London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

. In direct negotiations with the UK government, United also obtained rights to fly to Heathrow from Chicago. However, the aftermath of the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and increased competition from low-cost carriers led to losses of USD $332M in 1991 and USD $957M in 1992. In 1992, United purchased now-defunct Pan Am's Latin American and Caribbean routes and Miami gates, but United allowed months to elapse between Pan Am's demise and its launch of service.

In 1994, United's pilots, machinists, bag handlers and non-contract employees agreed to acquire 55% of company stock in exchange for 15% to 25% salary concessions. The flight attendants voted to not participate in the deal, and at the beginning some wore buttons saying "we just work here." The Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) made United the largest employee-owned corporation
Employee-owned corporation
An employee share ownership plan is the practice of companies giving staff members shares in their company as part of their salary....

 in the world. United used the opportunity to create a low-cost subsidiary, Shuttle by United
Shuttle by United
Shuttle by United was an "airline within an airline" brand operated as a subsidiary of United Airlines from 1994 to 2001 along the West Coast of the United States...

, in an attempt to compete with low-cost carrier
Low-cost carrier
A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts...

s.
United made substantial use of its employee-ownership in its marketing communications, with slogans such as "the employee-owners of United invite you to come fly the friendly skies," "we don't just work here," and "thank you for calling United Airlines; please hold and one of our owner-representatives will be with you shortly."

The financial outcomes of the ESOP were decidedly uneven for different players. As part of ESOP agreement, United CEO Stephen Wolf
Stephen Wolf
Stephen M. Wolf assumed his current position as chairman of R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company in March 2004. He has been the managing partner of Alpilles, LLC, since April 1, 2003. In April 2009 he became chairman of Trilantic Capital Partners which was previously Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking....

 resigned and took a consulting job with Lazard Freres, the very investment company he had hired to advise United's board during the ESOP buyout process. Stewart Oran, the key legal advisor to the pilots' union, received a package to join the management of the new employee-owned company as legal counsel after the ESOP was formed. United's unions, having larger voice in running the company, later successfully bargained for significant pay increases, but the effect was only short-term. The rank and file employees were locked into their stock, which got wiped out in the eventual bankruptcy.
It was around this period (in 1993) that United introduced its grey and blue color scheme. It had been criticized that the color scheme blended with the darkness during nighttime operations.

Turn-of-the-21st-century developments

In 1997, United co-founded the Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany . The alliance was founded in 1997 by five of the world's leading airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines...

with Air Canada
Air Canada
Air Canada is the flag carrier and largest airline of Canada. The airline, founded in 1936, provides scheduled and charter air transport for passengers and cargo to 178 destinations worldwide. It is the world's tenth largest passenger airline by number of destinations, and the airline is a...

, Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

, Scandinavian Airlines and Thai Airways
Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is the national flag carrier and largest airline of Thailand. Formed in 1988, the airline's headquarters are located in Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and operates out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai is a founding member of the Star Alliance. Thai is a...

. That same year, United opened a major hub at Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

.

United was the launch customer of the Boeing 777
Boeing 777
The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

 and had significant input on its design. It was also the first airline to introduce the twin-jet in commercial service.

In 1998, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 and United introduced a marketing partnership that included a reciprocal redemption agreement between SkyMiles and Mileage Plus programs and shared lounges. This scheme allowed members of either frequent flier program to earn miles on both carriers and utilize both carriers' lounges. Delta and United attempted to form an even cozier codeshare relationship, but this deal was effectively killed by ALPA. The marketing partnership ended in divorce in 2003, but paved the way for a future alliance with US Airways.

In May 2000, United announced plans to acquire competitor US Airways
US Airways
US Airways, Inc. is a major airline based in the U.S. city of Tempe, Arizona. The airline is an operating unit of US Airways Group and is the sixth largest airline by traffic and eighth largest by market value in the country....

 in a complex deal valued at . The offer drew immediate scorn from consumer groups and employees of both airlines. By the following year, regulatory sentiment was against the deal, and United withdrew the offer just before the Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 barred the merger on antitrust
Antitrust
The United States antitrust law is a body of laws that prohibits anti-competitive behavior and unfair business practices. Antitrust laws are intended to encourage competition in the marketplace. These competition laws make illegal certain practices deemed to hurt businesses or consumers or both,...

 grounds in July. The two airlines subsequently formed an amicable partnership that led to US Airways
US Airways
US Airways, Inc. is a major airline based in the U.S. city of Tempe, Arizona. The airline is an operating unit of US Airways Group and is the sixth largest airline by traffic and eighth largest by market value in the country....

' entrance into the Star Alliance.
May 2000 also saw a bitter contract dispute between United and its pilots' union, again. The pilots wanted their pay restored to the levels that existed prior to deregulation. Planning for the busy summer season, United had counted on its pilots flying overtime. However, the pilots could not be forced to work overtime, and most pilots refused to fly the extra hours. Although United knew they would have to cancel numerous flights if this were to happen, they did not hire new pilots to make up for the potential shortage. Over the summer, United had to cancel a large portion of its schedule at its major hubs. Eventually, CEO Jim Goodwin and the rest of the management had to get the pilots back in the cockpits and quickly offered the pilots a 48% increase over four years with up to 28% upfront.

September 11, 2001

As part of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, two United Airlines planes were hijacked by terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda
Al-Qaeda is a global broad-based militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden sometime between August 1988 and late 1989. It operates as a network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Sunni Muslim movement calling for global Jihad...

. One aircraft was N612UA, a Boeing 767–222
Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

 (Flight 175
United Airlines Flight 175
United Airlines Flight 175 was United Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

) that crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 in New York City and the other was N591UA, a Boeing 757–222
Boeing 757
The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

 (Flight 93
United Airlines Flight 93
United Airlines Flight 93 was United Airlines' scheduled morning transcontinental flight across the United States from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport in California. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the Boeing 757–222 aircraft operating the...

) that crashed in rural Pennsylvania. Flight 93 was suspected to have been directed towards the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 building according to the United States Department of Homeland Security
United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to...

.

Bankruptcy and reorganization

With a strong presence on the West coast, United benefited from the dot-com
Dot-com company
A dot-com company, or simply a dot-com , is a company that does most of its business on the Internet, usually through a website that uses the popular top-level domain, ".com" .While the term can refer to present-day companies, it is also used specifically to refer to companies with...

 boom which boosted traffic (especially premium traffic) to the San Francisco hub. This increase was only temporary and when the bubble finally burst, United was in a worse position than before because it had failed to keep costs under control, possibly due to giving its pilots pay raises of up to 28% in the summer of 2000. Coupled with a battered network, the September 11 attacks and skyrocketing oil prices, the company lost $2.14 billion in 2001 on revenues of . In the same year United applied for a loan guarantee from the federal Air Transportation Stabilization Board
Air Transportation Stabilization Board
The Air Transportation Stabilization Board is an office of United States Department of the Treasury created to assist US airlines in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks....

 established in the wake of the September 11 attacks. When the IAM
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is an AFL-CIO/CLC trade union representing approx. 646,933 workers as of 2006 in more than 200 industries.-Formation and early history:...

 union failed to approve the loan guarantee—while all other unions approved it—the application was rejected in late 2002 and the company was forced to seek debtor-in-possession financing
Debtor-in-possession financing
Debtor-in-possession financing or DIP financing is a special form of financing provided for companies in financial distress or under Chapter 11 bankruptcy process. Usually, this security is more senior than debt, equity, and any other securities issued by a company...

 from commercial sources to cover the expected future losses. United made several attempts to obtain the government loans, even enlisting several congressmen and senators for help. The government rejected the application claiming United "could probably obtain the in financing it needs to emerge from protection without a federal loan guarantee".

Unable to secure additional capital, UAL Corporation filed for chapter 11
Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code
Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most...

 bankruptcy protection in December 2002. The ESOP was terminated, although by then its shares had become virtually worthless. Blame for the bankruptcy has fallen on the events of September 11, which triggered financial crisis in all the major North American airlines, coupled with the economic slowdown that was underway.

United continued operations during its bankruptcy, but was forced to cut its costs drastically. Tens of thousands of workers were furlough
Furlough
In the United States a furlough is a temporary unpaid leave of some employees due to special needs of a company, which may be due to economic conditions at the specific employer or in the economy as a whole...

ed, and all city ticket offices in the US closed. The airline canceled several existing and planned routes, and eliminated its entire Latin American gateway and flight crew base at Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport , also known as MIA and historically Wilcox Field, is the primary airport serving the South Florida area...

 after March 1, 2004. Furthermore, they reduced their mainline
Mainline (flight)
A mainline flight is a flight operated by an airline's main operating unit, rather than by regional alliances, regional code-shares or regional subsidiaries...

 fleet from 557 (before 9/11) to 460 aircraft.

At the same time, the airline continued to invest in new projects. On November 12, 2003, it launched a new low-cost carrier
Low-cost carrier
A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts...

, Ted
Ted (airline)
Ted was one of two "airline within an airline" divisional brands of United Airlines. It targeted vacation locations. Ted targeted to compete in the low cost airline market. In contrast to United's high end divisional "sub-fleeted" brand called United p.s., "Ted" comes from the last three letters...

, to compete with other low-cost airlines. In 2004 it launched its luxury "p.s."
United p.s.
United p.s. is a premium service offered by United Airlines on flights between John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport. The fleet consists of specially configured Boeing 757-200 aircraft with three classes of service: United...

 (for "premium service") service on re-configured 757s from JFK Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

 in New York City to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The service was targeted to business customers and high-end leisure customers in the coast-to-coast market. In February 2004, the airline introduced the new Blue and White livery with the Blue Tulip on the tail to coincide with a new advertising campaign.

Financial pressure on the airline was heavy. The SARS
Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus . Between November 2002 and July 2003 an outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong nearly became a pandemic, with 8,422 cases and 916 deaths worldwide according to the WHO...

 epidemic in 2003 depressed traffic on United's extensive Pacific network. The soaring cost of jet fuel ate away remaining profits United made. United implemented several fare hikes on overseas routes, citing rising fuel costs, in 2004 and 2005. Two days after its triumphant first flight to Vietnam, United announced that it would cut U.S. flight capacity by 14% after the holidays and add more international flights, which were more profitable.

United took advantage of its Chapter 11 status to negotiate hard-to-cut costs with employees, suppliers, and contractors, including cancellation of feeder contracts with United Express
United Express
United Express is a brand name under which eight regional airlines operate feeder flights for United Airlines. They primarily connect smaller cities with United's domestic hub airports and “focus cities,” although they offer some point-to-point service such as Sacramento to Eureka.As of Sept...

 carriers Atlantic Coast Airlines
Atlantic Coast Airlines
Atlantic Coast Airlines was an airline based in the United States owned by Atlantic Coast Holdings, Inc.. It operated as United Express for United Airlines and Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines. It was headquartered in the Dulles area of unincorporated Loudoun County, Virginia, United States....

 (which became Independence Air
Independence Air
Independence Air was a low-cost airline, owned by FLYi, Inc., headquartered in the Loudoun Gateway Corporate Center in Dulles, unincorporated Loudoun County, Virginia, United States that operated from 1989 until 2006. Its route network focused on the East Coast of the United States, but it also...

) and Air Wisconsin
Air Wisconsin
Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation is an airline based at Outagamie County Regional Airport in the town of Greenville, Wisconsin, United States, near Appleton. Air Wisconsin is the largest privately held regional airline in the United States...

 (which became a US Airways Express
US Airways Express
US Airways Express is an airline brand name, rather than a fully certified airline, and as such, the US Airways Express name is used by several individually owned airlines or airline holding companies which provide regional airline and commuter service for US Airways.Operations are conducted from...

 carrier).

Most controversial of all, however, was the 2005 cancellation of its pension plan, the largest such default in U.S. corporate history. It renegotiated its contracts with the pilots' and mechanics' unions and the Association of Flight Attendants for lower pay. Criticism was also leveled at the CEO, Glenn Tilton, for demanding pay cuts from employees while receiving the highest salary of any major U.S. airline CEO.

Originally slated to exit bankruptcy protection after 2½ years in the third quarter of 2005, United requested yet another extension in light of record-high fuel prices. On August 26, 2005, the bankruptcy court extended the airline's exclusive right to file a reorganization plan to November 1, although it also stated firmly this extension would be the last. United announced at the same time it had raised in exit financing and filed its Plan of Reorganization, as announced, on September 7, 2005.

The bankruptcy court approved the restructuring plan on January 20, 2006, clearing the way for United to exit bankruptcy on February 1, 2006, and finally return to normal operations.

Beyond Chapter 11

On December 9, 2004, the airline made history when UA869 (747–400) landed at Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City , formerly named Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam...

 (formerly Saigon), Vietnam. The scheduled flight from San Francisco via Hong Kong (SFO
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

HKG
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport , being built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.The airport opened for commercial...

SGN
Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Tan Son Nhat International Airport is Vietnam's largest international airport in terms of area . It has a handling capacity of 15-17 million passengers per year, compared with the capacity of Hanoi - Noi Bai airport of 8 million passengers and Da Nang's 2 million passengers...

) was the first by a U.S. airline since the end of the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, when Pan Am
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

 halted service shortly before the fall of Saigon
Fall of Saigon
The Fall of Saigon was the capture of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, by the People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front on April 30, 1975...

 in 1975.

United's management called for consolidation in the industry and looked for a suitor in 2006. The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

revealed in late 2006, that Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 was in merger discussions with United. A deal was not "certain or imminent," with the talks being in a preliminary state. In the interim, it increased its ties with British carrier BMI
Bmi (airline)
British Midland Airways Limited , is an airline based at Donington Hall in Castle Donington in the United Kingdom, close to East Midlands Airport, and a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa...

 and Aloha Airlines
Aloha Airlines
Aloha Airlines was an American airline headquartered in Honolulu CDP, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, operating from a hub at Honolulu International Airport...

. In April 2007, United and British carrier BMI
Bmi (airline)
British Midland Airways Limited , is an airline based at Donington Hall in Castle Donington in the United Kingdom, close to East Midlands Airport, and a fully owned subsidiary of Lufthansa...

 announced that they would 'effectively merge their trans-Atlantic operations'. The merged operations would have begun in March 2008, however Lufthansa’s takeover of BMI preempted the two carrier’s plans when BMI’s transatlantic flights were terminated. United’s May 2007 acquisition of an equity stake in its longtime partner Aloha Airlines
Aloha Airlines
Aloha Airlines was an American airline headquartered in Honolulu CDP, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, operating from a hub at Honolulu International Airport...

 was short-lived as Aloha ceased operations in March 2008. On June 14, 2007, CFO Jake Brace said his company is still looking to tie the knot with a suitable merger partner.

In the years following United’s exit from bankruptcy, two large financial firms, Bank of America
Bank of America
Bank of America Corporation, an American multinational banking and financial services corporation, is the second largest bank holding company in the United States by assets, and the fourth largest bank in the U.S. by market capitalization. The bank is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina...

 and Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments
FMR LLC or Fidelity Investments is an American multinational financial services corporation one of the largest mutual fund and financial services groups in the world. It was founded in 1946 and serves North American investors. Fidelity Ventures is its venture capital arm...

, accumulated shares to become the second largest owner with an 11 percent stake in the company. As mentioned earlier, the industry environment was ripe with pressures to merge and consolidate. Pardus Capital Management LP, a hedge fund that owned shares of Delta
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 and shares of United, called for the two carriers to merge. This action sent shares of both airlines up but this was short-lived and became moot because Delta wedded Northwest.

The surge in jet fuel prices caused disruption to United’s impending start of non-stop long-haul services. Though the FAA had already awarded the SFO to Guangzhou, China to United, they postposted the launch citing high fuel prices. Other long-haul city pairs, such as its 2009 application to fly between Los Angeles and Shanghai, were denied by the FAA.

During this time of turmoil brought on by external forces, United explored options to reestablish its financial footing and raise capital. These changes included:
  • Divesting of the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul operations at SFO
    San Francisco International Airport
    San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

    .
  • Spinning off the cargo division.
  • Spinning off the Mileage Plus frequent flier program.


These spin-offs and divestitures have not come to fruition.
On February 19, 2008, Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels
Westin Hotels & Resorts are an upscale hotel chain owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. As of 2011, Westin operated over 160 hotels in 37 countries.-History:...

 announced a refreshed partnership with United where Westin will provide products from their Heavenly Bed line on p.s. routes.

In May 2008, the American Customer Satisfaction Index
American Customer Satisfaction Index
The American Customer Satisfaction Index is an economic indicator that measures the satisfaction of consumers across the U.S. economy. It is produced by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a private company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan....

 scored United Airlines second-last among US-based airlines in customer satisfaction with a 21% decrease since the study began in 1994 and a 11% decrease over the previous year.

On June 12, 2008, United announced it would charge $15 for the first checked bag, becoming the second United States airline to do so, the first being American Airlines. The charges, while not affecting every United flight, were created in an effort to offset high fuel prices.

On June 28, 2008, United announced the cessation of several international routes including San Francisco–Nagoya and Chicago – Mexico City.

On September 8, 2008, the price of UAL shares fell by nearly 99% in fifteen minutes to $0.01 US amid rumors of another bankruptcy, before NASDAQ
NASDAQ
The NASDAQ Stock Market, also known as the NASDAQ, is an American stock exchange. "NASDAQ" originally stood for "National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations". It is the second-largest stock exchange by market capitalization in the world, after the New York Stock Exchange. As of...

 temporarily halted trading. The rumors were traced to an old story on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel website about the 2002 bankruptcy being picked up by Google News
Google News
Google News is a free news aggregator provided by Google Inc, selecting recent items from thousands of publications by an automatic aggregation algorithm....

 and subsequently presented by Bloomberg LP as breaking story. The share price subsequently recovered most of its value.
On February 1, 2006, United emerged from Chapter 11
Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code
Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most...

 bankruptcy protection under which it had operated since December 9, 2002, the largest and longest airline bankruptcy case in the history of the industry.

On April 27, 2008, it was reported that UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation is the former name of United Continental Holdings an airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. UAL held a 100 percent controlling interest in United Air Lines, Inc., one of the world's largest air carriers, and is a founding member of...

 and US Airways Group, Inc.
US Airways Group
US Airways Group Inc. is an airline holding company based in Tempe, Arizona. US Airways Group operate US Airways, along with its subsidiaries PSA Airlines, Inc. and Piedmont Airlines, Inc., which are wholly owned but marketed under the branding of US Airways Express...

 were in the advanced stages of merger negotiations as well. Sources stated that a merger was expected to be announced within two weeks of the report. United pilots vociferously rejected the proposal and vowed to fight it. Star Alliance co-founder Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

 CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber threw his support behind a marriage of partner carriers United and US Airways.

On June 4, 2008, United announced it would close its Ted
Ted (airline)
Ted was one of two "airline within an airline" divisional brands of United Airlines. It targeted vacation locations. Ted targeted to compete in the low cost airline market. In contrast to United's high end divisional "sub-fleeted" brand called United p.s., "Ted" comes from the last three letters...

 unit. and reconfigure them for a return to mainline
Mainline (flight)
A mainline flight is a flight operated by an airline's main operating unit, rather than by regional alliances, regional code-shares or regional subsidiaries...

 configuration to compensate the removal of United's Boeing 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

s that were to be retired. That retirement plan included s and s, reducing the mainline fleet from 460 to 359 aircraft and furthering the airline's goal of cutting domestic capacity by 15 percent. On January 6, 2009, Ted
Ted (airline)
Ted was one of two "airline within an airline" divisional brands of United Airlines. It targeted vacation locations. Ted targeted to compete in the low cost airline market. In contrast to United's high end divisional "sub-fleeted" brand called United p.s., "Ted" comes from the last three letters...

 ended operations converting its entire fleet into United mainline fleet. All Ted flights were changed into United mainline flights.

In January 2009, United announced a code-sharing agreement with Aer Lingus for flights between Washington Dulles International Airport and Madrid, Spain. Aer Lingus will operate the service, which is permitted under recent open skies agreements between the US and EU.

In 2009, United Airlines entered into an extensive partnership with Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

. This partnership includes codeshare and frequent flyer agreements. As a part of the agreement, Continental left the Delta-led SkyTeam
SkyTeam
SkyTeam, branded as SKYTEAM, is an airline alliance with its centralised management team, SkyTeam Central, based at the World Trade Center Schiphol Airport on the grounds of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands...

 alliance to join United's Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany . The alliance was founded in 1997 by five of the world's leading airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines...

. Elite members of each airline's frequent flyer program receive benefits on both airlines.

As of May 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation rated UAL eleventh among 19 US carriers in lost, damaged, delayed or pilfered baggage with 3.67 complaints per 1,000 passengers. In July 2009, a viral music video
Viral video
A viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email...

, "United Breaks Guitars
United Breaks Guitars
"United Breaks Guitars" is a song by Canadian musician Dave Carroll and his band, Sons of Maxwell. It chronicles a real-life experience of how his guitar was broken during a trip on United Airlines in 2008, and the subsequent reaction from the airline...

" was released about a disputed damaged baggage claim with the airline. United said it would like to use the video as a staff training tool to help the company improve its internal "corporate culture" relating to its customer relations in that area of its services.

On October 28, 2009, United flew its final flight, as United Flight 737. The retirement flight flew from Washington-Dulles to San Francisco via Chicago-O'Hare, Denver, and Los Angeles, United's main hubs. United's 737 retirement was particularly significant, as it was the U.S. launch customer of the 737 family in 1967, and operated variants of the type for 42 years. (With the merger complete, United now again flies 737s.)

2009 recession, fuel efficiency issues and new jet orders

In June 2009, United asked manufacturers Boeing and Airbus to submit proposals to sell the airline up to 150 jets in a winner-take-all competition. United is taking advantage of declining sales at both plane makers to reap steep price reductions; the large size of this prospective order will also influence pricing. The Wall Street Journal cited the average ages of four types of jets in United's fleet as follows:
  • Boeing 747 – 13 years
  • Boeing 777 – 10 years
  • Boeing 767 – 14 years
  • Boeing 757 – 17 years

Merger with Continental

On April 16, 2010, United resumed merger talks with Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

. The board of directors of both Continental and UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation is the former name of United Continental Holdings an airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. UAL held a 100 percent controlling interest in United Air Lines, Inc., one of the world's largest air carriers, and is a founding member of...

's United Airlines reached an agreement to combine operations to create the world's largest airline on May 2, 2010. The combined carrier will take the United Airlines name but will use Continental's logo and livery. The carrier will be based in Chicago and Continental CEO Jeff Smisek will be CEO of the combined airline. The merger is contingent upon shareholder and regulatory approval.

The Continental-United merger was approved by the European Union.

Continental and United Airlines revealed a new logo, based on Continental's logo, that will be used for the post-merger United. On August 27, 2010, the US Justice Department approved the Continental-United Merger. This is partially because United and Continental agreed to lease 18 take-off and 18 landing slots at Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

 to Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co. is an American low-cost airline based in Dallas, Texas. Southwest is the largest airline in the United States, based upon domestic passengers carried,...

. On September 17, 2010, United shareholders approve the merger deal with Continental Airlines. Both carriers plans to begin merging operations in 2011 to form the world's biggest carrier and is expected to receive a single operating certificate by 2012. Continental's single operating certificate
Air Operator's Certificate
An air operator's certificate is the approval granted from a national aviation authority to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and system in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public...

 (SOC) (using the "United" name) will be retained, whereas, those of United and Air Mike will be surrendered. On the other hand, United's maintenance certificate will survive and Continental's will be abandoned.

On October 1, 2010, UAL Corporation (the parent company of United Airlines) completed its acquisition of Continental Airlines and changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc.
United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings, Inc. , is a publicly traded airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in the United Building in Chicago, Illinois. UCH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. both of which use the trade name United Airlines...

 Although the two airlines remain separate until the operational integration is completed (by mid-2012), as of mid-2011 both airlines are corporately controlled by the same leadership. United and Continental announced that United Mileage Plus would be the remaining frequent flyer program of the two airlines, and renamed the frequent flier program to MileagePlus.

The airline received a single operating certificate from the FAA on November 30, 2011.

Headquarters

United Airlines has its corporate headquarters in 77 West Wacker in the Chicago Loop
Chicago Loop
The Loop or Chicago Loop is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas located in the City of Chicago, Illinois. It is the historic commercial center of downtown Chicago...

, Chicago, United States.

In 2006 United Airlines announced that it would be moving its headquarters and its 350 top executives from 1200 East Algonquin Road in suburban Elk Grove Township to 77 West Wacker Drive. Before making its choice, United was considering moving its headquarters to Denver, Colorado, or San Francisco. In the Chicago Loop United had considered 115 South LaSalle Street, 190 South LaSalle, and 200 West Madison Street. Douglas F. Beaver of the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

described the United Airlines operational center in Elk Grove Township as "sprawling for acres over the northwest Chicago suburbs."

The top 350 executives were moved in the first half of 2007 to 77 West Wacker. The Elk Grove Village campus was renamed an Operations Center, and United Airlines consolidated several of its offices in the suburbs of Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 into the Elk Grove Village campus. After the City of Chicago submitted a $35 million incentive, including $10 million in grants for United to move its remaining employees to Chicago, United proceeded to schedule a move of about 2,500 employees out of the former Elk Grove Township headquarters into the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) in Chicago in fall 2010. Monica Davey of The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

said that the move may have contributed to United's decision to base the new merged airline out of Chicago instead of Houston. The move was begun in October with 280 employees and one thousand are expected by the end of 2010.

Other facilities

United owns a crew training center in Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

 with 36 flight simulators and 90 computer-based training stations. Its primary maintenance base is at San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

 and has nine hangar bays and 2.9 million square feet of floor space. United also owns a hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. Honolulu is the southernmost major U.S. city. Although the name "Honolulu" refers to the urban area on the southeastern shore of the island of Oahu, the city and county government are consolidated as the City and...

 which is used by its flight crews.

Fuel burn reduction strategy

Despite a pursuit to cut fuel burn and reduce carbon output, United was one of the last US based carriers to pursue blended winglet additions to their 757 aircraft certified for the fuel saving installation and has been slow to implement similar improvements on 767 aircraft. This while Continental has made every certified retrofit to its fleet to boost efficiency and has commenced biofuel flight testing. On December 9, 2009, United officially announced orders for 25 Boeing 787–8 aircraft and 25 Airbus A350-900 XWB
Airbus A350
The Airbus A350 is a family of long-range, wide-body jet airliners under development by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.A consortium originally comprising European aerospace companies from the UK, France, Spain and West Germany, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known...

 aircraft The orders are worth and , respectively, at list prices. United's purpose is to reduce fuel burn on typical flights by up to one-third, saving gallons of fuel per year, and to simplify maintenance by reducing the number of classes of aircraft used on United's network. The 787 will replace the 767; the larger variant of the A350 will replace the 747. Ultimately, United intends to fly only three types of widebody aircraft: The 777, 787, and the A350.
Narrow body replacement bids for the 737-300/-500 fleet are expected to begin in 2010, with Embraer of Brazil and Bombardier of Canada participating along with Boeing and Airbus.
On November 7, 2011 United Airlines flew the world's first commercial aviation flight on a microbially-derived biofuel using Solajet™, Solazyme's algae-derived renewable jet fuel. The Eco-skies Boeing 737-800 plane was fueled with 40 percent Solajet and 60 percent petroleum-derived jet fuel. The commercial Eco-skies flight 1403 departed from Houston's IAH airport at 10:30AM and landed at Chicago's ORD airport at 1:03PM.

Scope clause

United and Continental pilots have differing “scope clauses” that enforce different capacity constraints on regional jet service
Regional airline
Regional airlines are airlines that operate regional aircraft to provide passenger air service to communities without sufficient demand to attract mainline service...

. Relatively speaking, United has a more relaxed scope clause that allows regional carriers to operate jets with up to 70 seats, whereas, Continental has a more restrictive clause of 50 seats. This remains an obstacle for a single pilot contract.

Brand

United adopted a red, white and blue shield logo in 1936, but its use varied widely and was eventually abandoned altogether in the early 1970s. In 1973, the airline commissioned designer Saul Bass
Saul Bass
Saul Bass was a Jewish-American graphic designer and filmmaker, best known for his design of motion picture title sequences....

 to develop a new logo. The "tulip
Tulip
The tulip is a perennial, bulbous plant with showy flowers in the genus Tulipa, which comprises 109 species and belongs to the family Liliaceae. The genus's native range extends from as far west as Southern Europe, North Africa, Anatolia, and Iran to the Northwest of China. The tulip's centre of...

" logo of colored stripes representing overlapping letter "U"s remained in use until the Continental merger with only slight modification. United's grey livery featured the words "Worldwide Service" near the front of the aircraft.

On May 3, 2010, it was announced that United and Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 would merge. The combined airline will take the United name but use Continental's "globe
Globe
A globe is a three-dimensional scale model of Earth or other spheroid celestial body such as a planet, star, or moon...

" identity and livery. There has been a lot negative reaction to the "new" livery, from United fans and frequent fliers, and by marketing experts. Campaigns on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have been started to save the Tulip. The "United" typeface was updated in August 2010, resembling more like the most recent United typeface, rather than the same font that was used to write "Continental Airlines". The merger was approved in September 2010, and the two companies merged on October 1, 2010. Currently, over 450 planes have been painted in the "new" livery.

The early slogan "The Main Line Airway," emphasizing its signature New York-Chicago-San Francisco route, was replaced in 1965 with "Fly the Friendly Skies." The "friendly skies" tagline
Tagline
A tagline is a variant of a branding slogan typically used in marketing materials and advertising. The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of a brand or product , or to reinforce the audience's memory of a product...

 was used until 1996. The current slogan and ad campaign since 2004, is "It's time to fly." Other United Slogans include:
  • "The Great White Way to New York" (1971–1972)
  • "The Friendly Skies of your land" (also known as "Mother Country", 1972–1976)
  • "You're the boss" (1976–1977), "United we fly" (1977–1978)
  • "That's what friendly skies are all about" (1980)
  • "You're not just flying, you're flying the Friendly Skies" (mid 1980s)
  • "From the ground up, rededicated to giving you the service you deserve. Come fly the friendly skies" (Late 1980s)
  • "Come fly the airline that's uniting the world. Come fly the Friendly Skies" (late 1980s)
  • "Come fly our Friendly Skies" (The early ESOP years)
  • "United. Rising." during the late 1990s
  • "Come fly Chicago's hometown airline. Come fly the friendly skies."
  • "Feel United ... Be United ... Worlds United ... Stay United ... United" (the late 1990s)
  • "It's important for the human race to stay United"
  • "Life is a journey travel it well; United"
  • "We Are United" following the September 11 incident
  • "Relax, Stretch Out" with the rollout of EconomyPlus
  • "It's time to fly" for the animated commercials (voiced over by Robert Redford
    Robert Redford
    Charles Robert Redford, Jr. , better known as Robert Redford, is an American actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, and founder of the Sundance Film Festival. He has received two Oscars: one in 1981 for directing Ordinary People, and one for Lifetime...

    ), banners, and magazine advertisements of the campaign first unveiled during Super Bowl XXXVIII. (2004 2011). The campaign was reintroduced in August 2008 when United premiered five new TV commercials during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games
    2008 Summer Olympics
    The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

    .


United's theme song is George Gershwin's
George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...

 1924 "Rhapsody in Blue
Rhapsody in Blue
Rhapsody in Blue is a musical composition by George Gershwin for solo piano and jazz band written in 1924, which combines elements of classical music with jazz-influenced effects....

", which it licensed from Gershwin's estate for $500,000 in 1976. "Rhapsody" would have entered the public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 in 2000, but the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act
Copyright Term Extension Act
The Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years. Since the Copyright Act of 1976, copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship...

 of 1998 extended its copyright another 20 years.

United is a sponsor of all five of Chicago's major professional sports teams—the Bears
Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

, Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They have won four Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926, most recently coming in 2009-10...

, Bulls
Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois, playing in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association . The team was founded in 1966. They play their home games at the United Center...

, Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 and White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

—as well as the US Olympic team. The Blackhawks and Bulls play their games in the United Center
United Center
The United Center is an indoor sports arena located in Chicago. It is named after its corporate sponsor, United Airlines. The United Center is home to both the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League...

, which the airline holds the naming rights to until 2014. The Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

 use a United 757 as their charter jet for transport between games, and the White Sox
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are a Major League Baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois.The White Sox play in the American League's Central Division. Since , the White Sox have played in U.S. Cellular Field, which was originally called New Comiskey Park and nicknamed The Cell by local fans...

, similarly, use an Airbus A320
Airbus A320 family
The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

 as their charter operating under flight number UAL9904. Similarly, United is also the charter carrier for the US Olympic team. In addition, the luxury seating area directly behind home plate at the White Sox U.S. Cellular Field
U.S. Cellular Field
U.S. Cellular Field is a baseball ballpark in Chicago, Illinois. Owned by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, it is the home of the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball's American League. The park opened for the 1991 season, after the White Sox had spent 81 years at old Comiskey Park...

 are the "United Scout Seats."

Destinations

United Airlines mainline flies to 73 domestic destinations and 41 international destinations in 25 countries across Asia, Americas, Europe, Oceania, and Africa not including cities only served by United Express
United Express
United Express is a brand name under which eight regional airlines operate feeder flights for United Airlines. They primarily connect smaller cities with United's domestic hub airports and “focus cities,” although they offer some point-to-point service such as Sacramento to Eureka.As of Sept...

.

United Airlines, along with Air France
Air France
Air France , stylised as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, , and is one of the world's largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance...

, British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, Emirates Airlines, Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

, Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
Malaysian Airline System Berhad , DBA Malaysia Airlines , is the government-owned flag carrier of Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines operates flights from its home base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and its eastern hub in Kota Kinabalu. It has its headquarters on the grounds of Sultan Abdul Aziz...

, Qantas
Qantas
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

, Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. , operating as Qatar Airways, is the flag carrier of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, it operates a hub-and-spoke network, linking over 100 international destinations from its base in Doha, using a fleet of over 100 aircraft...

, Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

 and South African Airways
South African Airways
South African Airways is the national flag carrier and largest airline of South Africa, with headquarters in Airways Park on the grounds of OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. The airline flies to 36 destinations worldwide from its hub at OR Tambo International...

, is one of the few airlines that fly to all six inhabited continents.

Route network

United operates an extensive domestic route network concentrated in the Midwest and western United States. United is also prominent in transcontinental
Transcontinental flight
In the United States the term Transcontinental flight is travelling by air coast-to-coast over the continental United States.-History:The first transcontinental flight across the United States was made by Calbraith Perry Rodgers to win the Hearst prize offered by publisher William Randolph Hearst...

, transatlantic
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

, and transpacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 service. It is the leading US carrier to Hawaii and largest to Asia and Australia, flying transpacific revenue passenger miles in 2006 on 306 weekly departures. United also is the leading carrier in transpacific flights.

In 1988, the bilateral (though not reciprocal) treaty with Japan was amended to allow additional routes between the two countries. United's application to fly from Chicago to Tokyo, a significant gap in its routes previously, was approved.

United is focusing on its international presence, notably in the People's Republic of China, with nonstop flights to Beijing and Shanghai, as well as the former British territory of Hong Kong from its hubs in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. In September 2007 United was granted a route from San Francisco to Guangzhou. These routes offer a higher proportion of premium fare passengers while being relatively insulated from the cut-throat competition
Cut-throat competition
Cut-throat competition, also known as destructive or ruinous competition, refers to situations when competition results in prices that do not chronically or for extended periods of time cover costs of production, particularly fixed costs...

 in the domestic market, especially from low-cost carriers. United competes vigorously with discount carriers on about 70 percent of its domestic market. United has also focused more on Latin America, a region from which it had largely retreated in the last decade, and added new destinations and frequencies to Mexico and the Caribbean. The airline was granted service from Los Angeles to Shanghai that began on May 20, 2011.

United began service to Bahrain on April 18, 2010. United also began service to Accra
Accra
Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana, with an urban population of 1,658,937 according to the 2000 census. Accra is also the capital of the Greater Accra Region and of the Accra Metropolitan District, with which it is coterminous...

, Ghana on June 20, 2010 (which was the carrier's first African destination), making it the second-US carrier to fly to all six inhabited continents after Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, which has had that distinction since July 2009. United also began service to Lagos
Lagos
Lagos is a port and the most populous conurbation in Nigeria. With a population of 7,937,932, it is currently the third most populous city in Africa after Cairo and Kinshasa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa...

, Nigeria, via Accra on December 12, 2010, making it the carrier's second African destination. Services to Bahrain, Accra, and Lagos are served from the airline's Washington-Dulles
Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of...

 hub. Service to Lagos from Dulles will end December 18, 2011.

Codeshare agreements

In addition to its Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany . The alliance was founded in 1997 by five of the world's leading airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines...

 and United Express
United Express
United Express is a brand name under which eight regional airlines operate feeder flights for United Airlines. They primarily connect smaller cities with United's domestic hub airports and “focus cities,” although they offer some point-to-point service such as Sacramento to Eureka.As of Sept...

 partnerships, United codeshares and/or marketing agreements with the following airlines as of January 2010:
  • Aer Lingus
    Aer Lingus
    Aer Lingus Group Plc is the flag carrier of Ireland. It operates a fleet of Airbus aircraft serving Europe and North America. It is Ireland's oldest extant airline, and its second largest after low-cost rival Ryanair...

  • Avianca
    Avianca
    Avianca S.A. is the flag carrier airline of Colombia since December 5, 1919 when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA. It is headquartered in Bogotá, D.C. with its hub at the El Dorado International Airport...

  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
    Ethiopian Airlines
    Ethiopian Airlines , formerly Ethiopian Air Lines, often referred to as simply Ethiopian, is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It serves as the country's flag carrier, and is wholly owned by the Government of Ethiopia...

  • Great Lakes Aviation
  • Gulfstream International Airlines
    Gulfstream International Airlines
    Gulfstream International Group, Inc., operating as Gulfstream International Airlines , is a United States airline based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It operates scheduled and charter services to Florida and Bahamas and the Caribbean. It operates as a United Express carrier for United Airlines...


    operated for Continental Connection
    Continental Connection
    Continental Connection is a brand name under which several commuter airline carriers and their holding companies operate services marketed exclusively by Continental Airlines...

  • Hawaiian Airlines
    Hawaiian Airlines
    Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a major airline of the United States. It is the largest airline based in the State of Hawai'i, and is the 11th largest commercial airline in the country. Based in Honolulu CDP, City and County of Honolulu, the airline operates its main hub at Honolulu International...

  • Island Air
    Island Air
    Island Air is an independent American commuter airline based in Honolulu CDP, City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii. It operates scheduled inter-island passenger services in Hawaii...

  • Jet Airways
    Jet Airways
    Jet Airways is a major Indian airline based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is India's largest airline and the market leader in the domestic sector. It operates over 400 flights daily to 76 destinations worldwide. Its main hub is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, with secondary hubs at Delhi,...

  • Qatar Airways
    Qatar Airways
    Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. , operating as Qatar Airways, is the flag carrier of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, it operates a hub-and-spoke network, linking over 100 international destinations from its base in Doha, using a fleet of over 100 aircraft...

  • TACA Airlines

  • Current hubs, focus cities and maintenance bases

    • O'Hare International Airport
      O'Hare International Airport
      Chicago O'Hare International Airport , also known as O'Hare Airport, O'Hare Field, Chicago Airport, Chicago International Airport, or simply O'Hare, is a major airport located in the northwestern-most corner of Chicago, Illinois, United States, northwest of the Chicago Loop...

      , Chicago
      Chicago
      Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

      , Illinois
    • Denver International Airport
      Denver International Airport
      Denver International Airport , often referred to as DIA, is an airport in Denver, Colorado. By land size, at , it is the largest international airport in the United States, and the third largest international airport in the world after King Fahd International Airport and Montréal-Mirabel...

      , Denver, Colorado
    • Washington Dulles International Airport
      Washington Dulles International Airport
      Washington Dulles International Airport is a public airport in Dulles, Virginia, 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. The airport serves the Baltimore-Washington-Northern Virginia metropolitan area centered on the District of Columbia. It is named after John Foster Dulles, Secretary of...

      , Washington, DC
    • San Francisco International Airport
      San Francisco International Airport
      San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

      , San Francisco
      • Maintenance hub
        Maintenance, repair, and operations
        Maintenance, repair, and operations or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical or electrical device should it become out of order or broken...

         (MRO) San Francisco International Airport
        San Francisco International Airport
        San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

        , San Francisco
    • Los Angeles International Airport
      Los Angeles International Airport
      Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

      , Los Angeles
    • Narita International Airport
      Narita International Airport
      is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located east of Tokyo Station and east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama....

      , Tokyo, Japan
    • Newark Liberty International Airport
      Newark Liberty International Airport
      Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

      , Newark
      Newark, New Jersey
      Newark is the largest city in the American state of New Jersey, and the seat of Essex County. As of the 2010 United States Census, Newark had a population of 277,140, maintaining its status as the largest municipality in New Jersey. It is the 68th largest city in the U.S...

      , New Jersey
    • George Bush Intercontinental Airport
      George Bush Intercontinental Airport
      George Bush Intercontinental Airport, is a Class B international airport in Houston, Texas, serving the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States. Located north of Downtown Houston between Interstate 45 and U.S. Highway 59...

      , Houston, Texas
    • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
      Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
      Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is a public airport located nine miles southwest of the central business district of Cleveland, a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States. The airport lies just within the city limits of Cleveland...

      , Cleveland, Ohio
    • Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport
      Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport
      Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport , also known as Guam International Airport, is an airport located in Tamuning and Barrigada, three miles east of the capital city of Hagåtña in the U.S. territory of Guam. It is named for Antonio Borja Won Pat, the first delegate from Guam to the United...

      , Guam
      Guam
      Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...


    Former hubs, maintenance bases, and focus cities

    United's route network has been trimmed and streamlined to a few central hubs, resulting in the closure of these former hubs or de-listing as focus cities:
    • Miami
      Miami International Airport
      Miami International Airport , also known as MIA and historically Wilcox Field, is the primary airport serving the South Florida area...

       (Latin gateway) – purchased from Pan Am, dismantled in 2004 due to retrenchment and competition with American Airlines
    • Seattle
      Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
      The Seattle–Tacoma International Airport , also known as Sea–Tac Airport or Sea–Tac , is an American airport located in SeaTac, Washington, at the intersections of State Routes 99 and 509 and 518, about west of Interstate 5...

       (Focus city) – some destinations downgauged to United Express, due to consolidation to SFO and LAX
    • Oakland
      Oakland International Airport
      Oakland International Airport , also known as Metropolitan Oakland International Airport, is a public airport located south of the central business district of Oakland, a city in Alameda County, California, United States...

       (Maintenance base) – Oakland Maintenance Center (OMC)
    • Indianapolis
      Indianapolis International Airport
      Indianapolis International Airport is a public airport located seven miles southwest of the central business district of Indianapolis, a city in Marion County, Indiana, United States. It is owned and operated by the Indianapolis Airport Authority...

       (Maintenance base) – Indianapolis Maintenance Center (IMC)

    Current

    United Airlines operates 702 aircraft.

    The Boeing customer code for United Airlines is 22, yielding a model number such as 747–422.

    United announced plans to provide Wi-Fi internet service from Panasonic
    Panasonic
    Panasonic is an international brand name for Japanese electric products manufacturer Panasonic Corporation, which was formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd...

     on its 737 and International 757 aircraft beginning in 2012 and plans to have all mainline aircraft equipped with WiFi by 2015.

    United Airlines fleet
    Aircraft In Service Orders Options Passengers Notes
    F C Y+ Y Total
    Airbus A319-100
    Airbus A320 family
    The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

    55 8 40 72 120
    Airbus A320-200
    Airbus A320 family
    The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

    97 12 36 90 138
    42 144
    Airbus A350-900
    Airbus A350
    The Airbus A350 is a family of long-range, wide-body jet airliners under development by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.A consortium originally comprising European aerospace companies from the UK, France, Spain and West Germany, Airbus is now fully owned by EADS and since 2001 has been known...

    25 50 TBA To be delivered between 2016 and 2019; replacing 747-400
    Boeing 737–500
    Boeing 737 Classic
    The Boeing 737 Classic is the name given to the -300/-400/-500 series of the Boeing 737 following the introduction of the -600/-700/-800/-900 series. They are short- to medium- range, narrow-body jet airliners produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The Classic series was introduced as the 'new...

    29 0 8 106 114 Acquired in merger with Continental; all have winglets. 5 Aircraft to Exit service in 2011
    Boeing 737–700
    Boeing 737 Next Generation
    The Boeing 737 Next Generation, commonly abbreviated as Boeing 737NG, is the name given to the -600/-700/-800/-900 series of the Boeing 737 after the introduction of the -300/-400/-500 Classic series. They are short- to medium-range, narrow-body jet airliners...

    36 46 12 112 124 Acquired in merger with Continental; Orders can, and are, being converted to other 737 models
    Boeing 737–800
    Boeing 737 Next Generation
    The Boeing 737 Next Generation, commonly abbreviated as Boeing 737NG, is the name given to the -600/-700/-800/-900 series of the Boeing 737 after the introduction of the -300/-400/-500 Classic series. They are short- to medium-range, narrow-body jet airliners...

    8
    122
    2 14
    16
    141
    144
    155
    160
    Acquired in merger with Continental
    Boeing 737–900
    Boeing 737 Next Generation
    The Boeing 737 Next Generation, commonly abbreviated as Boeing 737NG, is the name given to the -600/-700/-800/-900 series of the Boeing 737 after the introduction of the -300/-400/-500 Classic series. They are short- to medium-range, narrow-body jet airliners...

    12 0 20 153 173 Acquired in merger with Continental
    Boeing 737-900ER 33 19 20 153 173 Acquired in merger with Continental; 19 deliveries expected in 2012
    Boeing 747–400 24 12 52 70 240 374 To receive wireless streaming video
    To be retired between 2016 and 2019 and will be replaced by Airbus A350-900
    1 to be retired in 2011
    Boeing 757–200
    Boeing 757
    The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

    13 12 26 72 110 All to receive winglets
    41 acquired in merger with Continental
    121 24 50 108 182
    44 118 186
    16 159 175
    Boeing 757–300
    Boeing 757
    The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

    21 0 24 192 216 Largest operator of the Boeing 757–300. Acquired in merger with Continental
    Boeing 767-200ER
    Boeing 767
    The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

    8 0 25 149 174 Acquired in merger with Continental. All feature Boeing's signature 777-style interior. To be retired.
    Boeing 767-300ER
    Boeing 767
    The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

    35 6 26 71 80 183 13 domestic/Hawaii 767s to be retrofitted with lie flat seats
    All to receive winglets starting in early 2012
    Exit from service: 2016-2019; to be replaced by Boeing 787-8
    34 64 146 244
    Boeing 767-400ER
    Boeing 767
    The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

    12
    4
    0 35
    20
    200
    236
    235
    256
    Acquired in merger with Continental. 1 aircraft refitted with United's "Economy Plus" seating.
    Boeing 777–200
    Boeing 777
    The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

    19 36 89 223 348
    12 49 77 114 252
    8 40 107 269
    Boeing 777-200ER
    Boeing 777
    The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

    55 10 45 84 114 253 22 acquired in merger with Continental, 2 of which were leased from ILFC
    12 49 77 252
    8 40 107 269
    50 226 276
    Boeing 787–8 36 50 36 63
    0
    120
    219
    228
    Entry into service: 2012–2019
    Replacing 767-200ER and -300ER
    Boeing 787–9 0 14
    TBA
    Entry into service: 2013 (projected)
    Total 702 142 100


    Retired

    United Airlines Retired Fleet
    Aircraft Year retired Replacement Notes
    Boeing 80
    Boeing 80
    -See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Bowers, Peter M. Boeing Aircraft since 1916. London: Putnam, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-804-6.* Davies, Ed. "Boeing's Airline: The Life and Times of Boeing Air Transport, Part One". Air Enthusiast, No. 127, January/February 2007, pp. 64–74. Stamford, UK:Key...

    A
    1934 Launch customer
    Boeing 40A
    Boeing 40A
    - External links :* Retrieved June 17, 2006.* * **...

    1937 Launch customer
    Boeing 247
    Boeing 247
    The Boeing Model 247 was an early United States airliner, considered the first such aircraft to fully incorporate advances such as all-metal semi-monocoque construction, a fully cantilevered wing and retractable landing gear...

    1942 Launch customer, all 59 of the base model were built for United
    Ford Tri-Motor
    Laird Swallow J-5 Single seat biplane used to carry US Air Mail (CAM 5) by predecessor Varney Air Lines.
    Douglas DC-3
    Douglas DC-3
    The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made...

    Boeing 377 1954
    Douglas DC-7
    Douglas DC-7
    The Douglas DC-7 is an American transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1953 to 1958. It was the last major piston engine powered transport made by Douglas, coming just a few years before the advent of jet aircraft such as the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8.-Design and...

    1964
    Convair 340 1968
    Vickers Viscount
    Vickers Viscount
    The Vickers Viscount was a British medium-range turboprop airliner first flown in 1948 by Vickers-Armstrongs, making it the first such aircraft to enter service in the world...

    1969
    Douglas DC-6
    Douglas DC-6
    The Douglas DC-6 is a piston-powered airliner and transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1946 to 1958. Originally intended as a military transport near the end of World War II, it was reworked after the war to compete with the Lockheed Constellation in the long-range...

    1970
    Sud Aviation Caravelle
    Sud Aviation Caravelle
    The Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle was the first short/medium-range jet airliner produced by the French Sud Aviation firm starting in 1955 . The Caravelle was one of the more successful European first generation jetliners, selling throughout Europe and even penetrating the United States market, with...

    1970 Boeing 737–200
    Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 1989 McDonnell Douglas DC-10
    McDonnell Douglas DC-10
    The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

    Bought from Pan Am
    Pan American World Airways
    Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

    ; Sold to Delta
    Delta Air Lines
    Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

    Boeing 720
    Boeing 720
    The Boeing 720 is a four-engine narrow-body short- to medium-range passenger jet airliner. Developed by Boeing in the late 1950s from the Boeing 707, the 720 has a shorter fuselage and less range...

    1976 Boeing 727
    Boeing 727
    The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner, manufactured by Boeing. The Boeing 727 first flew in 1963, and for over a decade more were built per year than any other jet airliner. When production ended in 1984 a total of 1,832 aircraft had been produced...

    Launch Customer
    Douglas DC-8
    Douglas DC-8
    The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

    1992 Boeing 757–200 Launch customer, Largest DC-8 operator in the world
    Boeing 727–100
    Boeing 727
    The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner, manufactured by Boeing. The Boeing 727 first flew in 1963, and for over a decade more were built per year than any other jet airliner. When production ended in 1984 a total of 1,832 aircraft had been produced...

    1993 Boeing 737–500
    Boeing 737
    The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

    Launch customer
    Boeing 747SP
    Boeing 747
    The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

    1995 Boeing 747-400
    Boeing 747-400
    The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, the 747-400 embodies numerous technological and structural changes to produce a more efficient airframe...

    Bought from Pan Am
    Boeing 747–100
    Boeing 747
    The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

    1999 Boeing 777-200/200ER
    Boeing 777
    The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

    McDonnell Douglas DC-10
    McDonnell Douglas DC-10
    The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

    2001 Boeing 777-200/200ER
    Boeing 777
    The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

    Launch Customer (Along with American Airlines)
    Boeing 747–200
    Boeing 747
    The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

    2000 Boeing 747-400
    Boeing 747-400
    The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, the 747-400 embodies numerous technological and structural changes to produce a more efficient airframe...

    Boeing 727–200
    Boeing 727
    The Boeing 727 is a mid-size, narrow-body, three-engine, T-tailed commercial jet airliner, manufactured by Boeing. The Boeing 727 first flew in 1963, and for over a decade more were built per year than any other jet airliner. When production ended in 1984 a total of 1,832 aircraft had been produced...

    2001 Airbus A320 family
    Airbus A320 family
    The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

    Launch customer
    Boeing 737–200
    Boeing 737
    The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

    2001 Airbus A320 family
    Airbus A320 family
    The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

    Launch customer
    Boeing 767–200
    Boeing 767
    The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

    2005 Boeing 767-300ER
    Boeing 767
    The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

    Launch customer
    Boeing 737–300
    Boeing 737 Classic
    The Boeing 737 Classic is the name given to the -300/-400/-500 series of the Boeing 737 following the introduction of the -600/-700/-800/-900 series. They are short- to medium- range, narrow-body jet airliners produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The Classic series was introduced as the 'new...

    2009 May be replaced with Bombardier C-Series or Embraer Jets
    Boeing 737–500
    Boeing 737 Classic
    The Boeing 737 Classic is the name given to the -300/-400/-500 series of the Boeing 737 following the introduction of the -600/-700/-800/-900 series. They are short- to medium- range, narrow-body jet airliners produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The Classic series was introduced as the 'new...

    2009 May be replaced with Bombardier C-series
    Bombardier CSeries
    The Bombardier CSeries is a family of narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet airliners being developed by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. Models are the 110-seat CS100, and the 130-seat CS300...

     or Embraer Jets, some sold to S7 Siberia Airlines



    United was the launch customer for a number of aircraft types, including the McDonnell Douglas DC-10
    McDonnell Douglas DC-10
    The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

     and several Boeing aircraft: the Boeing 727, the Boeing 737–200
    Boeing 737
    The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

    , the Boeing 767 and the Boeing 777. Although not a launch customer, jet aircraft operated by United has included the Lockheed L-1011 (received in the Pan Am Pacific Route purchase, later traded with Delta Air Lines
    Delta Air Lines
    Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

     for the DC-10 aircraft Delta received in their merger with Western Airlines
    Western Airlines
    Western Airlines was a large airline based in California, with operations throughout the Western United States, and hubs at Los Angeles International Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, and the former Stapleton International Airport in Denver...

    ), Douglas (later McDonnell Douglas) DC-8, and Sud (later Aerospatiale) Caravelle. In 1965, United placed an order for six BAC/Sud (now BAe and Aerospatiale) Concordes but the order was later canceled.

    United has stated it would rather wait until the next generation of narrow-body aircraft arrive as they will be able to replace their A319-100, A320-200, and 757–200 fleets at the same time. To cut down on money going out of the franchise, United had retired its entire Boeing 737
    Boeing 737
    The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

     fleet. On June 3, 2009, United announced they have submitted proposals to both Boeing and Airbus for an order for up to 150 new aircraft. The order is expected to include new widebody aircraft to supplement the current Boeing 777-200/200ER aircraft and new narrow-bodies to supplement United's 96 strong 757–200 fleet.

    In December 2009, United announced it would to split a 50-aircraft order between upcoming Airbus A350 and Dreamliner aircraft.

    On April 2, 2008, United Airlines temporarily withdrew its entire fleet of 19 Boeing 777–200 and 33 Boeing 777-200ER aircraft until functional testing of the fire suppression system could be completed. The move was the latest in a series of temporary groundings by U.S. airlines in late March 2008 following a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) review of compliance with airworthiness directives. United has expressed interest in becoming the sole GoldCare maintenance, repair, and overhaul provider for the Boeing 787.

    United Airlines will take the Continental Airlines globe, and color scheme for all aircraft. The "Continental" title will be replaced with "UNITED" printed across each aircraft.

    Cabin

    United offers in-flight entertainment on all mainline aircraft, the only mainline legacy carrier to do so. Audio programming is provided by Zune
    Zune
    Zune is a digital media brand owned by Microsoft which includes a line of portable media players, a digital media player software for Windows machines, a music subscription service known as a 'Zune Music Pass', music and video streaming for the Xbox 360 via the Zune Software, music, TV and movie...

    . The entire fleet features "From the Flightdeck" on channel 9. This program allows passengers to listen to live radio communications between the cockpit and Air Traffic Control. "From the Flightdeck" can be disabled at the pilot's discretion. United also has partnerships with various television networks who provide programming for video-equipped aircraft. The most prominent of these programming partners was NBC, which provided branded "NBC on United" programming. This long-standing partnership ended in early 2009, when NBC signed a two-year deal with American Airlines. Despite the loss of this partnership, United's television entertainment continues to include several prime time NBC programs.

    First class

    "United First" is offered on all flights. United First passengers check in at separate counters and can use priority security screening where available. On board, passengers receive a pre-flight beverage service, table linens (on mainline flights) and (on international flight segments only) a five course meal. Passengers are also given priority when boarding, priority baggage handling and access to the International First Class Lounge (on international and p.s. flights only). United announced that it will keep its First Class seating after the merger with Continental
    Continental Airlines
    Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

    .
    • (Old) United First Suites are offered on most internationally configured Boeing 777-200/200ER aircraft and feature 78 inch-pitch flat-bed seats which recline to 180 degrees. Each seat has a personal video screen with a collection of compact videocassettes. Passengers have access to personal satellite phones, laptop power ports, noise-canceling
      Active noise control
      Active noise control is a method for reducing unwanted sound.- Explanation :...

       headsets, pillows and blankets.

    • (New) United First Suites are offered on all Boeing 747-400
      Boeing 747-400
      The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, the 747-400 embodies numerous technological and structural changes to produce a more efficient airframe...

      , all internationally configured Boeing 767-300ER, and 24 Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. United has begun retrofitting this new seat on its entire international fleet. The new First Suite is 6 feet-6 inches long and has 180 degrees of recline, creating a fully flat bed. All seats are equipped with a personal 15.4-inch screen personal LCD television with Audio-Video-on-Demand (AVOD), an adjustable headrest, lumbar support, a USB power port, an Apple iPod adapter (to play audio or video through), XM Satellite Radio
      XM Satellite Radio
      XM Satellite Radio is one of two satellite radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional...

      , a US-style 120V/60 Hz power outlet, a reading light, noise-cancelling headphones and a large tray table. The 767–300 international continues to use the original (smaller) overhead bins.

    • United First (Domestic) is offered on all domestically configured United aircraft. Domestic United First includes a cradle seat similar to the old international United Business seat, but without the personal reading lamps, legrests, or personal entertainment units. The seats have a 38 inch pitch, and passengers receive priority boarding and baggage handling, pre-departure beverages, free meals and separate check-in desks. United has updated substantially all of these seats with leather seat covers. Occasionally, 3-cabin widebodies will fly between hubs and Domestic First Class will feature the United First Suites (old and new).

    • United First (p.s.) is offered on all flights from JFK to SFO and LAX and features twelve angled-flat, leather-trimmed seats, with a 68-inch pitch, along with individual portable digital media players offering a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music and games through noise-reducing headsets. Passengers receive full meals, chocolates and signature champagne cocktails, as well as an invitation to the United International First Class Lounges at Los Angeles, New York-JFK, or San Francisco. Seats include personal reading lights, privacy screens and laptop power ports.

    United International First Lounge

    United also offers an International First Lounge which feature snacks and a self-serve bar at several airports. Access is restricted to customers traveling in long haul international first class or P.S. first class. Seven lounges are currently operated in seven different airports worldwide, including Chicago-O'Hare, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, San Francisco, Tokyo-Narita, and Washington-Dulles.

    United Arrivals Suite

    United also offers United Arrivals Suite service which has shower facilities and complimentary breakfast. Access is restricted to international United First and full-fare United Business customers. There are presently four Arrival Suite locations including London, San Francisco, Chicago, and São Paulo.

    Business class

    "United Business" is offered on all internationally configured aircraft and on a few select domestic flights. United Business passengers check in at separate counters and can use priority security screening where available. In-flight service includes pre-departure beverages, table linens and (on international flight segments only) three course meals designed by chef Charlie Trotter
    Charlie Trotter
    Charlie Trotter is a chef and restaurateur.-Biography:A graduate of New Trier High School, Trotter started cooking professionally in 1982 after earning a degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. For the next 5 years, he worked and studied in Chicago, San Francisco at...

    . Passengers are also given priority when boarding, priority baggage handling and access to the United Red Carpet Club
    United Club
    The United Club is the airline lounge associated with United Airlines as well as its regional affiliates. Prior to the United-Continental merger, United Airlines lounges were known as the Red Carpet Club and Continental Airlines lounges were are known as the Presidents Club.-United Club:United Club...

     (on international and p.s. flights only).
    • (Old) United Business Seats are offered on internationally configured Boeing 777-200/200ER aircraft and feature recliner-type seats with a pitch of 55 inches and 150 degree recline. The seat also features laptop power ports which require EmPower adapters. Each seat includes an individual entertainment system offering nine channels of video (seven films and two short-subjects) and noise-reducing headsets.

    • (New) United Business Suites are offered on all Boeing 747-400
      Boeing 747-400
      The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, the 747-400 embodies numerous technological and structural changes to produce a more efficient airframe...

      , all internationally configured Boeing 767-300ER, and 24 Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. United has begun retrofitting this new seat on its entire international fleet. The seats alternate between front-facing and rear-facing. All seats are 6 feet-4 inches long and have 180 degrees of recline, creating a fully flat bed. United Business Suite was the first flat-bed business seat to be offered by a U.S. airline. All seats are equipped with a personal 15-inch screen personal LCD television with Audio-Video-on-Demand (AVOD), an adjustable headrest, lumbar support, a USB power port, an Apple iPod adapter (through which to play audio or video), XM Satellite Radio
      XM Satellite Radio
      XM Satellite Radio is one of two satellite radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Radio. It provides pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service includes 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional...

      , a US-style 120V/60 Hz power outlet, a reading light, noise-cancelling headphones and a large tray table.

    • United Business (p.s.) is offered on all flights from JFK to SFO and LAX and features twenty-six leather recliner seats with 54 inch pitch, individual portable digital media players offering a wide selection of movies, TV shows, music and games through noise-reducing headsets. Passengers receive full meals, chocolates and signature cocktails as well as an invitation to the United Red Carpet Club
      United Club
      The United Club is the airline lounge associated with United Airlines as well as its regional affiliates. Prior to the United-Continental merger, United Airlines lounges were known as the Red Carpet Club and Continental Airlines lounges were are known as the Presidents Club.-United Club:United Club...

      . Seats include personal reading lights and laptop power ports.

    • United Business (Domestic) is offered on select domestic flights between hubs when 3 class international widebodies are being repositioned between international flights. There is never any guarantee of which routes these planes will appear on as schedules will change according to United's international needs. Aside from the superior International Business Class seats, service is similar to Domestic First Class. Note that Rows 13 and 14 on the 767s receive Business Class service despite being sold as economy seats as they are physically located within the Business cabin.

    Economy class

    • United Economy (International) is available on all internationally configured aircraft in United's fleet. Seats range from 17 to 18 inches wide, and have 31 inches of pitch. All United Economy seats on and 777-200/200ER aircraft feature an adjustable headrest and a 5 inch personal television at the back of each seat showing videos on loop. United Economy's in-flight entertainment system on these aircraft features nine channels of entertainment (Seven films and two short-subjects.) Some B777-200/200ER's are already updated to Audio-Video-on-Demand (AVOD) with a 7 inch Panasonic eFX touch screen LCD. United serves free meals on international flights between the US, South America, Europe, the South Pacific and Asia. Shortly after takeoff, passengers are served cocktail snacks and free non-alcoholic drinks. On flights with meals, the main meal consists of a salad, an appetizer, a choice of hot entrées and dessert. On longer flights, United also offers a light pre-arrival meal.

    • United Economy (Domestic) is available on all domestically configured aircraft in United's fleet. Seats range from 17 to 18 inches wide, and have between 31 and 32 inches of pitch. Economy seats on all A319-100, A320-200, 757–200, and domestic-configured 767-300ER and 777-200/200ER aircraft feature adjustable headrests. United offers a buy on board
      Buy on board
      In commercial flight, buy on board is a system where food or beverages are paid for on board; often food or beverages are not included in the ticket price for certain fare classes....

       program. On United flights between three and five hours in duration, snackboxes are available for a fee. On United flights of five or more hours, fresh sandwiches, salads and snackbox options are also available for a fee. Water, soft drinks, and coffee are complimentary on all flights. Alcoholic beverages are available for a fee on most flights. All aircraft feature overhead television screens. Short subject television program is shown on flights between 1.5 and 2.5 hours and feature-length films are shown on flights over three hours.

    • Economy Plus is available on all aircraft in the domestic and international fleet. Economy Plus seats are located in the front 6–12 rows of the economy cabin and feature up to 6 inches of additional legroom. Economy Plus is available for free to all MileagePlus Elite members. It can also be purchased at check-in depending upon availability by members of the United MileagePlus program. Economy Plus seats are restricted solely to members of the program. All other customers including passengers from other frequent flyer programs in the Star Alliance are prohibited from purchasing Economy Plus seats at the time of ticket purchase. All seats in economy on the p.s. flights from JFK to LAX and SFO are configured into Economy Plus. United announced that it will keep the "Economy Plus" seating for the combined carrier.

    MileagePlus

    MileagePlus is United Airlines' frequent flyer program
    Frequent flyer program
    A frequent flyer program is a loyalty program offered by many airlines. Typically, airline customers enrolled in the program accumulate frequent flyer miles corresponding to the distance flown on that airline or its partners. There are other ways to accumulate miles...

    . United announced that its MileagePlus program will be retained after the merger.

    From its inception until June 29, 2011, United's frequent flier program was known as Mileage Plus. Following United's merger with Continental Airlines, United retained Mileage Plus as the frequent flier program of the new United and, subsequently, renamed the program MileagePlus.

    Tom Stuker became the first United flyer to reach 10 million miles flown since the introduction of Mileage Plus; the milestone was celebrated at a reception at Chicago's O'Hare airport on July 9, 2011, where a United Boeing 747
    Boeing 747
    The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

    -400 (N127UA) was named in his honor.

    United Club

    The United Club is the airline lounge associated with Continental Airlines, Continental Connection, Continental Express, United Airlines and United Express carriers.

    Incidents and accidents

    1930s NC13304
    United Airlines Chesterton Crash
    On October 10, 1933, a Boeing 247 propliner operated by United Air Lines and registered as NC13304, crashed near Chesterton, Indiana. The transcontinental flight, carrying three crew and four passengers, had originated in Newark, New Jersey, with its final destination in Oakland, California...

    Flight 6
    United Airlines Flight 6
    United Airlines Flight 6 was a scheduled flight departing from Chicago, Illinois to Omaha, Nebraska on December 20, 1934. Shortly after departing Chicago power was lost on the right engine, and the crew notified Chicago that they were returning. Then power was lost on the left engine and a forced...

    NC13317
    United Airlines Cheyenne Crash
    United Airlines Trip 4 was a Boeing 247D operating on a scheduled flight from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Cheyenne, Wyoming, on October 7, 1935. The aircraft last contacted Cheyenne at 2:16 or 2:17 a.m. reporting its position as Silver Crown. Cheyenne called the flight at 2:17, receiving no reply...

    NC13323
    United Airlines Cheyenne Test Crash
    The United Airlines Cheyenne test crash occurred on October 30, 1935 during a flight to check the instruments of a Boeing 247D. The aircraft was seen to enter a turn, drop its nose, impact the ground and burst into fire. The Probable Cause was the pilot's initiation of an abrupt maneuver with...

    NC13355
    1940s Flight 14 Flight 28 Flight 404 Flight 521
    United Airlines Flight 521
    United Airlines Flight 521, a Douglas DC-4, was a scheduled flight departing from LaGuardia Airport to Cleveland, Ohio on May 29, 1947. While attempting to take off from runway 18, the aircraft failed to get airborne, overran the end of the runway, ripped through an airport fence onto traffic on...

    Flight 608
    United Airlines Flight 608
    United Airlines Flight 608 was a Douglas DC-6 airliner, registration NC37510, on a scheduled passenger flight from Los Angeles to Chicago when it crashed at 12:29 pm on October 24, 1947 about 1.5 miles southeast of Bryce Canyon Airport, Utah. There were no...

    Flight 624
    United Airlines Flight 624
    United Airlines Flight 624, a Douglas DC-6 airliner, registration NC37506, was a scheduled passenger flight that originated in San Diego, California with stops in Los Angeles and Chicago en route to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. The four-engine propeller-driven airplane crashed at 1:41 p.m...

    1950s Flight 129 Flight 610
    United Airlines Flight 610
    On June 30, 1951, United Airlines Flight 610, a US transcontinental San Francisco–Oakland–Salt Lake City–Denver–Chicago service flown by the Douglas DC-6 aircraft Mainliner Overland Trail crashed in Larimer County, northwest of Denver...

    Flight 615
    United Airlines Flight 615
    United Airlines Flight 615, a Douglas DC-6B with FAA registration , was operating as Flight 615, which was a transcontinental east-west service serving Boston-Hartford-Cleveland-Chicago-Oakland-San Francisco...

    Flight 7030 Flight 16 Flight 409
    United Airlines Flight 409
    United Airlines Flight 409 was a scheduled flight departing from Denver, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah on October 6, 1955. The aircraft registration number was , a Douglas DC-4 propliner...

    Flight 629
    United Airlines Flight 629
    United Airlines Flight 629, registration N37559, was a Douglas DC-6B aircraft, named "Mainliner Denver," which was blown up with a dynamite bomb placed in the checked luggage. The explosion occurred over Longmont, Colorado while the airplane was en route from Denver, Colorado to Portland, Oregon,...

    Flight 718
    1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision
    The 1956 Grand Canyon mid-air collision occurred on Saturday, June 30, 1956 at 10:30 AM Pacific Standard Time when a United Airlines passenger airliner struck a Trans World Airlines airliner over the Grand Canyon in Arizona, resulting in the crash of both planes and 128 fatalities...

    Flight 736
    United Airlines Flight 736
    United Airlines Flight 736 was a daily U.S. transcontinental passenger flight operated by United Airlines that crashed on April21, 1958. The aircraft assigned to Flight 736, a Douglas DC-7 airliner carrying 47 persons, was flying at cruise altitude above Clark County, Nevada, en route to a stopover...

    1960s Flight 826
    1960 New York air disaster
    The 1960 New York air disaster, also known as the Park Slope Plane Crash, was a collision on December 16, 1960, between two airliners, United Airlines Flight 826 and Trans World Airlines Flight 266 over New York City, in which Flight 266 crashed into Staten Island and 826 into Park Slope, Brooklyn...

    Flight 859
    United Airlines Flight 859
    United Airlines Flight 859 was a scheduled passenger flight that crashed on July 11, 1961 during landing at Stapleton International Airport, Denver, Colorado...

    Flight 297
    United Airlines Flight 297
    United Airlines Flight 297, a Vickers Viscount 745D, was a scheduled flight from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey to Washington, D.C. with 17 people on board....

    Flight 823
    United Airlines Flight 823
    United Airlines Flight 823 was a scheduled flight from Philadelphia International Airport, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Huntsville International Airport, Huntsville, Alabama with 39 on board. On July 9, 1964 at approximately 18:15 EST it crashed 2 miles northeast of Parrottsville, Tennessee after...

    Flight 389
    United Airlines Flight 389
    United Airlines Flight 389 was a scheduled flight from LaGuardia Airport, New York City, New York, to O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois. On August 16, 1965, at approximately 21:21 EST, the Boeing 727 crashed into Lake Michigan east of Fort Sheridan, near Lake Forest, while descending...

    Flight 227
    United Airlines Flight 227
    United Airlines Flight 227 , a scheduled passenger flight from LaGuardia Airport, New York City to San Francisco International Airport , San Francisco, California, crashed short of the runway while attempting a scheduled landing at Salt Lake City International Airport, Salt Lake City, Utah on...

    Flight 266
    United Airlines Flight 266
    United Airlines Flight 266 was a scheduled flight from Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California to General Mitchell International Airport, Milwaukee, Wisconsin via Stapleton International Airport, Denver, Colorado with 38 on board...

    Flight 14
    1970s Flight 611 Flight 553
    United Airlines Flight 553
    United Airlines Flight 553 was a Boeing 737-222 that crashed on approach to Chicago Midway International Airport at 2:28 p.m. CST, on December 8, 1972. After the crew was told to go around and abort their first landing attempt on runway 31L at Midway Airport, the aircraft struck trees and then...

    Flight 2860
    United Airlines Flight 2860
    United Airlines Flight 2860 was a scheduled cargo flight from San Francisco, California to Chicago, Illinois, with an intermediate stop in Salt Lake City, Utah. On December 17, 1977, operated by one of the airline's McDonnell Douglas DC-8-54AF Jet Traders, registration N8047U, the flight crashed...

    Flight 173
    United Airlines Flight 173
    United Airlines Flight 173, registration N8082U, was a Douglas DC-8-61 en route from Stapleton International Airport in Denver to Portland International Airport on December 28, 1978. When the landing gear was lowered, only one of the three green landing gear indicator lights came on. The plane...

    1980s Flight 2885 Flight 811
    United Airlines Flight 811
    United Airlines Flight 811 experienced a cargo door failure in flight on Friday, February 24, 1989, after its stopover at Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii...

    Flight 232
    United Airlines Flight 232
    United Airlines Flight 232 was a scheduled flight from Stapleton International Airport in Denver, Colorado, to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, with continuing service to Philadelphia International Airport...

    1990s Flight 585
    United Airlines Flight 585
    United Airlines Flight 585 was a scheduled domestic passenger airline flight from the now-decommissioned Stapleton International Airport in Denver to Colorado Springs Municipal Airport in Colorado Springs, Colorado....

    Flight 863 Flight 826
    2000s Flight 175
    United Airlines Flight 175
    United Airlines Flight 175 was United Airlines' daily scheduled morning transcontinental flight, from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California...

    Flight 93
    United Airlines Flight 93
    United Airlines Flight 93 was United Airlines' scheduled morning transcontinental flight across the United States from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport in California. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the Boeing 757–222 aircraft operating the...

    Flight 955
    United Airlines Flight 955
    United Airlines Flight 955, a Boeing 777–222, was on a scheduled flight July 5, 2007 from London Heathrow Airport to San Francisco. It had just pushed back from the gate at London Heathrow Airport and started its right engine when an electrical contactor failed, spraying molten metal on a...

    2010s Flight 663 Flight 497

    • On Monday, January 3, 2011, United Airlines Flight 940, a Boeing 777
      Boeing 777
      The Boeing 777 is a long-range, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and is commonly referred to as the "Triple Seven". The aircraft has seating for over 300 passengers and has a range from , depending on model...

       en route from Chicago
      Chicago
      Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

       to Frankfurt
      Frankfurt
      Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

       was diverted to Pearson International Airport, Toronto
      Toronto
      Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

       after the pilot accidentally spilled a cup of coffee on the aircraft's communication equipment triggering a series of emergency codes including one indicating a hijacking. The incident is currently under investigation by the FAA in order to determine whether the liquid caused the communication problem, or whether other factors were involved.
    • On Monday, April 4, 2011, United Airlines Flight 497, an Airbus A320
      Airbus A320 family
      The Airbus A320 family is a family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger jet airliners manufactured by Airbus Industrie.Airbus was originally a consortium of European aerospace companies, and is now fully owned by EADS. Airbus's name has been Airbus SAS since 2001...

       en route from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
      Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
      Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is a Class B public use international airport in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is owned by the City of New Orleans and is located 10 nautical miles west of its central business district. The airport's address is 900 Airline Drive...

       to San Francisco, had to return to the airport in New Orleans after pilots smelled smoke in the cockpit. A short time later, the airplane lost power to all its instruments, and the plane began to vibrate. The pilots declared an emergency, and air traffic controllers had to guide the pilots' return trip to the airport. After landing, because of a loss of power to brakes and steering, the plane ran off the side of the runway, blowing its front tire, and getting stuck in the mud. There were no reported injuries.

    In popular culture

    • Leanne Scott's country pop tune, "L.A. International Airport
      L.A. International Airport
      L.A. International Airport is a song written by Leanne Scott thatbecame an international pop hit for American country singer Susan Raye in 1971....

      ", which became a Top Ten Country hit
      Hot Country Songs
      Hot Country Songs is a chart published weekly by Billboard magazine in the United States.This 60-position chart lists the most popular country music songs, calculated weekly mostly by airplay and occasionally commercial sales...

       for Susan Raye
      Susan Raye
      Susan Raye is an American country music singer. She enjoyed great popularity during the early and mid 1970's and chalked up seven top 10 and nineteen top 40 country hits Susan Raye discography, most notably the song "L.A...

       in 1971, refers to the airline in the closing lyrics, "Captain's voice so loud and clear; Amplifies into my ear, Assuring me I'm flying friendly skies."

    The Crosby, Stills, and Nash ballad "Just a Song Before I Go
    Just A Song Before I Go
    "Just a Song Before I Go" is a song from Crosby, Stills and Nash that appeared on the 1977 album CSN. It was also released as a single and made it to number seven on the Billboard singles charts and ended up being the band's highest climbing hit....

    ", released in 1977, features the lyrics: "Driving me to the airport / And to the friendly skies." It reached number seven on the Billboard singles charts, the band's greatest hit.
    • Tom Hanks
      Tom Hanks
      Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

      ' character Viktor Navorski is stuck at New York's JFK airport in the United terminal in The Terminal
      The Terminal
      The Terminal is a 2004 American comedy-drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. It is about a man trapped in a terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport when he is denied entry into the United States and at the same time cannot...

      (2004). Viktor flew into JFK on a United 747 and the woman he falls for played by Catherine Zeta Jones, is a flight attendant for United.
    • The crash of United Airlines Flight 93
      United Airlines Flight 93
      United Airlines Flight 93 was United Airlines' scheduled morning transcontinental flight across the United States from Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco International Airport in California. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, the Boeing 757–222 aircraft operating the...

       was the focus of the 2006 movies United 93
      United 93 (film)
      United 93 is a 2006 fact-based historical drama film written, co-produced, and directed by Paul Greengrass that chronicles events aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which was hijacked during the September 11 attacks...

      and Flight 93 (TV film)
      Flight 93 (TV film)
      Flight 93 is a 2006 made-for-TV film, directed by Peter Markle, which chronicles the events aboard United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11 attacks...

      .
    • In 2008, Canadian musician David Carroll had his guitar damaged by United's baggage handler
      Baggage handler
      In the airline industry, a baggage handler is a person who loads and unloads baggage , and other cargo for transport via aircraft...

      s, and United refused to repair it. He and his band Sons of Maxwell
      Sons of Maxwell
      Sons of Maxwell is a Canadian music duo who perform both traditional Celtic folk music and original compositions with a pop-folk sound. The duo consists of brothers Don and Dave Carroll, originally from Timmins, Ontario, now living in Halifax, Nova Scotia...

       wrote and performed a song about this incident, "United Breaks Guitars
      United Breaks Guitars
      "United Breaks Guitars" is a song by Canadian musician Dave Carroll and his band, Sons of Maxwell. It chronicles a real-life experience of how his guitar was broken during a trip on United Airlines in 2008, and the subsequent reaction from the airline...

      ", and posted it on YouTube. The video was a big hit on YouTube and has reached more than nine million views; United thereafter compensated Dave Carroll.
    • In the finale of the hit television series Seinfeld
      Seinfeld
      Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

      , Elaine is about to admit her love for Jerry but stops herself. Instead of saying "I've always loved you," she says "I've always loved You-nited Airlines."
    • In the Fountains of Wayne
      Fountains of Wayne
      Fountains of Wayne is an American power pop band that formed in New York City in 1996. The band consists of members Chris Collingwood, Adam Schlesinger, Jody Porter and Brian Young.-Early years:...

       song Mexican Wine, the band tells the story of a United Airlines pilot that is fired for reading High Times.
    • In the O.V.A. Read or Die
      Read or Die
      is a series of light novels authored by Hideyuki Kurata, published under Shueisha's Super Dash Bunko imprint. Read or Die follows Yomiko Readman, codename "The Paper", an agent for the Special Operations Division of the British Library. There are currently 11 Read or Die novels. In volume 11, a...

      , Nancy says "Thank you for flying the friendly skies." Just before attaching the chord to the train of paper dolls, causing the glider to crash.
    • In the 2001 Rush Hour 2
      Rush Hour 2
      Rush Hour 2 is a 2001 martial arts action comedy film. This is the second installment in the Rush Hour film series. A sequel to the 1998 film Rush Hour, the film stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker who respectively reprise their roles as Inspector Lee and Los Angeles police detective James Carter...

       film a United Airlines Boeing 747-400
      Boeing 747-400
      The Boeing 747-400 is a major development and the best-selling model of the Boeing 747 family of jet airliners. While retaining the four-engine wide-body layout of its predecessors, the 747-400 embodies numerous technological and structural changes to produce a more efficient airframe...

       appeared as a commercial flight from Los Angeles International Airport
      Los Angeles International Airport
      Los Angeles International Airport is the primary airport serving the Greater Los Angeles Area, the second-most populated metropolitan area in the United States. It is most often referred to by its IATA airport code LAX, with the letters pronounced individually...

       to Hong Kong International Airport
      Hong Kong International Airport
      Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport , being built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.The airport opened for commercial...

    • In the premiere episode of its third season, Modern Family
      Modern Family
      Modern Family is an American television comedy series created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, which debuted on ABC on September 23, 2009. Lloyd and Levitan serve as showrunner and executive producers, under their Levitan-Lloyd Productions label...

       showed its cast flying to Jackson Hole, WY, on a United 757.

    See also

    • Aviation
      Aviation
      Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

    • Shuttle by United
      Shuttle by United
      Shuttle by United was an "airline within an airline" brand operated as a subsidiary of United Airlines from 1994 to 2001 along the West Coast of the United States...

       high frequency, west coast-based operations of United from 1994 to 2001
    • Ted
      Ted (airline)
      Ted was one of two "airline within an airline" divisional brands of United Airlines. It targeted vacation locations. Ted targeted to compete in the low cost airline market. In contrast to United's high end divisional "sub-fleeted" brand called United p.s., "Ted" comes from the last three letters...

       a low-cost, all coach subsidiary of United from 2004 to 2009
    • Transportation in the United States
      Transportation in the United States
      Transportation in the United States is facilitated by road, air, rail, and water networks. The vast majority of passenger travel occurs by automobile for shorter distances, and airplane for longer distances...

    • United Center
      United Center
      The United Center is an indoor sports arena located in Chicago. It is named after its corporate sponsor, United Airlines. The United Center is home to both the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League...

    • United p.s.
      United p.s.
      United p.s. is a premium service offered by United Airlines on flights between John F. Kennedy International Airport and San Francisco International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport. The fleet consists of specially configured Boeing 757-200 aircraft with three classes of service: United...

       a premium service offered by United from JFK
      John F. Kennedy International Airport
      John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

       to SFO
      San Francisco International Airport
      San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

       and LAX

    External links

    The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
     
    x
    OK