United Airlines Overview
United Airlines first commenced operations in 1931, after it was formed by an amalgamation of smaller airlines in the late 1920’s. Much like the other US legacy carriers, United’s history is full of acquisitions and mergers. Most notably the 1985 purchase of Pan Am’s Pacific division that gave it the strategic Tokyo-Narita hub it maintains until this day. United’s most significant move came in the year 2010 when Continental Airlines and United put forward their proposal to merge into one company. In 2012 the merger was completed and while Continental’s logo and livery colors remained the airline would keep United Airlines as the operating name. Read More
The Chicago based airline offers roughly 4,600 flight per day to over 350 airports spread out across five continents. United Airlines transports the majority of its 148 million yearly passengers through its hub-and-spoke system, which consists of ten major airports. Eight of these airports are located in the continental US: Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), Newark (EWR), Denver (DEN), San Francisco (SFO), Washington D.C. (IAD), Los Angeles (LAX), and a focus city of Cleveland (CLE). While in the Pacific, United operates two hubs, one in Guam (GUM) and the other at Tokyo (NRT).
United Airlines launched its Mileage Plus loyalty program just one week after American Airlines in 1981. MileagePlus flyers (the spacing got dropped after the Continental merger) have access to the robust Star Alliance network that founding member United helped form in 1997. Currently with 28 members, including other founding airlines, SAS, Thai, Air Canada, and Lufthansa. Star Alliance is the world’s largest airline alliance by passenger count and also by participating airlines. Outside of its network of Star Alliance members, United Airlines has an ongoing interline partnership with other airlines like Irish carrier Aer Lingus, Hawaiian Airlines, and Florida based Silver Airways.
Over Boeing’s 100-year history, United Airlines has been the largest customer of the aircraft maker and the launch customer for the 767 and first US airline to take delivery of the 787 Dreamliner. As of April 2018, the United Continental Holdings Group has 753 airplanes in service consisting of several of types of Airbuses but mostly Boeings.
Frequent Flyer Program:
United Airlines Baggage Fees
US and Canada
N/A or Free
Not allowed for Basic Economy (must be checked); FREE for Standard Economy
$40 within US; $50 to/from Canada
Mexico, Caribbean, and Central America
FREE to/from El Salvador and Panama
Rest of World
$70 to/from Europe for Basic Economy; FREE for Standard Economy and everywhere else
FREE Transpacific; $100 Europe/North Africa; $0-$100 elsewhere
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