United Airlines, Inc is a major American carrier headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It traces its roots back to Varney Airlines, which was an air mail service headed by Walter Varney. It was founded in 1926 at Boise, Idaho, and the airline flew the first Contract Air Mail flight in the USA in April 1926. Following this milestone, airplane pioneer William Boeing founded Boeing Air Transport in 1927, serving as the air mail route between San Francisco and Chicago. Boeing Air Transport began buying into many airlines, including Varney Airlines.
In 1929, United Aircraft and Transport Corporation was born from a merger between Boeing and Pratt & Whitney. Owing to the Air Mail Act of 1934, the merger broke into Boeing Airplane Company, United Technologies and United Airlines.
Today, United Airlines is a public limited company, listed as United Continental Holdings Inc at the New York Stock Exchange. Business Traveler magazine awarded it the title of “Best Airline for North American Travel” in 2013. It was also the “Eco-Aviation Airline of the Year Gold Winner” from Air Transport World in 2013.
The airline’s mainstream fleet comprises of 698 aircraft; which include narrow-body crafts of 55 Airbus A319s, 97 Airbus A320s, 278 aircrafts in the Boeing 737 series and 108 in the Boeing 757 series. It also includes wider-body crafts like 51 Boeing 767s, 74 Boeing 777-200 crafts, 23 Boeing 747-400s and 12 aircraft in the Boeing 787 line. It also has 562 airplanes in its regional fleet, manufactured by Bombardier, Canadair and Embraer.
United Airlines has the most comprehensive destination network and is the largest air carrier in terms on destinations served. It serves 235 domestic destinations and 139 international airports in 58 countries. It operates 5,166 daily departures around the world, controlled by nine primary hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, Washington, Guam and Tokyo. It covers the busiest international destinations in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and Africa, through non-stop or one-stop flights from the USA.
In 2013, it was the first American global carrier that offered satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul flights. It operates three classes, First, Business and Economy, with spacious seating and other amenities offered to travelers. United Airlines also features DIRECTV on more than 200 flights, offering more TV options than any other carrier in the world. Other flights have films and music options as an alternative.
Premium travelers and club class members have access to priority check-in, security lane, boarding and baggage handling. MileagePlus members who travel in economy class are also given such premium services.
Cuisine and Meals
International first class travelers are treated to a six-course meal; and business class travelers are served a five-course meal, accompanied with regional beer, champagne, wine and other beverages. Also, regional cuisine is available depending on the flying route, featuring signature dishes from India, China, Israel, Japan, the Middle East and Taiwan. For the economy class, complimentary meals are served on all international flights and most Latin American routes.
Before You Leave Home
You can check the flight and other information, like baggage allowance. You can also contact the airline for special services for pregnant women, travelers with disabilities and travelers with pets.