United Airlines is the world’s largest airline with over 85,000 employees and 700 aircraft. Created by Varney Airlines in 1926, the airline is the oldest commercial carrier in the USA. Early routes flew from east to West America, from New York to San Francisco via Chicago and Salt Lake City. Now including Washington and Denver, these remain the airline’s major hubs. In 1933, the fastest and first direct flight flew from Newark to San Francisco.
United Airlines started the famous 100,000 Mile Club in 1950 and was the only carrier to have operated ‘Executive One’ – the name for a civil flight carrying a President of the United States - for Richard Nixon in 1973. In 2004, the airline made history by landing in Ho Chi Minh City - the first US Airline to do so since the end of the Vietnam War. United Airline’s logo ‘Fly the Friendly Skies’, created in 1965, is still used today.
The following information is correct as of October 2014 and is subject to change. Please check with the airline directly for complete accuracy.
How to Check In
United Airlines offer an online check-in service that allows passengers to check-in from 24 hours up to 45 minutes prior to departure. Bags can be checked-in online and boarding passes printed prior to travel. Bags still must be dropped off at the bag drop at the airport. Airport check-in is also possible with desks closing 45 minutes prior to take-off. At New York JFK or San Francisco Airport this is reduced to 30 minutes. There are self-service check-in kiosks at Paddington Railway Station in London.
Baggage Allowance and Fees
The allowance for carry-on luggage with United Airlines is one bag and one personal item such as a handbag or laptop bag. It should not exceed 23 x 35 x 56cm. The checked-in baggage allowance depends on the class of travel. Economy-Class passengers receive on bag free of charge, but checking-in a second bag costs £50. Travellers flying to the States may check-in one piece of luggage free of charge, while a second bag costs approximately £18. Excess baggage fees are in addition to overweight or oversized charges. Travelling from the UK, each oversized bag (weighing between 23 and 32kg) is charged at a whopping £130. A piece of luggage weighing 32-45kg will set you back £260.
Economy Class offers 79cm of legroom while Economy Plus travellers enjoy a little more, between 89 and 91cm. Passengers can select seats at the time of booking, free of charge, or a seat will automatically be assigned. Exit row seats are reserved for eligible passengers while Economy Plus (extra legroom) is available for a fee.
A $50 fee is charged for paper tickets that are printed at the airport. There are no charges incurred when paying by either credit or debit card.
Service on Board
Only United Airlines trans-Pacific and Asian flights offer complimentary meals, snacks and drinks (soft drinks, tea and coffee). Complimentary video and audio provided in seat-back video screens. Pillows and blankets are also given free of charge. A free magazine is given to each passenger on every flight. Domestic flights give complimentary soft drinks but food must be purchased.
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