What you need to know about United Airlines

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Interesting facts about United Airlines, iflyfirstclass invite you to join us and learn about this great airline. United distinguishes itself from many other American airlines in service, safety, and comfort. United has its terminals at many American airports.

What you need to know about United Airlines


United Airlines is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees and 702 aircraft. United distinguishes itself from many other American airlines in service, safety, and comfort. United has its terminals at many American airports. United Airlines flight schedule repeats itself daily, which means that there are many flight options. United Airlines flies modern aircraft. Also very special is the attractive frequent flyer program that is accessible to everyone.


The largest United hub is Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. United also has hubs at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Denver International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Narita International Airport near Tokyo (Japan), Newark Liberty International Airport, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam, Micronesia. United Airlines is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the largest airline alliance in the world, and offers connections between more than 1,000 destinations in more than 170 countries worldwide. The airline's regional service is United Express.

History of United Airlines

United Airlines claims the title of "oldest commercial airline in the USA" because of the Varney Airlines airmail service of Walter Varney (who was also the founder of Continental Airlines) which was founded on April 6, 1926, in Boise, Idaho. Beginning in March 1928, Boeing Air Transport, National Air Transport, Varney Airlines, and Pacific Air Transport jointly operated a "Coast-to-Coast" mail service under the name United Air Lines. It took 27 hours to fly the route at the time. In 1930 the aircraft capacity turned out to be sufficient to also transport passengers. Boeing Air Transport hired a nurse, Ellen Church, to assist passengers on board. She was the first airline stewardess.


United Airlines would have liked to develop intercontinental flight routes in the 1960s and 1970s, but legislation forbade that. It was not until 1983 that United began flights from Seattle and Portland to Tokyo. United Airlines was one of the most vocal proponents of aviation deregulation, as the rules had severely limited its expansion until then.


In 1997 United Airlines co-founded the Star Alliance with Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, and Thai Airways. That same year, United opened a major hub at Los Angeles International Airport. United was the "launch customer" for the Boeing 777 and had significant input in the design of this revolutionary more fuel-efficient 2-engine widebody jet.


In December 2002, UAL Corporation threatened to go bankrupt but was granted protection against creditors. The airline was forced to drastically cut its costs but continued to fly. The fleet was reduced from 557 to 460 aircraft and the route network on South America was dismantled. But at the same time, United continued to invest, in 2003 a new "low-cost carrier" was founded.


Classification at United Airlines

United Airlines' onboard service generally differs somewhat from European and Asian airlines, especially for economy class passengers. However, there is a big difference between United's service on international flights and that on domestic flights. On domestic flights the service onboard is very limited, you have to pay cash onboard for alcoholic drinks, snacks, and headphones. You also pay a surcharge for your second suitcase at check-in. With the partner airline, Hawaiian Airlines that flies between the islands of Hawaii, you even pay a surcharge of USD 17 for each suitcase at check-in. This, together with the very extensive security checks and often large crowds at the American airports, means that many customers experience stress during the trip.


United Economy is a pleasant way to travel across the ocean. In United's Boeing 747, 767, and 777 aircraft, you have a modern airplane seat with your video screen and entertainment system. The seat spacing is 31". You can choose from a wide variety of the latest movies, TV series, and games. United Airlines is the first airline in the world to serve Starbucks coffee onboard.


United Economy Plus is an intermediate class with slightly more comfort for an attractive price. Economy plus is available on every intercontinental flight and the majority of domestic flights. The United Economy Plus section offers the same service as the United Economy Class, but the seats offer more comfort. The legroom in United Economy Plus is approx. 91 cm and in United Economy Class approx. 79 cm. The United Economy Plus passengers sit in front of the United Economy Class passengers, which means they can disembark earlier. Just like in United Economy, you have your video screen where you can watch the latest movies, listen to the best music, and play the best games.


Business Class offers you priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling at the airport. You also have access to the lounges where you can dine or refresh yourself. The ergonomically designed seats onboard offer great comfort and you can enjoy a delicious three-course menu with the best wines at all times. The seat distance in business class is 55". Your seat has a personal video screen with an extensive range of the latest films, TV series, games, and much more!


First Class offers you priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling at the airport. You also have access to the lounges where you can dine or refresh yourself. Onboard you are in a suite that offers you a lot of comfort and privacy. The suites can be transformed into a real bed where the night will fly by. Your seat has a personal video screen with a wide range of the latest movies, TV series, games, and much more! The seat spacing in first class is 88". The onboard meals are carefully curated by chefs and come with a wide selection of wines from all over the world. You will be impressed with United First!

United Airlines fleet

United Airlines has a somewhat older fleet, especially compared to most Northern European and Asian airlines. Partly due to the high occupation of the planes and crowds at American airports, a sudden defect can lead to delays or flight cancellations.


United Airlines itself has a fleet of 360 aircraft. Together with the Continental Airlines fleet, they currently have more than 700 aircraft.

Route network

United Airlines has its home base in the United States, with so-called hubs in Washington, Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco. United Airlines has a daily flight from Amsterdam to Washington where you can transfer flights to many domestic destinations (including the Hawaii Islands). There are also daily flights from America (Los Angeles and San Francisco) to Australia and New Zealand.

Luggage at United Airlines

United Airlines has changed its luggage policy for flights in the USA as of November 1, 2011. By default, every passenger has to pay at the check-in desk for taking a suitcase (per flight for the 1st suitcase USD 25 and the 2nd suitcase USD 35). For the time being, international passengers are exempted from this for their 1st 23kg suitcase, but the policy in this regard is subject to change. Check the United Airlines website for the current rules in this regard. You will therefore pay a surcharge for a 2nd suitcase (per person) as well as for overweight and oversized luggage.


Checked luggage over 23 kg will not be accepted without a surcharge. Checked luggage of more than 32 kg is not accepted in any case (not even with a surcharge). Checked luggage with a single size over 157 cm (62 inches) will not be accepted without a surcharge. Luggage may only be locked with a TSA lock


For hand luggage, you may take 1 piece of luggage with you, of which the sum of the length x width x height dimensions may not exceed 114 cm. As an extra, you can bring a handbag or laptop bag.