Category Archives: United Airlines

United Airlines extends status for MileagePlus Premier Members to 2022

United Airlines is announcing a series of key changes to assist customers and MileagePlus members, including extending members’ current MileagePlus Premier status through January 2022. At a minimum, all MileagePlus Premier members will retain the status they earned for 2020, through January 2022*. In addition, for the 2021 status year, United is reducing thresholds for Premier qualification by 50 percent for each status level, to make reaching an even higher status tier easier.

“From the onset of this crisis, we committed to doing what is right and fair for all of our members,” said Luc Bondar, vice president of loyalty at United. “Over the years, our members have placed their trust and loyalty in United, and through the various initiatives we’re laying out today, we are reiterating our mutual commitment and loyalty to them. When they are ready to travel with us again, we will be there for them. And in these unprecedented times where it seems like every day brings new challenges, it’s an honor to share positive news that will – I hope – put a smile on the faces of our loyal customers.”

In addition to extending premier status for members into 2022 and lowering thresholds for each Premier tier, for the first time ever, United is increasing the maximum number of premier qualifying points (PQPs) United Explorer and United Club credit card holders can earn through card spend toward status in 2021. From May 1 through December 31, 2020, United will be offering a promotion that doubles the maximum PQPs for United Explorer credit cardmembers and quadruples the maximum PQPs for United Club cardmembers to help customers achieve a higher level of status. More details on this promotion will be available in the future.

Additionally, United is increasing the ability for Premier members to use their upgrade benefits. First, the airline is offering a six-month extension for all PlusPoints, the currency used for systemwide upgrades, that are set to expire on or before January 31, 2021. United is also expanding the availability of Skip Waitlist– an upgrade option that allows Premier 1K members to confirm upgrades at the time of booking – to significantly more international long-haul flights.

For customers who purchased annual membership and subscription benefits directly from United, the expiration will be extended by six months, ensuring that they receive the full value of their benefits when they are ready to start flying again. This includes United Club℠ memberships purchased directly from United and purchased subscriptions for Economy Plus®, United Wi-Fi℠ and checked bags.

To provide customers with more flexibility, United is extending electronic travel certificates (ETCs) and waiving redeposit fees for members who booked travel using award miles. ETCs will now be valid for two years from the time of booking. The airline is also waiving all redeposit fees for members who have flights booked through May 31, 2020 and will be waiving fees for all members who cancel their flights at least 30 days before departure for the remainder of 2020.

All of the changes mentioned above will be updated automatically and reflected in customers’ accounts in the coming weeks. In recognition that the long-term impacts from COVID-19 remain uncertain, United has committed to making earning status in 2022 easier during 2021 and will be sharing additional details on this commitment later this year.

United Airlines partners with New York City to fly medical volunteers to help in COVID-19 fight

United Airlines is partnering with New York City to provide free round-trip flights for medical volunteers who want to help in the frontline fight against the COVID-19 crisis. The airline is working closely with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and a network of medical volunteer organizations, including The Society of Critical Care Medicine, to coordinate travel for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from across the country to help treat patients, in this time of unprecedented need.

“Our healthcare workers are heroes, and they need reinforcements,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This generous partnership with United Airlines will ensure medical professionals from across the country can come to New York City to help us in our hour of need.”

“The New Yorkers working on the frontlines of COVID-19 have been and continue to be incredibly brave and tireless in their efforts,” said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. “To know there are health care heroes across the country who are willing to step in and lend their support, and that United stands ready to fly them here, is wonderfully heartening. The Mayor’s Fund is deeply grateful for our trusted partners in the business community during these trying times.”

The need for medical volunteers has never been more important in New York City, which as of today has more than 50,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the most of any U.S. city.

“We are profoundly grateful for the extraordinarily talented and selfless individuals who are working around the clock and have an unwavering commitment to support our communities and medical providers at this time of exceptional need,” said Jill Kaplan, President, New York / New Jersey for United Airlines. “It is our hope that providing air travel at no cost will allow additional dedicated volunteers and first responders the ability to reach the Tri-State area, that has been hit hardest by COVID-19.”

United is working with local government agencies and their non-profit partners to ensure qualified medical professionals are staffed in hospitals best suited to their areas of expertise and have the proper housing and transportation to enable them to effectively offer their services. The airline is also closely collaborating with a network of professional medical volunteer organizations to help further enlist volunteers who have offered their support in this time of great need.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is one of those extraordinary times that demonstrates how we come together as a profession to provide desperately needed assistance and care,” said Society of Critical Care Medicine President, Lewis J Kaplan, M.D., FCCM. “We are so proud that, despite the risk, critical care professionals are among those who have volunteered to drop everything and help their New York colleagues during this crisis. We are especially thankful that United Airlines is providing complimentary airfare so that volunteers can get to New York quickly and hit the ground running.”

United plans to expand this program to additional areas in the Tri-State region and beyond to allow more volunteers to offer their vitally important services in the places that need them most.

For more information on the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, please visit the organization’s website here. Those interested in volunteering or learning more about the program can visit the New York City Health’s website here.

A Message from United’s Oscar Munoz and Scott Kirby

Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer, and J. Scott Kirby, President, on March 27 issued the following message to nearly 100,000 United Airlines employees:

To our United Family:

On march 27, Congress passed an emergency COVID-19 response bill that includes significant financial backing for the airline industry. This decisive, bipartisan action by our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. is good news for our country, our economy, our health care system, our industry, and importantly our family here at United Airlines.

The impact of COVID-19 on demand for air travel has been dramatic and unprecedented – far worse than even the aftermath of 9/11. This federal assistance buys us time to adapt to this new environment and assess how long it will take for our economy to begin to recover. But, what this means for you right now is that *United will not conduct involuntary furloughs or pay cuts in the U.S. before September 30th*.

Everyone had a role in this effort and, as you always do, you came through for us. While Oscar, Scott, our union leaders and our government affairs and regulatory teams worked around-the-clock, on behalf of all of you, to educate leaders in the federal government about the unique and dramatic impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on United Airlines, our United Airlines family sprang into action.

Your participation in the last few days was critical. More than 30,000 of you sent more than 100,000 messages to your representatives in Congress and another 5,000 signed a petition for international employees and retirees. Our union leaders also activated their organizations to amplify the message for the good of our company. The speed at which everyone stepped up and acted was remarkable and shows that when we come together, we can accomplish incredible things for our company. Thank you for what you did to help in getting this legislation passed.

We also wanted to pause and thank you for performing at your best to take care of our customers and each other through all of this uncertainty. Our operations teams have literally been on the front lines of this crisis, working directly with our customers and helping them navigate the ever-changing series of schedule adjustments, government mandates and restrictions on places prohibiting travel.

Specifically, our pilots, flight attendants, airport agents, ramp service, technicians and catering teams are showing up at airports all across the country, every day, helping customers and one another, and looking for opportunities to do the right thing. But they’re not the only ones who continue to go the extra mile in these trying times – it should be no surprise that our contact center employees have been particularly tested, handling nearly one million calls in the last two weeks alone. Through it all, they are doing what they do best: being there for our customers and remaining upbeat and positive.

Across the board, we’ve never been prouder of this team and what we stand for but unfortunately our work is just beginning. As we look forward, the lessons of past disruptions like 9/11 tell us that we can’t pretend that we are out of the woods. Things are very different today than they were just four weeks ago.

The global economy has taken a big hit, and we don’t expect travel demand to snap back for some time. Our April schedule is already cut by more than 60% and we expect our load factors to fall into the teens or single digits even with 60% less capacity. We are currently planning to make even deeper cuts in May and June.

And, based on how doctors expect the virus to spread and how economists expect the global economy to react, we expect demand to remain suppressed for months after that, possibly into next year.  We will continue to plan for the worst and hope for a faster recovery but no matter what happens, taking care of each of our people will remain our number one priority.  That means being honest, fair and upfront with you: if the recovery is as slow as we fear, it means our airline and our workforce will have to be smaller than it is today.

Amid these questions about United’s future and this disruption to our daily routines, we feel it’s more important than ever to connect with you. Social distancing makes that challenging, of course, but our team has found a way for us to use technology to host a “virtual town hall” next Thursday, April 2nd, where we can talk more about these challenges and answer your questions. We’ll soon have more details on timing and how you can participate. We hope you will.

We remain in the business of serving people even when there are fewer people traveling. And even in this time of uncertainty, some things are constant: we still have the best airline professionals in the world; we still put our customers at the center of everything we do; we still operate in the best hubs; and we still have a deep-seated culture of caring for one another.

So when travel demand returns – and it will return – we will bounce back and be ready to accelerate towards our goal of becoming the best airline in the history of aviation.

Thank you for all you do.

Oscar and Scott

In other news, from United on social media:

This is one of many flights we are operating to bring Americans home during these challenging times. We coordinated with the U.S. Department of State and the Peruvian government to operate charter flights between the U.S. and Lima, Peru. We plan to operate additional charter flights between the U.S. and other countries throughout the week as we work to support the U.S. Department of State efforts to bring Americans home.

United reinstates some international flights to help stranded passengers

United Airlines has made this announcement:

While travel demand continues to drop and United continues to adjust its schedules accordingly, the airline knows some people around the globe are displaced and still need to get home. While United’s international schedule will still be reduced by about 90% in April, the airline will continue flying six daily operations to and from the following destinations – covering Asia, Australia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe – in an effort to get customers where they need to be. This remains a fluid situation, but United continues to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world, especially in these challenging times.

Flights continuing from now through May schedule

  • Newark – Frankfurt (Flights 960/961)
  • Newark – London (Flights 16/17)
  • Newark – Tel Aviv (Flights 90/91)
  • Houston (IAH) – Sao Paulo (Flights 62/63)
  • San Francisco – Tokyo-Narita (Flights 837/838)
  • San Francisco – Sydney (Flights 863/870)

In addition to the above, United has reinstated the following flights to help displaced customers who still need to get home.

Flights through 3/27 outbound

  • Newark – Amsterdam (Flights 70/71)
  • Newark – Munich (Flights 30/31)
  • Newark – Brussels (Flights 999/998)
  • Washington-Dulles – London (Flights 918/919)
  • San Francisco – Frankfurt (Flights 58/59)
  • Newark – Sao Paulo (Flights 149/148)

Flights through 3/29 outbound

  • San Francisco – Seoul (Flights 893/892)

In destinations where government actions have barred us from flying, we are actively looking for ways to bring customers who have been impacted by travel restrictions back to the United States. This includes working with the U.S. State Department and the local governments to gain permission to operate service.

United Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

United Airlines continues to draw down on its international schedule

United Airlines made this announcement:

United continues to aggressively manage the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on our employees, our customers and our business. Due to government mandates or restrictions in place prohibiting travel, the airline is reducing its international schedule by 95% for April. The revised international schedule will be viewable on united.com on Sunday, March 22:

Atlantic

  • United is drawing down its remaining trans-Atlantic operation. The final westbound departures will take place on March 25, with the exception of its Cape TownNewark service which will operate as previously scheduled with the last flight departing Cape Town on March 28.

Pacific

  • United will reduce its remaining trans-Pacific operation starting March 22, with final eastbound departures on March 25, with the exception of service between San Francisco and Tahiti and San Francisco and Sydney which will have final returns to San Francisco on March 28.
  • United will maintain some Guam flights as well as a portion of its Island Hopper service.

Latin America

  • United will reduce its Mexico operation over the next five days. After March 24, it will only maintain a small number of daytime flights to certain destinations in Mexico.
  • United will draw down its remaining Central and South America operations. The last southbound departures will take place March 24.

Canada

  • United will temporarily suspend all flying to Canada effective April 1.

In destinations where government actions have barred us from flying, we are actively looking for ways to bring customers who have been impacted by travel restrictions back to the United States. This includes working with the U.S. State Department and the local governments to gain permission to operate service.

United Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

A Message From Oscar Munoz, Scott Kirby and Labor Leadership

United Airlines issued this open letter:

Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer, J. Scott Kirby, President, and labor leaders today issued the following message to nearly 100,000 United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) employees:

To our United family:

We hope you and your loved ones are well.

In these difficult and uncertain times, we want to continue to keep you updated about all the ways we are aggressively managing the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on our company.

Since you last heard from Oscar and Scott on Sunday, companies around the world, especially in the travel industry, have announced painful steps they’ve been forced to take to deal with this crisis. Marriott shuttered a number of properties around the world, furloughing tens of thousands of workers. MGM Resorts also closed facilities and will begin furloughs next week. Scandinavian Airlines announced temporary layoffs for 90% of its staff.

In Sunday’s message, Oscar and Scott were very direct about just how dire this situation has become and what the company is doing to minimize the impact on you, your families and your paycheck.

Importantly, today’s message to all of you is co-signed by many of our labor union partners – and includes a specific request for actions you can take to help.

In recent years, and together with our labor leaders, United has made significant investments in our people and created tens of thousands of high-quality jobs. And we are together now, doing everything possible to protect those jobs.

Earlier this week, we jointly signed a letter to leaders in the federal government calling for bipartisan action by the Administration and the United States Congress to support you, the men and women of United Airlines. Oscar and our partners in organized labor have been front-and-center in Washington D.C. for the past month, leading the charge to educate our representatives about the severe impact COVID-19 has had on our business and all of you.

While many in Washington, D.C. now realize the gravity of this situation, time is running out. The airline has made a number of drastic cuts over the last several weeks to reduce our costs: including slashing capital spending, freezing hiring, cutting payments to contractors and vendors, eliminating all discretionary spending and even cutting our corporate officers’ salary by 50% while reducing Oscar and Scott’s salary to zero.

However, as travel demand continues to plummet, even more cost-cutting measures will be required soon to keep our company afloat. To be specific, if Congress doesn’t act on sufficient government support by the end of March, our company will begin to take the necessary steps to reduce our payroll in line with the 60% schedule reduction we announced for April. May’s schedule is likely to be cut even further.

To that end, it’s time for our representatives to hear from all of you.

Your voice matters – whether you work on the ramp, greet customers in the lobby, take calls in our contact centers, prepare food for passengers, service our planes or fly on our aircraft – and our representatives in government need to understand what’s at stake if they do not act.

Please consider sending a letter or email to your representatives in Washington, D.C. urging them to take quick, bipartisan action to protect airline jobs.

There’s one other important way for you to pitch in and help. Thousands of United employees have applied for a company offered leave of absence – which is an important way to help the company reduce costs. As we continue to reduce our schedule, we will continue to offer additional COLA opportunities so if you have not already applied, please consider doing so.

None of us caused COVID-19. But we continue to be among the most severely affected by the economic impact of this crisis, due to the outbreak’s breathtaking effect on travel demand.

The hard work you do every day matters. And the role you play in the U.S. economy matters. It’s time for the people of United Airlines to put a face on what will happen if the federal government does not act.

Thank you for all you are doing for our customers and each other during this extraordinary time.

In unity,

Oscar and Scott

Captain David Bourne
Director Airline Division
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Ken Diaz
MEC President, United Airlines Master Executive Council
Association of Flight Attendants – CWA

Sito Pantoja
General Vice President
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Craig Symons
President
Professional Airline Flight Control Association

United Airlines further reduces domestic and international schedules

United Airlines has made this announcement:

United continues to aggressively manage the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on our employees, our customers and our business. Due to a continued drop in travel demand as a result of this outbreak and government mandates or restrictions in place prohibiting travel, the airline today announced a 60 percent schedule reduction in April – this includes a 42 percent reduction across the U.S. and Canada and an 85 percent decrease in international flights.

International

Across the Atlantic, Pacific and Latin America, United will operate approximately 45 daily flights in April.

United’s International Schedule for April 2020

Atlantic

New York/Newark

Brussels

Frankfurt

London-Heathrow

Mumbai

New Delhi

Tel Aviv

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Washington Dulles

London-Heathrow

Daily

Pacific

New York/Newark

Tokyo-Narita

4x / weekly

San Francisco

Melbourne

Osaka

Singapore

Sydney

Tokyo-Haneda

Tokyo-Narita

3x / weekly

5x / weekly

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Latin America

Mexico

Houston

Cancún

Guadalajara

Leon

Los Cabos

Mazatlán

México City

Monterrey

Puerto Vallarta

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Saturdays

Daily

Daily

Daily

Los Angeles

Los Cabos

Daily

San Francisco

Los Cabos

Puerto Vallarta

Cancun

Daily

Daily

Daily

Chicago

Cancun

Daily

New York / Newark

Cancun

Daily

Caribbean

New York / Newark

Antigua

Nassau

Providenciales

Punta Cana

Santo Domingo

San Juan

St. Lucia

St. Thomas

Saturdays

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Daily

Saturdays

Daily

Central and South America

Houston

Belize City

Sao Paulo

Daily

Daily

Domestic

While United does not plan to suspend service to any single U.S. city now – with the exception of Mammoth Lakes, CA – the airline is closely monitoring demand as well as changes in state and local curfews and government restrictions across the U.S. and will adjust its schedule accordingly throughout the month.

United’s Domestic Suspensions

Hub

Route Suspensions

Remaining Service

Denver

Arcata/Eureka

LAX, SFO

New York/Newark

Akron/Canton

ORD

Hilton Head

IAD, ORD

Honolulu

DEN, IAH, LAX, ORD, SFO

Omaha

DEN, IAH, ORD

Portland, Oregon

DEN, IAH, ORD, SFO

Seattle

DEN, IAD, IAH, LAX, ORD, SFO

Sacramento

DEN, IAH, LAX, ORD, SFO

Knoxville

DEN, IAH, IAD, ORD

Fayetteville

DEN, IAH, ORD

Salt Lake City

DEN, IAH, LAX, ORD, SFO

Washington Dulles

Grand Rapids

DEN, EWR, ORD

Honolulu

DEN, IAH, LAX, ORD, SFO

Portland, Oregon

DEN, IAH, ORD, SFO

Sacramento

DEN, IAH, LAX, ORD, SFO

Houston

Hartford

DEN, IAD, ORD

Boise

DEN, LAX, ORD, SFO

Grand Rapids

DEN, EWR, ORD

Lexington

IAD, ORD

Ontario, California

DEN, SFO

Palm Springs

DEN, LAX, SFO

San Jose, California

DEN

Akron/Canton

ORD

Reno

DEN, LAX, SFO

Edmonton, Canada

DEN

Vancouver, Canada

DEN, LAX, ORD, SFO

Los Angeles

Austin

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD, SFO

Baltimore

DEN, IAH, ORD

Kahului (Maui)

DEN, SFO

Kona

DEN, SFO

Lihue

DEN, SFO

Madison

DEN, EWR, IAD, ORD

San Antonio

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

St. George

DEN

Mammoth, California

Seasonal Suspension

Chicago

Bismarck

DEN

Kahului (Maui)

DEN, SFO

Chicago

Bozeman

DEN, LAX, SFO

Fresno

DEN, LAX, SFO

Spokane

DEN, SFO

Palm Springs

DEN, LAX, SFO

Reno

DEN, LAX, SFO

San Jose, California

DEN

Ottawa, Canada

IAD

Eugene

DEN, LAX, SFO

Wilmington

IAD

Jackson, Mississippi

IAH

San Francisco

Nashville

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Baltimore

DEN, IAH, ORD

Columbus, Ohio

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Detroit

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Indianapolis

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Kansas City

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Madison

DEN, EWR, IAD, ORD

Omaha

DEN, IAH, ORD

Philadelphia

DEN, IAD, IAH, ORD

Pittsburgh

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Raleigh/Durham

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

San Antonio

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

St. Louis

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Tampa

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Toronto, Canada

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Mammoth Lakes, California

Seasonal Suspension

Fort Lauderdale

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

New Orleans

DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, ORD

Fayetteville

DEN, IAH, ORD