United Airlines to Maximize Ventilation System During Boarding and Deplaning - United Hub

United Airlines to Maximize Ventilation System During Boarding and Deplaning

New procedure will maximize air flow volume and recirculation of cabin air for passengers
July 20, 2020

CHICAGO, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced that the carrier will now maximize air flow volume for all mainline aircraft high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems during the entire boarding and deplaning process, helping further reduce the spread of COVID-19. In combination with the HEPA filters, the air conditioning and pressurization system onboard United's mainline aircraft recirculates the air every 2-3 minutes and removes 99.97% of particles – including viruses and bacteria during both ground and air operations – making the air onboard a plane significantly cleaner than what people typically experience in restaurants, grocery stores, schools or even some hospitals. United pilots and ground staff are working to implement this new procedure for mainline aircraft beginning July 27.

To see an animation of how air flows throughout the cabin click here

"We know the environment on an aircraft is safe and because the air flow is designed to minimize the transmission of disease, the earlier we maximize air flow over our HEPA filtration system, the better for our crew and our customers," said Scott Kirby, United's chief executive officer. "The quality of the air, combined with a strict mask policy and regularly disinfected surfaces, are the building blocks towards preventing the spread of COVID-19 on an airplane. We expect that air travel is not likely to get back to normal until we're closer to a widely administered vaccine – so we're in this for the long haul. And I am going to keep encouraging our team to explore and implement new ideas, new technologies, new policies and new procedures that better protect our customers and employees."

On commercial aircraft, fresh air flows downward into the cabin from ceiling vents and exits the cabin at the floor and sidewalls. That air is then routed through the HEPA filters and mixed with fresh, outside air before returning back to the cabin. According to Boeing, that top-to bottom pattern, and frequent air exchange helps minimize front-to-back air movement and reduces the potential for spread of contaminants from people, such as through sneezing or coughing. The system replaces the entire volume of cabin air every 2-3 minutes by providing 50% HEPA filtered, recirculated air mixed with 50% outside air, which allows a constant flow of either fresh or HEPA filtered air throughout the cabin. In addition, United has been partnering with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study how effectively the unique airflow configuration onboard an aircraft can prevent the spread of aerosolized particles among passengers and crew.

During a review of its cleaning and safety procedures with its United CleanPlus partners - Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic - United identified new opportunities during boarding and deplaning to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Already, the airline boards passengers back-to-front and deplanes five rows at a time. The new air filtration procedure on mainline aircraft will maximize air flow volume and recirculation of cabin air for passengers from the moment they step onboard.

"HEPA filters are an effective way to ensure clean air on an aircraft," said Dr. James Merlino from The Cleveland Clinic. "United's new strategy of running the air filtration and circulation systems at maximum volume well before passengers board and until they deplane, adds one more layer of protection. In addition to air filtration, we have worked with the airline to enact measures such as mandatory masking, health screenings, disinfection, and touchless systems, as we believe layering on precautions, more than any one strategy alone, helps create the safest environment possible."

Among the First to Require Masks

United was one of the first airlines in the country to mandate that everyone onboard wear a face covering, providing complimentary masks to any customer or employee who needs one. When worn properly, face coverings prevent particles from one passenger's respiratory system from getting into the air and then potentially infecting others. Customers who do not comply with United's policy risk having their travel benefits suspended.

Limiting Number of Passengers on Board

The airline is also taking steps to limit the overall number of people on board and separate customers wherever possible. United switched to a larger plane 66 times a day in May and June, for a total of more than 4,000 flights during those months, creating more space onboard. As a result, the airline's consolidated average seat factor – or the percentage of occupied seats including customers and non-revenue passengers – was 38% in May; 57% in June and is expected to be about 45% in July, with less than 15% of flights operating with more than 70% seats filled.

When United flights are less full, the airline's advanced automated seating tool assigns seats in a way that maximizes the space on board – and the distance between customers. And since May, United has been contacting customers via email and through the United app – as much as 24 hours in advance – if their flight is expected to be more than 70% full and gives them options to switch to different, less full flights for no additional fees. Customers also have the option to cancel their flight and receive a credit for future travel. To date, the overwhelming majority of customers choose to keep their travel plans the same.

United is focused on delivering a new level of cleanliness on the ground and in the air. In addition to the vital initiatives mentioned above, several of the airline's precautionary measures to further ensure a cleaner environment include:

At Check-In

  • Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hubs and other airports throughout the airline's system
  • Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand six feet apart
  • Becoming the first airline in the world to roll out touchless check-in capabilities for customers with bags

At the Gate

  • Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • Providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
  • Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers in select markets to disinfect gate areas at United's hub airports
  • Enabling customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front
  • Introduced real-time seat assignment update text and email notifications to further United's touchless airport experience

On Board

  • Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect most aircraft prior to flight
  • Disinfecting high-touch areas – such as tray tables and armrests – prior to boarding
  • Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • Deplaning in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • Providing onboard items including pillows and blankets upon request

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

United Launches Industry-Exclusive Technology to Ease the Burden of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

United's "Travel-Ready Center" will allow customers to upload and validate test results, review local entry requirements, find testing providers, and store vaccination records - all in the United app and United.com
January 25, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today launched the "Travel-Ready Center" - a new, digital solution where customers can review COVID-19 entry requirements, find local testing options and upload any required testing and vaccination records for domestic and international travel, all in one place. United is the first airline to integrate all these features into its mobile app and website.

"While pre-travel testing and documentation are key to safely reopening global travel, we know it can be confusing for customers when they're preparing for a flight," said Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President for Technology and Chief Digital Officer, United. "Starting today, our 'Travel-Ready Center' gives customers a personalized, step-by-step guide of what is needed for their trip, a simple way to upload required documents and quickly get their boarding pass, fully integrated within our app and website."


United Announces 2020 Financial Results: 2021 Will Focus On Transition To Recovery; Expects To Exceed 2019 Adjusted EBITDA Margin By 2023*

Company continues to improve core cash burn in the face of continued COVID-19 headwinds; sharpens focus to prepare for recovery
January 20, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results. The company continues its efforts to lead the industry as it manages the most disruptive crisis in aviation history.

Doreen Burse Named Worldwide Sales SVP

January 19, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced that the carrier has named Doreen Burse senior vice president of Worldwide Sales. Burse brings to the company more than 30 years of sales expertise from the hospitality industry.

United Airlines Receives Hospital-Grade Certification for Cleaning and Safety

United is the first of the four largest U.S airlines to be certified Diamond by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying
January 12, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, United Airlines was recognized by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying for providing a hospital-grade standard of cleanliness and safety during the travel journey. United is the first airline among the four largest U.S. carriers to receive the highest possible certification - Diamond - in the new APEX Health Safety audit powered by SimpliFlying. This new scientifically-based certification is designed to create a recognized, global standard for health and safety across the aviation industry.

United to Hold Webcast of Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results

January 06, 2021

CHICAGO, Jan. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines will hold a conference call to discuss fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results on Thursday, January 21 at 9:30 a.m. CT/10:30 a.m. ET. A live, listen-only webcast of the conference call will be available at ir.united.com. The company will issue its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 financial results after market close on Wednesday, January 20.

A Message From Scott Kirby and Brett Hart

December 21, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- J. Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer, and Brett Hart, President, today issued the following message to all United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) employees:

United Team:

We're writing today with some really good news: the Administration and Congress have come together in a bipartisan way on a relief bill that includes several items, including an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP) for the airlines.

United Named Best Overall Airline in the World by Global Traveler Readers

United received ten awards including Best Overall Airline, Airline of the year and Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program

December 17, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 17, 2020 – Readers from Global Traveler, a publication written for business and luxury travelers, named United Airlines the Best Overall Airline in the World as part of this year's GT Trusted Reader Survey. Additionally, a select panel of Global Traveler employees and Advisory Board members named United Airline of the Year, an honor which is based on on-time arrivals and departures, safety, brand image and more. And for the 17th consecutive year, MileagePlus® was named best Loyalty Program by Global Traveler readers. The airline earned top scores from readers in ten categories across FXExpress Publications, Inc. awards, which include Global Traveler, The Trazees and the Wherever Awards.

United and CDC Work Together on Contact Tracing Initiative for All International and Domestic Flights

Program designed to collect detailed, real-time information that will better support CDC efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19
December 16, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced a program to collect customer contact information for all international and domestic flights. During the check-in process, United customers will be prompted to voluntarily opt-in and provide contact information such as an email address, phone numbers and an address of where they will be once they reach their destination, details that were previously difficult for the CDC to obtain in real-time. This effort represents the airline industry's most comprehensive public health contact information collection program to date and the immediate access to the data will better support the CDC's efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and around the world.

United Makes Bold Environmental Commitment Unmatched by Any Airline; Pledges 100% Green by Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions 100% by 2050

United will meet this ambitious goal by making industry-leading investments in new technology and sustainable fuels - not from buying carbon offsets
December 10, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today is taking its most ambitious step yet in leading the fight against climate change: pledging to become 100% green by reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 100% by 2050. United, which in 2018 became the first U.S. airline to commit to reducing its GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, will advance towards carbon neutrality by committing to a multimillion-dollar investment in revolutionary atmospheric carbon capture technology known as Direct Air Capture – rather than indirect measures like carbon-offsetting – in addition to continuing to invest in the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). With this unprecedented announcement, United becomes the first airline in the world to announce a commitment to invest in Direct Air Capture technology.

United Launches Virtual, On Demand Customer Service at the Airport

New "Agent on Demand" platform gives customers live, fast, contactless access to information and assistance at all U.S. hubs;
December 08, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United passengers will soon have access to virtual, on demand customer service at the airline's hubs, giving people an easy, contact-free option to get real-time information and support. Customers can access "Agent on Demand" on any mobile device to call, text or video chat live with an agent and get answers on everything from seat assignments to boarding times. Agent on Demand is currently available at Chicago O'Hare and Houston's George Bush International Airports and is rolling out to United's hubs by end of year.

United Adopts Tax Benefits Preservation Plan To Protect Valuable Tax Assets

Preserving long-term stockholder value by adopting a rights plan intended to protect tax assets Rights plan in effect immediately; will be submitted for stockholder ratification at 2021 annual meeting
December 04, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines Holdings, Inc. ("UAL" and, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, the "Company") today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously adopted a tax benefits preservation plan (the Plan) to preserve and protect the Company's ability to use its large net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) and other tax assets under Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code). The Plan is similar to plans adopted by other companies with significant NOLs.

As of Sept.30, 2020, UAL reported consolidated federal NOLs of approximately $8.2 billion. These NOLs, which have increased significantly in recent months, are available to reduce the Company's future federal income tax expense and represent significant value to the Company. The purpose of the Plan is to protect the Company's ability to use these tax assets, which would be substantially limited if the Company experienced an "ownership change" within the meaning of Section 382 of the Code. Generally, an "ownership change" occurs if the percentage of UAL's stock owned by one or more of its "5-percent shareholders" (as such term is defined in Section 382 of the Code) increases by more than 50 percentage points over a rolling three-year period. 

In light of the volatility and decline in the market price of UAL's common stock resulting from the sharp decline in demand for air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other macroeconomic factors and in light of potential transactions involving the sale or issuance of UAL common stock, UAL's Board of Directors determined to adopt the Plan to prevent an inadvertent impairment of the Company's NOLs.

Pursuant to the Plan, UAL will issue, by means of a dividend, one preferred share purchase right for each outstanding share of UAL common stock to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 14, 2020. Stockholders are not required to take any action to receive the rights. Initially, these rights will not be exercisable and will trade with, and be represented by, the shares of UAL common stock.

UAL intends to submit the Plan to a vote of its stockholders at its 2021 annual meeting.  The Plan will expire on the first business day following the certification of the voting results for UAL's 2021 annual meeting, unless UAL's stockholders ratify the Plan at such meeting, in which case the Plan will continue in effect until Dec. 4, 2023, unless terminated earlier in accordance with its terms.

Under the Plan, the rights generally become exercisable only if a person or group (an "acquiring person") acquires beneficial ownership of 4.9% or more of the outstanding shares of UAL common stock in a transaction not approved by the Board. In that situation, each holder of a right (other than the acquiring person, whose rights will become void and will not be exercisable) will be entitled to purchase, at the then-current exercise price, additional shares of UAL common stock at a 50% discount. The Board, at its option, may exchange each right (other than rights owned by the acquiring person that have become void) in whole or in part, at an exchange ratio of one share of UAL common stock per outstanding right, subject to adjustment. Except as provided in the Plan, the Board is entitled to redeem the rights at $0.001 per right.

If a person or group beneficially owns 4.9% or more of the outstanding shares of UAL common stock prior to today's announcement of the Plan, then that person's or group's existing ownership percentage will be grandfathered. However, grandfathered shareholders will generally not be permitted to acquire any additional shares. 

Additional information regarding the Plan will be contained in a Current Report on Form 8-K to be filed by UAL with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sidley Austin LLP is acting as legal counsel to UAL.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of UAL is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

 

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, 872.825.8640, media.relations@united.com

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