As we work to bring United Airlines and Continental Airlines together, we remain committed to providing you with products and services that offer a more consistent travel experience. Over the coming months, we will continue to streamline our websites, our airport presence, and our overall operations until we complete our integration.
We are pleased to announce the following changes:
· More seamless self-service capabilities – New tools and functionality have been introduced on united.com and continental.com, so you can shop for flights, select seats and check flight status for both airlines on either website. And at some of our key airports, you can now check in and print boarding passes for flights on either airline using any United- or Continental-operated self-service check-in kiosk.
· New Premier Access airport services – We have introduced Premier Access, a new package of priority airport services that include designated check-in counters, priority security screening, “front of the line” boarding through special Premier Access lanes, and priority baggage handling for elite-level frequent flyers and premium-cabin customers. Premier Access will become available to elite travelers at all of our airports over the next several months. In airports where Premier Access is not yet in place, eligible customers have access to United’s premium airport services and Continental’s EliteAccess benefits.
· New MileagePlus® and OnePass® features and benefits – Members who have miles in both programs may now link their MileagePlus and OnePass accounts, enabling them to transfer miles earned between the two programs in real time and earn awards faster. In addition, members may view account information – including name, address, redeemable miles balances, elite status level and elite qualifying miles and segments earned – side by side on one screen. Elite members of both programs now also have consistent priority access when calling either airline.
· Consistent airport experience – United and Continental have aligned check-in and boarding processes across the two airlines. We have established consistent check-in and boarding times for both domestic and international flights and now share common boarding procedures, which include early boarding for uniformed military personnel; first class, business class and BusinessFirst® customers; elite-level frequent flyers; and families with children under the age of four. In addition, customers who visit our airport lounges will notice that we now offer free Wi-Fi and the same beverage choices, including complimentary beer, spirits and house red and white wine, at all lounge locations.
· New Choice Menu onboard snacks, meals and beverages – United and Continental now feature the same Choice Menu in-flight meal and snack service, which includes an Asian noodle salad, a Thai chicken wrap and “Classic,” “Tapas” and “Savory” snackbox options. In addition, we are in the process of aligning our onboard beverage service, including soft drinks, beer, spirits and coffee offerings. By late summer, both airlines will be serving the same coffee – a flavorful new custom blend – and the beer selection on domestic flights will include Heineken, Budweiser and Miller Lite.
· Aligned policies and procedures – We have aligned key customer policies and fees to offer consistency for customers traveling on either airline. These updates affect policies such as same-day flight changes, standby requests and children flying unaccompanied.
· New airport signage and rebranding – Beginning with Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, United and Continental will completely transform airport check-in and boarding areas with new airport signage reflecting the new United’s post-merger look and feel. We are phasing in the airport updates worldwide over the next several months, beginning with airports in our hub cities. Under this new branding, customers will continue to receive required information about the airline that is operating their flights, whether that is United, Continental or a regional affiliate.
· Combined social media – United and Continental now connect with followers via the Twitter handle @united and a new Facebook page.
Stay tuned for more updates and further alignment as we strive toward full integration as the world’s leading airline.
Mileage Plus is a registered service mark of United Air Lines, Inc. BusinessFirst is a registered service mark of Continental Airlines, Inc.