Biofuel takes flight in Los Angeles - United Hub

Biofuel takes flight in Los Angeles

By The Hub team, March 17, 2016

When approximately 150 of our customers boarded Flight 708 departing from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on March 11, they became part of a milestone in commercial aviation. The Boeing 737 was powered by a blended biofuel made from agricultural waste and other natural byproducts.

"It's great to be part of this flight, and it's exciting to be the first U.S. airline using renewable energy to power our flights," said United First Officer Ernesto Alessio, one of Flight 708's pilots.

United has now moved the U.S. aviation industry beyond demonstration flights and is, for the first time, using biofuels in regular commercial operations. We agreed to purchase up to 15 million gallons of sustainable biofuel from AltAir Fuels over a three-year period. We are now using the biofuel in daily operations at LAX, storing and delivering it the same way as traditional fuel – making LAX the first airport to incorporate biofuels into its fueling system.

To celebrate this eco milestone, we held a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the LAX's Terminal 7 with customers, employees and United leaders, as well as industry and government partners including California State Senator Fran Pavley (D), California State Senator Ben Allen (D), California Assembly member Jim Frazier (D), California Energy Commissioner Janea Scott, Air Resources Board Member Hector De La Torre and Los Angeles World Airports CEO Deborah Flint.

"It's an honor to be at the launch, celebrating this great achievement," said Jim Compton, United's chief revenue officer and vice chairman. "Supporting the commercialization of biofuels is good for both United and the United States – we are helping to diversify the fuel supply with sustainable sources of fuel, supporting energy security, and protecting against long-term oil price volatility."

The biofuel United is using is a blend of 70 percent traditional jet fuel and 30 percent biofuel, so it doesn't require any modifications to aircraft engines or airport infrastructure. It also undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it meets the same performance certification as our conventional jet fuel. To our customers and crews, the flight experience is exactly the same.


This alternative fuel is estimated to reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by greater than 60 percent. This means fewer carbon emissions are produced throughout the whole lifecycle process, starting with harvesting the raw materials, refining the fuel, transporting the fuel and combusting the fuel in our aircraft engines.

"We're proud to be a leader in sustainable aviation biofuels for the airline industry," said Angela Foster-Rice, United's managing director for environmental affairs and sustainability. "We are committed to taking actions today to help build a more sustainable future for our customers, employees and communities."

United's partnership is with AltAir Fuels, and over the next three years, we plan to buy enough biofuel to power the equivalent of 12,500 flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Which means the Friendly Skies are about to get a whole lot friendlier to the environment.

United Awards Free Flights for a Year to Winners of "Your Shot to Fly" Sweepstakes

Grand prize winners live in Bradenton, FL; Cleveland, OH; Goodyear, AZ; Oakland, CA and San Francisco, CA
By United Newsroom, July 29, 2021

CHICAGO, July 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced the five lucky grand prize winners of its "Your Shot to Fly" sweepstakes, who will each get to fly anywhere in the world United flies with a companion over the course of the next year. The winners of the "Your Shot to Fly" sweepstakes are:

  • Ashley Cronkhite from Bradenton, FL
  • Robert Simicak from Cleveland, OH
  • Sean Husmoe from Goodyear, AZ
  • Lauren Aldredge from Oakland CA
  • Lauren M. from San Francisco, CA

The sweepstakes was in support of the Biden administration's ongoing national effort to encourage more people to get their COVID-19 vaccination and encouraged United's MileagePlus® loyalty members to upload their vaccine records to United. In less than a month, more than one million MileagePlus members uploaded their vaccine cards to the United app and website for a shot to win one of the grand prizes. In June the airline awarded 30 first prize winners with a pair of roundtrip tickets anywhere United flies.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

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