United debuts Polaris International Business Class - United Hub

United Puts the Days of the Weary Business Traveler to Bed for Good With Debut of Reimagined United Polaris International Business Class

November 30, 2016

CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This week United Airlines begins the roll-out of its all-new United Polaris business class, the airline's most significant product transformation in more than a decade, featuring a reimagined, sleep-enhancing experience for intercontinental travelers. United Polaris begins service at 12:01 a.m. local time on December 1 in all of the airline's markets.

Announced in June, the first phase of United Polaris features an elevated inflight food and beverage experience, tranquil custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, exclusive amenity kits with products from Soho House & Co's Cowshed Spa, and the opening of the first of nine United Polaris lounges around the world, at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

"In our quest to be the best airline in the world, we are rethinking and reimagining all we do. United Polaris offers an elevated customer experience and redefines the meaning of premier business travel," said Oscar Munoz, CEO of United. "The high quality of amenities United Polaris provides is matched only by the service and care our employees demonstrate from lounge to landing."

Sleep-Enticing Amenities

In rethinking the international business class experience, United conducted more than 12,000 hours of research, and sleep emerged as the single most important priority for international business class travelers. United Polaris' path-breaking design and sleep-enhancing focus was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of customers and employees, inflight product simulations and more than 100 product evaluations.

"With United Polaris, we set out to put the legacy of the weary business traveler to bed for good," said Julia Haywood, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of United. "What we heard from our customers, and what resonated as a very consistent theme, was that they needed a tailored experience that would maximize comfort and sleep. Arriving at your destination well rested is something we all strive for when we travel, and for our customers traveling halfway around the world, optimal performance when they arrive at their destination is the only option."

In a first-of-its-kind relationship, United has worked with leading luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom-designed bedding. All designed to provide the best sleep in the sky, the new bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day-blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. In addition, mattress cushions will be available upon request.

Slippers will be available on all flights, and customized United Polaris pajamas will be available by request on flights longer than 12 hours. Flyers will also be able to request a gel-cooled pillow. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co's Cowshed Spa.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other inflight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.

Additionally, United will offer a new and unique channel for customers on its inflight entertainment system focused on sleep and relaxation. Customers will be able to relax with soothing nature scenes, guided meditation sessions from Headspace, and experience Slow TV as they settle-in onboard.

Elevated Dining Experience

Upon boarding their flight, each United Polaris customer will be welcomed with a pre-departure beverage of his or her choice and gourmet chocolate. On morning flights, passengers can choose a sweet and bubbly Mimosa or create their own savory and spicy Tito's Handmade Vodka® Bloody Mary. On afternoon and evening flights, passengers can create their own wine tasting menu, with a customized wine flight with the highest-quality options curated exclusively by United's Master Sommelier. While in the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flight menus updated seasonally, developed in partnership with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs, including Chef Bill Kim of Chicago restaurants Urbanbelly, bellyQ and Belly Shack and Chef Jesse Dunford Wood, chef-owner at Parlour in London.

Inflight service will also include made-to-order signature ice cream sundaes and a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flight snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Renewed Focus on Service

United is transforming its international business class experience to provide customers with truly best-in-class service. The airline has invested heavily in extensive training for all employees who will help deliver United Polaris. This included a training module delivered by Saks Fifth Avenue, known for their extraordinary program of customer service.

Every decision related to the development and implementation of United Polaris was rooted with employee and customer feedback in mind. United Polaris business class will include enhanced flight attendant service procedures for greater efficiency, including a shorter meal service so customers can have undisturbed sleep times.

One-Of-A-Kind Lounges

United will also open an exclusive portfolio of United Polaris business class lounges in nine locations around the world – the only lounge of its kind offered by a U.S. airline to business class customers – that will feature custom-designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers, bespoke art installations by artist Wolfgang Buttress, and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so customers can refresh and dine before boarding their planes. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be offered. 

The first United Polaris lounge opens at Chicago O'Hare International Airport near Gate C18 and lounges in eight other locations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Tokyo Narita, Hong Kong and London Heathrow – will follow.

Innovative Design

The all-new United Polaris business class seat will first take flight in 2017 on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 and Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, as well as on Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 retrofits.

In setting out to create a transformative business class experience, United chose to outfit its widebody fleet with a custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seat, rather than select an option already in the marketplace. Designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom, each United Polaris seat will offer direct access to the aisle, 180-degree flat-bed recline and up to 6 foot 6 inches of bed space.

Crafted as individual, forward-facing, suite-like pods, each customer's personal suite will feature a "Do Not Disturb" sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode have also conceived an all-new look for the United Polaris cabins.

More information on the United Polaris business class can be found at united.com/Polaris. Photos and video can be found at newsroom.united.com/United_Polaris.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate more than 4,500 flights a day to 339 airports across five continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated more than 1.5 million flights carrying more than 140 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates more than 720 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 21 new Boeing aircraft, including 737NGs, 787s and 777s, as well as six used Airbus A319 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

 

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SOURCE United Airlines

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

United Airlines Plans to Resume Service on More Than 25 International Routes in September

July 31, 2020

CHICAGO, July 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced it plans to resume service on nearly 30 international routes in September, including flights to Asia, India, Australia, Israel and Latin America and to continue to add ways to visit popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico. The airline intends to fly 37% of its overall schedule in September as compared to the same period last year and is a 4% increase in capacity compared to what is planned for August 2020. United is also extending its waiver of change fees and award redeposit fees for reservations through August 31.

Passengers Can Now Text Cleaning and Safety Questions Directly to United Airlines

July 30, 2020

CHICAGO, July 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today launched a new chat function – the United Automated Assistant – to give customers a contactless option to receive immediate access to information about cleaning and safety procedures put in place due to COVID-19. Customers can text "Clean" to FLYUA (35982) and get answers to questions about masks, boarding procedures, touchless check-in options and more, without having to call, search online or wait in a line for an answer. The United Automated Assistant is one of many recent innovations that have been developed to modernize the airline's service and create a more seamless experience for our customers. This launch follows another recently announced digital product that allows United customers on standby and upgrade lists to receive text notifications once they have been cleared and assigned a seat, saving them time and further limiting person-to-person interactions.


United Airlines Names Sasha Johnson Vice President Corporate Safety

July 24, 2020

CHICAGO, July 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced that Sasha Johnson will become the company's Vice President of Corporate Safety following Michael Quiello's retirement from United, effective October 1. Johnson, who currently serves as United's managing director of International Regulatory and Policy, will report to United's Chief Operations Officer Jon Roitman.

In her new role, Johnson will manage all aspects of worldwide aviation safety, ground safety, quality assurance, medical, workers compensation, managed care, business continuity, family assistance and emergency operations for United.

"Sasha is a highly respected and well-established leader with a proven track record of navigating some of the most challenging safety and regulatory issues in our industry," said Scott Kirby, United's chief executive officer. "Her unparalleled capacity for collaboration, teamwork and creative solutions will be a tremendous asset to our corporate safety team during one of the most challenging periods our industry has ever faced. We wish Mike well and appreciate his efforts over the past decade to not only lead United's safety programs but also take on a mentorship role for young people interested in aviation."

During Quiello's 11 years with United, the Corporate Safety team accomplished some tremendous milestones, including the highly complex process that resulted in United's single operating certificate after the merger with Continental Airlines. Quiello championed the company's active participation in the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program, and under his leadership, the United team's data visualization program won the National Safety Council's highest award.

Before joining United in 2015, Johnson worked for more than a decade at the Federal Aviation Administration and with the Department of Transportation in various roles including chief of staff at the FAA; assistant to the secretary and director of public affairs, and press secretary at the DOT. In these roles, she developed a comprehensive understanding of the issues critical to aviation safety, honed by her work in crisis management with the FAA administrator and the DOT secretary. 

Prior to that, Johnson spent more than a decade in broadcast journalism at CNN, including covering campaigns and elections as a senior producer.

Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

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 Extends Mask Requirements to Airports

July 22, 2020

CHICAGO, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced that customers will be required to wear a face covering in the more than 360 airports where the airline operates around the world. This includes United customer service counters and kiosks, United Club locations, United's gates and baggage claim areas. If customers refuse to comply, they may be refused travel and banned from flying United at least while the mask requirement is in place. This will be effective for all customers traveling on and after July 24 regardless of when their ticket was purchased. United also will strengthen its mask exemption policy by only excluding children under the age of two. If a passenger believes that there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant an exception, they should contact United or speak to a representative at the airport.

United Airlines Took Industry-Leading Steps to Manage Historic Impact of COVID-19 in Q2

July 21, 2020

CHICAGO, July 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines (UAL) today announced second quarter 2020 financial results, the most difficult financial quarter in its 94-year history, with a net loss of $1.6 billion, and an adjusted net loss¹ of $2.6 billion. Total operating revenues were down 87.1% year-over-year, on an 87.8 percent decrease in capacity year-over-year. The company's total liquidity as of the close of business on Monday, July 20, 2020 was approximately $15.2 billion. United now expects liquidity at the end of the third quarter to be over $18 billion.

United Airlines to Maximize Ventilation System During Boarding and Deplaning

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.

United Airlines Named a Top Company for Disability Inclusion for Fifth Consecutive Year

July 15, 2020

CHICAGO, July 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines was recognized for the fifth consecutive year as a top-scoring company and best place to work for disability inclusion with a perfect score of 100 on the 2020 Disability Equality Index (DEI). The 2020 DEI measured United's inclusion criteria including: culture & leadership; enterprise-wide access; employment practices; community engagement and supplier diversity.

United Airlines to Hold Webcast of Second-Quarter 2020 Financial Results

July 07, 2020

CHICAGO, July 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines will hold a conference call to discuss second-quarter 2020 financial results on Wednesday, July 22, 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 second-quarter earnings release and third-quarter investor update after market close on Tuesday, July 21.

United Airlines Further Expands International Schedule: Adds New Service Between Chicago and Tel Aviv

July 07, 2020

Chicago, July 6, 2020 – United Airlines today announced it is further expanding its international schedule in September with new nonstop service three days a week between Chicago O'Hare and Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport. United also announced it is reinstating service between Chicago and Hong Kong as well as between Los Angeles and Sydney.

United Announces Completion of MileagePlus Senior Secured Notes Offering

July 02, 2020

CHICAGO, July 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, United Airlines, Inc. ("United") announced the completion of the private offering by Mileage Plus Holdings, LLC, a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of United that operates the MileagePlus program ("MPH"), and Mileage Plus Intellectual Property Assets, Ltd., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of MPH ("MIPA" and, together with MPH, the "MileagePlus Subsidiaries") of an aggregate of $3.8 billion in principal amount of 6.50% senior secured notes due 2027 (the "Notes"). Concurrently with the issuance of the Notes, the MileagePlus Subsidiaries entered into a credit agreement providing for a term loan facility ("Term Loan Facility") in an aggregate amount of $3.0 billion. Borrowings under the Term Loan Facility will bear interest at a variable rate equal to LIBOR (but not less than 1.0% per annum) plus 5.25% per annum. The MileagePlus Subsidiaries intend to loan the net proceeds from the offering of the Notes and borrowings under the Term Loan Facility to United, after depositing a portion of such proceeds in reserve accounts for the Notes and the Term Loan Facility.

United Airlines Adds Nearly 25,000 Flights in August

July 01, 2020

CHICAGO, July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced it is tripling the size of its August schedule compared to its June 2020 schedule, adding nearly 25,000 domestic and international flights compared to July 2020, and plans to fly 40% of its overall schedule in August, as compared to August 2019. While travel demand remains a fraction of what it was at the end of 2019, customers are slowly returning to flying with a preference for leisure destinations, trips to reunite with friends and family, and getaways to places that encourage social distancing. According to TSA, more than 600,000 passengers passed through airport security checkpoints on Monday, June 29, the first time since March 19 that those numbers exceeded 25% of pre-COVID levels.

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