Advertiser Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat earns an affiliate commission for anyone approved through the links below. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. We work to provide the best publicly available offers to our readers. We frequently update them, but this site does not include all available offers.
United Airlines is one of the most recognizable and biggest airlines in the world. With a history that dates back over 90 years, United has become a travel staple. Here are five things that you might not know about United Airlines:
5. United was the First Airline to Introduce a Loyalty Program
In 1972, United Airlines became the first airline to introduce a loyalty program for its frequent flyers. The program, called MileagePlus, was created by Western Direct Marketing. It sent marketing materials and plaques commemorating achievements to members. The modern program started in 1981 (a few days after American Airlines launched its AAdvantage program). Today, MileagePlus allows customers to earn and redeem points for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and more. MileagePlus has over 100 million members and is one of the most successful loyalty programs in the airline industry.
4. The First Female Flight Attendant was a United Airlines Employee
Ellen Church became the first female flight attendant. Church was a trained nurse and pilot, but women were not allowed to be commercial pilots in the 1930s. Being a flight attendant was one of the few occupations that women could hold. Because of her suggestion that nurses be used in flight for safety and service, Boeing Airlines ( which would later become United Airlines) began hiring female flight attendants. (The photo above is from Owlcation.)
3. United was the First Commercial Airline With Flight Simulators
United began training commercial pilots with flight simulators back in 1954. These simulators had sound, visual, and motion cues. They were purchased for $3 million from Curtiss-Wright.
2. United Airlines Developed the First Commercial Flight Kitchen
These days, United is not known for its cuisine. But, the airline was the first to develop a commercial flight kitchen. In 1936, United was the first airline to offer inflight meals. Passengers had a choice of entrée, with fried chicken or scrambled eggs as the options. (Photo above from Food Network.)
1. United was Involved in One of the Most Famous Aviation Accidents in History
In 1989, United Flight 232 crashed in Sioux City, Iowa, after an engine failure caused the plane to lose hydraulic pressure. Despite the severity of the crash, 184 of the 296 passengers and crew survived, thanks in large part to the efforts of the pilots and flight crew. The crash and subsequent investigation led to numerous safety improvements in the airline industry. (Photo above taken from Wikipedia.)
Anthony’s Take: United Airlines has a rich history of firsts in commercial aviation. It currently has a strong commitment to sustainability, diversity, and innovation, which makes United remain a leader in the airline industry.
User Generated Content Disclosure: The Bulkhead Seat encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.
Wrong on #3…American Airlines maintenance base in Tulsa employs more people
Thank you for the correction. I added another fact instead.