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Another Milestone

United and Continental make integration progress

UNITED AIRLINES AND Continental Airlines have marked another exciting milestone in the integration of the two carriers. Starting at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in mid-May, United and Continental completely transformed airport check-in and boarding areas with signage reflecting the new United’s branding. The company is rebranding airports across the airlines’ global network over the next several months, beginning with its hubs. Throughout the rebranding phase, customers will continue to receive required information about the operator of their flights.

Some of the other visible changes include new tools and functionality at united.com and continental.com that allow customers to shop for flights, obtain seat assignments and check flight status on either website, regardless of whether they’re traveling on United or Continental.

At the two airlines’ largest airports, customers may now check in and print boarding passes for flights on either airline using any United- or Continental-operated self-service check-in kiosk.

Members of United’s Mileage Plus and Continental’s OnePass frequent flyer programs who have miles in both programs may now link their accounts and combine miles in order to earn awards faster. Members may also view their 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 priority phone access when calling either airline.

On flights offering meals and snacks for sale, United and Continental introduced a new “Choice Menu” inflight meal and snack service, including an Asian noodle salad, a Thai chicken wrap and Classic, Tapas and Savory snackbox options, all at common pricing. In addition, the airlines are aligning onboard beverage programs, including soft drinks, beers, spirits and coffee. By late summer, both airlines will serve the same coffee — a flavorful new custom blend — and the beer selection on domestic flights will include Heineken, Budweiser and Miller Lite.

ASK THE PILOT

With Captain Mike Bowers

Q: Why does my seatback have to be upright for takeoff and landing?
A: While your comfort is very important to us, we always put your safety first. In case of an emergency evacuation, we need all seatbacks in the upright position to provide clear access to the aisle for the passengers beside you. It is also a Federal Aviation regulation. For the same reason, all carry-on luggage has to fit completely under the seat in front of you or stowed in the overhead compartment. We need this completed about 10 minutes prior to landing to give the flight attendants time to complete their final check of the cabin and strap into their jump seats for landing.

Do you have a question for Captain Bowers? Write to him at askthepilot@united.com

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