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United Airlines Celebrates 80 Years of the Flight Attendant Profession


CHICAGO - Eighty years ago on May 15, 1930, United’s first stewardesses led by registered nurse Ellen Church took their initial flight on a Boeing 80A from Oakland/San Francisco to Chicago, making a 20-hour journey with 13 stops, 14 passengers and cruising at 125 mph.

To commemorate this anniversary, United is honoring that historic flight on May 15. This year, a Boeing 767 will make a 4-hour nonstop journey with nearly 240 customers and cruising at approximately 530 mph.

United realized 80 years ago, as it still does today, that customers should be cared for while in flight.

“United’s flight attendants are proud professionals who for generations have cared for our customers’ safety and comfort,” says Alexandria Marren, senior vice president of onboard service, who will be on the May 15 flight. “Our flight attendants deliver a safe, pleasant travel experience for millions of customers every year, and we want to take the time to thank those who have proudly earned their United wings.”

On this honorary flight, United flight attendants will be invited to wear vintage uniforms that represent different eras of flight and provide a timeline of glamour and style leading up to 2011, when all United customer-facing employees will dress in new uniforms created by fashion designer Cynthia Rowley. With United’s ongoing investments in improving the customer experience, including the new aircraft order, upgrades to the international premium cabins and other customer-friendly travel options, our flight attendants will continue to offer United’s finest experience well into the future.

Kim McClellan, based in Washington Dulles and a United flight attendant since 1991, says, “I am proud to wear my United wings that represent our profession and the great service we provide our customers.”

About United
United Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UAL Corporation (Nasdaq: UAUA), operates approximately 3,400* flights a day on United and United Express to more than 230 U.S. domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C. With key global air rights in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and Latin America, United is one of the largest international carriers based in the United States. United also is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides connections for our customers to 1,089 destinations in 178 countries worldwide. United’s 46,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. United ranked No. 1 in on-time performance for domestic scheduled flights for 2009 among America’s five largest global carriers, as measured by the Department of Transportation and published in the Air Travel Consumer Report for 2009. News releases and other information about United can be found at the company’s Web site at, and follow United on Twitter @UnitedAirlines.


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