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Entries in United Airlines (22)

Tuesday
Nov022010

Blind Passengers Sue United Airlines Over Check-In Kiosks

Photo Courtesy - Joe Raedle/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A trio of blind airline passengers frustrated by a lack of easy check-in options have filed suit against United Airlines, claiming the airline has refused to use decades-old technology to aide their visually impaired customers.

The lawsuit was filed last week in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California by the National Federation of the Blind on behalf of Michael May, Michael Hingson and Tina Thomas.

The trio claims that United's ticketing kiosks, installed by the thousands to reduce the airline's labor force and make the check-in process faster, are impossible for blind customers to use independently and that the airline has stonewalled them on upgrading the technology.

"The machines use exclusively visual computer screen prompts and touch-screen navigation to guide a customer through a transaction," the lawsuit claims, noting that no translation service for the blind exists.

And when the gate changes or travel delays force ticketing adjustments, "I have to rely on strangers or try to hunt down airline personnel," said Thomas, a substitute teacher and a member of the U.S. Paralympic judo team.  "It takes longer while everyone else … it takes 10 minutes and they're done."

"I would like to make a change in the way passengers are treated when we fly," said Thomas, 41.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct012010

United Continental Holdings Announces Close of Merger

Photo Courtesy -- United Continental Holdings, Inc.(CHICAGO) -- United Continental Holdings, Inc., formerly UAL Corporation announced Friday that both Continental Airlines and United Air Lines, Inc. are now wholly owned subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings, Inc. 

Common stock of United Continental Holdings began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday under the symbol UAL.

Jeff Smisek, who will serve as president and chief executive officer said, "We are delighted to announce the successful completion of this merger. With great people, an unparalleled global network, the best new aircraft order book among U.S. network carriers and a commitment to superior products and services, United is well positioned for a bright future."

United expects the merger to deliver $1 billion to $1.2 billion in net annual synergies by 2013, including between $800 million and $900 million of incremental annual revenue.

Although "Continental and United, operating under United Continental Holdings, Inc., will immediately begin the work to fully integrate the two companies," customers shouldn't expect to see a more seamless union until early to mid 2011.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


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