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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 16, 1994
FBI agents arrested a man who allegedly tried to extort $1.5 million from United Airlines by threatening to shoot down an airliner bound for Los Angeles. Orvile Spence, 48, was arrested Friday night in the Lennox area as he attempted to pick up the money he demanded, said Charlie Parsons, special agent in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office. About noon Friday, Spence telephoned United Airlines officials in Chicago and threatened to use a Vietnam War-era weapon known as a Law rocket to shoot down a Los Angeles-bound passenger jet, Parsons said.
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BUSINESS
April 8, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Less than two months after Delta Airlines revamped its loyalty rewards program, American Airlines has announced loyalty program changes that offer breaks for some travelers but cut out some freebies for others. Unlike the overhaul made at Delta, American will continue to base its rewards points on how many miles you travel. Delta's program now calculates points based on how much money you spend on air travel. The changes announced Tuesday by American attempt to more closely align the rewards rules of the carrier and US Airways, which are in the process of merging to become the world's largest airline.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 1992 | MAYERENE BARKER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
E. Hamilton Lee, who was flying planes just 13 years after the Wright Brothers took flight at Kitty Hawk, celebrated his 100th birthday Saturday by flying as co-pilot on a DC-3 from Ontario to Van Nuys Airport. "Good, good, good," but "a little rough," said Lee, known in aviation circles as the dean of airline pilots, as he emerged from the plane, his trademark cigar dangling from his mouth. Lee, the first civilian pilot to fly the U.S.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Returning from a recent leisure trip to Miami, Jerry Jorgensen landed in Detroit only to face one of the biggest frustrations of air travel: His bag was nowhere to be found. After making several dozen calls, Jorgensen got American Airlines to return his bag. But the Michigan dairy farmer was not happy. The airline “passed me around on the phone like a hot potato,” he said. The good news is that airlines worldwide eventually recover 97% of mishandled bags. That is one of 10 surprising facts about flying with luggage that came out of a new study by international air transport technology specialist SITA.
NEWS
November 27, 2011
Here's a fare on United that gets you into Baltimore for $258, plus taxes and fees, putting you about 40 miles from downtown Washington. The fare is subject to availability (and it's higher during peak holiday travel) and must be purchased 10 days in advance. It is for travel Tuesdays and Wednesdays and can be purchased through March 7. Info: United Airlines , (800) 864-8331 Source : Airfarewatchdog.com    
BUSINESS
November 18, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
United Airlines has long been the drunk uncle of American carriers -- tolerated at the table when there's no alternative, avoided whenever possible. In the latest airline quality rating survey released in April by researchers at Purdue, United came in worst , marked down for on-time takeoffs, baggage handling and other consumer complaints. Only three weeks ago, federal regulators slapped the airline with their largest fine ever-- $1.1 million for leaving passengers on 13 flights stranded on the tarmac last summer during thunderstorms in Chicago.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Next time you get a drink on a United Airlines, flight you may notice a new cup in your hand. In an effort to become more eco-friendly, United is replacing its foam cups with recyclable plastic cups. United is not the only airline thinking about air travel's effect on the environment. Southwest Airlines has converted diesel-burning ramps, belt-loaders and other equipment to electric power and recently installed plane seats and interiors made with recyclable material. Delta Air Lines recycles some of its waste and donates money generated to Habitat for Humanity, the nonprofit home building charity.
BUSINESS
August 30, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined United Airlines $350,000 for delaying more than 9,000 refund requests from passengers. The agency also cited the carrier for filing inaccurate data for lost or damaged luggage,  overbooking planes in 2011 and failing to file timely reports on the losses or deaths of animals. Under federal rules, commercial carriers must refund tickets paid with cash or check within 20 days and within seven days for fares paid with credit cards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2013 | By Ruben Vives, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
A 40-year-old man who pleaded guilty to making false bomb threats against his former employer, United Airlines, has been sentenced to prison, federal prosecutors said Monday. United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II sentenced Patrick Cau, who also used the last name Kaiser, to 18 months in federal prison.   Wright ordered Cau to pay $304,495 in restitution to United Airlines and reimburse $8,838 to the Los Angeles Police Department for the expenses incurred as a result of the bogus threats.  Cau, a German citizen and former flight attendant for United, pleaded guilty in August to one count of giving false information and hoaxes.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
United Airlines on Wednesday joined three other major carriers in lifting the restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. Passengers on mainline United flights can now keep their electronic gadgets turned on throughout the flight as long as they are switched to "airplane mode" and are not emitting a signal. Cellphone calls are still prohibited on commercial planes in the U.S. The Federal Aviation Administration announced a new policy on portable electronic devices on Friday, and already JetBlue Airways and Delta and American airlines have received approval from the FAA to lift the restrictions.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
If you're against letting airline passengers talk on cellphones, you've gained a powerful ally. The Global Business Travel Assn., a trade group for the world's business travelers, submitted its opposition last week to a plan by the Federal Communications Commission to lift a ban on voice calls on planes. The group, which represents about 6,000 travel managers, called onboard calls "detrimental to business travelers. " The association even quoted folk singer Pete Seeger, who borrowed heavily from the book of Ecclesiastes when he wrote "there is a time to keep silence and a time to speak.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Although cellphone calls are still banned on planes, the airline industry has come to accept that nearly every passenger now packs an electronic device that occasionally needs recharging. United Airlines, the nation's second-largest carrier, announced last week that it is installing nearly 500 charging stations at its gate areas. Each station has six 110-volt power outlets and two USB ports. The airline said the charging stations will be installed at Chicago O'Hare International Airport by the end of March, followed by its hubs in Los Angeles, Houston and Newark, N.J., and at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. Stations also will be added at LaGuardia Airport in New York and Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
More and more air travelers are buying expensive first-class and business-class seats, and airlines are coming up with some creative amenities to keep those big spenders happy. That includes scented pillows and chauffeur-driven SUVs. The number of passengers buying expensive premium seats jumped 4% in 2013 and continued to grow thanks to improved business conditions around the world, according to the International Air Transport Assn., the trade group for the world's airlines.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Travelers protested when airlines began charging bag fees in 2008, saying the extra charge was a blatant money grab. But a new study concludes that the nation's airlines quietly lowered airfares slightly to make the bag fees more palatable to those fliers who would get stuck paying the new charge. Still the airlines are profiting because the drop in fares was so small it did not totally offset the added cost of checking a bag, the study found. "The fact that the airlines are doing it must mean they are coming out ahead," said Jan Brueckner, an economics professor at UC Irvine who co-wrote the study with other economics experts.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
The addition of airline bag fees several years ago created another travel annoyance: people who cram all of their travel necessities into carry-on bags to avoid the fees. United Airlines recently began a crackdown on those passengers. And it seems that many fliers agree with United. Nearly half of recent fliers who were questioned said they support United's crackdown, according to an online survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted by the London-based research company YouGov.
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
The merger of American Airlines and US Airways was unusual when it was proposed last year because it seemed to have the support of all the major employee unions involved. But one of the biggest unions for US Airways is threatening to strike, and the group now has the support of its union brothers from American Airlines. The International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers -- which represents about 14,000 US Airways machinists, mechanics and fleet service workers -- has been trying to negotiate a new contract with US Airways for more than two years.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Although cellphone calls are still banned on planes, the airline industry has come to accept that nearly every passenger now packs an electronic device that occasionally needs recharging. United Airlines, the nation's second-largest carrier, announced last week that it is installing nearly 500 charging stations at its gate areas. Each station has six 110-volt power outlets and two USB ports. The airline said the charging stations will be installed at Chicago O'Hare International Airport by the end of March, followed by its hubs in Los Angeles, Houston and Newark, N.J., and at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. Stations also will be added at LaGuardia Airport in New York and Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans.
BUSINESS
February 18, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
United Airlines' computer systems shut down briefly Tuesday, delaying takeoffs and frustrating passengers. The system problems that began in the morning represented the latest malfunction for the nation's third-largest carrier since United switched over to the computer systems of merger partner Continental Airlines starting in 2012. In a statement, the airline said: "This morning we experienced intermittent issues with our passenger service computer system, causing some flight delays.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Legislation that would let airlines advertise fares without adding in fees and taxes has the support of - you guessed it - the nation's airline industry. The bill introduced March 6 by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) would negate a rule adopted in 2011 by the U.S. Department of Transportation that requires airlines to advertise the full cost of tickets, including fees and taxes. The Department of Transportation has already fined the nation's airlines thousand of dollars over the last three years for violating the so-called full-fare advertising rule.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Starting next month, United Airlines will let users watch hundreds of movies and TV shows free on their laptops and Apple iOS mobile devices. The airline said customers with compatible devices will be able to watch more than 150 movies and nearly 200 TV shows without having to pay any fees. To watch the free content, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users will have to download the latest version of the United app. The airline said laptop owners will have to download and install a browser plug-in to watch certain types of content.
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