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|United Airlines Issues Update on Computer System Conversion|
CHICAGO, March 5, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --United Airlines today issued a progress report on its reservations computer system conversion that began on Saturday, March 3. United converted from two reservations systems to one by moving millions of reservations records into a new reservations platform. The conversion is a key step in completing the United-Continental merger, as it enables the new United to serve all customers on the combined network from a single computer reservations platform. In addition, United now has a single web site (united.com) and a single frequent flyer program (MileagePlus) for its worldwide customers.
Since converting to a single system on Saturday morning, United has fine-tuned programming, databases and communications links to improve performance of dozens of other company computer systems and thousands of devices worldwide that interface with reservations data. In addition, United has worked with airlines worldwide as well as industry distribution systems to synchronize its new reservations system with its business partners. United employees at airports and reservations phone-contact centers took 1.7 million hours of training to prepare for the computer changes.
United's conversion to a single passenger service system was the single largest technology conversion in aviation history. While some related technical issues caused airport delays on Saturday, by Sunday, the first full day of operations after the computer conversion, United achieved a domestic mainline on-time performance of 77.1%. That exceeds the on-time performance recorded on the same Sunday a year earlier. As of 2:45 p.m. CST Monday, the airline's domestic mainline on-time performance was 90.6%.
"The teamwork involved in this conversion is unparalleled in aviation history. Everyone--the IT division, airport operations, customer service representatives, reservations agents, flight crews and our alliance and technology partners--performed with the utmost dedication and professionalism," said Bob Edwards, United's chief information officer and senior vice president.
The airline added 600 additional reservations agents worldwide to assist with calls during the transition; however, call volume and handling time continued to be high on Monday. The company is taking further steps to reduce call volume.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,656 flights a day to 376 airports on six continents from our hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. In 2011, United carried more traffic than any other airline in the world, and operated more than two million flights carrying 142 million passengers. United is upgrading its cabins with more flat-bed seats in first and business class and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any other airline in North America. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has orders for more than 125 new aircraft deliveries from 2012 through 2019, including 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 25 Airbus A350XWBs. United was rated the world's most admired airline on FORTUNE magazine's 2012 airline-industry list of the World's Most Admired Companies. Readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for eight consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 189 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
SOURCE United Continental Holdings, Inc.
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