March 30, 2011
EMPLOYEE BULLETIN: UNITED ANNOUNCES NEW PASS TRAVEL PROGRAM FOR CO-WORKERS AND RETIREES
Over the past several months, the company evaluated the nearly 70,000 co-worker and retiree survey responses to develop a harmonized pass travel program that balances your valuable feedback with the economic realities of the airline industry. We have completed this process and are pleased to announce United’s new pass travel program, which will be fully effective in 2012.
“We know that travel privileges are an important part of working for an airline, and our goal was to combine the two programs into a world-class program for our co-workers and retirees to travel with their families and friends on the world’s leading network,” said Human Resources Executive VP Mike Bonds. “In many instances, we were able to select the best features of each of the subsidiaries’ current programs. In other cases, where the provisions of the two programs were incompatible, we had to make choices and compromises.”
“We also evaluated the travel features that our competitors offer to their employees and retirees to make sure that United’s new program is industry-competitive and provides our co-workers and retirees with meaningful space-available travel options,” Mike added. “We are confident that our new pass travel program is an attractive, competitive program.”
United’s new pass travel program will include the following key elements:
Unlimited system-wide, space-available travel: Co-workers, retirees and their eligible pass riders will continue to enjoy unlimited, space-available, personal pass travel privileges valid for flights throughout the combined United and Continental network worldwide in economy and premium-class cabins.
Vacation Passes: Each year, the company will provide co-workers and retirees with eight one-way passes valid for the highest space-available boarding priority for system-wide travel in economy and premium cabins with service charges and certain ticket taxes waived. All co-workers and retirees will board by years of company service within this highest boarding priority. Recipients will be able to use each one-way pass for trips containing one or more valid connections. (For example, BOS-LAX-HNL would require only one vacation pass.) In addition, each pass may be used by all eligible pass riders included on a co-worker’s or retiree’s travel profile when these pass riders are all traveling together. Vacation passes will be valid for five years from the date of issuance.
Boarding Priority: All active employees will have the same space-available boarding priority. The new boarding priority will eliminate “super” boarding priority for management (SA2 and above) and retirees with 25 years or more of service (BP6B). (Visit Travel Tools on the Flying Together homepage to view the Q&A, which includes a chart with details on the new pass travel program’s boarding priorities.)
Service Charges and Fees: All co-workers, retirees and their eligible pass riders will be able to enjoy the privilege of space-available, economy-class travel on the entire United and Continental network worldwide with no service charges. Co-workers, retirees and their eligible pass riders who wish to travel in premium-class cabins will enjoy a 90 percent discount off applicable Zonal Employee Discount (ZED) fares on U.S. domestic flights and a 50 percent discount off applicable ZED fares on international flights. We will waive the premium service charge for international travel for those co-workers and retirees who have 25 or more years of service. Taxes and other fees may apply, depending on the departure or arrival location. (Visit Travel Tools on the Flying Together homepage to view the Q&A, which includes a chart with details on the new pass travel program’s service charges and fees.) In addition, the company will waive the checked-bag fees for up to two bags each weighing up to 50 pounds per pass rider (other than regular buddy pass riders).
Enrolled Friends: Enrolled friends will have unlimited, on-line, space-available, personal pass travel privileges comparable to those given to eligible pass riders, such as parents and children. Each calendar year, single co-workers may register one enrolled friend. Married co-workers may register an enrolled friend in lieu of a spouse or domestic partner. All co-workers may also register an additional enrolled friend in lieu of using their regular buddy passes for the year. Retirees may register up to two enrolled friends in addition to a spouse or domestic partner.
Buddy Passes and the Extended Family Buddy Program: At the beginning of each year, the company will provide co-workers with 24 segment buddy passes valid for system-wide travel in economy-class and, with some restrictions, in premium-class cabins. Buddy passes will allow co-workers to offer space-available travel to family and friends not otherwise covered on their travel profiles. Additional buddy pass program details follow:
· As stated above, co-workers will have the opportunity to register an enrolled friend in lieu of using their regular buddy passes.
· Regular buddy pass fees will be based on 10 percent of the lowest unrestricted Y fare for economy travel system-wide. Buddy pass fees for international premium cabin travel will be based on 15 percent of the lowest unrestricted Y fare. Regular buddy pass riders will be subject to all normal checked-bag fees.
· Buddy passes will be valid for 13 months (January 1 through January 31 of the following year).
· Retirees will not be eligible for buddy passes; however, retirees will have the option to register up to two enrolled friends in addition to their spouse or domestic partner.
Additionally, the extended family buddy pass program will allow co-workers to enroll non-dependent children 21 years of age and older, parents-in-law, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren to use buddy passes for enhanced travel privileges, including lower fees and a higher boarding priority than regular buddy pass riders.
Leisure Travel Discount Program: Co-workers and retirees will receive a 20 percent discount on most published fares to purchase revenue tickets valid for travel by co-workers, retirees and eligible pass riders.
We recognize that many co-workers and retirees have made 2011 travel plans with their current applicable pass travel program in mind. To accommodate these plans, we will maintain most of the features of the current programs until the end of 2011. This timing will also enable us to make the necessary changes to our information technology systems to accommodate the new pass travel program. In the meantime, the interim pass travel program, announced in September 2010, will remain in effect.
Frequent Flyer Mile Award for Co-workers
Separate from the pass travel program, United will provide a one-time deposit of 25,000 frequent flyer miles, valid for confirmed, positive-space travel on United or Continental, into co-workers’ new or existing OnePass or Mileage Plus accounts. This award will allow co-workers to fly positive-space when they know in advance that they need to travel. In the coming months, we will announce details about the timing for this deposit, how to tie your existing frequent flyer account to your employee ID and how to earn additional frequent flyer miles through other employee incentive and recognition programs. Co-workers may learn more details about this one-time frequent flyer mile deposit by reviewing the Frequent Flyer Mile Award Q&A on Flying Together in the Travel Tools section on the left side of the screen.
Please visit Flying Together > Travel Tools to review detailed information about the new pass travel program, including a chart comparing our new pass travel program privileges with the current United and Continental subsidiaries’ pass travel programs and a New Pass Travel Program Q&A, which includes details about program elements, eligibility, boarding priorities and fees.
We will communicate more information and policies in the coming months. In the meantime, we encourage co-workers and retirees to review all new pass travel program information on Flying Together. If you have questions about this information, please e-mail [email protected]