Aug 30, 2002
Following is a few selected paragraphs chosen from a google.com search of history of united airlines. In general, it appears UAL has been there - done that.
Key developments in
United Airlines history:
March 28, 1931 - United
Air Lines Inc. incorporated.
March 20, 1939 - Signs
industry''s first collective
bargaining agreement, with
mechanics and related
ground service employees.
One of the successful bidders was Walter T Varney, who launched air mail
service over a desolate stretch of terrain between Pasco, Wash., and Elko,
Nev., on April 6, 1926. That auspicious day marked the true beginning of
commercial air transportation in the United States. Because Varney was a
predecessor of United, it also marked the birth of United Airlines.
Among them were William Boeing, with his aircraft manufacturing and airline
operations in the West, and Clement Keys and his National Air Transport
associates in the East. There also was Vern Gorst, the venturesome
entrepreneur whose Pacific Air Transport traversed the skies between Los
Angeles and Seattle; and Walter Varney founder of the United predecessor
company that launched the first U.S. commercial air transport company to
survive and evolve as today''s global airline - United.
A Giant No More...
The Air Mail Scandal of 1930 was, in a sense, a blessing for the pioneering
companies that were part of the vast United conglomerate. At that time, it
included airlines, aircraft and engine manufacturing companies, and several
The word scandal was hurled by an overzealous media who accused
then-Postmaster General Walter Folger Brown of master-minding a spoils
conference in May 1930, to dispense favors to his airline cronies. Actually,
Brown was a visionary who simply wanted a network of air mail contract
routes served only by financially healthy airlines.
Bowing to media and political pressure, President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934
ordered Postmaster General James Farley to cancel all air mail contracts - -
even while Congress was still investigating media charges of collusion.
When the smoke cleared, United regained all of its air mail routes, but was
forced to divest itself of its non-airline affiliates. The company also lost its
president, Philip G. Johnson, who was barred from holding an airline position
because of his participation in the Brown conference.
As an independent air transport corporation, United found itself with a new
president named William Allan Patterson and a new freedom to make equipment
decisions independent of the Boeing Airplane Company in Seattle, and the
engine and parts manufacturers in the East.
United was free to establish its own course in commercial aviation.
A Nation at War...
We have a long and most difficult fight ahead of us, United''s President William
A. Patterson told employees in a company memo issued December 9, 1941.
With new fleets of state-of-the-art equipment, including the Douglas DC-6,
Convair 340, Boeing 377 Stratocruiser and the Douglas DC-7 transports, United
stretched its wings beyond the western boundary of the United States and
launched service to Hawaii.
United was grooming itself for even bigger things to come.