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Profile: United Airlines


Positions that United Airlines has held:




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Related Entities:


United Airlines actively participated in the following events:


September 10, 2001: Suspicious Trading on United Airlines Stock Occurs at Pacific Exchange      Complete 911 Timeline

       The trading ratio on United Airlines is 25 times greater than normal at the Pacific Exchange. Pacific Exchange officials later decline to state whether this abnormality is being investigated. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/19/01]
People and organizations involved: Pacific Exchange, United Airlines

September 11, 2001: The 9/11 Attack: 3,000 Die in New York City and Washington, D.C.      Complete 911 Timeline

The September 11, 2001 attacks. From left to right: The World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 crash.
The 9/11 attack: Four planes are hijacked, two crash into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and one crashes into the Pennsylvania countryside. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.
People and organizations involved: United Airlines, al-Qaeda, American Airlines, Pentagon, World Trade Center

(8:49 a.m.): United Airlines Headquarters Learns Flight 175 Is Missing; NORAD Apparently Not Informed      Complete 911 Timeline

       Apparently, managers at United Airlines' headquarters in Chicago are unaware of any unfolding emergency until they watch CNN break the story at 8:48 a.m. (see 8:48 a.m.). “Within minutes,” United headquarters gets a call from the FAA, stating that the plane that crashed into the WTC was an American Airlines passenger plane. At about the same time and before a call about the flight that will take place at about 8:50 a.m., a manager says to Jim Goodwin (United's chairman and chief executive), “Boss, we've lost contact with one of our airplanes [Flight 175].” [Wall Street Journal, 10/15/01] At around 9:00 a.m., a United dispatcher reports that Flight 175 has been lost (it is not clear whether this is a clarification of the earlier message or a change in the timing that one call occurred). [9/11 Commission Report, 1/27/04] Ten days previously, Andy Studdert, the chief operating officer and executive vice president of United Airlines had surprised staff there with a crisis-training exercise, telling them a flight over the Pacific had broken radio contact and suffered a potentially disastrous engine failure. For 30 minutes, they had believed the story, before Studdert told them the truth. So, at around 9:00 a.m. on 9/11, after he arrives at the Operations Center within the United Airlines' headquarters, he shouts at the staff, “This is not a drill!” [Studdert Testimony, 1/27/04; USA Today, 8/12/02; Chicago Tribune, 7/16/03]
People and organizations involved: Jim Goodwin, United Airlines, Andy Studdert, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Federal Aviation Administration

(After 9:03 a.m.): Boston Controllers Give Cockpit Security Alert to New England Planes and Asks FAA to Issue Nationwide Warning; FAA Fails to Do So      Complete 911 Timeline

       “Within minutes of the second impact,” Boston flight control's Operations Manager instructs all flight controllers in his center to inform all aircraft in the New England region to monitor the events unfolding in New York and to advise aircraft to heighten cockpit security. Boston asks the FAA Command Center to issue a similar cockpit security alert to all aircraft nationwide. The 9/11 Commission concludes, “We have found no evidence to suggest that Command Center managers instructed any centers to issue a cockpit security alert.” [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] United Airlines flight dispatchers give their pilots a cockpit warning about 20 minutes later.
People and organizations involved: United Airlines, Federal Aviation Administration, Boston flight control

9:15 a.m.: American Airlines Orders No New Take Offs in US; United Airlines Follows Suit      Complete 911 Timeline

       American Airlines orders no new take-offs in the US United Airlines follows suit five minutes later. [Wall Street Journal, 10/15/01]
People and organizations involved: United Airlines, American Airlines

(9:21-9:26 a.m.): United Airlines Dispatchers Advise Pilots to Secure Cockpit Doors; Flight 93 Gets the Message      Complete 911 Timeline

       At 9:21 a.m., United Airlines dispatchers are told to advise their flights to secure cockpit doors. Flight dispatcher Ed Ballinger has apparently already started doing this on his own a couple of minutes earlier. Sending electronic messages one by one, at 9:24 he sends a message to Flight 93 reading: “Beware of cockpit intrusion. Two aircraft in New York hit Trade Center buildings.” Ballinger claims that he was specifically instructed by superiors not to tell pilots why they needed to land (apparently he added the detail about the WTC against orders). [New York Observer, 6/17/04] Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl acknowledges the message two minutes later, replying, “Ed, confirm latest message please Jason.” This is the last vocal contact from the cockpit of Flight 93. [9/11 Commission Report, 1/27/04] Note that this formal warning is in addition to an informal one sent by Ballinger that reached Flight 93 around 9:00 a.m. In contrast to United Airlines, the 9/11 Commission finds no evidence that American Airlines sends such warnings to their pilots at any time during the hijackings.
People and organizations involved: Ed Ballinger, 9/11 Commission, American Airlines, United Airlines, Jason Dahl

9:30 a.m.: United Flights Are Instructed to Land Immediately; American Follows Suit      Complete 911 Timeline

       United Airlines begins landing all of its flights inside the US (Note: All planes nationwide were already ordered down at 9:26 a.m. (see (9:26 a.m.)) and told to land in a reasonable amount of time. Now they're told to land immediately.) American Airlines begins landing all of their flights five minutes later. [Wall Street Journal, 10/15/01]
People and organizations involved: American Airlines, United Airlines

(9:32 a.m.): FAA Notifies United Airlines About Flight 93      Complete 911 Timeline

       The FAA notifies United Airlines' headquarters that Flight 93 is not responding to radio calls. This lack of response, combined with the plane's turning to the east, causes United to believe, by 9:36 a.m., that the plane has been hijacked. [9/11 Commission Final Report, 7/24/04, p. 456]
People and organizations involved: United Airlines, Federal Aviation Administration

9:35 a.m.: Flight 93 Attendant Warns United Airlines About Hijacking; Account Spreads but Not to NORAD      Complete 911 Timeline

       The San Francisco United Airlines maintenance center receives a call from an unnamed flight attendant on Flight 93 saying that the flight has been hijacked. The information is quickly passed on. [9/11 Commission Report, 1/27/04] Within ten minutes, “everyone” in the United Airlines crisis center “now [knows] that a flight attendant on board had called the mechanics desk to report that one hijacker had a bomb strapped on and another was holding a knife on the crew.” [Wall Street Journal, 10/15/01]
People and organizations involved: United Airlines

(9:40 a.m.): Flight 93 Transponder Signal Turned Off; Flight Still Closely Tracked      Complete 911 Timeline

       The transponder signal from Flight 93 ceases. [MSNBC, 9/3/02; MSNBC, 9/11/02 (B); 9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04; CNN, 9/17/01] However, the plane can be—and is—tracked using primary radar by Cleveland flight controllers and at United headquarters. Altitude can no longer be determined, except by visual sightings from other aircraft. The plane's speed begins to vary wildly, fluctuating between 600 and 400 mph before eventually settling around 400 mph. [Longman, 2002, pp 77, 214; 9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04]
People and organizations involved: Cleveland flight control, United Airlines

9:45 a.m.: United Headquarters Learns Flight 77 Has Crashed into the Pentagon      Complete 911 Timeline

       United Airlines headquarters receives a report that an aircraft has crashed into the Pentagon. They learn it is Flight 77. [9/11 Commission Report, 1/27/04]
People and organizations involved: United Airlines

10:20 a.m.: United Headquarters Learns Flight 93 Has Crashed      Complete 911 Timeline

       United Airlines headquarters receives confirmation that Flight 93 has crashed from the airport manager in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. [9/11 Commission Report, 1/27/04] Cleveland flight control had confirmation of the crash at 10:08 a.m. (see 10:08 a.m.)
People and organizations involved: United Airlines

September 29, 2001: $2.5 Million in Airline Options Go Unclaimed      Complete 911 Timeline

       $2.5 million in put options on American Airlines and United Airlines are reported unclaimed. This is likely the result of the suspension in trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the attacks which gave the SEC time to be waiting if the owners showed up to redeem their put options placed the week before the 9/11 attacks. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29/01]
People and organizations involved: United Airlines, American Airlines, New York Stock Exchange

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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