REDMOND, Wash., and CHICAGO, May 15, 2001 — The MSN® network of Internet services, the world’s largest consumer network, and United Airlines Corp. today announced a strategic marketing alliance that will offer wide promotional opportunities through a broad range of online and offline outlets, including significant cross-promotion between both MSN and United online properties. As part of the agreement, the companies will develop a co-branded access service, including a new customized version of MSN Explorer tailored to the needs of United travelers. The alliance will provide consumers in the United States with additional mileage-earning opportunities for United’s Mileage Plus® program.
Under the terms of this significant strategic alliance, United Airlines will become the premier airline service provider across the MSN network of services, including the MSN home page, http://www.msn.com/ . This will enable the more than 230 million unique users of MSN to easily access United Airlines’ full-service Web site, http://www.united.com/ , for a variety of air travel services such as Mileage Plus account information, online booking, real-time flight and gate information, mileage bonuses, and flight-paging services. The agreement also calls for the creation of the co-branded portal to be introduced later this year.
The MSN-United offering will include MSN Internet access and a customized version of MSN Explorer, which will include special features such as a
button that will provide users with access to the United information they use most, such as Mileage Plus account information, flight availability and flight status.
“The MSN and United Airlines relationship is a natural combination of strengths that offers tremendous opportunities to reach a vast customer base through innovative online and offline initiatives,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of MSN and the Personal Services Business Group at Microsoft.
“This is a great way to bring MSN products and services to United’s loyal customers while making United services even more accessible to millions of MSN users.”
“We are delighted to enter a strategic alliance with a technology leader like MSN that extends each of our capabilities to bring customers the information and services they want and expect,”
said Doug Hacker, executive vice president and chief financial officer of United Airlines and president of United NewVentures.
“This alliance deepens the relationship with our customers by offering additional electronic opportunities to earn Mileage Plus miles and by giving our customers easy access to important travel information.”
The MSN-United alliance will be promoted extensively through a wide variety of marketing channels. United will promote MSN services on United’s onboard videos, in Hemispheres magazine and in a variety of direct-mail opportunities including promotions in Mileage Plus mailings. The co-branded service will also be promoted through various electronic newsletters and e-mail messages to United Airlines’ customer base and prominent placement across United’s Web properties.
About United Airlines
United Airlines offers nearly 2,300 flights a day on a network that spans the globe. United.com, the official Web site for United Airlines, allows passengers to research flight, schedule and fare information and purchase travel on over 500 airlines worldwide. United.com users can access real-time flight and gate information from the site’s home page or take advantage of United’s customer paging service, which notifies customers of changes to their flight via pager, WAP-enabled cell phone, PC or handheld device. United’s Proactive Paging service and other wireless initiatives are part of its Our United Commitment plan, which is designed to provide its customers with consistent and high-quality customer service and information at all phases of their travel experience. Members of Mileage Plus, United’s frequent flyer program, can check their mileage and upgrade balance, redeem their miles for award travel and request as well as purchase upgrades on the site. Visitors to United.com can download PC or Palm™ operating system-compatible electronic timetables and can also take advantage of special Internet-only E-Fares® . More information and a complete list of available services and functions can be found at http://www.united.com/ .
About United NewVentures
United NewVentures, founded in October 2000, is a wholly owned subsidiary of UAL Corp. that was created to streamline the airline’s Internet initiatives and investments into one company. United NewVentures comprises two divisions, United NetWorks and United NetVentures. These divisions work together to provide United’s customers with the latest technologies and services for their business and leisure travel needs.
MSN gives consumers a new home on the Internet – a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most of their time online. With more than 230 million visitors per month, the MSN integrated network of content and services is the most popular destination on the Internet. MSN is available in 33 markets and in 17 languages — a broader global presence than any other portal. MSN takes advantage of the Microsoft® .NET platform to offer leading services, any time, any place and on any device, with an integrated and personalized user experience for communications, search, shopping, personal finance and entertainment. MSN Internet Access and the recently introduced MSN Explorer offer quick, personal and exciting ways to get on to and take advantage of the Web. Best-of-breed services include the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service, the world’s largest Web-based e-mail system; MSN Messenger Service, one of the fastest-growing Web-based instant messaging services on the Web; MSN Search; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™
online personal finance guide; MSN eShop, the one-stop online shopping resource; and MSN custom Web sites, the easy way to share information on the Web. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail and MoneyCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
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