United Continental Begins Meshing Airport Check-in Kiosks, Signs

Passengers on United Airlines and Continental Airlines will see new airport signs and share check-in kiosks today as the carriers begin melding outward operations seven months after completing their merger.

United Continental Holdings Inc. said in a statement that it starts making the changes today at its hometown hub at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, the second-busiest in the U.S. after Atlanta.

The world’s largest airline has already repainted more than a third of its planes to include Continental’s stylized globe logo on the tail and United’s name on the fuselage. Passengers have also been able to combine their frequent-flier points and use elite status perks such as access to airport lounges on either airline.

Items still on the to-do list include creating a fully combined reservations system, a joint website and meshing dozens of other technology platforms such as crew dispatching, plus resolving representation issues for unionized work groups and negotiating combined contracts for each group.

United Airlines parent UAL Corp. merged with Continental Airlines Inc. in October in an all-stock deal, surpassing Delta Air Lines Inc. as the world’s biggest carrier.

The two airlines must run separate flight operations until the Federal Aviation Administration grants them a joint certificate, which the company has said will come toward the end of this year.

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