Ted (airline)

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Ted Airlines logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operationsFebruary 12, 2004
Ceased operationsJanuary 6, 2009 (operations folded into United Airlines)
Secondary hubs
Frequent-flyer programMileage Plus
AllianceStar Alliance (affiliate)
Parent companyUnited Airlines[1]
HeadquartersCity and County of Denver, Colorado[2]
Key peopleGlenn Tilton (CEO)

Ted was one of two airline divisional brands of United Airlines. It targeted vacation locations in the low cost airline market, in contrast to United's high end divisional "sub-fleeted" brand called United p.s. "Ted" comes from the last three letters in the United brand name.[3] United marketed Ted anthropomorphically and attempted to personify Ted; it used phrases such as Meet Ted or I've Met Ted.

Due to the airline crisis caused by spiking fuel prices, on June 4, 2008, United announced that the Ted brand and services would be discontinued with the Ted aircraft being fitted with United's First Class cabin and eventually being incorporated into United's regular fleet to compensate for the removal of United's entire Boeing 737 fleet. Operations were folded back into the mainline brand on January 6, 2009.


Ted's creation was announced November 12, 2003, and service began February 12, 2004. It began service in Denver International Airport, a United hub, to compete with JetBlue Airways. The airline had 56 Airbus A320s with 156 all-economy seats, allowing United to compete with low-cost airlines such as Frontier Airlines. All Ted flights were operated by United crews flying under the UAL operating certificate, as Ted was not actually a certificated airline, but rather a brand name applied to differentiate the all-economy service from United's mainline flights. Therefore, because of operational needs, it was possible for one to see Ted aircraft operate as mainline United flights; in the reverse, more often mainline United aircraft operated as Ted flights because of equipment substitutions.


At the time of its integration back into United Airlines (UA), Ted flew to 23 destinations[4] throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico, and Mexico. Ted's primary hub was at Denver International Airport, and the airline maintained focus cities at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC. Ted ceased all operations on January 6, 2009 and was transferred to UA mainline.


A Ted Airbus A320-200 (N470UA) taxiing at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in December 2005
The same Airbus A320-200 (N470UA) at then McCarran International Airpot in Las Vegas after it was reincorporated back into the mainline United fleet

United Airlines had 56 aircraft in its fleet dedicated to Ted operations. Its fleet consisted of Airbus A320-200 aircraft[5] which could carry up to 156 passengers.


Ted's A320s were configured in one class that was split into two sub-classes. Economy Plus was the first sub-class which included rows 1-11. Economy Plus provided an extra five inches to the existing 31 inches of seat pitch for economy. Ted planes were equipped with 20 overhead retractable LCD screens known as "Tedevision" which were used to play videos throughout the flight. First class seating was not available on Ted flights. Every seat had TedTunes, which had 12 music stations plus a station that played live feeds from Air Traffic Control (channel 9) at the pilot's discretion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ted Airlines Remembered". Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "United pulls plug on Ted". 4 June 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  3. ^ "Meet Lue". Airwhiners.net. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  4. ^ "Ted by United route map".
  5. ^ "Ted Fleet Details and History". planespotters.net. Retrieved 16 August 2015.

External links[edit]