United Airlines Employee Benefits Review: Are Their Careers Worth It?

United Airlines Employee Benefits Review: Are Their Careers Worth It?

In the aviation and airline industry, United Airlines employee benefits are often considered the bare minimum. United Airlines, Inc. is one of the biggest American airlines with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. It’s one of the founding members of the largest airline alliance in the world, the Star Alliance.

It was founded in April 1926 as Varney Air Lines by Walter Varney. In 1931, William Boeing’s United Aircraft and Transportation Corporation bought VAL and formed United Air Lines, Inc. In 2010, United and Continental Airlines merged and, by 2012, were sharing all company assets and processes. Today, United Airlines has over 88,000 employees, is ranked at number 81 on the Fortune 500, and generates annual revenue of $41.303 billion.

If you’re looking for a United Airlines job, continue reading to learn more about United Airlines employee benefits.

United Airlines Employee Benefits Team


Kate Gebo – Executive Vice President, Human Resources & Labor Relations

Kate initially joined United Airlines in 1998 as the manager for corporate real estate. She became the Executive VP of Human Resources and Labor Relations in December 2017. Kate controls a global team of 500 HR professionals, who, in turn, handle the entire United Airlines workforce.

Before United Airlines, Kate worked for Continental Airlines as the director of their corporate real estate department.

Kate received her BS in finance from DePaul University in 1994. She continued to get her master’s in business administration in finance from the Loyola University of Chicago. She also serves as the board member of Youth Guidance.

Find Kate Gebo at:



What are United Airlines’ Employee Benefits?

Employee BenefitDescription
Health InsuranceDifferentiated by states, everyone has the option of choosing between PPO and HMO. However, PPO may be expensive in some and affordable in other states.
Dental InsuranceYou can choose between PPO and DMO. Cleanings and routine exams are fully covered.
Vision InsuranceYou can choose among VSP, VSP Plus, etc. You get one free checkup and 20% off on all vision-related products and items.
Mental Health CareYou get free mental health care by professionals. Service workers like air hostesses are eligible to receive more sessions.
401(k) PlanAfter 3 years with United Airlines, you can get fully vested and receive up to a 7% match based on your contributions.
Retirement PlanThe retirement plan is only for long-term employees and is a marginal plan.
Performance BonusFor airplane employees, there is a monthly bonus on-time flights. For all other employees, the bonus is quarterly.
Maternity & Paternity LeaveNon-paid maternity leaves of up to 12 weeks. For paternity leave, you receive up to 4 weeks. 6 weeks can be paid if you have sick leave.
Social ClubsCompany sponsored social clubs around the world.
Business Resource GroupsBRG’s are diversity and inclusion programs.
Vacation & Paid Time OffYou initially get 10 days of PTO with the ability to ‘buy’ 5 more days for a 2% pay reduction per period. If you work at UAL long enough, you can get up to 5 weeks.
Sick DaysYou get a total of 8 days per year with the ability to accrue up to 800 hours.
Employee DiscountYou get discounts on university courses, cell phone bills, cars purchase programs, cruise ships, restaurants, etc.
Commuter Checks & AssistanceThe company provides tax-deductible commuter checks for the city you’re based in.
Job TrainingYou get 6 weeks of training while your hotel, breakfast, and lunch costs are covered. You also receive a $20 daily stipend for dinner.
Professional DevelopmentLong-standing employees are often made to help new and trainee employees develop their skills.

What Employee Benefits is United Airlines Known for?


As mentioned, United Airlines doesn’t have the best employee benefits in the industry and is mostly known for the following benefits:

  • Healthcare insurance plan.
  • 401 (k) match up to 7%.
  • 12 unpaid weeks of maternity leave.
  • Up to 5 weeks of PTO.
  • Employee discounts.
  • Training and development.
  • Mental healthcare.

The 401(k) plan provided by the company matches 3% for starter employees and 7% for those who have been employed for more than 3 years. You can also roll over your retirement plan earnings into your 401(k) plan.

United Airlines also provides discounts on many diverse things like cell phone bills, university courses, car and motorbike purchase programs, cruises, restaurants, hotels, etc. Moreover, you and your family get free domestic flights. Pilots and high-level employees get free international flights, as well. On every other flight, employees receive discounted rates.

The company’s health insurance plan is extensive but varies from state-to-state. You can choose between PPO and HMO; PPO is considered expensive in some states, and affordable in others.

United Airlines makes an active effort to promote and focus on women, veterans, the LGBTA community, disabled people, cross-generational people, and people with multicultural backgrounds.

Compared to the employee benefits of other companies, United Airlines isn’t the best, especially because of its regional limitations.

How does United Airlines Help with Student Loans?

United Airlines does not offer any student loan assistance or tuition assistance. It mainly focuses its efforts on professional development.

As of 2018, 11% of all student loan borrowers were in default for 90 or more days. If an employee was behind on their loans, they wouldn’t be able to focus on their work.

As a result, companies have started offering student loan assistance to employees to help them become stress-free and 100% productive. It’s also proven to be a successful employee retention technique.

A lot of firms and employers are turning to platforms like FutureFuel to help their employees pay off student loans, and recover from student debt. The platform offers an efficient student loan program/benefits management system.

How do United Airlines Employee Benefits Change for Different Jobs?

United Airlines’ employee benefits change massively for different regions and jobs. The health insurance has different rates in different states and regions. The 401(k) matching rate is different for service and corporate employees.

Performance bonuses and leaves also change from region to region. The biggest difference is seen in discounts and travel privileges. For example, pilots get free domestic and international flights, and high-level employees get free domestic and free select international flights, with discounts on the rest.

All other employees receive free select domestic flights and discounts on all other flights.

How United Airlines Improved its Benefits Packages Overtime?

United Airlines’ employee benefits haven’t improved over the years. To tackle this, they launched their MileagePlus program, through which employees receive extra benefits.

However, other than that, there hasn’t been any improvement in the benefits packages.

Are United Airlines Careers Worth It?

United Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in the world and has made a name for itself over the years. As a result, anyone new to the industry can get a United Airlines job to get a boost in their career.

However, a United Airlines career may not be the best career choice when there are better options. Nevertheless, here are some reasons why a career at United Airlines may be worth it.

  • UAL customers are generally happy with their service, which means steady growth.
  • It’s one of the few companies that still pay pensions to their employees.
  • Their airline discounts are better than most competitors.
  • The pay is generally better than the competitors.

United Airlines provides a steady, benefit-heavy, and training-intensive career that prepares you for the industry appropriately.

Discover United Airlines Jobs and Careers

If you’re considering building your career at United Airlines, keep an eye out for job openings on the following platforms:

United Airlines Careers

On the company page, you can search for jobs by keywords or the job number. If you click on ‘Detailed Search’, you can search for jobs by region/state, category, or type. You can develop a candidate profile and come back to it whenever you want to update it, apply to new job posts, etc. The site has around 400 jobs posted, like Portfolio Project Manager, Senior Developer, Senior Business Analyst, Senior Engineer for IT, etc.

United Airlines LinkedIn

The United Airlines LinkedIn page doesn’t have many listings, with only 300 jobs posted on the page. Some of the openings are for Digital Technology Recruiter, Inflight Crew Scheduler, Senior Manager Corporate Channel, Senior Analyst for International Route Planning, etc. Jobs range from entry to the executive level, and also include internships.

Unites Airlines Indeed

Indeed also has around 300 jobs posted, such as Recruiter for Pilot Hiring, Plumbing Trainee, Flight Attendant, Transportation Agent, etc. You can also check out the Q&A section to get quick answers to questions like, “What is the training like?” Furthermore, you can check out the company reviews of former and current employees to get a better idea of what it’s like to work at United Airlines. You can also check out salaries for different positions at the company, for example, a Captain earns up to $295,000 per year, on average.


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