American Airlines vs United Airlines: Difference and Comparison

Airline companies offer various transporting services to passengers as well as goods through the air. The aviation sector generates the highest revenue through airline companies.


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Various companies constitute the airline industry. The two most common airline companies are American Airlines and United Airlines. Both airline companies have distinct differences.

Key Takeaways

  1. American Airlines is the largest airline in the world by fleet size, and passengers served, while United Airlines is the third largest.
  2. American Airlines is a Oneworld alliance member, while United Airlines belongs to the Star Alliance.
  3. United Airlines offers more international destinations than American Airlines.

American Airlines vs United Airlines

United Airlines is an American airline that operates a large international and domestic route network. It is a good option if you want to save money when travelling internationally. American airline is better for travelling economy class with less-priced tickets, especially when travelling within the states.

American Airlines vs United Airlines

American Airlines is the largest airline in the world, is owned by American Airlines Group. The main focus cities of American Airlines are Boston, Austin, and Seattle.

The company has over 133,700 employees working in the company as of 2020. The frequent flyer program of American Airlines is AAdvantage.

On the other hand, United Airlines is the third largest airline in the world is owned by United Airlines Holdings. The company has over 100,000 employees as of 2020.

The frequent flyer program of United Airlines is MileagePlus.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAmerican AirlineUnited Airline
Fleet size 857854
Destinations 350352
Parent company American Airlines Group United Airlines Holdings
Headquarters Fort Worth in Texas Willis TowerChicago, Illinois
Alliance OneWorldStar alliance

What is American Airlines?

American Airlines is considered the largest airline in the world. The headquarters of American airline is in Fort Worth in Texas.

It has the highest fleet size, revenue passenger mile and scheduled passengers carried. The airline operates on international as well as domestic networks.

It has over 6800 flights every day to 350 destinations. American Airlines is founded on 15th April in the year 1926. Initially, it was named American Airways Inc.

The commencement of the operations started on 25th June 1936.

The airline started with the union of more than eighty small airlines. Two main organizations had originated American Airlines, are Colonial Air Transport and Robertson Aircraft Corporation.

The merge was initially known as the Aviation Corporation. The Alliance of American Airlines is OneWorld. The fleet size of American Airlines is 857 of the mainline.

The parent company is American Airlines Group. Around 133,700 employees are working in American Airlines as of 2020. AAdvantage is the frequent flyer program offered by American Airlines.

The chairman and CEO of American Airlines are Doug Parker. The president is Robert Isom.

The operation of American Airlines is largest with DFW or Dallas/Forth Worth out of all the 10 hubs. Annually the airline has a record of handling more than 200 million passengers.

There are over 500,000 passengers daily. American Airlines has about 862 aircraft including Airbus and Boeing, and an additional 179 on order or planned, as of 2021.

american airline

What is United Airlines?

United Airlines is also called United. The headquarters of United Airlines is in Willis Tower, which is in Chicago, Illinois.

The airline is considered the world’s third-largest airline.

The operation of United Airlines is in international as well as domestic route networks. The airline was founded on 6th April 1926.

The fleet size of United Airlines is 854 while the destinations covered by the airline are 342. The parent company of the airline is United Airlines Holdings.

The CEO of the company is Scott Kirby. According to a report of December 2019, there were over 96,000 employees in United Airlines.

The Airlines has been A founding member in the Star Alliance. Star Alliance is also referred to as the largest airline alliance in the world.

The origin of United Airlines is associated with Varney Air Lines or VAL. VAL was founded in the year 1926 by Walter Varney, in Boise, Idaho.

It was the first airline to have an airmail flight which was privately contacted on 6th April in the year 1926.

United Airlines operates in over 48 countries and across five continents. The airline has 118 international and 238 domestic destinations.

United Airlines operates on eight hubs. They are Chicago O’Hare, Guam, Denver, Newark, Houston-International, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington-Dulles.

The airline is a member of Star Alliance has codeshare agreements with various other airlines like Air India, Cape air, Aeromar, Air Canada, Silver Airways, Turkish Airlines, Boutique Air, Eurowings, Swiss International Air Lines, and various others.

united airline

Main Differences Between American Airlines and United Airlines

  1. American Airlines has ten hubs while United Airlines has eight hubs.
  2. The largest hub of American Airlines is DFW or Dallas/Forth Worth while the largest hub of United Airlines is Chicago-O’Hare.
  3. American Airlines is considered the largest airline in the world while United Airlines is considered the third largest airline in the world.
  4. American Airline has a route network with 50 countries while the United States has a route network with 73 countries worldwide.
  5. American Airlines has an alliance with OneWorld while the United States has an alliance with Star Alliance.
Difference Between American Airlines and United Airlines
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