United Airlines Grows at Hubs: United Airlines tweaked its network over the weekend, and I found its moves at Los Angeles, where I live, to be the most interesting. A decade ago, United was one of Hollywood’s preferred airlines, and it flew to many of the largest markets for entertainment, as well as bigger Western cities. Now, it’s focused on smaller markets from L.A., including some unusual additions: Eugene, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin; and Pasco/Tri-Cities, Washington. Ben Mutzabaugh of USA Today has details.
To help fund the site, the founders created special edition breakfast cereals, with presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain as the inspiration for "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCains". In two months, 800 boxes of cereal were sold at $40 each, which generated more than $30,000 for the company's incubation. It also got the company noticed by computer programmer Paul Graham, who invited the founders to the January 2009 winter training session of his startup incubator, Y Combinator, which provided them with training and $20,000 in funding in exchange for a small interest in the company. With the website already built, they used the $20,000 Y-Combinator investment to fly to New York City to meet users and promote the site. They returned to San Francisco with a profitable business model to present to West Coast investors. By March 2009, the site had 10,000 users and 2,500 listings.
In August 2017, Airbnb cancelled numerous bookings and closed accounts belonging to attendees of the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, citing its community standards user agreement to "accept people regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age."
The Admirals Club was conceived by AA president C.R. Smith as a marketing promotion shortly after he was made an honorary Texas Ranger. Inspired by the Kentucky colonels and other honorary title designations, Smith decided to make particularly valued passengers "admirals" of the "Flagship fleet" (AA called its aircraft "Flagships" at the time). The list of Admirals included many celebrities, politicians, and other VIPs, as well as more "ordinary" customers who had been particularly loyal to the airline.
Airbnb has experienced a lot of growth over the years. Currently our design department consists of nearly a dozen functions and outcome teams. It became clear that we needed more systematic ways to guide and leverage our collective efforts. While we recognized these challenges within the company, I believe they are symptoms of larger software industry problems.
First Class is offered on all domestic mainline aircraft, as well as regional aircraft with more than 50 seats. When such aircraft are used on flights to international destinations including Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, the First Class cabin is branded as Business Class. Seats range from 19–21 inches (48–53 cm) in width and have 37–42 inches (94–106 cm) of pitch. Dining options include free snacks, beverages, and alcohol on all flights, with three-course meals offered on flights 900 miles (1,448 km) or longer (select routes under 900 miles offer meal service).
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In February 2011, Airbnb announced its millionth night booked. In January 2012, the company announced its five millionth night booked. In June 2012, Airbnb announced 10 million nights booked, doubling business in the previous five months. Of these bookings, 75% of the business came from markets outside of the continental United States.