UA reservation center closes, 500 furloughed

Daily Planet Wire Service
Tuesday October 22, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO — United Airlines announced Monday the closure of a reservation center, leaving more than 500 employees on furlough, according to a United Airlines spokesman. 

The Northpointe office, located at Bay and Powell streets in San Francisco, which employs 516 employees, will close on Jan. 4, as part of a company-wide cost-cutting measure.  

“United is facing its toughest challenge ever,” said Glenn Tilton, chairman, president and chief executive officer of United Airlines.  

Depending in their contract, employees will reportedly be offered various options for the future, including severance pay, relocation assistance, career assistance or financial advice, company spokesman Chris Brathwaite said. 

“From a customer standpoint, the transition will be seamless,” said Brathwaite. “This will not be affecting flights.'” 

United attributes the closure to a 25 percent drop in call volume to the reservation line, dating back to 2001. Offices in Long Beach and Indianapolis will also be closed on Jan. 4, 2003 as part of the measure. 

By closing a maintenance line and converting five stations to United Express service, the company hopes to save $100 million annually.