United Airlines Kills Ted

In an effort to stay alive after a 76% surge in jet fuel prices, United Airlines will be discontinuing “TED,” their low-fare mini-airline.

In all, the Chicago-based airline will cut 70 planes from its fleet and shed 1,100 jobs.

Farewell, Ted. We hardly knew ye.

United to Cut Fleet, Shut Low-Fare Unit, Person Says (Update3) [Bloomberg]
(Photo: Flying Photog )


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  1. LiC says:

    Shite. I was going to book a flight with them later this year.

  2. Canuck047 says:

    “serge”: -noun
    1. a twilled worsted or woolen fabric used esp. for clothing.
    2. cotton, rayon, or silk in a twill weave.

    “surge”: -noun
    12. to rise as if by a heaving or swelling force: ‘Blood surged to his face.’

  3. bdgbill says:

    I thought Ted died off years ago back when Delta’s feeble attempt at the same business model “Song” died.

  4. dragonfire81 says:

    They should have kept it active as they could use it to conceivably sell tickets at higher prices. Let’s say a TED ticket is $500 and a regular United ticket is $650. Now both tickets may have built in profits but with the TED option in place there’s a stronger possibility you are only going to get more people in the air, but with only the United price point and no comparison, it comes down to an “all or nothing” decision.

  5. Heyref says:

    I never found a reason to fly Ted, even though I fly United a lot and I see Ted planes at SFO. The lowest fares and most convenient schedules are always regular United or United Express. Ted always seemed like an executroid’s idea looking for a market; and not finding one.

  6. cabinaero says:

    Ted sad. Ted cold.

  7. I came in here to say “surge”, but it looks like that’s been covered.

    I’ll go listen to some System of a Down, now that i’m thinking about Serj.

  8. Snarkysnake says:

    So what was missing from “Ted” ?

    U-N-I (Get it ? You and I)

    I’m gonna finish drinking my Serge now.

  9. The serge is obviously working!

  10. jamesdenver says:

    Uh – they aren’t cutting anything because TED was always United.

    If you book Denver to Orlando or Vegas you are SELECTING Ted – you just happen to be riding on United planes with Ted’s paint job.

  11. jamesdenver says:

    correction on me. Yes I realize they’re selling the planes — but to say they’re cutting the low budget airline TED is kind of silly – because again its just branding.

  12. Wormfather says:

    There can only be one Jet Blue people. Do you fly or do you Jet?

  13. Underpants Gnome says:

    Anyone know if existing TED routes/tickets will be converted back to United flights? I ask, because I have a flight booked on TED for my vegas wedding this fall.

  14. jamesdenver says:

    @Underpants Gnome:

    I’m sure it will be switched to a UAL mainline flight. (Just call and check)

    Like I mentioned this really isn’t an airline folding – so people need not worry. Yet.

  15. SuffolkHouse says:

    There was a market for Ted. Only problem, Ted sucked. People shopping for bargain flights want low prices. I never once flew Ted because it never came up in a search with a competitive price. And I fly often.

    Southwest crushes all of them. Thing is with United and these other dinosaurs is that they have an antagonistic approach to labor. As such, labor won’t negotiate in a manner that won’t sacrifice profitability. Southwest actually treats its employees well. The result is that they perform for the airline.

    I’ve never had a negative experience with Southwest.

  16. Lambasted says:

    Batter up! Strike Out! Next!

    Goodbye Ted. I remember when you were bright-eyed and optimistic.

    I hate to turn this into a political commentary but I doubt since President Herbert Hoover’s failed economic policies during the Great Depression has there been such economic devastation linked to a presidency as it is now with Bush.

    Everything old is definitely new again. There are many parallels to what is happening to our economy now and what happened during the Great Depression. Say hello to The Great Depression II, the Modern Years.

  17. ideagirl says:

    Ted sucked. I flew them twice. It was like flying southwest, but worse.

  18. flyingphotog says:


    jetBlue’s “jetting” campaign is corny…

  19. SharkD says:

    Every single time I priced a “Ted” ticket, it was more expensive and less conveniently timed than the United flight on the same route.

    Gee, I wonder why the uber-expensive “low-cost” airline failed…?

  20. Dorgon says:

    Crap, this was the flight I took 3-4 times a year from SFO to Phoenix. Now I’m going to be stuck on crappy Southwest. And at higher fares due to even less competition,

  21. ElizabethD says:

    Never heard of “Ted” the airline, so the headline was more than a little macabre to me considering the health of that more famous Ted (the senator from Massachusetts)….

  22. lowercase says:

    Ted really seemed like a ridiculous waste of resources. I recently flew a 2 leg flight, one on Ted and one on United, and I couldn’t tell the difference. At least Song tried to differentiate itself from Delta with a few different services.

    The “Why market 1 brand when we could spend double and market 2?” era seems to be closing for good.

  23. Wubbytoes says:

    The last time I flew it was through United but on a Ted plane. I thought the name was kind of creepy for some reason.

  24. radiochief says:

    My name is Ted, and one day I will be dead. Yo. Yo.

  25. LUV2CattleCall says:

    @dragonfire81: @SuffolkHouse:

    Basically, the main benefit of TED to UA was that they could eliminate First class on routes where the only people who are up there are there because of free status-based upgrades.

    [img][www.airwhiners.net] [/img]

    Forget TED….here’s jetBlue’s newest spinnoff: “LUE”


  26. mugczar says:

    Aw, I liked TED! For a year I lived in Las Vegas and my fiancée was in Los Angeles. We’d take turns flying each weekend, and I always tried to get on TED if I could (Southwest if I couldn’t).

    I liked their $35 fares and the fact that I could pick a seat. I didn’t like their Economy Plus plan, since it stuck me somewhere behind the first 12 (usually pretty empty) rows, but more often than not I could convince the flight crew to let me sit in the exit row.

    During the course of the year, they started to get more strict about it and I was pretty happy to move back to Los Angeles and not spend so much time in airports (especially LAX).

    This was, of course, a couple of years ago before flying became even more of a pain than it already was …

  27. AlvinWadger says:

    That’s HORRIBLE! I always flew on Ted. It was wonderful. Food was
    superb, flight attendants were always nice, movies were good. I have
    nothing but good experiences on Ted…
    Is normal United still good? I know the PS (Premium Service) flights
    that United runs are great but how about everyday United flights?

  28. Janet4784 says:

    I’ve now had two hellacious experiences with United/TED. Their normal practice in Denver is to cancel flights, thus stranding hundreds of passengers a day. You line up for hours to get rebooked, and then they ship you off to a distant hotel for the night. At our hotel the shuttle driver said 90% of their business is United refugees. Shameful. If I knew how to set up a website I’d start a United Airlines Refugee Support Group. I shall throw a party the day UAL goes under.

  29. TwoScoopsRice says:

    Yikes. As of several days ago, UA was still selling seats on Ted flights for later this summer. I just checked our itineraries online and we seem to have been sent to the back of a couple of slightly tweaked buses, errr planes, on this short-hop part of our vacation.

    I’m trying to be grateful that UA somehow saw our other longhaul itinerary and doesn’t have us departing the intermediate airport for our flights home before we arrive there from the commuter airport we head out from at 0’dark:30 earlier that day.

  30. tonnad says:

    Ted United was like being herded with cattle(poor cows!)The agents are liars, they are rude, heartless, they all have a different answer for everything you ask, and they pull power trips. I don’t care how cheap they are it is not worth it! It is dirty, their planes are small and sound like they are falling apart; which is scary because of all the cut backs I hope they aren’t cutting back on good mechanics. I just don’t want to put my life in their hands they are clearly unorganized and miserable. Customer service is out the window they could care less about losing your stuff, ruining your vacation, and your all around happiness, but you have to be patient with their mechanical difficulties and other inconveniences. Ted You Suck! I am glad your gone! I hope good customer service becomes a trend again!