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American Airlines vs. United Airlines: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 19, 2024
American Airlines and United Airlines are both major U.S. airlines, with American known for its extensive international and domestic network, and United recognized for its global reach and strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Key Differences

American Airlines, founded in 1930, is one of the world's largest airlines in terms of fleet size and passengers carried. United Airlines, established in 1926, is also a major airline renowned for its extensive international and domestic flight network.
American Airlines is known for its strong presence in the Caribbean and Latin America, offering numerous routes to these regions. United Airlines has a significant focus on the Asia-Pacific market, with a comprehensive network connecting the U.S. to several Asian destinations.
American Airlines operates out of its primary hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, along with several other key hubs across the U.S. United Airlines has a major hub at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and other important hubs, including those in Houston and San Francisco.
In terms of in-flight experience, American Airlines offers a range of services, including new premium economy cabins on certain international flights. United Airlines is recognized for its Polaris business class product, offering a higher-end travel experience.
American Airlines has a significant presence in the Oneworld airline alliance, collaborating with various international airlines. United Airlines, a founding member of the Star Alliance, has a wide network of global airline partners.

Comparison Chart

Founding Year


Key Market Focus

Caribbean and Latin America

Primary Hub

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Chicago O'Hare International Airport

In-Flight Products

Premium economy in international flights
Polaris business class


Star Alliance

American Airlines and United Airlines Definitions

American Airlines

A major U.S. airline known for its extensive flight network.
I flew with American Airlines on my trip to New York.

United Airlines

An airline operating both passenger and cargo flights globally.
United Airlines is a prominent carrier in the United States.

American Airlines

A well-known airline brand associated with wide-ranging international travel options.
American Airlines is a globally recognized brand in air travel.

United Airlines

A major American airline with a significant international network.
United Airlines offers many flights to Europe and Asia.

American Airlines

An airline with one of the largest fleets in the world.
American Airlines has an impressive fleet size for global operations.

United Airlines

An airline with a diverse fleet catering to various travel needs.
United Airlines' fleet includes a mix of narrow-body and wide-body aircraft.

American Airlines

An airline providing passenger and cargo transportation services.
American Airlines is a leading carrier in the aviation industry.

United Airlines

An airline brand known for its comprehensive global connections.
United Airlines has established itself as a strong brand in international travel.

American Airlines

An entity operating numerous flights domestically and internationally.
As an operator, American Airlines covers many destinations worldwide.

United Airlines

A company managing a vast array of flights across various continents.
United Airlines is a major operator with routes spanning several countries.


How many destinations does American Airlines serve?

American Airlines serves hundreds of destinations across the globe.

What is American Airlines' main international hub?

American Airlines' main international hub is Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Does United Airlines fly to Africa?

Yes, United Airlines operates flights to several destinations in Africa.

Is United Airlines part of any airline alliance?

Yes, United Airlines is a founding member of the Star Alliance.

What frequent flyer program does American Airlines offer?

American Airlines offers the AAdvantage frequent flyer program.

What is the main domestic hub for United Airlines?

The main domestic hub for United Airlines is Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

Can passengers earn miles on both American Airlines and United Airlines?

Yes, passengers can earn miles through each airline's respective frequent flyer programs.

Does American Airlines have a partnership with other airlines?

Yes, American Airlines has partnerships through the Oneworld alliance and code-share agreements.

Does American Airlines offer WiFi on its flights?

Yes, American Airlines offers WiFi on many of its flights.

Are pets allowed on American Airlines flights?

Yes, pets are allowed on American Airlines under certain conditions.

What type of aircraft does United Airlines primarily use?

United Airlines operates a diverse fleet including Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

Does American Airlines have an economy plus seating option?

American Airlines offers Main Cabin Extra, which provides more legroom in economy class.

Can American Airlines miles be used for upgrades?

Yes, miles earned through American Airlines can be used for seat upgrades.

Does United Airlines have a mobile app for flight bookings and check-ins?

Yes, United Airlines offers a mobile app for convenient flight bookings, check-ins, and more.

What sustainability initiatives does United Airlines have?

United Airlines has various sustainability initiatives, including investing in sustainable aviation fuels.

What are the cabin classes offered by United Airlines?

United Airlines offers several cabin classes, including Economy, Business, and First Class.

Are there any special loyalty program benefits for frequent flyers of American Airlines?

American Airlines' AAdvantage program offers benefits like free upgrades, extra baggage, and lounge access for frequent flyers.

What unique in-flight services does United Airlines offer?

United Airlines offers unique services like Polaris business class and United Premium Plus.

How does United Airlines' baggage policy compare to American Airlines'?

Both airlines have similar baggage policies, but specific allowances and fees can vary.

Does American Airlines offer direct flights to Asia?

Yes, American Airlines offers direct flights to several Asian destinations.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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