Ted is one of two airline divisional brands of United Airlines. Ted targeted to compete in the low cost airline market. In contrast to United's high end divisional "sub-fleeted" brand called United p.s., the rather uniquely named "Ted" comes from the last three letters in the United brand name, thus giving rise to the quip "Ted is United without U 'n' I". United marketed Ted anthropomorphically and attempted to personify Ted; it used phrases such as Meet Ted or I've Met Ted.
Due to the airline crisis caused by spiking fuel prices, on June 4, 2008, United announced that the Ted brand and services would be discontinued with the Ted aircraft being fitted with United's First Class cabin and eventually being incorporated into United's regular fleet to compensate for the removal of United's entire 737 fleet. The changes are expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
All Ted flights are operated by United Airlines crew flying under the United Airlines operating certificate, as Ted is not actually a certificated airline, but rather a brand name applied to differentiate the all-economy service from United's mainline flights. Sometimes, because of operational needs, Ted aircraft operate as mainline United flights. More often however, mainline United aircraft operate as Ted flights because of equipment substitutions.
Ted currently flies to 23 destinations throughout Mexico and the United States, including Puerto Rico. Upcoming schedule changes will decrease Ted's destination count to 18 when the airline ends service to Bozeman and Missoula, on September 1, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on September 2, and Rapid City on September 30, 2008. Ted's primary hub is at Denver International Airport, and the airline maintains focus cities at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, and Washington Dulles International Airport.
As of September 2008, United Airlines has 57 aircraft in its fleet dedicated to "Ted" operations:
|Airbus A320-200||57||156||ALL||Offering Economy Plus and Economy Class|
As of September 2008, Ted's average fleet age was 8.7 years old.