United Airlines has teamed up with the Star Wars franchise to offer a special experience for customers and employees in the lead up towards the release of the latest Star Wars movie – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The US carrier has unveiled an all-new Star Wars-themed paint design on one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft with “a re-designed onboard experience”. Passengers travelling with United will get the chance to fly on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker-themed plane starting from November 7.
A spokesman from United Airlines told Business Traveller Asia-Pacific that the redesigned aircraft will fly to domestic destinations in the US as well as international destinations in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
The new paint design captures the “exotic atmosphere” of the Star Wars galaxy and features imagery of Star Wars spacecraft, including the X-wing and TIE fighter starships. The aircraft’s tail displays a different coloured lightsaber, which is the weapon of the Jedi, against a black backdrop on each side, reflecting the two sides of the Force.
Passengers on the flight will be greeted with classic Star Wars-themed music during the boarding process and distribute commemorative pins throughout December in celebration of the movie’s premiere.
The aircraft’s interior will feature a special plaque and include headrests affixed with the emblems of the film’s duelling factions, the Resistance and the First Order.
The airline has also launched a new safety video featuring characters from the movie:
As well as safety instructions, the video also features special appearances by several iconic Star Wars characters and space-themed sequences scored to some of “the most recognisable” musical themes in both motion picture and commercial aviation history. The video also highlights some of the international destinations United serves within the airline’s galaxy.
A United spokesperson confirmed to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific that the redesigned plane will feature the painted Star Wars livery for one year, and the safety video will be on board until next spring.
The airline will also offer special amenity kits styled with the theme of the latest movie for customers travelling in Polaris (on long-haul international routes), Premium Plus and Business class on the airline’s select transcontinental routes (EWR-LAX and EWR-SFO).
Other passengers travelling on the Star Wars-themed plane will also get a special pin.
In addition, anyone will be able to track the movie-themed aircraft via a special icon on the online flight tracking platform Flight Aware. They can track past and future flights on both desktop and mobile by entering the plane’s tail number “N36272”, and the new livery will appear on the platform’s flight tracking maps as the X-Wing starship.
Members of United’s frequent flyer programme, Mileage Plus, will also get the chance to attend the premieres of the new movie through Mileage Plus Exclusives, a platform that allows members to bid their award miles for exclusive items and experiences.
They can use their miles to bid for access to attend the new movie premiers in Los Angeles and London, or exclusive screenings of the new movie in United’s hub cities (Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, Denver and San Francisco) on December 19.
They can also bid for travel packages for four to visit Star Wars’ filming locations in Jordan, or a special collectors package that includes the movie-themed amenity kits, special pins and a model aircraft of the airline’s Star Wars-themed Boeing 737-800.
“United Airlines and the Star Wars franchise share a common goal: connect people and unite the world,” said Mark Krolick, United’s vice president of marketing.
“We are thrilled to join forces and help promote the concluding chapter of the Skywalker story, while at the same time enlisting help from our new friends from the Star Wars universe to demonstrate the importance of safety for our customers and colleagues.”
The new movie, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, will be released in US theatres on December 20.
Japanese carrier ANA also unveiled a Star Wars-themed C-3PO™ ANA Jet. The airline will fly the painted aircraft on its select domestic routes from December 1 to 14 this year.
ANA’s Star Wars-themed aircraft will serve the airline’s Tokyo Haneda-Osaka Itami (NH27 and NH32) and Tokyo Haneda-Fukuoka (NH243 and NH250, NH267 and NH272) routes.