Business diversity program

At United, we are dedicated to helping connect not just places but people, and foster a more open, prosperous and tolerant world. In order to fulfill that mission, our people and processes must be as diverse and far-reaching as the communities we connect and the customers we serve around the globe.

We make this commitment not merely because we believe it creates value for our company, though it does; but because it derives from our fundamental values as a company.

The phrase, “We are United,” though expressed in many languages by tens of thousands of employees spread around the globe, articulates a shared purpose to make a lasting, positive impact everywhere we operate.

This commitment to diversity, inclusion and empowerment extends from our workforce and continues in our relationships with our suppliers. As a global company, with countless moving parts, we know the scale of impact we can make on local communities around the world by reaching out to suppliers of all backgrounds and sizes.

When a young, female entrepreneur can compete on a level playing field with larger companies, and have access to business opportunities with United, that makes our own product better. When ambitious start-ups can break barriers of race and religion that held previous generations back from achieving their dreams and make the best bid for our business, then progress is made. When a veteran can apply their world-class skills and experiences in order to make us safer and better, we can fly a little friendlier each day.

We hold true to these commitments because they are right, and because they elevate the quality of the service we provide - which is to deliver the most safe, high-quality, on-time, customer-friendly experience in the industry.

On behalf of the entire United family, I hope that you recognize the pride we take in opening doors of opportunity to all types of businesses and entrepreneurs around the globe and helping to build a more united economy.

Scott Kirby, CEO

Business Diversity Program overview

We utilize a robust competitive/total cost of ownership (TCO) bid process to deliver products and services to our customers worldwide. Our TCO process ensures business partners add value to our supply chain. We look for:

  • Quality products and services
  • Best overall value
  • Reliable delivery
  • Customer service and effective follow-through
  • Financial stability
  • Innovation and continuous improvement


We require that all small and diverse-owned businesses provide proof of certification from one of our preferred third-party certification agencies and or their affiliates.

Those certifying bodies include:

  • National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC)
  • Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
  • City, State, Federal and Local Government Certifications
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB)
  • Association of Service Disabled Veterans (ASDV)

Businesses should also be listed with the System for Award Management (SAM).

  • United requires a broad range of goods and services.

    The following is a partial list:

    • Advertising
    • Aircraft interiors and parts
    • Aircraft appearance supplies and disposables
    • Aircraft services
    • Aircraft ground support equipment
    • Armored car services
    • Audio visual equipment
    • Baggage delivery services
    • Baggage repair
    • Baggage system maintenance and parts
    • Boxes (custom and stock)
    • Cargo services
    • Computer peripherals/supplies
    • Computer/business hardware
    • Computer services
    • Construction services/products
    • Crew lodging/transportation
    • Chemicals
    • Electrical commodities and repair
    • Environmental services and solutions
    • Extermination services
    • Exterior aircraft services (cleaning, painting, etc.)
    • FAA-certi!ed products & services relating to commercial airline industry
    • FAA-certi!ed repair stations
    • Food beverage services and supplies
    • Food ingredients and related products
    • Freight forwarding
    • Fuel
    • Ground service and equipment (GSE)
    • GSE maintenance and repair
    • Hardware, misc.
    • Hotel accommodations
    • HVAC service/supplies
    • Inflight catering services (national capabilities)
    • Inflight food tray liners
    • Interior aircraft cabin cleaning
    • Inflight linens (blankets, pillows, etc.)
    • IT and non-IT sta#ng and consulting
    • Janitorial services and supplies
    • Laundry services
    • Legal services
    • Locksmith services
    • Maintenance contracts (airport)
    • MRO supplies
    • Office supplies and equipment
    • Plastic manufacturers (injection, thermoforming and vacuum forming)
    • Plumbing
    • Promotional items
    • Printing
    • Scavenger services
    • Security services
    • Signs
    • Skycap services
    • Specialized and industrialized truckers
    • Transportation
    • Uniforms
    • Vending services

How to enroll your business

Database enrollment

Our business diversity database is used to identify qualified small businesses and diverse-owned businesses that meet our procurement needs. Inclusion in our database does not guarantee that you will receive a contract from United.

  • Please prepare the documentation below before you proceed to the register. You will not be able to continue without this information.

    • Basic company information
    • Federal tax ID number or EIN
    • Basic contact information
    • Company insurance information including provider and limit
    • Annual sales for the past three years
    • Customer reference(s)
    • Diverse-owned business certi!cation information
  • Please register your business in our business diversity database.

    Please note: We are in the process of updating our business diversity database registration form to include more types of diverse owned businesses. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. In the meantime, please print the registration form and then email the completed form to

    We utilize our registration database to identify candidates to participate in our bid opportunities as well as to share information with our key business partners to be considered for second-tier business opportunities. These opportunities include a wide variety of products and services (see the Types of goods and services purchased by United Airlines section above).

    Please ensure that you include enough information regarding your company’s capabilities so that we may identify potential opportunities that may be appropriate for you. You may upload this information as well as your certification. You must include your certification to be considered. Upon review of your submission, your company’s information will be forwarded to our Strategic Sourcing department as appropriate.

    f there is a business opportunity that matches your capabilities, we will reach out to you. If there is a current contract in place, or if we do not have an opportunity for you at this time, we will retain your information in our database for future consideration.

    If you have any questions, please contact our Business Diversity Team at Thank you for your interest in doing business with United Airlines.

  • We encourage our key business partners to participate in our diversity e"orts as well by working with diverse businesses to support the work they do for us. This allows United to maximize opportunities to diversify our supply chain and further support the communities we serve. Second-tier business diversity results are due 15 days after the close of each quarter. To report your second-tier business diversity results, please visit

Business diversity in action

  • A number of organizations have recognized United for our e!orts to diversify our business partners in recent years:

    • LGBT Business Equality Excellence Award by Affinity Magazine
    • Named one of America’s Top Corporations for WBEs (8th consecutive year)
    • Named one of the 2019 Corporations of the Year by Women’s Enterprise Magazine
    • Oscar Munoz, Ted Davidson, VP Procurement and Sharon Grant named Best of the Decade 2019 by Minority Business News
    • Named 2019 NGLCC Best of the Best by the National Business Inclusion Consortium

    The following publications have written about United’s business diversity program:

    • Chicago Minority Business Review (December 2012 cover story)
    • Minority Business News (2011, 2012, 2013)
    • Women’s Enterprise USA (2011, 2012, 2013)
    • Crain’s Chicago Business/Chicago United (2016)
  • Burchell Upholstery

    “We were used to doing business that was transactional in nature. United’s approach was different, and very early on I realized the value that was delivered by transitioning from a transactional relationship to a partnership.”

    - Herb Stokes, Chief Marketing Officer, Burchell Upholstery

    United has also partnered with local governments and organizations to support entrepreneurs:

    Partnerships supporting local businesses in Chicago

    Partnerships supporting local businesses in Denver

    Partnerships supporting local businesses in Newark, NJ

Contact the United business diversity team

You can reach the business diversity team by emailing