United's commitment to providing equal business opportunities is expressed through our Supplier Diversity Initiative. Over the years our program has grown into an integral part of United’s business operations. Today we view all of our suppliers as key business partners who contribute to the bottom line.
Our program objective is to ensure that certified minority-, women-, veteran and service disabled veteran-, LGBT- owned companies, business enterprises owned by persons with disabilities, small businesses, and historically underdeveloped regions (HUBZone) businesses have the opportunity to compete to provide products and services within United’s extensive supply chain. United encourages all viable minority- and women-owned businesses to become part of our Supplier Diversity Initiative.
United is a member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and many of their local affiliate councils such as the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council (CMSDC), the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council (HMSDC), the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA) and the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC).
United Airlines utilizes a robust competitive/total cost of ownership (TCO) bid process to deliver products and services to our customers worldwide. Our TCO process ensures suppliers add value to our supply chain by understanding our business. We look for:
- Quality products and services
- Best overall value
- Reliable delivery
- Customer service and effective follow-through
- Financial stability
- Innovation and continuous improvement
Ownership classifications and certifications guidelines
To qualify, a business must be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more women who are U.S. citizens.
To qualify, a business must be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more of the minority groups listed below.
- African-Americans: U.S. citizens having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa
- Asian-Americans: U.S. citizens who originate from Japan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, Samoa, Guam, U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Republic of Palau), Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Taiwan, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Macao, Hong Kong, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Nauru, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands or Nepal
- Hispanic-Americans: U.S. citizens of Spanish descent whose origins are Mexico, South or Central America or the Caribbean Islands
- Native-Americans: American Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts and Native Hawaiians
Veteran and service disabled veteran-owned business
To qualify, a business must be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more veteran or service disabled veteran. See the California Disabled Veteran Business Alliance (CADVBA) website for more information.
Business enterprises owned by Persons with Disabilities (BEPD)
For-profit corporations must be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more persons with disabilities and certified as a BEPD to qualify. Non-profit organizations must directly or indirectly serve persons with disabilities, employ people with disabilities, pay at least minimum wage, and have management and daily business operations controlled by one or more persons with disabilities to qualify.
Small business enterprises
See the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website for more information regarding qualifications.
Lesbian-, gay-, bisexual- and transgender-owned businesses
See the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s website for information regarding qualifications.
We require that all small and diverse 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)
Suppliers should also be listed with the System for Award Management (SAM).
Types of goods and services purchased by United Airlines
United requires a broad range of goods and services. The following is a partial list:
- 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
- Electrical commodities and repair
- Environmental services and solutions
- Extermination services
- Exterior aircraft services (cleaning, painting, etc.)
- FAA-certified products & services relating to commercial airline industry
- FAA-certified repair stations
- Food beverage services and supplies
- Food ingredients and related products
- Freight forwarding
- 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 staffing 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)
- Promotional items
- Scavenger services
- Security services
- Skycap services
- Specialized and industrialized truckers
- Vending services
Prospective suppliers/program participation
The supplier diversity database is used to identify qualified small businesses and minority-, women-, LGBT-, veteran- and service disabled veteran-owned businesses that meet our procurement needs. Inclusion in the database does not guarantee that you will receive a contract from United.
How to enroll
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)
- Minority- or women-owned business certification information
Register your business
Please register your business in our supplier diversity database.