United Airline's new livery and logo (does it look familiar?)

United Airline's new livery and logo (does it look familiar?)

While I was out of town last week I was trying to keep up on the United Airlines and Continental Airlines merger. The news is pretty old right now, so I am not going re-hash all the talk about it [check Google News for the stories if you haven’t heard]. When hearing about the merger one of the things I thought about was the combined livery.

I have not been a fan of United’s most recent livery. The blue and white looked aged when it first came out. They have also been very slow to change over from their last livery (which I like better) to the newest one. While flying Continental recently, I realized how clean their livery looks. The blue and gold. Simple, classy and timeless.

I was really happy to see that with the merger, the United name will survive, but so will the Continental livery. The “Continental” name will be replaced with “United”, but the golden globe will stick around. I will miss the “U” from United Airlines, but overall, I think this is a very wise idea. Not only will part of Continental still survive the merger, but United will end up with a better livery.

My main fear is it will take forever for United and Continental to share the same livery, I just hope that is not the case.

Check out their merger website for the most up-to-date information.

connect | web | twitter | facebook |

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: david@airlinereporter.com

Jetstar Airways Accused of Mis-Treating a Handicapped Passenger…again

I’m going to miss the standalone Continental Airlines. I hope its customer service – which I find to be a cut above most other legacies – survives the merger.

I wonder if CO’s announcement to not provide meals was a set up for the merger. Even though I know CO still has meals, it was still a shock when I just flew them!

I love the Continental livery and globe. It’s crisp and clean. I think the “United” on the plane looks terrible. I can’t stand serif fonts – I’m a bit of a font snob. Also, I think it would look better if it was “United Airlines” rather than just “United.”

Great! Now I have a problem with the United font too 🙂 I didn’t notice that before. Got photoshop skills?


That livery dates back to the Gordon Bethune days of running Continental. I really like it too. If I remember correctly, the livery change for Continental’s fleet happened fairly quickly – according Bethune’s “From Worst to First” book, he put a lot of pressure on his management team to get that done. It will be interesting to see how quickly United repaints their planes, if the merger is approved.

I hope quickly. For some reason brand consistency has started to bother me more and more. I hope all CO and UAL planes get the DirecTV treatment as well!


Thomas Riddle

The United logo has been around for 35 somewhat years and the UNITED font has become associated with the United brand. It is a great disappointment that only the United name will live on. The United tulip has a sharper, more modern look as well as the new blue and white livery. Continental’s font and colors on the aircraft do not look well with UNITED on it.

The United name might possibly be more well known, but passengers like the service provided by Continental more. It seem beneficial to go with the look of the airline that is seen to have the better customer service!



Seeing as I work for one of these two airlines, I should start by saying that my comments are mine and do not represent my company. I too am very happy that Continental is keeping some of its identity. I have always admired how clean my company keeps its airplanes (does that give away who I work for?). I was told we have a contract with a company that we use to paint the aircraft every couple years. It will be much better for the combined United brand to keep the airplanes looking good. I think it is also good for employee moral…look good and you feel good about your job. I also hope that the service that Continental is so well known for will permeate throughout the combined company. If we are to be successful, both companies need to provide the same, consistent level of service. I vote for good service!

This is the first time I’ve seen your blog and I look forward to coming back often.

Hey Dan!

I too have been impressed by Continental. Even though I KNOW I get a free blanket and a snack, it still shocks me when I do.

Most airlines seem to have a niche, something that makes them stand out. For me, United doesn’t. What makes them special? They are old? That just doesn’t do it anymore.

I just really hope with the merger, CO can help bring UAL up and not the other way around.

Thanks for your comments and I look forward to you reading!


jason hoffman

The merger should be a success, however the new livery is a sad day for United.
As a design professional I believe United currently has the best image, graphics, identity, and yes livery of the “Big 3” airlines. Continental’s livery is staid, dated, and quite frankly looks like a regional carrier, not a world class global airline. It’s identity is generic, and is not well branded. The globe is unrecognizable and has no branding power as Pan Am or TWA’s globes of the 60’s and 70’s had. The font is sloppy, not crisp; a poor image for an airline.
The blending of 2 designs is often times never successful; this one falls into that category.
United should reconsider this decison or start from scratch to create a brand new identity/generation.

Hey Jason!

It is weird, I almost think the exact opposite. I do think the United tulip is more recognizable, but their current blue/white livery seems dated to me.

And UAL has had a consistency problem. Will I get a plane with the nice new blue leather seats or one with very dated cloth?

It will be interesting to see if the combo will work. We can only wait and see!



This combined livery is a major disappointment; except that it keeps the original elegant, simple CO design.The serif font looks ridiculous with the crisp, classic look of the rest of the fuselage. Make it san serif and use the whole United Airlines name and ti may work. It also looks like they’ve used a different blue for the name; wrong. This looks like a lazy attempt by UA without much thought.

On the bright side, the off-center globe is still there!

It’s not a lazy attempt by UNITED, its a lazy attempt by Continental, Jeff Smisek wants something from his airline even though he knows its crap, he’s too proud. Its Continental running the show and UNITED is just the slave… poor UNITED. 🙁


I heard (TODAY) from credible sources that the “U” in the merger “UNITED” font will change

I am a big lover of your weblog! Check out my website, You can submit your blog there!

alex scott

Great marketing brillant


This is probably the worst idea I’ve ever heard of. Look at the word ‘United’. That ‘U’ Looks like a lowercase!

Smisnek is a skanky lawyer who sold out the CAL employees for big $$s Why else would a classy airline take United’s name? UAL has the worst reputation in the sky, but hey, who cares when there’s a “golden parachute” attached to your decision… CAL is/was a classy airline.

Andrew Stevens

I like the old tale art of United better and I wish more planes were done in all bright yellow.
I just hope with this merger that United will fly bigger planes like 737s or larger from cities like Austin, Tx

What do you mean BIGGER planes? United airlines has far bigger planes than Continental, the a319/a320’s are more roomy inside than continentals 737s which are cramped to me even in First Class, United has award winning seating layouts while continental has some of the worst because they are a Committed Boeing company and Boeing planes, especially the 737/757/767 on continental are cramped. United Airlines operate larger aircraft than Continental. Continental mainly operate 737s, as their main aircraft, my friend had once flown all the way to Hawaii on a 737, and on UNITED they flew the 777. United only has 85 a319/a320s. the rest are larger aircraft.

To all: I was told the tail symbol on the Continental tail was actually a rendering of infamous Frank lorenzo’s golden parachute for all to remember

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *