How To Save United Airlines

On October 25th, we asked the 3 million of you who visit our website each month to help save United Airlines(NYSE: UAL). The company's CEO James Goodwin was beleaguered, having said publicly that he felt United Airlines may well go bankrupt in the next two years. Unions were upset by the comments. The company announced the worst quarter (with more than $1 billion in losses) in its 75-year history.

The value of the company has declined what seems like every single day since January 2000. Back then United was worth more than $4 billion. Today, United is worth just $530 million. For context, that makes United Airlines worth considerably less than recent travel creations like Priceline.com(Nasdaq: PCLN) and Travelocity.com(Nasdaq: TVLY) (even though both are more than 70% off their highs).

It was time, it seemed to us and the world, for new leadership at UAL Corporation. And so we asked you, our community of businesspeople and investors, to share your best ideas for turning this airline around on our UAL Corp. discussion board. After more than 180 great contributions -- many deeply contemplative -- we have selected five winners (and one honorable mention) which we offer to you now.

During our contest, CEO Goodwin resigned effective immediately. Former Weyerhauser CEO John Creighton has taken over. We present to him and his team (and to you) the best contributions. We recommend that United Airlines study all 180 contributions. Tabulated, they add up to more than full-length book on United's present position and future opportunities.

Thanks to every contributor. And congratulations to the winners. Oh, and by the way, the prize was free entry into our What To Do Now online seminar, hosted by my brother David and I. You can still sign up if you'd like to join us.

Now, without further ado, here are winning entries for the Save United Airlines contest. Enjoy!

All of the winning posts were posted on our UAL discussion board on or after Oct. 25, 2001.

Next: Winner #1 »

This contest is not affiliated with, endorsed, or licensed by UAL Corporation. Click here to read the complete contest rules and fun legal jargon. This feature presents the opinions and views of Motley Fool readers as posted on our discussion boards. Discussion board posts are edited only for readability (plus spelling). They may not reflect the opinions of The Motley Fool or its employees, who cannot warrant that they are accurate, useful, or fun (although we hope they are).


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