Press Release

Flying the Main Line: A History of United Airlines

CONTACT: Charles Schuler
Director of Communications
San Francisco International Airport


Flying the Main Line: A History of United Airlines
New exhibition presents more than ninety years of United Airlines’ history through artifacts and images from the collections of SFO Museum, the United Airlines Archives, and the United Airlines Historic foundation

SAN FRANCISCO - June 23, 2017 - SFO Museum is pleased to present the history of United Airlines in an exhibition showcasing its development from four small regional carriers at the dawn of commercial aviation to its major status in today’s global air transport system.  Over three-hundred historic artifacts and images are on view dating from the 1920s to the present, including model aircraft, cabin and cockpit equipment, meal service wares, promotional items, and an original 1930s Link flight trainer.

The exhibition is from the collections of SFO Museum, the United Airlines Archives, and the United Airlines Historic Foundation.  Fleet history and route development include the establishment of the “Main Line” from New York to San Francisco via Chicago beginning in the days of the open cockpit biplane. Personnel training and operations, passenger services, and loyalty programs are presented from the era of famous propeller-driven Mainliner transports, such as the Douglas DC-3, and the opening of the jet age.  Inflight amenities and marketing materials trace United’s corporate identity from the first Hawaiian service in the 1940s to today’s United Polaris experience.  

Visit for more information. #TheMainLine @SFOMuseum.

Flying the Main Line: A History of United Airlines is located in Terminal 3 Boarding Area F Upper Level from July1, 2017 to March 4, 2018.  The exhibition is located post-security and is only accessible to passengers ticketed for travel through Terminal 3 and International Boarding Area G via a post-security connector.  There is no charge to view the exhibition.


SFO Museum

SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public.  The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport.  Today, SFO Museum features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation.  To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit  Follow us on,, or

About San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 46 international cities on 39 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 80 cities in the U.S. on 13 domestic airlines.  SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising.  For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow us on and