United Airlines teams up with Apple for SFO makeover

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United
Apple spends a lot of money on United Airlines tickets.
Photo: United Airlines

San Francisco International Airport could soon get some serious tech upgrades thanks to Apple. The iPhone-maker is reportedly in discussions with United Airlines about giving the carrier’s SFO terminal a much-needed makeover.

Details on the possible upgrades remain under wraps for now. But parts of the terminal definitely look outdated. And it probably could could use some tech upgrades behind the scenes, too.

During a media day in Chicago today, United Airlines Holdings shared a few details about the potential partnership. “The Apple team in San Francisco has been in our baggage hold areas, customer service and the lobbies,” said Linda Jojo, a United executive VP. “I’m being deliberately vague.”

Apple obviously possesses the architectural design chops to transform United’s SFO hub into something fancy and futuristic. What it will ultimately look like is anybody’s guess at this point, though.

Apple and United Airlines

Apple staffers could bring some unique and well-traveled insights to the project. Cupertino is reportedly United Airlines’ biggest client out of SFO. Each year, Apple spends about $150 million flying workers to various countries out of the Bay Area airport. Shanghai is the company’s most popular destination, with about 50 Apple employees making the flight to China every day.

Jojo said Apple will help United “reconfigure” airport areas. It sounds like Cupertino might work with more than just the SFO terminal, too. Apple just built one of the prettiest (and most valuable) giant corporate offices ever, racking up plenty of accolades along the way. It would be interesting to see how the company’s architectural design philosophies — as exemplified by Apple Park — could be applied to airports.