by Capt. Bob Engelman
Retirement & Insurance Chair

1. Your first call should be to the United Airlines Benefit Center, 1-800-651-1007. (M-F, 7AM-7PM CT). Report your Spouse’s death and the agent will take you through the necessary steps of insuring that your health benefits and prescription drugs continue to be provided. This call takes a while but is very efficient and easy. They will also tell you how much these services will now cost and the amount which will be taken out of your account at the beginning of the month.

2. PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation should be your next call. Since the United bankruptcy, this agency now handles pensions for pilots. Case number/Plan number 19962700. This is the United Airlines case. Date of termination: Dec 30, 2004. Website Phone number 800-400-7242 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday (except Federal holidays) This procedure takes a while and, if you are in need of this income, act quickly. You must fill out the proper forms which they will send to you. If you miss several month’s payments, you must fill out another form for lump sum payments and submit that as well. Depending upon the benefit option that your spouse selected at retirement, your survivor’s benefit may be smaller than the retirement benefit your spouse was receiving. Please note that life insurance policies were dropped in favor of the health insurance during bankruptcy.

3. Travel – The United website is The ID number is your spouse’s six digit United file number preceded by a “u” (uxxxxxx). If you don’t know the password, you must call the Help Desk at 1-800-255-5801. The easiest way to list for a flight is to select the “Employee Res” option on the website. You can also call the Pass Line, 1-866-359-3727. If you call, you will need the United file number and the last four of your spouse’s SSN. You may be charged $25 to list over the phone. Please note that surviving spouses do not receive Vacation Passes and are not eligible for pass travel on other airlines.

4. United Employee Service Center, 1-877-825-3729 is difficult to reach. Calls may be routed to another country and can be hard to understand and not be able to answer questions.

5. Social Security, 1-800-772-1213, should also be called immediately. They are very efficient and will have everything taken care of in a timely matter. In most cases your survivor’s benefit will equal what your spouse was receiving. However, because you cannot receive both your SSA benefit and your survivor’s benefit, your total SSA compensation will be reduced.

6. You will need multiple copies of your husband’s death certificate. You will need his social security number and, in the case of PBGC, your identification and marriage license will also be needed if not previously on file. Finally, enlist the services of experienced legal and tax advisers. The Will must be probated or a Trust activated. There are also many right and wrong ways to handle issues such as income/estate tax filings, as well as transferring titles of IRAs/401Ks and other assets.

7. Helpful RUPA contacts: RUPA Secretary/Treasurer – John Let him know of your husband’s death. RUPA News Editor – George Widow Coordinators will help you with questions – Carol Morgan or Patti And, lastly, please consider continuing your RUPA membership. The monthly newsletters are full of valuable information on travel and other important retiree issues.


Survivor Pass Travel Policy As the surviving spouse, you remain eligible for lifetime space-available service-charge waived passes for leisure travel in economy system-wide on United and United Express flights. If your spouse completed more than 25 years of service with the Company, you will also receive service charge waived space-available travel in Premium cabins system-wide. Please keep in mind you will be required to prepay with a credit card on employee RES any applicable departure and other airport/regulatory taxes and fees.

- Survivor travel is not valid on United’s alliance partners, code-share partners and other airlines (OA), including carriers that have signed an interline agreement with United.
- Survivors are not eligible for vacation ePass and buddy ePass annual distributions.
- Survivors are not eligible for the enrolled friend program.
- Pass travel ends upon remarriage or establishment of a new domestic partnership.

To book space-available leisure travel, you will continue to use your spouses’s ID number and last known password to access the Flying Together website to book pass travel using employee RES. If you do not know the password, you may contact the United Airlines Service Desk at 1-800-255-5801 option 1 and 1 again for password reset assistance. You are responsible for all pass travel transactions (and all confidential information on United’s intranet) and encouraged to safeguard your password. To book and eTicket your pass travel through United’s employee RESsystem:

- Log on to
- Enter husband’s United ID number and password
- Select the Travel tab at the top and then select the “Book a Flight” box
- Once on employee RES page you will start by entering the city pairs under the ”Flight Search” section.

You may also book and eTicket your pass travel with the United Pass Line at 1-866-FLY-EPAS (359-3727). The UPL may be used to create a fee-waived Travel Plan (booking/listing) and check Passenger Boarding Totals (PBT). Surviving spouses can create a fee-waived travel plan through this automated system without speaking to a reservation agent.

- When dialing from an international location: 713-324-PASS (7277)
- When dialing from within the United States: 866-FLY-EPAS (359-3727)
- The six digit password is spouse’s birth date in the mmddyy format (example: 022744)
- Say “United Co-Worker”
- Say or enter ID number
- Choose the option that fits your needs

Note: If transferred to a reservation agent at the UPL desk, you will be prompted to enter a four-digit security code. This code will be verified by the agent for authenticity and can be any four numbers. The current Booking Service Fee is $25 per ticket if transferred to a reservation agent for ticketing your travel plans. All are encouraged to use the automated systems, employee RES and mobile RES, for all your travel needs as these applications have no ticketing fees. You are also eligible to participate in the United Discount Leisure Travel Program (myUAdiscount) which provides the opportunity to purchase revenue-confirmed tickets for system-wide travel in any cabin on United and United Express with a 20% discount. The discount is applied to the revenue fare at the time of purchase and is available on most published fares. Discount leisure travel must be booked through the myUAdiscount link in the Travel section on Flying Together.