Confidential data on United Airlines’ top corporate clients is leaked online – and it shows Apple books 50 business class seats with the carrier EVERY DAY between San Francisco and Shanghai
- A poster was displayed in an employee-only area of San Francisco Airport
- A picture of it was taken and leaked on to Twitter by an airline blogger
- It revealed that United’s biggest clients are Apple, Facebook and Google
- The poster also revealed that Apple spends $150m with the airline each year
Confidential information about United Airlines’ top corporate clients has been leaked on to the internet.
A blogger posted a picture of a promotional poster created by the airline that showed that Apple is its biggest corporate customer, with the tech giant booking a staggering 50 business class seats a day on its No1 route alone – San Francisco to Shanghai. These usually cost around $2,500 (£2,000).
The US-based carrier revealed that Apple spends $150million (£115million) each year on flights, with San Francisco to Shanghai accounting for $35million (£27million), or 25 per cent, of the tech company’s spend with the airline.
A blogger posted this picture of a promotional poster created by United Airlines that revealed who its top corporate clients are
The poster, which was displayed in an employee-only area of San Francisco Airport and posted to Twitter by blogger @LAFlyr, went on to list the top 10 ‘primary routes for Apple’.
After Shanghai they are Hong Kong (HKG), Taiwan (TPE), London (LHR), Seoul (ICN), Singapaore (SIN), Munich (MUC), Tokyo (HND), Beijing (PEK) and Tel Aviv (TLV).
It is thought that Shanghai is the most popular destination for Apple as it is the hub for connecting flights to Shenzhen and Zhengzhou, where the tech giant has factories.
The poster also explained that the next three biggest-spending clients are Facebook, Google and healthcare company Roche. They all spend over $34million (£26million) with the airline each year.
The next biggest corporate clients according to the poster are Deloitte, McKinsey and Company, Cisco, Applied Material, PWC and Oracle, as they all spend between $12million (£9million) and $17million (£13million) with the airline.
Companies spending over $10million (£7,8million) are Intel, Visa and Chevron, the poster claims.
At the bottom of the banner was a message to staff warning them that the figures were confidential and not to be shared.
However, @LAFlyr’s picture was quickly retweeted hundreds of times and viewed by thousands before being deleted.
Many on Twitter couldn’t believe the information had been printed on a large promotional poster
Many on Twitter couldn’t believe the information had been printed in such an easy-to-view manner.
Michael Hodapp said: ‘They actually printed this customer data out and put it on a banner? That’s insane.’
While Jay Goldberg tweeted: ‘Pretty sure Apple won’t be United’s biggest account for long after Apple sees this. I’ve seen Apple fire suppliers for much smaller disclosures. The first rule of being an Apple supplier….’
The poster was displayed in a United Airlines employee-only area of San Francisco Airport
A spokesperson for United Airlines told MailOnline Travel: ‘This information was provided to United employees as part of a limited pilot project focused on San Francisco to highlight the importance of our corporate relationships and was not intended to be shared publicly. The project has since been discontinued.
‘A small group of customers were mentioned by name on this material and each has been contacted directly and we are working to address their concerns.
‘The material has been taken down and moving forward we will review and further restrict sharing of internal customer information to a strictly need to know audience.’
One Apple employee who doesn’t fly with United Airlines is the company’s chief executive Tim Cook.
The 58-year-old, who was paid $102m (£76m) in 2017, is furnished with the use of a private jet for his ‘personal safety and security’, according to a regulatory filing from Apple.