The wilting tulips of United Airlines

The wilting tulips of United Airlines

Last month on one of my mileage runs through Chicago O’Hare, I noticed something very saddening.  The majority of the tulips were missing from the various United Airlines backdrops throughout the F-concourse of terminal two.  Granted, the E & F concourses are the non-mainline ‘United Express’ operated gates, but still… I felt like something very personal to me was being vandalized.  I grew up with United at O’Hare and seeing just the word United naked without its flower felt violating to me.  I secretly wonder if employees are starting to grab them while they can before the new United (er… Continental) globe takes over.  If you’re so inclined, join forces to “save the tulip” over on Facebook.

I had to check with the Google and find out more about who dreamed-up the now wilting tulips of United.  Saul Bass designed it in 1973, and I’m sure you’ll recognize some of the other iconic logos he created including, ironically, the Continental Airlines “jetstream” logo.  One source from wikipedia claims Continental’s logo became “the most recognized airline industry logo of the 1970s.”  I don’t know… I’d have to vote for Pan Am, myself.


  1. I’m going through ORD next week and am going to help myself to what I find! 😉

  2. @Matthew: That thought certainly crossed my mind, too!



  1. The United Airlines Tulip gets a star at LAX airport | Frequently Flying - [...] was written underneath, imagining it to be the LAX crew’s way of paying tribute to the iconic Saul Bass …

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