United Airlines has released a statement following the circulation of a tweet that showed Apple as its largest account, spending $150 million on flights every single year.

In a statement to Kif Leswing, United Airlines said that the information was displayed as part of a (intended to be) private project that has since been discontinued.

United said it contacted the companies featured in the banner and is ‘working to address their concerns’. Translation: Apple wasn’t very happy that this information leaked out.

The banner showed that Apple spends $150 million annually with United, primarily with flights between San Francisco International and Shanghai Pudong airports.

It said that Apple buys 50 business class seats every single day, presumably to transport members of Apple engineering and manufacturing to visit production facilities in China.

Image shared by LAflyer

Big companies don’t like details like this being public knowledge, even if there isn’t anything too sensational about a big corporation buying a lot of flights for its employees.

United was aware of this from the outset of course, but they were still a bit sloppy in even revealing these details to a private group. If you look closely at the banners, the small text at the bottom reads ‘This is confidential information. Please do not share outside of United’. Clearly, this direction was not respected by whoever took the photo.

Today’s statement from United says that they will ‘further restrict sharing of internal customer information’ in the future.


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Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.