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San Francisco Travel Association Presents 2014 Silver Cable Car Award to United Airlines

At its 104th Annual Luncheon meeting, the San Francisco Travel Association presented the Silver Cable Car Award to United Airlines.


June 19, 2014 — At its 104th Annual Luncheon meeting, the San Francisco Travel Association presented the Silver Cable Car Award to United Airlines.

The Silver Cable Car Award is presented annually by San Francisco Travel to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to San Francisco’s visitor industry. More than 1,100 hospitality leaders attended the event at Moscone West.

“Destination marketing organizations are ‘dream makers,’ and travel is a transformative experience as we know,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO, San Francisco Travel.  

“United Airlines has been making those dreams come true since the 1930s from their hub at San Francisco International Airport, opened countless new routes over the past 80 years, and been a loyal partner of San Francisco Travel for the majority of those years. In fact, in the course of our move to One Front Street, we found an old ledger and United Airlines has been a member of our organization since 1940. Partners like that are rare.”

In videotaped remarks, Mayor Edwin M. Lee noted that “United connects our city to the world and they connect many of our 16.5 million visitors we welcome to our world-class city every year.  United contributes to the overall economic prosperity of our city and our entire region.  In fact they employ more than 10,000 Bay Area residents at the United Airlines hub at SFO.” Lee was out of town for the annual luncheon to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Dallas, TX. San Francisco is the host city for this group in 2015.

Airport Director John L. Martin, San Francisco International Airport, added “Having a United hub in San Francisco provides a wealth of flight connections to international and domestic destinations, provides an enormous number of jobs for San Franciscans as well … With the United-Continental merger that took place a  few years ago, United really renewed their commitment to San Francisco, and they’ve been our fastest growing airline in the last five years with the growth in the  number of flights and passengers, adding a lot of flights to international destinations that are enormously important to the tourism industry in San Francisco and the business community as well.”

SFO is among the 10 largest airports in the United States and United Airlines, together with United Express, operates almost 300 daily flights out of SFO including nearly 30 daily nonstop flights to 21 international destinations. The airline’s domestic service from SFO offers 270 daily flights to 73 airports across the U.S. United serves more than 10 million passengers at SFO annually.

Long a major airline to Asia, United recently added service from San Francisco to Chengdu, China, the fourth-largest Chinese city, making United the first carrier to fly nonstop from the U.S. to mainland China, beyond Beijing and Shanghai, and the first U.S. carrier to serve Chengdu. This October United will begin service from San Francisco to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, subject to government approval.  

United also supports many community partners in the San Francisco Bay Area including the Asian Art Museum, Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco and San Francisco Opera.

Jim Compton, vice chairman and chief revenue officer, United Airlines, accepted the award.

Previous recipients of the Silver Cable Car award include author Armistead Maupin; Herb Caen, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with the “San Francisco Chronicle”; Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants; Alessandro Baccari, the “Mayor of Fisherman’s Wharf”; Jackson K. Hu, one of the impresarios behind the development of the Chinese New Year parade and festival; Ruth Asawa, noted Japanese American artist; U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein; the San Francisco 49ers; Steve Silver of “Beach Blanket Babylon”; Kary Schulman, Grants for the Arts; the San Francisco Pride Celebration; Carol Shorenstein Hays, SHN; cable car operators and last year’s recipient, Monique Moyer, executive director, Port of San Francisco.

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The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination.  With some 1,500 partner businesses, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. Tourism, San Francisco's largest industry, generates in excess of $9.38 billion annually for the local economy and supports more than 76,800 jobs. 

The San Francisco Travel business offices are located at One Front St., Suite 2900, San Francisco, CA 94111.  

San Francisco Travel also operates the Visitor Information Center at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets. For more information, call 415-974-6900 or visit

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 34 international cities on 29 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 15 domestic airlines. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit 

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association. 

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