United Airlines has unveiled "The Oprah Winfrey Show" farewell season plane to honor the iconic talk show host's 25th and last season on CBS before embarking on running her own cable channel.
The Boeing 757 aircraft is newly painted with imagery from the TV show. The interior also has been redecorated and passengers will be greeted by a special onboard video welcome from Winfrey.
At a send-off event Thursday at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, customers heard a special message from Winfrey before boarding the flight. One passenger will win enough United Mileage Plus miles for a trip around the world. Each customer on the inaugural flight also received a monogrammed "Oprah 25" fleece blanket.
In conjunction with the unveiling of plane, United is launching the "Million Mile Giveaway" -- a sweepstakes that will award one million United Mileage Plus miles to one winner each month through May 2011. Additional prizes include Oprah Store e-cards. Details for the sweepstakes can be found at the airline's dedicated microsite for the promotion: www.unitedmillionmiles.com.
United will fly the plane to and from cities in United's domestic network through May 2011. At the end of the show's season, the plane will be repainted.
Customers and "Oprah" show viewers are encouraged to take photos of the plane and upload them to the plane photo gallery on the sweepstakes Web site. Initial photos on the site include shots of the artists painting the outside of the plane.
Q&As about the plane on United's Web site include: Q: Will Oprah Winfrey be on the Plane? A: No. Oprah Winfrey will not be on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Farewell Season Plane. However, unique to the plane will be an onboard video welcome from Oprah Winfrey.
"As Chicago's hometown airline, United is proud to celebrate The Oprah Winfrey Show's Farewell Season with our customers, employees and 'Oprah' show fans," said Mark Bergsrud, senior vice president of marketing for United, in a statement. "This unique plane represents the global reach of two great Chicago icons."