The flight to India

Next time you dial United Airlines to inquire about standby room, your call might be routed to someone an 18-hour flight away.

The Chicago-based carrier, fighting its way out of Chapter 11, is jumping on the India-outsourcing bandwagon that U.S. tech companies have become known for in the past couple years.

I called United on Thursday to confirm a flight this weekend to Washington, D.C., and an agent answered who said she was working from India. Call center operations for the airline began in January, she said.

My question--whether dinner would be served--was answered promptly, but alas, she didn't know what was on the menu.

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