On Oct. 16, United Airlines' reservations office, located at 28000 Davis Place off of Sterling Boulevard, will close, said United Airlines spokesperson Robin Urbanski, laying off more than 500 workers.
"We're trying to cut costs and maximize efficiency," she said. "We've thoroughly analyzed it and it is no longer cost effective to operate a reservations office in Sterling."
Nowadays, more and more travelers are making reservations over the Internet. For customers who prefer to make telephone reservations, United Airlines call centers in Illinois, Hawii and India are still in operation.
"We're consolidating work done at the Sterling reservations office with other reservations offices currently under-utilized," she added. "No matter where you call from, you can get someone from Chicago, Detroit, India."
As for the 504 workers who will be unemployed as of October, Urbanski said United Airlines would "absolutely rehire them" at their call centers in Detriot, Ill., Chicago, Ill., and Honolulu, Hawaii.
If United Airlines employees do not want to relocate, their are jobs available at Dulles International Airport as flight attendants, customer-service representatives and ramp-service workers.
In the same week United Airlines announced the Sterling office closure, they added 22 flights from Dulles International Airport, including international flights to Tokyo and Kuwait and domestic flights to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Tucson, Ariz.
"They're apples and oranges," Urbanski said. "We added more flights to Dulles because we took them away from other airports."