The Must-See Travel Hotspots of 2017 - United Hub

7 must-see travel hotspots of 2017

By Bob Cooper

A 150th birthday will be celebrated just across the U.S. northern border. The 2017 America's Cup will be held on island waters east of the U.S. East Coast. And commercial flights recently resumed after a 55-year lapse between the U.S. and an island country south of Florida.

For those three reasons, Ottawa, Bermuda and Havana — north, east and south of the U.S. border — are among the world's travel hotspots in the new year. Here are details about those destinations, along with four others.

1. Cuba

Old classic car in Havana, Cuba

With daily commercial flights connecting the U.S. and Cuba for the first time since JFK was president, American tourists are traveling to the Caribbean's largest island by the thousands. You may know about Cuba's white-sand beaches and classic American cars, and the popularity of cigars and baseball, but less well-known historic sites include the beach where Christopher Columbus landed in 1492 and natural wonders such as the nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites and six UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

2. Bermuda

Boats docked on the shore of Bermuda

The 35th America's Cup comes to Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, in May and June 2017, with an 11-acre America's Cup Village opening in January 2017 and a boating-mad populace of 60,000 eager to show off their lovely, isolated, beach-fringed volcanic island to the world. Located two hours by air from New York City (640 miles east of North Carolina), Bermuda is an ideal spot for the yachting race with its crystal-blue waters and consistent winds. It's also an intriguing place to visit, where travelers see pink-sand beaches and crystal caves.

3. Chile

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, South Chile

Chile is a paradise of historic cities, beautiful beaches, a wondrous wine country, awe-inspiring observatories and spectacular mountains — all within reach of the cosmopolitan metropolis of Santiago. Plus, Chile and Canada are the only countries in the Western Hemisphere that have climates inhospitable to mosquitoes, along with low crime rates and high safety rankings. So, worry-free and travel-worthy, the world is discovering this travel hotspot.

4. Ottawa

City view of Ottawa, Canada

Canada celebrates its 150th birthday in 2017 with festivities all year in the capital city of Ottawa. The celebration began with the lighting of a cauldron at Ottawa City Hall on New Year's Eve, continues with a Stanley Cup festival and downhill ice-skating world championships in March, and climaxes on Canada Day (July 1) with fireworks and other events to commemorate the anniversary. You might even bump into the popular young prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who's as cool as the Canadian climate.

5. Switzerland

Houses in the mountains in Switzerland

The crime rate is also low, the air is clean, the people friendly, the alpine lakes stunning, the resorts remarkable, the mountains magnificent and the trains famously on time. Oh, and the cheeses and chocolates are amazing. No wonder Switzerland is a hotspot now more than ever. New in Switzerland in 2017: the Gotthard Tunnel, the world's longest rail tunnel (35 miles), with trains zipping between Zurich and Lugano at up to 155 mph.

6. U.S. Virgin Islands

Ocean and beach view of the Virgin Islands

This Caribbean archipelago will celebrate its Transfer Centennial in 2017, 100 years after the islands were transferred from Danish to U.S. governance. Daily events are planned during centennial week (March 27 – April 2), including parades and gala balls on all three major islands (St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix), and centennial concerts and fairs are scheduled throughout the year. Besides this hoopla, the USVI has three national parks, splendid beaches and great snorkeling.

7. South Korea

Skyline view of Seoul in South Korea

Seoul is an international city that even frequent travelers tend to overlook. But 2017 is the time to visit, before South Korea is filled with Winter Olympics visitors in February 2018. Even if you don't visit Pyeongchang, the mountain resort area (110 miles from Seoul) where the Olympic venues are clustered, there's much to see and do in Seoul. The city of 10 million is known for its high rises, including a 123-story skyscraper, but it is also known for large city parks and revered Confucian shrines.

If you go

United Airlines flies to all of these places. Visit united.com or use the United app when you're ready to plan your 2017 trip for vital travel information like baggage information, travel documents, check-in and inflight entertainment options.

Jessica Kimbrough named Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

By The Hub team, July 10, 2020

Jessica Kimbrough, currently Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, will take on the new role of Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Managing Director.

Jessica assumes this new and expanded position to focus on global inclusion and equity as part of our enhanced commitment to ensure best practices across the business to strengthen our culture.

In this role, Jessica will be responsible for helping United redefine our efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion – ensuring that our programs and approach are strategic, integrated and outcome-oriented, while we continue to build a culture that reflects our core values. She will report to Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP Kate Gebo.

"Jessica's appointment to this role is another critical step our executive team is taking to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion remains a top priority at United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "Given her drive, experience and commitment to champion collaboration and allyship among our employee business resource groups, she is uniquely qualified to take on this position and I look forward to working closely with her."

As Labor Relations and Legal Strategy Managing Director, Jessica worked closely with senior management to create and maintain positive labor relations among our unionized workforce, providing counsel on labor litigation, negotiations, contract administration, organizing issues and managing attorneys who represent United in labor relations. Previously, she served as Labor and Employment Counsel in our legal department.

Jessica has a passion for creating a pipeline of diverse lawyers and leaders, and was honored as one of Chicago Defender's "Women of Excellence" for excellence in her career and civic engagement in 2017. She currently serves as President of uIMPACT, our women's employee business resource group.

Jessica's new role is effective immediately.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

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