America's longest flight is a boon to Asia business travelers - United Hub

America's longest flight is a boon to Asia business travelers

By The Hub team, January 28, 2016

8,446 miles. 16 hours, 20 minutes.

Our newly announced daily nonstop San Francisco-Singapore route is the only nonstop route between Singapore and the U.S. It's the longest scheduled flight by distance operated by any U.S. carrier. And it will be operated with the world's most advanced passenger airplane, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

But what's most important, and the reason we launched this flight, is that it enables us to better meet the needs of our business travelers who fly to and from Southeast Asia regularly.

"We're improving the way we serve the Singapore market to better benefit our customers – and in the process of determining how to best do that, we designed a schedule that directly took into account their needs," said Andy Buchanan, United's managing director of international planning. "We listened to the overwhelming feedback favoring an overnight flight to Singapore and a later departure time out of Singapore."

Previously, customers left the U.S. on a mid-day flight and connected in Tokyo or Hong Kong to connect to Singapore, arriving around midnight. The return services departed Singapore early in the morning. With our new nonstop San Francisco-Singapore service, customers will depart San Francisco in the evening – allowing them to have a full business day in the U.S. – and arrive in Singapore in the morning. The return flight will depart Singapore mid-morning and arrive in San Francisco the same day at 9:15 a.m.

These new nonstop flights will save customers up to four hours' journey time each way, as compared with the current United one-stop service and competitors' schedules.

The new route also provides convenient one-stop connections for those traveling from 26 U.S. cities that previously required two stops. For example, customers in Cleveland will no longer need to fly Cleveland-Chicago-Tokyo-Singapore; they will fly Cleveland-San Francisco-Singapore – saving them up to six hours of travel time.

In addition to the route's convenient schedule, we'll operate the flight with the aircraft our customers have told us they most prefer – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

With all of its comfort-inducing features, the 787 is specifically designed to handle a long route such as San Francisco-Singapore: It has enhanced LED lighting, which can gently simulate a full flying day for longer flights, gradually changing through a spectrum of lighting from day into night; larger windows that are dimmable; the biggest overhead bins in the industry, offering plenty of space for carry-on baggage; cleaner cabin air than any other commercial airplane due to an advanced ventilation system that removes odor while improving humidity; Smoother Ride Technology that leads to an eightfold reduction in the number of passengers who experience motion sickness; and an all-composite fuselage that allows it to be pressurized to a lower cabin pressure, which helps customers experience fewer headaches and less dizziness, while feeling more refreshed after the flight.

"Our business and leisure passengers will arrive less fatigued, and most experience a significant reduction in jet lag – a very important attribute to starting the day in Singapore without the usual effects of long-haul flight," said Ron Baur, United's VP of fleet. "With more 787s and more flights between North America and Asia than any other U.S. airline, United is poised to offer this new San Francisco-Singapore route with the highest level of comfort and convenience possible."

We plan to begin offering the daily nonstop flights between Singapore's Changi Airport and San Francisco International Airport on June 1, 2016, subject to government approval.

"In the past two years, United has launched nonstop service from San Francisco to Chengdu, China; Taipei, Taiwan and Tokyo-Haneda in Asia, and we've already announced new service to Xi'an, China for next summer," Buchanan said. "We're thrilled to add Singapore to that list."

Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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