How to Tackle Your Child's First Flight This Holiday Season - United Hub

How to tackle your child's first flight this holiday season

By Benét J. Wilson

We've all been on a fight where someone's child is having a tantrum or simply won't stop crying. And at times, we may have become a bit aggravated by the situation. With the busy holiday travel season upon us, here are a few tips and tricks parents should know in advance when it comes to flying with children.

Step 1: Preparation is key

Start by choosing your seats when you book your flight. Not only will it ensure that you are sitting together, but it also allows you to decide where in the plane you and your child should sit. As a rule of thumb, it's generally better to sit toward the back of the plane so that if you need supplies or need to change your child's diaper, you won't have a long walk ahead of you. You may even want to consider buying an extra seat for the comfort and safety of you and your child.

Prior to your flight you'll also want to print your boarding passes at home so there's one less thing to worry about once you're at the airport. Also, make sure your diaper bag has a change of clothes, baby wipes, lotion, favorite toys and extra bottles. Having a bottle on hand during take-off and landing can help alleviate ear pressure.

Step 2: A seamless experience at the airport

Once you're at the airport, it's a good idea to check your bags so you don't have to worry about carrying them from gate to gate. At airport security, make sure to let the TSA officer know that you have liquids in your baggage. Baby formula, breast milk, food and medications don't fall under the Transportation Security Administration's liquid size restrictions.

After clearing security, consider purchasing a membership to the United Club if your airport has one. The club can be a quiet oasis that gives you time to feed and change your child in a private setting.

Step 3: Utilize pre-boarding benefits

Before boarding, make sure to ask a gate agent for a luggage tag for your stroller. That way, when it comes time to board, you can leave the stroller at the bottom of the jet bridge. It will also be waiting there for you when you exit the plane upon arrival.

Also, be sure to take advantage of pre-boarding. Parents with children under age two can board their flight after customers with disabilities and military service members in uniform. This will give you that much needed extra time to stow away items and get your child in their seat prior to takeoff.

Step 4: Don't forget about yourself

Once you take off and your child is settled, take a little time for yourself during the flight. Check out the great inflight food items that may be available for purchase or consider using your child's nap time to catch a movie or a TV show.

With just a little planning and preparation, you, too, can survive a holiday flight with your child in tow.

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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