Discover the best of London in October - United Hub
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Discover the best of London in October

By The Hub team, September 27, 2017

London comes alive with food and drink festivals and new exhibition openings during October's crisp temperatures and glorious sunsets. It's also a great time to snuggle up in cozy pubs and crunch leaves on a leisurely stroll through London's parks and gardens.

Get an eyeful of autumn's foliage in all its red and gold glory at Kew Gardens' Shades of Nature Autumn Festival. The botanical gardens are marking the arrival of autumn with 16 bespoke installations and organic works of art dotted across the Arboretum. Highlights include British artist Rebecca Louise Law's giant hanging installation of flower garlands.

The capital becomes a foodie paradise with the month-long London Restaurant Festival, a city-wide homage to great food including exclusive menus and restaurant-hopping tours. London Cocktail Week, featuring a Cocktail Village and special offers at more than 200 bars, restaurants and pop-ups across the city, also takes place this month. Make sure you taste the new, autumn-inspired cocktail.

Many cultural festivals also take place in October. The 61st BFI London Film Festival will be treating movie buffs to star-studded red carpet premieres, gala events and public screenings of feature films, shorts and documentaries in movie cinemas across the city.

Meanwhile, Frieze Week will invite art fans to view and buy art from more than 1,000 of today's emerging and leading artists. Don't miss the free-to-enter Frieze Sculpture park in Regent Park's English Gardens, where you can admire sculptures by 23 world-famous artists. London's international dance festival Dance Umbrella brings spine-tingling performances to iconic and unusual London spaces, from shipping containers to town halls.

A wealth of blockbuster exhibitions open this month in London, including Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library, where visitors can discover the origins of J. K. Rowling's wizarding world. Go on a journey through nearly 400 years of opera at The Victoria and Albert Museum's immersive audiovisual exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics. The landmark exhibition tells a vivid story of opera from its origins in late-Renaissance Italy to the present day.

Satisfy your passion for art at the National Gallery's exhibition Reflection: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites, which explores how the Victorian artists were inspired by the 15th-century Flemish artist Eyck's masterpiece The Arnolfini Portrait. Also worth a look is Cézanne Portraitsézanne Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, where you can view intimate paintings of the Post-Impressionist's wife, uncle and himself.

Autumn is also packed with exciting sporting events. This year, London hosts more games than ever before as four NFL teams travel across the pond for their international fixtures at the NFL London Games in the iconic Wembley and Twickenham Stadiums. The first matchup will see the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Baltimore Ravens; while the tension is on for the Miami Dolphins versus the New Orleans Saints. The Los Angeles Rams will seek to win against the Arizona Cardinals and on the last game the Minnesota Vikings will face the Cleveland Browns.

As the nights draw in, it's the perfect time to cozy up for the evening to watch a play under the flickering candlelight of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Part of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, this magical den opens its winter season with Romantics Anonymous, set in a singing chocolate factory in France. For more culture after dark, check out Museums at Night, a three-day biannual festival which sees museums and galleries all around the city throw open their doors for spooky events, immersive workshops and torch-lit tours.

Autumn in London is open. Book your London adventure by visiting united.com or through the United app. And while you're there, share your experience on social media with the hashtag #LondonIsOpen and #AutumnSeason.

London Autumn Season partners

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.

So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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