United Hub - Global citizenship

Global citizenship

Join us in our wildfire relief efforts in California

By The Hub team , November 13, 2018

Today, we reaffirmed our commitment to California and to lifting up communities in need by announcing $150,000 in direct donations to the Ventura County Community Foundation and the North Valley Community Foundation for their efforts in areas affected by the ongoing California wildfires. We also launched a Crowdrise campaign to award up to five million bonus miles for individuals who make donations of $50 or more. All funds will go toward efforts to support affected communities in California. We also continue to work with the Governor's Office of Emergency Services and both community foundations with offers to fly first responders who need to get in or around California.

"United is deeply connected to the affected communities and with a profound sense of both sadness and duty during this difficult time, we are proud to offer our assistance," said Janet Lamkin, United's president for California. "We will continue to engage our generous customers, employees and MileagePlus members and work with local leadership to support all those affected by these devastating fires."

Donations to the Crowdrise campaign supports three relief partners:

  • American Red Cross
  • Ventura County Community Foundation
  • North Valley Community Foundation

Today's announcement builds on our continued commitment to California and recent campaigns to aid in response to wildfires and other disasters. Over the last 12 months, we have raised and donated more than $900,000 to help communities affected by the wildfires.

We are also offering a travel waiver for customers ticketed on flights to, from or through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Customers may reschedule their itineraries for travel through November 25 with a one-time date or time change, and we will waive the change fees and any difference in fare for flights booked in the same cabin and same arrival/destination airports.

Lifting up immigrant families in California

By The Hub team , November 13, 2018

From mental-health evaluations to language and legal assistance, we are committed to addressing the most pressing needs of the thousands of immigrants that call California home. Earlier this year, we announced a $1 million grant to the San Francisco Legal & Education Network (SFILEN), a nonprofit that advocates for full access to social services and direct legal services to immigrant families regardless of their immigration status.

"United cares deeply about investing in communities we serve," said Janet Lamkin, president, California, for United. "We have been a part of the San Francisco community for 90 years, and we are proud to help SFILEN in its important work with the immigrant community."

Through a four-year partnership, the grant will allow the organization to provide 50 mental-health evaluations each year and 240 hours of language interpretation through SFILEN's hotline, legal consultations and clinics. Additionally, this grant will help SFILEN to hire two full-time staff members to a team that provides critical services to thousands of immigrants every year.

"SFILEN is very grateful for the partnership with United Airlines, and we are very excited about what we can accomplish together," said Marisela Esparza, director of immigrant rights for SFILEN.

This grant is one of eight that we have awarded in the key cities we serve, representing our commitment to invest in and lift up the communities where many of our customers and employees live and work. Each grant is a part of a total of $8 million to help address critical needs in Chicago; Houston; Washington, D.C.; Denver; New York/New Jersey; Los Angeles; and the San Francisco area.

United customers can help us clean the world

By The Hub team

Updated October 23, 2018

Through our Clean the World program, we are honored to be receiving an "Airports Going Green" award on November 6. So far in 2018, we have assembled 49,000 new hygiene kits with items from unused amenity kits. Throughout the year, we have teamed up with Clean the World multiple times to host hygiene kit-building events.

Our hubs in Newark, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles came together earlier this year to assemble 15,000 hygiene kits with items from unused amenity kits. We held a kit building event at the Outside Lands concert in San Francisco, concert-goers helped assemble 2,000 kits. Additionally, we held an event this month at our Washington DC hub creating more than 1,500 kits, which will be donated to help those who were impacted by recent hurricanes in the southeastern United States. Not only kits, but we've also donated 800 blankets to Clean the World to help those affected by Hurricane Michael. Learn more about how we're making a difference in our community and around the globe in partnership with Clean the World.

Uniting for a healthier world

Hand sanitizer, facial cleanser, toothpaste — while our customers love these items we provide in our premium cabin amenity kits, sometimes they leave them behind without using them. Now, we'll be able to donate the discarded items to those in need around the globe through our partnership with Clean the World.

Once the discarded hygiene products are collected, the innovative non-profit organization refurbishes and distributes them to those in need, leading to the prevention of millions of hygiene-related deaths each year, and a reduced morbidity rate for hygiene-related illnesses, while also reducing environmental waste.

Clean the World works with thousands of hotels around the globe, but United is the first airline to partner with the organization. "We are excited to partner with United and eager to include the airline's amenity kit items among the gifts of good health our hygiene kits provide to children and their families around the world," said Shawn Seipler, Clean the World founder and executive director.

Hygiene Kits Almost Ready to Go

We began collecting unused amenity kit items from our hub airports for distribution to Clean the World facilities in June 2016, but began collecting and tracking through a pilot program in late 2015, and since we have collected more than 137,386 pounds of material that otherwise would go to landfills. Through the program we expect to collect 50,000 pounds of material annually and we have collected 45,000 pounds of material through September thus far. By working with Clean the World, we are putting items from our unused amenity kits into the hands of the people in our local communities, and around the globe, who need them most. We're uniting for a healthier and cleaner world.

"Being a responsible and sustainable airline means more than investing in products and services that reduce our impact on the environment," said Maria Walter, United's managing director of product development and brand management. "It means working directly with our employees and partners to improve the lifecycle of those products and the communities we serve."

Visit United Eco-Skies for more information on our commitment to the environment.

In the spotlight: Our partnership with Global Glimpse

By The Hub team , September 27, 2018

On Tuesday, our Community Affairs VP Sharon Grant appeared on Windy City Live, a Chicago daytime talk show, to spotlight our partnership with Global Glimpse and how it aligns with our mission of connecting people and uniting the world. Sharon serves on the Board of Directors at Global Glimpse, a not-for-profit organization that provides high school students from diverse backgrounds with the skills, confidence and perspective needed to succeed in the 21st century global economy through first-hand exposure to different countries, cultures and people.

Sharon was joined by two Global Glimpse students, Aaliyah Tinsley of Lindblom Math and Science Academy and Zoe Thomsen of Kenwood Academy. The girls, who grew up on opposite sides of town in Chicago, got a chance to travel to the Dominican Republic for a 16-day international immersion experience over the summer. Both Aaliyah and Zoe expressed their gratitude to Global Glimpse for providing them with the opportunity to experience a new place, learn about a different culture and most importantly, find lasting friendships.

"We first met on the trip and realized we shared the same views on certain things so we bonded and kind of became a team and want to support each other in what we want to do to make improvements to the world," said Zoe.

Since launching our partnership in 2015, we've helped Global Glimpse in its mission to open up the world to young people from various backgrounds so they can come together to enact positive change. As the official and exclusive airline partner for Global Glimpse, we provide air travel for more than 1,000 students embarking on the life-changing international experience each year.

"We are very proud of our partnership with Global Glimpse and we are in a unique position at United to connect these students to the world," said Sharon. "It's clear today that both Aaliyah and Zoe have returned home with new skills, confidence, and perspective to tackle complex issues in our local Chicago and global community."

We commit to a cleaner future by pledging to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions

By United Airlines , September 13, 2018

Today was a historical day — we became the first U.S. airline to publicly commit to reducing our greenhouse emissions — 50 percent by 2050. This pledge further strengthens our commitment to becoming the world's most environmentally conscious airline. Achieving this goal would eliminate 21 million metric tons of CO2 in the atmosphere per year, equivalent to removing 4.5 million cars off the road or all of the cars in Los Angeles and New York City combined.

In order to meet that goal, we're making investments in fuel-efficient aircraft, implementing conservation-minded operational changes and pioneering the use of sustainable aviation biofuels.

Our CEO, Oscar Munoz, applauded the move, stating that in addition to being good for the environment, reducing our dependency on oil is good for our business. "At United, we believe there is no point in setting challenging and ambitious goals without also taking tangible steps towards achieving them, especially when it comes to securing the health of our communities and our planet," said Oscar Munoz, United's chief executive officer. "While we're proud to be first U.S. carrier taking such an ambitious step, it is a distinction we look forward to sharing as the rest of the industry catches up and makes similar commitments to sustainability."

To celebrate this historic commitment, we are operating the longest transatlantic biofuel flight to date, tomorrow, from San Francisco to Zurich. The flight will run on 16,000 gallons of biofuel at a 30/70 blend with conventional jet fuel supplied by World Energy, California-based refinery that converts feedstocks into low-carbon biofuel that cuts CO2 emissions by 60 percent on a life-cycle basis. Since 2016, we have sourced more sustainable aviation biofuel than any other carrier in the world. Our partnership with World Energy started back in 2016, with our inaugural flight from LAX. We will continue working together to decarbonize the air transportation industry by increasing the number of flights using renewable fuel.

"This flight is one of many steps needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions long-term and meet California's ambitious climate goals," said Bryan Sherbacow, Chief Commercial Officer, World Energy Paramount. "World Energy is a pioneer and the global leader of commercial renewable jet fuel, in addition to providing low-carbon solutions to the ground transportation industry. We are excited to continue to provide low-carbon solutions that enable our customers to achieve their sustainability goals and look forward to continuing this work with companies such as United at airports around the world."

Our efforts to be the greenest airline in the industry is about the future of our business and more importantly, our skies. For more information on how we're flying towards a more sustainable future, visit our Eco-Skies® page.


Featured story

Doing our part to #SheddTheStraw

By United Airlines , September 06, 2018

You may think that foregoing a single plastic straw won't effect change, but small actions can lead to big changes. That's why we are eliminating non-recyclable plastic stirring sticks and cocktail picks on our aircraft, and replacing them with an environmentally-friendly alternative made out of bamboo. Starting in early November, you'll see these items onboard our planes. It's a small, but meaningful step to help minimize the impact plastic products have on our environment.

With 8.8 billion tons of plastic in our oceans, our collective efforts have the ability to go a long way. Plastic products can take up to 22 years to degrade and even then aren't ever completely gone, as plastics are not fully biodegradable. And we're not just stopping there. The elimination of plastic stirring sticks and cocktail picks is just one part of a larger initiative we're taking here at United. We recycle aluminum cans, paper including newspapers and magazines, and plastic products onboard our planes. These efforts are part of our company-wide commitment to operating sustainably and responsibly. We're also evaluating more sustainable options for our onboard catering operations beyond our current partnership with brands that are committed to sustainable practices like illy coffee, which we proudly serve onboard our planes and in United Clubs℠ and lounges.

Additionally, we're partnering with the Shedd Aquarium in our hometown of Chicago, whose goal is to spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world, and which is doing its part to help animals and protect our waters through their #SheddTheStraw campaign. "We've partnered with Shedd Aquarium for over 30 years and we're proud to do our part to #SheddTheStraw and help conserve our oceans from excessive plastic waste," said Catering Operations Vice President, Charlean Gmunder.

Join us and the Shedd Aquarium to #SheddTheStraw.

"We are thrilled to work with United Airlines to reduce single-use plastic items used globally, which often pollute waterways and can harm wildlife," said Cheryl Mell, Senior Vice President, Conservation Partnerships and Programs. "United's commitment to Shedd the Straw by removing plastic stirrer sticks and cocktail picks is a shining example that plastic comes in different shapes and we can all be part of the solution to reduce our plastic footprint. A supporter of Shedd for 30 years, United's leadership toward environmentally-friendly business operations brings a positive impact that extends worldwide."

It's easy to go about our daily lives forgetting every little bit helps when it comes to protecting our environment. Here are a few things you can do to help when traveling:

  • Bring along a refillable bottle to use while you travel. Remember to fill it up once you have gone through security
  • Make sure to recycle any paper products like old magazines or newspapers
  • Separate your garbage items from your recyclable items until collected by a flight attendant
  • Use our United mobile app instead of a paper boarding pass

For more information on our commitment to the environment, visit our United Eco-Skies® page.

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