One fine day: San Diego
By Nick DeRenzo | Rhapsody, July 2017
You're in town for business, but you have the day off. Go.
9 a.m. Forgot to pack a wet suit? Skip the coast's famous waves and instead begin your morning somewhere a bit more relaxing: Liberty Public Market, an artisanal food hall that opened last spring inside the former Naval Training Center, built in 1923. Stop by The WestBean Coffee Roasters for a Kryptonite (mint-infused coldbrew) and head to Pi Bar for chef Tim Kolanko's clever updates on the breakfast sandwich, like the Whiskey Tango, made with fried mortadella, hash browns, scrambled eggs, mozzarella, and ketchup. It's a far cry from mess-hall grub.
10:30 a.m. Now that you're fully fueled, take off for the San Diego Zoo (no, it's not just for kids). Channel a cheetah and sprint straight to the ultra-popular giant pandas, who hold the same pride of place (and crowd-gathering ability) as the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. The 100-acre zoo is hardly resting on its well-earned laurels: The $68 million Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit opened last month, replacing 1930s-era cages with a sweeping display of six habitats, including the Ethiopian highlands (featuring hamadryas baboons), the Madagascar forest (with honey badgers and lemurs), and the South African coastline (with beach-loving African penguins).
Elephants in the San Diego Zoo
1 p.m. For lunch, look toward the beaconlike 9-foot-tall rooster statue at Little Italy's The Crack Shack, an outdoor chicken-and-egg spot from Top Chef: All-Stars winner and James Beard Award nominee Richard Blais, who runs the city's most lauded fine-dining spot, Juniper & Ivy, just next door. Order schmaltz- fried fries and a Coop Deville, a fried chicken sandwich with pickled Fresno chilies, lime mayo, and napa cabbage on a brioche bun—and then overorder with the deviled eggs topped with French toast crumbles and candied bacon.
2:30 p.m. Grab a beer around the corner at the Little Italy outpost of Ballast Point Brewing Company, which serves as the brewery's research and development arm. While Ballast Point is rightfully lauded for its award-winning Sculpin IPA—which comes in pineapple, grapefruit, and habanero varieties—use this visit to sample some of the more out-there offerings, such as the Cinnamon Raisin Commodore American stout and the Red Velvet, a golden oatmeal stout flavored with chocolate and beets.
The entrance to Balboa Park
4 p.m. Head back to massive Balboa Park— home of the zoo—which, at 1,200 acres, ranks as North America's largest urban cultural park. Established in 1868, the park hosted both the 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition and the 1935–36 California Pacific International Exposition, which left behind so many ornate, Spanish Colonial Revival–style architectural landmarks that the park has been dubbed the Smithsonian of the West. Stroll the wide El Prado promenade and stop into the San Diego Museum of Man, housed in the blue and gold domed California Building and Tower.
7 p.m. Time to eat. Cab back over to Little Italy—Kettner Boulevard is San Diego's undisputed restaurant row for dinner at Herb & Wood, a sprawling, loftlike new restaurant by Top Chef finalist Brian Malarkey. The unfussy California-Mediterranean spot wears its two namesake ingredients on its stylish sleeve. Herbs crop up throughout Willem Van Leuven's produce-forward cocktail menu (try the dill-infused Gin and Cucumber), while wood-burning grills and ovens are the heart of the kitchen, adding char to dishes like Ibérico pork with apple mostarda and a decadent pizza topped with caramelized onions, Gruyère, escargot, and bone marrow. The unexpected showstopper, though, is the roasted baby carrots with cashew-sesame dukkah, Aleppo yogurt, and carrot-top pesto.
False Idol's tiki interior
9 p.m. Just down the street, duck inside False Idol, a new Polynesian-themed bar hidden through the walk-in freezer at Craft & Commerce cocktail bar—call it a tik-easy? Here, Martin Cate of San Francisco's Smuggler's Cove (currently number 29 on the World's 50 Best Bars list) brings his artfully curated South Seas kitsch to Southern California, in a space dripping with skulls, pufferfish, ropes, and colorful glass buoys. But despite the theme-park aesthetic—thunder claps and the bar rumbles when you order the shareable Alkala the Fierce—the cocktails are serious business, featuring a slew of rare and vintage rums and unique housemade cordials and orgeats.
10:30 p.m. Return to your hip crash pad at the Pendry Hotel, which opened in February as the first in a new urban chain by Montage Hotels & Resorts. While the surrounding Gaslamp Quarter historic district is a hub of Victorian-era architecture, the interiors here are all Mid-Century masculine, with blue plaid chaise lounges, leather headboards, and whimsical wall-paper that subtly pairs bunnies and surfers. You can count the former if you're having trouble sleeping or imagine that the latter are judging you for choosing a big breakfast sandwich over a big wave this morning. There's always tomorrow…
On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).
A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.
"At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew we were uniquely positioned to utilize our widebody aircraft and our network to keep commodities moving, so we quickly mobilized various departments throughout the airline to launch a cargo-only network of flights that would keep commodities moving," said United Cargo President Jan Krems. "Thanks to those efforts, United Cargo has delivered millions of items to countries all around the world. We would not have been successful without the steadfast support of our employees, industry partners and our customers."
Since last March, United Cargo has transported almost 850 million pounds of freight on cargo-only and passenger flights. The airline will continue to monitor market trends adjust its cargo-only flight schedules to help ensure we are meeting our customer's evolving shipping needs.
Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:
1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more
Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.
Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.
2. Check out the Travel-Ready Center
Our Travel-Ready Center makes it easy to get a personalized overview of everything you need to do in preparation for your flight. Just enter your confirmation number or MileagePlus® number and you'll find detailed information on all the documents, tests and more that you'll need for your trip.
3. Read and sign the Ready-to-Fly checklist
Before completing check-in, all United travelers will need to read our Ready-to-Fly checklist and confirm that they understand and agree to our policies. These include:
Acknowledging that you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
Agreeing that you will not fly if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 21 days
Confirming that you will follow all policies regarding face masks, social distancing and other health and safety measures we've adopted
4. Arrive early; avoid the stress
Airports can be busy, especially during peak travel periods like spring break season. The TSA advises arriving at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours for international travel in anticipation of long security lines. This can help ease the stress when navigating busy check-in areas, security lines and crowded boarding gates.
5. Get familiar with CleanPlus
United CleanPlus℠ is our commitment to delivering industry-leading cleanliness as we put health and safety at the forefront of your experience. We've teamed up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures and Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols, like:
Disinfecting high-touch areas on board and in the terminal
Using electrostatic spraying, Ultraviolet C lighting wands and more advanced measures to clean aircraft cabins before boarding
Redesigning our mobile app to allow for touchless check-in and contactless payment, along with enhanced travel assistance features
Implementing high-efficiency (HEPA) filters on our aircraft that completely recirculate cabin air every 2-3 minutes and remove 99.97% of airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria
Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use, so you can rest assured that the steps we've taken to keep you safe truly make a difference.
6. Wear your mask
Federal law requires all travelers to wear a face mask in the airport, including customer service counters, airport lounges, gates and baggage claim, and on board during their entire flight. Make sure you review the requirements for face masks, including what an acceptable face mask looks like.
7. Get ready for a safer boarding process
To make boarding even safer, we now have travelers board their aircraft from back to front. At the gate, just listen for your row number to be called – we'll ask a few rows at a time to board, starting with the last row of the plane. This helps everyone maintain a safe distance from each other during boarding without slowing things down. As you step onto the plane, flight attendants will hand each passenger a sanitizing towelette, which you can use to wipe down your seat to ensure it's extra clean.
8. Pack smart
Before packing your bags, check to see what exactly you can carry on and what you should plan to check. You can also copy your confirmation number into our Baggage Calculator tool to learn about the bag allowance included with your reservation, as well as the cost of checking any additional bags.
9. Check your flight status, important notices and weather
Check the United app regularly for the latest updates on weather conditions, flight status, gate numbers and seat assignments. You can also visit our Important Notices page to find essential information and updates about travel waivers, international travel, TSA and security, airports and United Club locations.
10. Relax and enjoy your flight
Once you're on board, it's time to sit back and enjoy your flight. Our flight attendants will be happy to help you with anything else you need.
This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.
"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.
We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
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.
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
To use on Microsoft Teams:
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
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This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.