Summer fun in Salt Lake City - United Hub
Employee Travel Blog

Summer fun in Salt Lake City

By The Hub team, October 06, 2017

Each week we will profile one of our employee's adventures across the globe, featuring a new location for every employee's story. Follow along every week to learn more about their travel experiences.

By Health and Welfare TPA Manager Kathleen Plumley

This summer, my best friend and I traveled to Salt Lake City to visit my daughter -- Sgt. Plumley who lives near Ogden, Utah, at Hill Air Force Base. While Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas are great ski destinations, this is one of my favorite destinations for spring, summer and fall as well. The area is quite beautiful, and there is a lot to see!

Kathleen, her daughter and best friend in Salt Lake City

On the first day of our visit we took it easy, but on the second day we drove to Causey Reservoir, a peaceful lake just over an hour from Salt Lake City, where we floated the whole day away. The water is cool (as it is melted snow from the mountains), but the view is spectacular. No power boats of any kind are allowed, which allows for pleasant kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding, or just floating on air floats. You are required to wear a life vest but can rent them nearby.

On the third and fourth days, we drove into Salt Lake City to visit a few of the local breweries and to see some of the city's sights. Epic, Wasatch, and Uinta breweries all allow small tastings, and the food they served was good, too. We stayed in Temple Square, right in downtown, and drove by the iconic Salt Lake Temple, one of Utah's top tourist attractions. In a prior visit, I went to the Temple and listened in while the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was practicing. During this visit, we only drove around the Temple a few times to view its stunning architecture.

Lake Blanche hiking trails in Salt Lake City

We also hiked two miles up Lake Blanche hiking trails, which offer amazing views and abundant wildlife. There are so many beautiful trails in the area to hike during the warmer months; however, this trail has a special meaning for us, as it also is home of a dear family friend's ashes. We didn't make it all of the way to the lake, because we didn't have enough water with us, and the hike is definitely a bit challenging, but next time we will for sure. The trail runs along and crosses over a running creek and offers beautiful scenery. Later, as we drove around enjoying the views, we also stopped to see some waterfalls, including Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon.

Hill Aerospace Museum

On our last full day, my daughter took us to the Hill Aerospace Museum, located on the Hill Air Force Base. The museum displays a large number of aircraft from around the world, as well as many other historical artifacts. The aircraft are on display both indoors and outdoors. The museum is open to the public and was one of my favorite parts of this trip, so I highly recommend anyone visiting the area, especially aviation enthusiasts - go check it out.

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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