Travel in sustainable style with a United upcycle travel bag - United Hub

Travel in sustainable style with a United upcycle travel bag

By The Hub team, October 08, 2015

Earlier this year the Chicago Department of Aviation changed the size of banner advertisements allowed at Chicago O'Hare, which meant that more than 20 United banners were unusable. Our United Eco-Skies team saw this as an opportunity to “upcycle" the materials rather than throw them away. The practice of upcycling allows us to repurpose materials in a creative way to create something truly one of a kind.

We partnered with students at Columbia College Chicago's Fashion School and challenged them to design a mock-up of a travel bag using only upcycled materials.

Columbia College Students Participate in Upcycling Challenge

Upcycle challenge

A winning design

The students were given three days to complete their designs. The guidelines required that they design a bag that was, durable, fashionable, and could fit easily underneath an airplane seat. Additionally, the students were instructed to keep the needs of a busy traveler in mind, whether for an overnight business trip or for the daily work commute. The students received credit hours for participating in the challenge, and also learned how to incorporate sustainability into their designs.

Winning designs

Fashion and design students Anne Tilma and Dillon Halford conceptualized the two winning travel bag designs. Anne's design is a duffel-style bag with a detachable tote, while Dillon's bag is a backpack-style bag designed for the daily commuter.

The final travel bag product

Handcrafted by Re:new artisans

After the winning designs were selected, they were produced by advanced artisans at the Re:new project, a Chicago-area nonprofit providing employment and community for refugee women resettled in the U.S. Each bag carries the story of the remarkable woman who made it.

Buy a bag and give back

Starting on Friday, October 16th you can purchase an upcycled travel bag for a limited time through the United Shop.

The United Eco-Skies Upcycling initiative helps to reduce landfill waste and encourages customers and employees to think differently about waste. All proceeds from the sales of the upcycled bags will benefit the Eco-Skies CarbonChoice Alto Mayo Forest Carbon project. This project provides jobs for local families, incentivizes new approaches to farming and helps to protect a critical watershed in northern Peru that supplies more than 240,000 people and many threatened species found nowhere else on Earth.

For more information on United's commitment to the environment, visit

United cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

December 22, 2020

On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
By United Newsroom, December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

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