United Pilot Helps Rescue Journalist in Sudan - United Hub
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United pilot helps rescue journalist in Sudan

By The Hub team, November 10, 2017

When Dave Pond's phone rang and the U.S. Ambassador to Sudan told him an American journalist was missing and it was his new mission to find him, Pond didn't hesitate.

It was the summer of 2006 and Pond, then a member of the U.S. Air Force, was stationed in the Darfur region of Sudan, where he was commanding a small military advisory team. Pond – now a San Francisco-based Boeing 787 First Officer for United – and his team embarked on their mission not knowing what the outcome would be. Against all odds they found the missing citizen, Mr. Paul Salopek, and proceeded to negotiate his release.

"I can say a lot of nice things about Colonel Pond as a courageous warrior and model citizen who's served his country both in and out of uniform, but instead I'd like to say as a human being, he transcends labels such as branch of military service or even nationality," Salopek recently wrote in a letter to Pond. "He is one of the most humane and caring individuals I know. He stood with me in my weakest hour. I'm alive today largely because of him."

Dave Pond and his team while in the U.S. Air Force

Pond read that letter earlier this month at O'Hare International Airport, where he thought he was filming a video solely about the rescue. He hadn't seen his team in over 10 years. In honor of Veterans Day, we surprised Pond by flying his three team members in to O'Hare for a reunion.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

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.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

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.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

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.

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