Celebrating 25 Years in Brazil and a Friendship for the Ages - United Hub
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Celebrating 25 years in Brazil and a friendship for the ages

By Matt Adams, October 27, 2017

From the moment United's inaugural flight to São Paulo touched down in 1992, we have felt a special connection with our customers in Brazil. Today United is proud to call both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro home and, through our partnership with the Brazilian carrier Azul, we are proud to give our passengers access to the entirety of one of the most beautiful and vibrant nations in the world.

Over the past 25 years, we have built a bond with millions of Brazilian travelers that we hope transcends what they expect from an airline, a bond that is perhaps best exemplified by the relationship between United Sales Representative Viviane Silva and our customer Geraldo Lopes.

Geraldo Lopes in Global Services

Viviane and Mr. Lopes have been fixtures within the United Brazil family since the beginning. Viviane joined the company in early 1992, following her pilot father into the airline business, and Mr. Lopes, the founder of Opus Promotions, an event promotion company, purchased his first tickets later that year, giving us a unique assignment: transporting an entire orchestra.

After successfully moving the players and their instruments, United earned a loyal customer for life in Mr. Lopes. Since that day, he's visited more than 80 countries with our help, working with Viviane along the way.

"If I needed anything from United, I could ask her and she would find the answer," said Mr. Lopes. "She was always there to help me and, over time, we became good friends."

Knowing his immense love of travel, Viviane makes it a point to share news of new routes and destinations with Mr. Lopes and he, in turn, shares with her the wonderful stories from his journeys.

Vivianne and Geraldo at

Last year, Mr. Lopes even hosted Viviane at his company's 40th anniversary gala. And to show his appreciation, he asked the orchestra performing at the event to play United's signature tune, "Rhapsody in Blue."

Over their more than two decades of friendship, Viviane has been touched by Mr. Lopes' kindness and generosity. "I just want to thank him for trusting me to assist him for all these years," she said. "I have no words to express how proud and grateful I am to know him and call him my friend."

We're paying tribute to our silver anniversary in Brazil all month long with airport celebrations for employees and customers alike. Take in the festivities for yourself: United offers direct flights there from four U.S. cities. Visit united.com for details or use the United app.

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

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.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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