48 Hours in Amsterdam - United Hub
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48 Hours in Amsterdam

By Nick Harper , May 30, 2017

Small enough to explore on foot but large enough to lose yourself, Amsterdam is one of Europe's most attractive and intoxicating cities. In two days you may only skim its surface, but follow this itinerary and you'll experience the city at its very best.

Day 1

9am Every visit to Amsterdam should start with a traditional Dutch breakfast of toast, eggs and cheese — as well as a walk through the city's famous canal belt. Head to Letting to check off both boxes, and they'll add roast beef to your meal to make it taste even better. Walk off the calories by heading to Amsterdam's public library, OBA, and take in the panoramic views of the city from its rooftop terrace. Then make your way to the Van Gogh Museum, which is home to hundreds of paintings and sketches by the troubled genius. Book tickets online to avoid lines.

1pm For lunch, make your way to the excellent Little Collins, a short walk from the Van Gogh Museum, for Dutch classics with a twist and excellent coffee. Alternatively, if you plan well ahead of time and can secure a seat at one of the four tables, Upstairs Pannenkoekenhuis serves some of the city's finest pancakes.

2pm If you're visiting the city between March and May, make sure to set aside an afternoon to visit the world famous Keukenhof. It's a short bus, train or cab ride out of the city center but worth the effort. Here you'll find 32 hectares filled with 800 varieties of the tulips Amsterdam has become famous for.

6pm Once back in the heart of the city, you deserve a drink. No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without stopping off in a brown café, which is named for the dark but cozy wooden interiors. Café Chris in Jordaan is one of the best and oldest, dating back to 1624. When it's time to eat, Librije's Zusje offers high-end fine dining. Alternatively, Balthazar's Keuken is more affordable and, in many people's eyes, no less impressive.

11pm Extend your night with a nightcap at De Twee Zwaantjes, beside the canal in Jordaan. This is an Amsterdam institution, so don't be surprised if you end up in a sing song with the locals.

Day 2


9am Start your day at Bakers & Roasters in De Pijp, one of a wide number of hip breakfast joints across the city — this one mixes Dutch, New Zealand and Brazilian influences. From there, follow along the canals into the Museum Quarter and to the Rijksmuseum, home to a number of Old Master paintings. For a modern art alternative, the Stedelijk Museum is close by.

12pm If the sun is shining, there's no finer place to lunch than in Vondelpark, known as Amsterdam's “green lung." Grab provisions en route and look out for raw herring from one of the city's food stalls — it's a Dutch delicacy that's at its very best between May and July. Or, drop in on one of Vondelpark's many restaurants and cafés, set amongst the roses in a park that has been awarded national heritage status.

2pm Visit the Anne Frank House and museum and see where the Frank family went into hiding to escape the Nazis during World War II.. After, take a short walk to the Central Station. Here you can board the 100 Highlights Cruise, an hour-long journey down some of the 165 canals that circle the city. You won't need to book in advance but you will need to make space on your camera for all the photos you'll want to snap.

6pm Before dinner, raise a glass to the city at one of Amsterdam's growing number of “secret" speakeasy cocktail bars. The Butcher, Door 74 and Hiding In Plain Sight are three world-class options, if you can find them and get in. Tales & Spirits is less secretive but no less impressive. For dinner, Guts & Glory, Wolf Atelier and Envy are just three options fitting for your final night.

11pm End the evening and your stay with a nightcap. One of the most unique options is Hannekes Boom, a quirky shack-like bar on an island that feels like a world of its own. It's a fine end to two excellent days.

Essential Information

When to go Amsterdam comes alive in the spring, when the city wakes from winter and is filled with color, from the trees along the canals and the tulips in bloom to the green parks perfect for people watching.

Where to stay Amsterdam has hotels to suit every style and budget. Seven One Seven (high-end), Morgan & Mees (mid-range) and Citizen M (budget) are centrally located.

What to know While all the places in this itinerary can be reached on foot, it pays to act like a local and hire a bike. Safe and easy, thanks to the flat terrain and multiple bike paths, cycling is an essential Amsterdam experience. MacBike should be your first stop for all the essential details.

If you go

United Airlines flies to Amerstdam. From the airport, a 15-minute train ride takes you to Amsterdam Central Station. Once you're in the city center, it's an easy walk to many hotels and all of the city's main attractions. For flight details, visit united.com or use the United app to start planning your getaway to Amsterdam.

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

Mission Accomplished

By Matt Adams , November 06, 2019

The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.

Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.

Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.

Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.

"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."

When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.

For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.

Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.

That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.

"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."

The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.

About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.

"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."

When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.

"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."

On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.

"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."

For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.

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