Top 5 U.S. Island Getaways: Beaches and Beyond - United Hub
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Top 5 U.S. island getaways: Beaches and beyond

By Bob Cooper, September 09, 2016

An island getaway is always an appealing plan, but you don't have use your passport and trade your dollars for foreign currency — or wait for winter when everyone else goes. Here are five U.S. islands you'll enjoy visiting without having to travel to another country.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Unless you count islands within five miles of the U.S. mainland — Long Island, for example — Nantucket is the largest island off the East Coast. It's also far enough away to feel like a distant island even though it's only 25 miles from Cape Cod. Why go? First, there's the historic district of the island's only town (also called Nantucket), the whaling museum, the shipwreck museum and three lighthouses to visit. Second, there are the 23 beaches with good swimming, kayaking and surfing, and all of them can easily be reached on two wheels. Bikes can be rented in town and bike paths fan out over most of the 14-mile-long island, so it's easy to go car-less.

Harbor in Avalon, California

Catalina, California

One hour after departing Long Beach harbor aboard a Catalina Express ferry, you'll reach an island where L.A.'s traffic and pollution have vanished. Island traffic is mostly electric golf cart rentals and the air is ocean-cooled and clean. This will inspire you to hike into the hills of the 22-mile-long island (95 percent of it undeveloped), soar down a 4,000-foot series of ziplines over a canyon, take an ocean kayak out on the water — or just lay on the beach to people watch. Avalon, the town where you'll disembark, has many inns, restaurants, the historic Catalina Casino, the 1,184-seat Avalon Theatre (nightly movies) and the newly expanded Catalina Island Museum — which tells the history of the island, a haven for midcentury film stars.

Lighthouse on San Juan Island in Washington

San Juan, Washington

San Juan Island offers far more than cool breezes along its 73-mile shoreline. After the flight to Seattle, a nearly two-hour drive to Anacortes, and a one-hour scenic car ferry to Friday Harbor, you'll want to rest up at your inn for the days ahead. Lovers of the outdoors can be filled with whale-watching from land at Lime Kiln Point State Park (orcas visit through September) and strolling two-mile-long South Beach at American Camp, part of the island's San Juan Islands National Historic Park. Art-lovers will prefer the 20-acre San Juan Islands Sculpture Park and recently opened San Juan Islands Museum of Art. Additional attractions are The Whale Museum, wine-tasting, an alpaca ranch and a lavender farm.

Aerial View of Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii

“Hawaii Five-0" paints a distorted picture of Hawaii, which has the sixth-lowest crime rate and second-lowest murder rate of all 50 states. But safety is not the main reason why Hawaii's most populated island, Oahu, is a favorite of vacationers. The island's beaches are legendary, from big-wave surf spots on the North Shore to Honolulu's Waikiki, perfect for beginning surfers and advanced sunbathers. Rainforest hikes in the mountains are breathtaking. Family attractions are abundant, topped by the Polynesian Cultural Center and Kualoa Ranch. The blend of American, Asian and Native Hawaiian cultures is reflected in everything from the fusion cuisine to the fashion scene. And the energy of the Waikiki tourist district pulsates day and night, with new rooftop restaurants cropping up every week.

Ocean View, St. Thomas

St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

Unlike most Caribbean islands, no passport is required to visit St. Thomas, the most populous and popular of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The dollar and the English language have reigned for generations, with 2017 marking the centennial of U.S.V.I.'s admittance to the U.S. But the main reasons to visit are the dozens of beaches; snorkeling and kayaking in the aquamarine waters just off shore; Caribbean-cuisine restaurants and nightlife in the harbor city of Charlotte Amalie; and the views and exotic plants at Phantasea Tropical Botanic Garden (opened in 2015) in the mountains. There's also plenty of history — two castles named for infamous pirates and a Danish fort, all three built in the 17th century — if you can drag yourself away from the beach.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your island getaway.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, May 20, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment, and to provide transparency and choice throughout the travel journey.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Rolling out touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
  • 10
    Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in the airport

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft
  • 8
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove 99.97% of airborne particles
    • The cabin recirculated air is exchanged every 2-3 minutes

Cleveland Clinic We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.

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