United Airlines: Now playing in a city near you - United Hub

United Airlines: Now playing in a city near you

By Janet Lamkin, September 26, 2019

When I came to United two years ago, I came here knowing that I had the opportunity to be part of an exciting new chapter in this airline's history.

United had already begun focusing more than ever on customer needs and on what our CEO Oscar Munoz called "de-stressing the travel experience." There was a sense that we were going to change the airline industry, and I couldn't wait to do my part, particularly for our customers here in California.

As United's California president, my team and I are responsible for making sure that United stays connected to the needs and values of the customers here. And it's more than flying people from point A to point B. It's also using our collective voice to advocate for things like diversity and inclusion in the workplace and doing things like reducing our carbon footprint for the future of our planet. It also means helping strengthen our underserved communities.

I was raised in Stockton, a place that, though I left it, has never left me. People often don't realize that the Central Valley is almost like a state within a state – an enormous area with a significant population, a rich culture, its own economy and its own unique needs that sometimes get overlooked in favor of the larger coastal cities.

So, when I arrived at United two years ago, I asked, "What do customers here need?" The simple answer was: connectivity and convenience. For too long, places like Stockton, Bakersfield and Fresno were virtually ignored by major airlines. If you lived in Redding, for instance, and you wanted to visit Beijing, you had to drive all the way to San Francisco. Who wants to do that before boarding a 12-hour flight?

With that in mind, my team and I have worked closely with United's Network Planning group over the past couple of years, building off of their expansion strategy for California. Our guiding principle was that the people who live in smaller cities deserve the same opportunities to easily fly where they want to, just like the people who live in the bigger metropolises. From Stockton alone, we can now connect local customers to more than 60 domestic and international destinations via LAX, which is something I'm thrilled to say.

We also recognized that people in other parts of the state and the country also want to visit smaller cities in California, and they want to do business in those places. Again, Stockton is a terrific example of that. A L.A.-based tech company recently opened a satellite data center there due, in part, to United's flights between Stockton Metropolitan Airport and LAX. It's worth noting that we are the only airline offering this service, so I like to think we contributed in a small way to that important economic boon for the city.

Being from Stockton, you can imagine how proud that makes me feel. When I spoke at the Inland California Rising Summit last week, I expressed that pride and reiterated how important our community is to United. But Stockton is not alone in that respect.

Our airline now serves more destinations in California than any other carrier. That is by design. Our Los Angeles and San Francisco hubs are integral to United's success, but we want to be California's hometown airline, and that extends to the towns beyond the Bay Area and greater L.A.

United has placed me in a unique position to help make that a reality, and I couldn't be more excited about how we're expanding, particularly in the Central Valley. Not only can we fly these customers to amazing destinations, we can fuel economic expansion and other opportunities where they live. When that happens, it's a win-win.

Whether it be technology, entertainment or agriculture, California is always looking for the next big thing. We're no different at United, only in the case of California, the smaller cities are the next big thing. Wherever our customers are, that's where we'll be.

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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