America's best museums
There are many reasons to visit New York City, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. But regardless of the reason that brings you to one of these great American cities, here's another one you should consider: Each one has a great museum.
Best new museum
The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened in Washington, D.C. this past September and instantly became America's largest museum devoted to African-American themes. Located on the National Mall, this newly opened museum features 10 floors — five below ground and five above ground — of African-American stories, from early slaves to Barack Obama's presidency, Black Lives Matter and African-American legends of music and sports. Afterward, you can visit other museums on the mall like the Smithsonian museums — America's finest collection of museums, all free of charge.
Best natural history museum
Chicago's Field Museum is a Neoclassical-inspired beauty, but the extensive collection of artifacts and curiosities inside are even more beautiful to visitors who adore the natural world. Permanent exhibits include a dinosaur hall (starring the largest T. Rex ever found), mammal dioramas, dozens of ancient Egyptian mummies, a DNA Discovery Center, the Hall of Gems, a 3D movie theater and a fossil prep lab where you can watch paleontologists at work. The museum is located on Chicago's lakefront — Lake Michigan — which allows you to enjoy a lakefront walk before or after your visit.
Best art museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is so well established as America's finest art museum that it's commonly referred to by its nickname — The Met. America's largest art museum also has the most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts from every era of civilization and every part of the world. Egyptian flints from before 75,000 B.C. are displayed as well as paintings by Picasso and Pollock. Housed in a regal Beaux-Arts building, the museum is right across from Central Park, creating the perfect opportunity to spend half the day admiring the art of humanity and the other half admiring the beauty of America's liveliest urban park.
Best children's museum
The Exploratorium in San Francisco has pioneered hands-on learning since it opened in 1969. Generations of kids arrived by the busload to its original location inside the city's Palace of Fine Arts. Its relocation and expansion in 2013 to Pier 15 on the San Francisco waterfront has upped its game, offering even more to kids and adults as the principles of science and human perception are demonstrated and explained in a fun and tangible way. The new location also lets you stroll a few piers down to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf to dine and enjoy the bay.
Best space museum
More international visitors come to Houston, commonly referred to as “Space City," to visit Space Center Houston than any other attraction. The 250,000-square-foot museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, doubles as the visitor center for the NASA Johnson Space Center — earning it more props than any other U.S. space museum. The nearly one million people who visit each year — drawn by the city's tribute to manned space travel — get the chance to see hundreds of artifacts, including the world's largest collection of moon rocks. Visitors can also go behind the scenes at the NASA Johnson Space Center to experience a taste of astronaut training and the operations of NASA Mission Control and International Space Station Mission Control.
If you go
We know people are taking a second look at their travel plans right now. If you're scheduled to travel March 10 – May 31, 2020 and would like to change your plans, there is no fee to do so, regardless of when you purchased your ticket or where you're traveling. This is in addition to our previous waiver, which waives all change fees – domestic and international – for tickets purchased March 3 – April 30, 2020. This is available for any of United's published nonrefundable fares. If you decide to cancel your flight, you can retain the value of your ticket to be applied to a new ticket without a fee. These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. You might not see this policy change reflected everywhere right away – we appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.
Eligible travelers on domestic flights and international tickets can request a refund on united.com or may call our contact centers if their flights have been severely adjusted or service to their destination suspended either due to government mandates or United schedule reductions related to COVID-19.
Certain tickets cannot be changed on united.com or the mobile app, including tickets booked through another airline (if the ticket receipt does not begin with 016). Please contact the original ticketing airline for changes.
Follow the steps below to stay up to date, change or cancel your flight.
Change your current flight:
- On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your flight information to retrieve your flight.
- Select "Change flight" and then "Edit" to make the following changes:
- Date of travel or destination
- Add a flight
- Remove a flight
- Select "Continue" and choose a new flight option
- Continue through booking to confirm your new flight
Note: The change fee will display as waived, but any difference in fare may apply.
Cancel your flight and rebook later:
- On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your reservation information to retrieve your flight
- Select "Cancel flight"
- Confirm flight cancellation
- If you have future flight credit, when you return to the reservation, select "Use Future Flight Credit" to shop for new flights and apply the credit towards a new flight.
Canceling or changing an award flight:
When you select "Cancel flight," you will have the option to cancel your award reservation and redeposit the miles or to cancel your award reservation and use those miles for another trip in the future.
*We're currently experiencing heavy traffic to united.com. If you experience an error while trying to change or cancel your flight, please try again later.
Click through the slideshow below for more detailed instructions:
Start on the United homepage:
User can select 'My Trips' on the homepage widget to find and retrieve their reservation.
When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.
We have operated more than 68 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 9,200 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.
Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.
Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:
- Quito, Ecuador
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Roatan, Honduras
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Seoul, South Korea
- Melbourne, Australia
We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.
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. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.