Best Holiday Parades of the Season - United Hub

Best holiday parades of the season

By Bob Cooper

Held around the world, Christmas and New Year's parades are traditional events that are sometimes over the top, but always festive. Here's where to go to watch floats, bands and much more to celebrate the holidays.

Pasadena, California

The parade in Pasadena is famous, massive, lengthy (with a 5.5-mile route) and most of all, dripping with tradition. The 128th Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses, fills the streets of this Los Angeles-area city on January 2, hours before the Rose Bowl football game that matches local favorite USC against Penn State. Colorful doesn't even begin to describe the parade, which features 25 marching bands, 20 equestrian units and 41 floats festooned with some 500,000 roses (about one for each spectator).

London, England

An estimated half-million spectators crowd London's streets for its annual New Year's Day Parade. Along the route, which winds past Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, are 8,000 parade participants, including a Berlin dance company, the Royal Airs Drum & Bugle Corps, Jurassic World dinosaurs and floats sponsored by various London boroughs. Visiting London is less expensive now than it's been in decades, so building a trip around the parade is newly affordable.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The names of award categories at the 10,000-participant Mummers Parade should give you an idea of the satirical tone of this zany, 116-year-old New Year's Day tradition: Comics, String Bands, Wench Brigades, Fancies and Fancy Brigades. The Fancy Brigades serve double duty by marching in the morning parade along Broad Street from City Hill and then performing for two ticketed theatre shows at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in the afternoon. The “mummers," who practice for the parade all year, are colorful, silly and utterly unique.

San Diego, California

The Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade on December 27 features America's biggest procession of gigantic helium balloons along San Diego's downtown waterfront route, which is lined with 100,000-plus spectators. The nationally telecast parade also shows off floats, bands and drill teams. It's preceded by a big 5K run on the parade route and followed by a Battle of the Bands and the National Funding Holiday Bowl (Washington State vs. Minnesota).

New Orleans, Louisiana

The Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year's Eve Parade is the perfect excuse for being in the French Quarter to celebrate the dawn of 2017. The 3:30 p.m. parade concludes just in time to enjoy dinner in the Quarter followed by the countdown to midnight at the bars. The parade, which will showcase bands and Mardi Gras-style floats that end at the Sugar Bowl Fan Fest, kicks off two days of festivities leading up to the Sugar Bowl, pitting Auburn against Oklahoma.

Anaheim, California

Got kids? The perfect parade for families is Disneyland's traditional Christmas Fantasy Parade. It's short and sweet, lasting 40 minutes, but stars all of the Disney characters and creatures that cause a young child's eyes to widen with wonder. Riding floats along the parade route that stretches the length of Disneyland are Mickey, Minnie and the gang, plus prancing reindeer, dancing gingerbread cookies, and of course, Santa. It happens twice daily through January 8, and is just one of several holiday-related events in America's original theme park.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your holiday festivities.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

2. Check out the Travel-Ready Center

Our Travel-Ready Center makes it easy to get a personalized overview of everything you need to do in preparation for your flight. Just enter your confirmation number or MileagePlus® number and you'll find detailed information on all the documents, tests and more that you'll need for your trip.

3. Read and sign the Ready-to-Fly checklist

Before completing check-in, all United travelers will need to read our Ready-to-Fly checklist and confirm that they understand and agree to our policies. These include:

Acknowledging that you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days

Agreeing that you will not fly if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 21 days

Confirming that you will follow all policies regarding face masks, social distancing and other health and safety measures we've adopted

4. Arrive early; avoid the stress

Airports can be busy, especially during peak travel periods like spring break season. The TSA advises arriving at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours for international travel in anticipation of long security lines. This can help ease the stress when navigating busy check-in areas, security lines and crowded boarding gates.

5. Get familiar with CleanPlus

United CleanPlus℠ is our commitment to delivering industry-leading cleanliness as we put health and safety at the forefront of your experience. We've teamed up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures and Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols, like:

Disinfecting high-touch areas on board and in the terminal

Using electrostatic spraying, Ultraviolet C lighting wands and more advanced measures to clean aircraft cabins before boarding

Redesigning our mobile app to allow for touchless check-in and contactless payment, along with enhanced travel assistance features

Implementing high-efficiency (HEPA) filters on our aircraft that completely recirculate cabin air every 2-3 minutes and remove 99.97% of airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria

Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use, so you can rest assured that the steps we've taken to keep you safe truly make a difference.

6. Wear your mask

Federal law requires all travelers to wear a face mask in the airport, including customer service counters, airport lounges, gates and baggage claim, and on board during their entire flight. Make sure you review the requirements for face masks, including what an acceptable face mask looks like.

7. Get ready for a safer boarding process

To make boarding even safer, we now have travelers board their aircraft from back to front. At the gate, just listen for your row number to be called – we'll ask a few rows at a time to board, starting with the last row of the plane. This helps everyone maintain a safe distance from each other during boarding without slowing things down. As you step onto the plane, flight attendants will hand each passenger a sanitizing towelette, which you can use to wipe down your seat to ensure it's extra clean.

8. Pack smart

Before packing your bags, check to see what exactly you can carry on and what you should plan to check. You can also copy your confirmation number into our Baggage Calculator tool to learn about the bag allowance included with your reservation, as well as the cost of checking any additional bags.

9. Check your flight status, important notices and weather

Check the United app regularly for the latest updates on weather conditions, flight status, gate numbers and seat assignments. You can also visit our Important Notices page to find essential information and updates about travel waivers, international travel, TSA and security, airports and United Club locations.

10. Relax and enjoy your flight

Once you're on board, it's time to sit back and enjoy your flight. Our flight attendants will be happy to help you with anything else you need.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

United cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

December 22, 2020

On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

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