Discover the Best Scuba Diving Spots on Island Hopper - United Hub

Discover the best diving spots on the Island Hopper

By The Hub team, July 20, 2018

Ocean lovers wanting to dive below the surface and explore the underwater scenery unparalleled should jump on the Island Hopper route. The Island Hopper primarily serves as a lifeline to the islands of Micronesia and the people who live there, but it also stops at some of the best scuba diving locations in the world. Though, you don't solely have to scuba dive on these islands, you can always opt for snorkeling near the surface.

While scuba divers have more freedom to explore all things underwater, it requires more experience and possible training prior to the dive. Snorkeling offers an easy solution those who aren't looking for too intense of a dive, while still allowing for an exciting opportunity to fully immerse yourself in nature. To help plan your under water adventure while on the Island Hopper route, here are 5 scuba and snorkeling spots you don't want to miss.

People snorkeling in Hanauma Bay

Honolulu: Hanauma Bay

Begin your journey in Honolulu, Hawaii where incredible diving spots are more than worth a visit. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve is among the most popular, and for good reason. Formed in what was once a volcanic cone, the bay now thrives with over 400 species of fish including Hawaii's state fish the humuhumunukunukuapua'a and an abundance of sea turtles – creating a unforgettable snorkeling experience.

Scuba diver among the coral and sea life of Chuuk.

Chuuk: Truk Lagoon

The first stop along the Island Hopper route is a diver's paradise thanks to the famous ghost fleet of WWII wrecks sitting beneath the crystal-clear water surrounding Chuuk. This bucket-listen destination is an underwater museum with nearly 50 sunken ships and over 200 sunken aircrafts waiting to be explored. These WWII wrecks, now encrusted in coral, draw an incredible diversity of marine life including manta rays, turtles, and sharks – making it the perfect place to explore, either by scuba diving or snorkeling. Regardless of which you choose, there is nowhere else in the world will you be able to see WWII wrecks in such a close proximity.

Some of the jungle-covered ruins in Pohnpei

Pohnpei: Nan Madol

Upon arrival in Pohnpei, visitors will notice quite the difference from the scenery in Chuuk. Though there is plenty to see beneath the surface here, divers may consider trading in their flippers for tennis shoes to explore the island on foot. If you choose to stay above ground, head towards the eastern shore of Pohnpei where an archaeological wonder known as Nan Madol lies. Once home to an elite ruling class known as the Saudeleur dynasty, these sunken and jungle-covered ruins now lie just off the island, nearly untouched with amazing views. While legends exist, the true story of how the city was built remains one of the Pacific's greatest mysteries.

Boat along the shore of Majuro.

Majuro: Arno

The closest atoll and only a short boat ride from Majuro lies Arno Atoll. This coral atoll is a collection of 133 quiet islands, each featuring wide open white sand beaches and clear waters. This specific atoll is unique in that it encloses three different lagoons perfect for swimming, scuba diving and deep sea fishing. For those interested in making a small detour from Majuro, this atoll is great for a short getaway or day trip.

The shore near the Blue Hole in Guam

Guam: The Blue Hole

You've made it to the final stop on the route, but that doesn't mean exploring below the surface has to end now. Guam has no shortage of excellent diving spots – one of the most popular is the Blue Hole. This vertical cave, or natural limestone crevice opening to the ocean floor, lies about 50 feet beneath the surface and offers awe-inspiring views on the way down. Once inside, divers will find themselves in a secluded oasis of marine life illuminated by blue light streaking from the surface. Careful though, only experienced deep sea divers are recommended to make the plunge.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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