United Boeing 747 Makes Rare Flight - United Hub

Flight of a lifetime: The Queen of the Skies makes rare journey

By The Hub team, August 03, 2017

They came to see a Boeing 747 routed on a rare domestic segment for a wide variety of reasons, but, no matter the reason, a deep love of aviation crackled through the crowd awaiting the plane's departure from gate C18 last Friday night at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. "It's my favorite plane I've never flown on," said customer George Pierce, whose grandfather had done maintenance work for Pan American World Airways. "I always hoped to meet Joe Sutter, who designed it."

Head-on shot of the Boeing 747 aircraft

Premier member Asaf Farashuddin brought his nine-year-old son Ryan from Newark Friday morning on a 10 am flight just to hop a ride. "We're big fans of United," Mr. Farashuddin said. He's logged 800,000 lifetime miles with United and enjoys watching planes take off and land from his office in New York. Ryan himself had quite a few miles on United until he booked an Independence day holiday for his mom, his sister and himself to London. He clutched a model United airplane in his hand as father and son waited to board, and the boy shared his vision of becoming an aviation engineer. "The 747-400 is the fastest subsonic airplane," Ryan said, eyes wide.

Two girls enjoy a seat in the cockpit of the 747 before the flight departed from Chicago's O'Hare Airport

Chicago O'Hare Technician Jon McCormick brought his wife Sandra and two young daughters, Brianna and Madeline to the flight. He said he grew up flying 747s from Denver to Hawaii since his dad worked for United, and he recounted how his work on airplanes once had him 60 feet up in the air, replacing the VOR antenna, part of the navigation system, on the 747's tail. He was eager for the chance for his daughters to experience the thrill of the ride.

With more than 200 standby travelers hoping to get a seat on the flight (all on the list were cleared), Chicago O'Hare's customer service team began making seat assignments hours before departure. As customers boarded the flight, the excitement continued -- four high-school-aged aviation geeks met online virtually and, finally, at the gate, they hopped on board and made their hopes of flying on the 747 a reality. Once in the air, customers and employees shared stories and memories of the 747 as the plane made its way to San Francisco.

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

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.

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.

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