Creating Opportunities Inspired by the Past - United Hub

Creating opportunities inspired by the past

By Rachel Landgraf, February 27, 2020


The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American pilots to fly in World War II, setting the precedent and paving the way for African Americans in the flight deck, like Brian Jackson, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Base Chief Pilot.

"I wouldn't be here without them," said Brian. "The Tuskegee Airmen set the framework to be what I am today. I want to be able to supply opportunities like that for generations to come."

Strolling through LAX, Brian reflected on how his framework began when he was a boy growing up in a blue-collar neighborhood in Lakeland, Florida. With an aunt who was a flight attendant and an uncle who is still an airline mechanic today, Brian's interest in aviation began at an early age.

But becoming a pilot? It seemed like a distant dream.

"As a minority, when you dream of becoming something like a pilot, you seek someone that looks like you," said Brian. "It's so you can say, 'I want to be like them.' But I didn't have that person to look to. Even though I had family in the aviation industry, they weren't pilots."

However, it was Brian's family, specifically his mother and another one of his uncles he credits as his mentor, that encouraged and helped him toward a dream that, at the time, seemed distant.

"My mother never loved flying," said Brian. "But she told me, 'Go for your dreams and always be the best you can be.' And then my uncle helped put everything in front of me. He helped put me in flight school and with my resumes to get hired at my first regional carrier. He was the person that helped me clear the path."

Brian's path brought him to United 15 years ago. He started at Newark Liberty International Airport, then moved to Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, where for over six years, he flew all around the Pacific. He then went on to George Bush Intercontinental Airport where he served as an instructor before moving to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. And as of the beginning of February, Brian is now the base chief pilot at LAX. Throughout his career, Brian has also been an active member and advocate for the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), the Tuskegee NEXT programs and more.

"A lot of kids will come up and say, 'Thank you' or 'What did it take?'" said Brian. "But really, we should be thanking them. For putting forth the effort and the time to studying to attain this career. For me, it's a continued legacy and it all started with the Tuskegee Airmen."

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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