Captain Surprises Military Son on Flight Home from Deployment - United Hub

Captain surprises military son on flight home from deployment

By The Hub team, April 26, 2016

Story, image and video by: United Airlines IAD 777 Captain Mario Lopes

Washington D.C. based Captain Mario Lopes was recently presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the captain of the military charter that brought his son back from deployment overseas in the armed forces. Mario's son was stationed in Kuwait on a multinational support mission and was scheduled to return home on April 14. Shortly after speaking to his son about his return date, Mario saw an available opportunity on a military flight that was slated to arrived in Norfolk, Virginia on the same day and at the same time. "I told my wife that this couldn't be a coincidence. No one could confirm or deny if he would actually be a passenger on my aircraft, but I knew I had to take the chance and find out," said Mario.

Words cannot describe how meaningful it was to have that moment with my son. I cannot thank everyone enough for their support. It was my most memorable flight in my 27 years with United, and, while I can't say for certain, I'm pretty positive nothing will ever beat that."

To pull off the surprise, Mario decided to pick up the flight without telling anyone other than his wife. He briefed the flight crew before anyone boarded and laid out a plan to divert his son's attention. He even enlisted the help of his wife by having her bake her son's favorite cookies. The entire crew helped out by concealing Mario from his son until he made his surprise entrance before the start of the flight. "I came up behind him and said, 'First Lieutenant Lopes! What are you doing on my aircraft?' He turned around, and we immediately embraced for quite some time after he realized it was me," said Mario."

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.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
By United Newsroom, December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

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