Cities of Tomorrow - United Hub
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Cities of tomorrow

By The Hub team , July 20, 2017

Amsterdam

Creating a recycling program that pays dividends

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Amsterdam is getting wasted—but not how you might think. In the city's Noord district, the Dutch have turned trash into literal treasure, i.e., local currency, with Wasted, a project from the nonprofit Cities Foundation that incentivizes recycling. In exchange for collecting plastic household waste, the program gives participants (“neighbors") Wasted-branded coins that are redeemable at some 30 local businesses (“friends") for goods and services—think craft beer or a slice of carrot cake for one coin, half off a bike repair for three, or a reiki treatment for seven.

Graphic of Amsterdam's recycling system.

And it's working. Since the program was introduced in 2015, nearly 700 households have chipped in to divert more than 16 tons of garbage. What's more, the trash dodges not only landfills but also municipal recycling centers, because Wasted recycles the plastic by hand and teaches the neighborhood how to do it too.

At the Wasted Laboratory, community members learn about plastic consumption, its effect on the environment, and how to identify different types before seeing firsthand what happens to all that plastic that gets collected. In a workshop demonstration, participants melt, mold, and press trash into reusable building blocks on small-scale, homemade machines; the organization makes the open-source plans for these machines available on its website so communities everywhere can follow suit.

This year, Noord residents will see their plastic pop back up around the neighborhood, with the colorful blocks being used to build planters, benches, temporary event stages, and even playgrounds. —Hannah Lott-Schwartz

Seoul

One-upping NYC's High Line model

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Fifty-five feet above the streets of South Korea's capital, a living library teems with plant life. Skygarden, which debuts later this year, transforms more than a half mile of abandoned highway bypass into an open-air public space reminiscent of New York's High Line. The $33 million project takes a human approach to infrastructure, introducing cafés, shops, exhibitions, stages, trampolines, and even a foot bath to the formerly condemned overpass, which connects parks in the city's west with the central Namdaemun Market.

What sets Skygarden apart, however, is its veritable dictionary of South Korean flora, the thousands of plants representing 254 species of tree, shrub, and flower arranged alphabetically by neighborhood name. Lily ponds abut feathery ginkgo trees, bushes with edible berries, and succulent gardens in two main squares, where the landscape reinvents itself each season.

Skygarden follows the success of the Cheonggyecheon urban renewal project, which converted a polluted stream into a pedestrian-friendly linear park in 2005. And though Skygarden lives high above Seoul, its architects aim for its roots to grow downward and sprout similar projects, turning the cityscape green one alley, roof, and parking lot at a time. —HLS

Manchester, England

Welcoming back a buzzworthy ecological ally

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Worker bees have been a symbol of this manufacturing powerhouse since the Industrial Revolution—they even appear on the city's official coat of arms. Despite the Mancunian reverence for the insects, however, they barely made it out of the 19th century alive.

But now, thanks to cleaner air, expanding greenery, and an enthusiastic amateur beekeeping community, Manchester is making amends to its hive-dwellers at a time when they're under siege the world over. Beehives have sprung up not only in community gardens and in private yards, but also on the rooftops of prominent landmarks, such as Manchester Cathedral, the two-century-old Manchester Art Gallery, and The Printworks, an entertainment complex housed in an old newspaper press. Meanwhile, at the Manchester Museum, the current exhibit After the Bees explores how bees are necessary for human survival through artworks, photography, and film. And befitting a city with one of the world's most popular sports teams, a group of bee-loving soccer enthusiasts is even hard at work turning the stadium and its surroundings into a pollinator-friendly environment.

“With the Industrial Revolution, we invented pollution and exported it around the world," says local beekeeper Richard Searle, who's working with like-minded bee enthusiasts to brew honey-based beer. “But now we've got delegations from China and all over the world that come to study how you can revive the urban environment.

“Beekeeping requires a collective," Searle continues. “It's how the bees work, and they've been around for millions of years." —Chaney Kwak

Greenville, South Carolina

Repurposing historically relevant spaces

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Greenville hasn't always lived up to its name. The self-proclaimed Textile Capital of the World was once home to nearly two dozen fabric mills and factories, which was great for the local economy—but not so much for the environment. The effects of that industry took an especially tough toll on the Reedy River, for decades a polluted afterthought running through downtown. An ongoing cleanup campaign kicked off an urban transformation that brought new life to the heart of Greenville with bars, galleries, and restaurants.

Now the city has turned this new eco-minded ethos toward the mills themselves. More than simply honoring the city's industrial heritage, plans to repurpose these brick behemoths have an eco-friendly goal: keeping untold tons of equipment and building debris out of landfills.

So far, four redevelopment projects have transformed mills
into luxury residential, office, and retail spaces. One of the newest players in the city's thriving bar scene is the Birds Fly South Ale Project, a brewery that opened last year in a 9,000-square-foot cotton warehouse with original wood from the early 1900s. And at least three new projects are slated for 2017, including the Woodside Cotton Mill, once the largest cotton mill in the world, which will house 300 apartments, a general store, offices, an events venue, and a brewery and restaurant—further evidence of the bright future that looms for this progressive Southern town. —Blane Bachelor

Sydney

Constructing fish-inspired skyscrapers by the sea

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Appropriate to their waterfront location, Sydney's newest trio of high-rises, the International Towers, are covered in fins. Unlike the piscine kind, however, these colorful shading panels are made for sustainability instead of mobility, responding to the sun throughout the day to reflect or deflect light and control temperatures while channeling natural light into the towers' offices.

The fins are among many forward-thinking design elements that earned these structures six Green Stars, the highest sustainability standard in Australia. For example, instead of running air conditioners, these futuristic buildings draw chilly water from the adjacent harbor and use it as coolant. The towers also generate solar energy, collect rain, treat wastewater on-site, recycle 84 percent of their food court waste, and even deodorize the trash room using fermented fruits.

“It's a big leap, but it's the way the industry has to go," says Geoff Dutaillis, the head of sustainability at Lendlease, the project's developer. Together with the adjacent Renzo Piano–designed high-rises, the International Towers are completely transforming the once derelict concrete container wharf of Barangaroo South into a carbon-neutral community. In addition to restaurants and an in-the-works luxury hotel, over half of the 54-acre district is set aside for public space. —CK

Austin

Building a neighborhood on a former brownfield site

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Some 20 years after it became a brownfield site—meaning it was too contaminated for safe use—an area in downtown Austin's southwest quadrant is being reborn as the Seaholm EcoDistrict, the first of its kind in Texas. This eco-conscious utopia is more than its LEED certifications (though every last building was constructed to green standards). With the EcoDistrict designation comes a philosophy: to enhance quality of life while promoting sustainable living. It's not about demolition but revitalization, modernizing an inefficient, outdated model with a conscious eye toward both climate change and social health.

To that end, a stunning mid-century power plant—built in the sleek Art Moderne style—anchors the 90-acre district both physically and ideologically. After being decommissioned in the late '80s, the plant underwent years of meticulous renovations, wherein architects not only kept 75 percent of construction waste out of the landfill thanks to a sustainable design approach but also used more than 20 percent recycled and locally sourced materials in the update. Preservation was completed last year, yielding 130,000 square feet of private office and retail space, including a restaurant in one of the former boiler rooms.

Seaholm is also getting nearly 1,500 multifamily housing units, the sunlight-filled New Central Library (with 3-D printers and a live oak on the roof), bike- and car-share programs, solar benches with built-in USB charging stations, local food initiatives, art installations, and streets inspired by woonerf, a Dutch design concept that places equal value on pedestrians, bicycles, and cars. Meanwhile, below the surface, the city's rainwater collection and wastewater reclamation systems help save millions of gallons of potable water every year. Thinking ahead comes at a price, of course—more than $2 billion by the time all major development projects wrap in 2019—but for eco- and future-minded Austin-ites, the result is priceless. —HLS

Pittsburgh

Rethinking the post-industrial skyline

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Green is not at the top of most people's minds when they think of Pittsburgh, but the “Smoky City" has come a long way since its steel mill days. In fact, the city now boasts 39 LEED-certified buildings, including a number of eco-friendly firsts: the first green university dormitory (at Carnegie Mellon), the first green radio station, and the first green children's museum, not to mention America's first LEED-certified convention center, upgraded to LEED Platinum in 2012.

The latest addition to the green skyline is the LEED Platinum–certified Tower at PNC Plaza, completed in 2015, which has been called the world's greenest office tower, thanks to a one-of-a-kind breathable double skin facade to ventilate the building, on-site wastewater recycling, and a solar chimney to evacuate hot air.

So why has the city been so committed to going green? “The alignment of place, passion, and commitment to sustainability positions Pittsburgh as a green building ideas incubator," says architect Christine Mondor, principal of evolveEA, a consulting and design firm that has managed the certification of more than 60 LEED projects.

“Pittsburgh has been able to punch above our weight with some of the earliest and highest-performing green buildings in the country," Mondor says. “We are a competitive bunch and take pride in our region's commitment to green building." —Devorah Lev-Tov

Victoria, British Columbia

Turning a neighborhood into a locavore hub

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Victoria, British Columbia's coastal capital, has taken the idea of mindful eating and turned it into an entire neighborhood, the Food Eco District (FED). Within this three-by-four-block zone, which debuted in 2014, all FED members—including fine-dining restaurants, quick-service cafés, and coffee shops—are guaranteed green by the Vancouver Island Green Business Certification. Plus, the FED partners with the company Topsoil to plant organic rooftop gardens.

“I think we've opened up people's minds about growing food in the city," says project coordinator Heidi Grantner. “Alleyways and unused pavement spaces could be livened up with food and could become a key part of having a sustainable food system on Vancouver Island." In the past year, FED added six new planter boxes and three new members. FED helped carbon-neutral Italian eatery Zambri's plant lemon and olive trees and procured Kaffir lime trees for hawker-style Asian spot Foo.

Best of all, the district is changing the way people engage with their food. Every summer, a FED party offers tastes and sips from member businesses, and this year FED will pilot walking tours of the district and its gardens, with plenty of nibbles en route. “Food should be communal," Grantner says. —Lora Shinn

Barcelona

Making city streets more pedestrian-friendly

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While conducting a noise study in 1987, Salvador Rueda, director of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona, assessed that traffic routinely exceeded the 65-decibel noise limit. “To reduce noise to acceptable levels, select streets must be residential," he says.

Thirty years on, Rueda's findings have morphed into an ambitious Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan that, in addition to reducing noise pollution, aims to reduce traffic accidents and air pollution. The solution: implementing a series of pedestrian-only urban cells,
or “superblocks."

First introduced in the trendy El Born district in the '90s, the superblocks are outlined by a network of roads connecting to the rest of the city. Within the cells, traffic speeds will be reduced to 10 km/h (6 mph), with vehicle access for residents only, clearing more than 70 percent of traffic congestion in favor of green spaces. And more than 120 miles of bike lanes will replace cars as the standard means of transportation.

While it's normal for change to be initially met with resistance, a pilot superblock introduced last fall in the emerging Poblenou neighborhood received surprisingly favorable reviews; neighbors embraced the car-free area by regularly organizing events and pressuring the city council to add trees, benches, and a playground.

For Rueda, this plan is long overdue. “Since the usage of cars has become widespread in society, it has been the king and we the servants," he says. “Perhaps it's time to revolt and turn that the other way around." —Jessica Benavides Canepa

San Antonio

Putting a river back on the right course

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The Alamo City's River Walk may be one of Texas's most visited attractions, but the project—which involved building dams and bypass channels—hasn't been kind to the ecosystem, leaving stretches of the San Antonio River devoid of aquatic life. That's all changing, thanks to one of the country's biggest environmental triumphs.

In 2013, San Antonio completed a multiyear project to restore the natural flow of the river and connect its farthest reaches via expanded pathways. While the river's northern stretch—home to the lively Pearl District, an urban renewal success story in a monumental old brewery—got the buzz, more than $270 million of the $384 million initiative went to the ecological restoration of the river's more natural southern expanse, the 8-river-mile Mission Reach. The numbers are impressive: 113 acres of restored riparian habitat, 15 miles of trails, and hundreds of now flourishing native plants and wildlife species, including egrets, herons, and armadillos. The project has been so successful that it attracts leaders from cities around the world to see how they can adapt the model.

Another waterway restoration project is now in the works, with plans to revitalize 2.2 miles of parkland surrounding San Pedro Creek, which runs through one of the city's historic West Side neighborhoods and is often mistaken for a drainage ditch. A $175 million redevelopment project aims to restore the creek's natural habitat and reinvent it as a pedestrian-friendly destination that features public art. The initial segment is slated for completion by May 2018—perfectly timed for San Antonio's tricentennial. —BB

Weekend inspiration: Sydney

By Kelsey + Courtney Montague

Sydney continues to be one of our favorite cities in the world – vibrant, stunning, with an amazing foodie scene and genuinely nice people. Each year we try to schedule a few street art jobs in Australia so we can spend the Northern Hemisphere's winter in the summer sun of Australia. If you're in town for a few days, here are some of our favorite spots.

Friday evening

If you're looking for places to stay, we recommend anywhere near or on Sydney Harbour. If you can swing it financially, our two favorites are The Pier on Sydney Harbour and the Park Hyatt. Both are majestic hotels set out on the water with equally magnificent views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Steps up to the Opera House

Pasta at Kindred

We find that we crave comfort food after a long flight, and there's no better place to enjoy it than Kindred. It's a warm cozy space with pasta and bread made in-house. The lasagna and the burnt butter triangoli can't be beat, and be sure to order a loaf of homemade sourdough with dinner.

Saturday

Wake up early for a full day of exploring the city. Take a short cab or Uber ride to Lorraine's Patisserie – their croissants are warm and buttery and their coffee is strong.

The Rocks Market in Sydney

Kelsey's Magic Wand street art piece

After breakfast, head over to The Rocks Market where they have a stunning array of locally crafted art, jewelry, house ware and beauty products. The homey, cozy cobblestone lanes lead you to some of the best local artisans that Sydney has to offer. Be sure to also take a moment to pose with our Magic Wand street art piece on Atherdan Street.

We recommend The Glenmore Hotel's pub for lunch. This pub, built in 1921, has incredible views of the harbour from their rooftop. Grab one of their Australian Brewery Session IPA's, play a game of pool and end up on the roof with a Glenmore Burger in hand.

Following lunch, grab your swimsuit and take a 30-minute Uber to Bondi Beach – Sydney's most iconic beach. There's more to Bondi than just a beach, beyond is a village full of cafes, restaurants and shops worth exploring.

Bondi Beach, Sydney

Bring a towel and start off with a cold swim at the Instagram-worthy Icebergs Club swimming pool. When in need of some warmth, lay in the sun on the white sand beach while watching the surfers – you can even take surfing lessons if you'd like.

If you have time, there's a wonderful walk between Bondi and Coogee Beach. This walk takes you along the rocky coast to hidden beaches and swimming holes. It's a beautiful walk that will get your heart pumping.

For dinner walk up the hill to the trendy Bondi Trattoria for great local eats. If you're still awake when you get back to Sydney and looking for a drink, we highly recommend stopping by the Sydney Opera House Bar.

Sunday

Head over to Paramount Coffee Project to grab some caffeine and breakfast. Take a moment to check out the workout schedule for the recreation club on the roof to see if there is a class that interests you.

If you're looking to pet a wallaby or hold a quokka (quite possibly the cutest creature you have ever seen) we highly recommend signing up for the Featherdale Wildlife Park Mammal Encounter. It's about an hour drive from Sydney, but it's definitely worth it.

Featherdale Wildlife Park Mammal Encounter.

Sydney Harbour


When you get back to Sydney check out Ribs & Burgers on The Rocks for a hearty lunch. In the afternoon, check off two essential experiences by booking an Opera House Tour and, if you're not afraid of heights, the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. Both offer stunning views and completely unique experiences.

After a somewhat exhausting day we love when we can come back to a hotel and dine there. Park Hyatt offers wonderful dining options, including The Dining Room, which is their signature restaurant. Finish your weekend with stunning harbour views and elegant food.

Trending

The reimagined United app: What you need to know

By The Hub team , January 22, 2019

Starting on January 24, customers will be able to access the updated United app. With useful enhancements that provide intuitive assistance every step of the way, the United app still includes the features you know and love. And now, thanks to dynamic messaging, the updated app provides useful information throughout your journey whether at the airport or on the go.

How to install the updated app

If you've enabled automatic updates, the United app will automatically update. Otherwise, you'll need to manually update the app to see the updated version. Once you've updated the app, you'll no longer be able to use the previous version. If your phone is set to auto-update, the app will automatically appear on your device and stay. Otherwise, you'll have the previous mobile experience until you manually update.

Dynamic messaging

The United app will now display the most useful and relevant information throughout your journey. For example, 24 hours before departure, the home screen on the United app will prompt you to check-in. Once checked in, an option to get your boarding pass will populate right on the home screen so you'll no longer need to access it via the boarding pass tab on the current version of the app.

Locating your boarding pass

If you're signed in to your MileagePlus® account, access to your boarding pass will appear on the app's home screen along with other details about the flight. If you're not signed in to a MileagePlus account, you'll need to go to "My Trips" on the bottom navigation bar. (Please note that mobile boarding passes are available for flights departing from all U.S. airports and select international airports.)

Accessing your profile and United Club℠ card

All this information will now be accessible from a "My Profile" section, so you can see everything in one place. You can find the "My Profile" section by selecting the icon of a person in the top right corner.

New options on the navigation bar

The new bottom navigation bar provides quick access to the most popular and helpful features. Find information about upcoming flights under the "My Trips" section that houses important information like your boarding passes and flight details. You'll also find an inbox icon section that stores important and useful information including gate changes, flight status updates and boarding alerts. You can also easily toggle back to your home screen from the bottom navigation bar.

Personal device entertainment

If personal device entertainment is offered on your flight, you'll see a tile titled Inflight Entertainment within the "Just for you" section on the home screen. The "Just for you" section will also give you access to other features such as how you can locate a United Club or how to earn award miles. You can also select "Wi-Fi & entertainment" from the More menu, located at the upper left hand of the app's home screen.

Finding the seat map

You can access the seat map for your flight via Flight Status on the bottom navigation bar or within Trip Details — when you have an upcoming flight there will be an option to view the seat map.

How to add or remove flights from your Flights Status list

Any upcoming flights will be displayed in the Flight Status section of the app. There is no option to remove a flight as the Flight Status section will be automatically update itself two days after your travel is completed.

Changing the image on the home screen

There is no way to change the image on your home screen manually. Instead, the image will update once a day based on the destinations most commonly searched for by our customers.

Amazing destination

Porto: Portugal’s surprising second city

By Bob Cooper

“Second cities" or those that rank #2 in population often surprise world travelers. And second doesn't mean second-rate. Porto is Portugal's second city — so off-the-radar that many world travelers haven't even heard of it. Yet, Porto and nearby spots in northern Portugal can be delightful destinations even if you don't visit the more well-known city of Lisbon.

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Old city by day

The best place to get oriented, as in most European cities, is in the old city center. Porto's Old City is so well-preserved that it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 12th-century cathedral and the 15th-century Church of St. Francis, notable for interior wood carvings gilded by hundreds of pounds of gold, are mixed in with a rich collection of imposing granite, red-roofed Baroque buildings. Add 225 stairs and a stirring view to your walking tour by ascending the 250-foot-high Clérigos Church bell tower, built in 1754, which dominates the Porto skyline. Historic bridges over the Douro River and Soares dos Reis National Museum, an art museum housed in a palace, are also excellent sites to see.

Food and music by night

Porto's youthful population has turned it into a lively city after dark. You might start off the evening in the Old City at Abadia do Porto, a 1939 restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese dishes like roasted lamb and grilled octopus, or at Astoria, with its modern Portuguese fare served inside a former palace. Whether you choose a Portuguese, French or fusion restaurant, seafood is likely to be highlighted, drawing on Porto's proximity to the Atlantic and the Douro. Then, you can head to the large collection of bars and nightclubs in the nearby Galerias district, which includes Radio Bar, inside a former court building, and Gare, a disco in a tunnel that stays open until 6 a.m.

Head west to the beaches

The closest Atlantic beaches to central Porto are at Foz do Douro (mouth of the Douro), just 20 minutes away by city bus. But why settle? In a rental car you can explore Atlantic beaches and beach towns that extend for hundreds of miles along Portugal's coastline. Two of the best are Foz do Minho, the nation's northernmost oceanic beach that's just across the Minho River from Spain, and Quiaios, a dune-fringed paradise of sand south of Porto. Many beaches in northern Portugal are cradled in coves protected by rocky promontories, similar to northern California and Oregon beaches.

Or east to the wine country

The Douro Valley wine region is another World Heritage Site and one of the world's best and most scenic wine regions. It's up the Douro River from Porto by boat or 90 minutes by road. Namesake port wines and other fortified wines are the region's signature beverages, which can be sampled at tasting rooms on the Douro along N-222, a wine road that's been called the world's most scenic drive. While you're in the area, check out the wine and anthropology museums in the wine towns and yet another World Heritage Site — Coa Valley Archaeological Park — known for its prehistoric rock carvings.

The basics

Portugal's Mediterranean climate and coastal breezes bless it with mild weather year round, as the average temperature ranges from 57 degrees (and rain) in January to 78 degrees (and a little rain) in August. Whenever you come, there's no need to learn Portuguese as English is spoken even more widely than elsewhere in Western Europe. Once you arrive, rent a car only if you don't mind ridiculous drivers. The trains are more relaxing — light-rail and subway trains crisscross the Porto area and funicular cable cars climb its steepest hills. There's even a scenic train that follows the Douro nearly to Spain, with a roundtrip fare of only about $30.

Getting there

Portugal requires that visitor passports don't expire until at least three months after the arrival date, so check that. Next, buy some Euros (for a great exchange rate) and reserve a flight. United Airlines flies nonstop from New York/Newark to Porto and MileagePlus® award miles can be redeemed to cover accommodations and Hertz rentals. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your trip.

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Contributor

United 787-10 Dreamliner launch

By The Hub team

Story was contributed by: Jennifer Lake | Photography: Alicia of Aesthetica

It was a typical Monday morning. I'm sitting at my desk at work, drinking coffee, reviewing my to-do list for the week. All around me, heels are clacking through the office and phones ring intermittently. However, this particular Monday morning was different. Ultimately, I would receive an offer from my favorite airline for a collaboration to participate in the United 787-10 Dreamliner launch from Los Angeles LAX to New York/Newark EWR. Read the full story here featured on Style Charade.

Featured story

Fit for the runway: We begin testing new uniforms

By The Hub team , January 16, 2019

Last year we announced new partnerships with Tracy Reese, Brooks Brothers and Carhartt — best-in-class fashion and apparel designers — to help reimagine uniforms for more than 70,000 of our employees. Focusing on high quality fabrics, improved breathability and overall enhanced fit, our goal is to design and develop a more cohesive collection that looks good, feels good and enables employees to perform at their best on behalf of our customers.


United employees can learn more on the uniform designs by visiting Flying Together.

An insider's guide to Boston

By Betsy Mikel

Boston is a pack-it-all-in kind of place. Founded in 1630, one of America's oldest cities does many things well. Boston's many claims to fame include many of America's oldest historic landmarks and one of its oldest ballparks. It's a destination for history buffs, culture vultures, foodies, sports fans, families and more. No matter who your travel companions are or what they're interested in, everyone will find something to pique their interest in Beantown.

Getting there & around town

Fly direct to Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS) from many U.S. cities — visit united.com or use the United app to book your flight. Flights are 90 minutes from New York, two hours from Cleveland and five to six hours from California. From Logan International Airport, it's easy to hail a taxi, use ridesharing apps or take public transportation. If you want to take the scenic route, take a water taxi across Boston Harbor directly into downtown.

Downtown Boston is easy to navigate. It's walkable and taxis are plentiful. The MBTA, Boston's public transportation system, offers affordable access to Cambridge, many attractions and the suburbs. Keep in mind it's one of the oldest transportation systems in the country, so expect a few bumps. Because the city is dense, parking can be expensive or hard to find, so avoid driving if you can.

When to visit

Summer and fall are the most popular seasons to visit. Summer is prime time to enjoy Boston's many parks, outdoor eateries, open-air concerts and baseball games at Fenway Park. Mild fall weather, beautiful autumn foliage and Halloween festivities in nearby Salem, Massachusetts make October one of Boston's busiest months. The city also sees an influx of visitors for the Boston Marathon in April. You'll find smaller crowds and more affordable prices in winter, but brace yourself for the cold.

What to do

There's so much to take in just by walking through Boston's cobblestoned streets. Downtown is quaint, compact and easy to explore by foot. The small city is packed with historic sites, New England's finest food, proud sports fans and friendly locals.

As the birthplace of the American Revolution, Boston's historic sites are an attraction in themselves. Walk the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail to visit 16 of them around the city, including Revolutionary-era museums, churches, buildings and an impressive warship. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is on the trail, too, and is one of Boston's top attractions, with plentiful shopping, dining and live music. Not much of a walker? Boston Duck Tours operate land-and-water historic tours on World War II-inspired vehicles, which transform from truck to boat mid-tour.

Many museums and sites are tucked along Boston Harbor. The waterfront is always bustling with activity year-round. The harborwalk is the perfect place to meander and explore without a strict agenda. Plan to visit a major attraction or two, but leave time to enjoy the scenery or to pop into a café for a coffee and sweet treat (award-winning Flour Bakery + Cafe is a local favorite).

Deemed the “Athens of America," Boston boasts not only some of the country's oldest and most architecturally significant buildings, but also a thriving arts and culture scene. You could spend your entire trip touring its dozens of world-class museums. Take in classical music at the famous Boston Symphony Orchestra, or take a leisurely stroll through Boston Public Garden and Boston Common, the city's most well-known public parks. Riding the giant Swan Boats through the Public Garden lagoon is a kitschy, yet delightful experience, especially for kids.

What to eat

What must you absolutely eat in Boston? In short, everything. Long ago the city was nicknamed Beantown, allegedly after slow-cooked molasses baked beans served to sailors and traders. Today, Boston continues its reputation as a great eating city. From clam chowder to cannoli, the most popular dishes here are often hearty and decadent. Boston is also known for fresh lobster rolls, roast beef sandwiches and, of course, Boston cream pie.

Ask any Bostonian where to find “the best" of anything, and everyone will recommend a different spot. Cannoli from Mike's Pastry, Boston cream pie from Omni Parker House (where it was invented) and the roast beef 1000 sandwich from Cutty's frequently top the must-try lists. If you make it to a ball game at Fenway Park, Fenway Franks are a Boston staple.

Featured story

Our role in ‘Spider-Man™: Far From Home’

By Matt Adams , January 15, 2019

In Columbia Pictures upcoming release in association with Marvel Studios, "Spider-Man™: Far From Home," our web-slinging hero finds himself – yep, you guessed it – far from his home in New York City. And since flying is one of the few superpowers Spider-Man doesn't possess, we gave him a little help, meaning United is featured in the film.

The scenes of Peter Parker and his pals traveling to Europe take place on one of our Boeing 777s with the all-new United Polaris® business class, and several of our employees – including members of our Tech Ops, Inflight, Flight Operations and Airport Operations teams – served as actors and production support during shoots at New York/Newark (EWR) and London-Stansted (STN).

London-Heathrow (LHR) Customer Service Representative Manjit Heer and LHR Cargo Warehouse Operations Manager Richard Miller were background extras on board, and multiple flight attendants had a role, including San Francisco (SFO) Flight Attendant Tammy Harris.

"It was extremely surreal," said Tammy. "I was in my element because I was on the plane in uniform, but not really, because I'm not an actor."

Tammy said she hit her mark and delivered her line with gusto, and she's excited to see if she made the final cut when "Spider-Man™: Far From Home" hits worldwide theaters this summer.

"Hopefully, I'll have my two seconds of fame and all will be well," she joked.

Los Angeles (LAX) Aircraft Maintenance Supervisor Fernando Melendez is a veteran of several film shoots but said this one was his favorite. When the production went to London, he was one of five members of LAX Tech Ops who went over to look after our airplane and make adjustments to its interior based on the filmmaker's needs.

"When we parked the plane at Stanstead, there were lights and cameras surrounding us. It was like the plane was the star of the movie," he said. "Each day, we would work with the assistant director; he would go through and say, 'Okay, for this shoot we need these seats, or these panels removed,' so they could get the camera angles. Pretty much, the airplane was our responsibility; we opened it in the morning and closed it at night. We were the first ones there and the last ones to leave every day."

Fernando said the actors were all very gracious and engaging, and said the whole experience was fantastic from start to finish. It also earned him a little cooler cred with his 18-year-old son, who is a massive Marvel fan.

Leading up to the film's premiere this year, there will be plenty of ways for employees and customers to get into the Spidey spirit in anticipation of our cameo. Stay tuned for more details.

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Peter Parker returns in "Spider-Man™: Far From Home," the next chapter of the Spider-Man™: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter's plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!

Directed by Jon Watts, the film is written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The film is produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel, Eric Hauserman Carroll, Stan Lee, Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach serve as executive producers. The film stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.

"Spider-Man™: Far From Home" makes its way to North American theaters on July 5, 2019.

What to expect from our improved app

By United Airlines , January 15, 2019


"Talking Points," host Brian Kelly, aka The Points Guy, is joined by Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President for Technology and Chief Digital Officer at United Airlines to discuss what passengers can expect from our improved app.

Read more about the improvements to the United app here.

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