Diamonds in the Rubbish - United Hub
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Diamonds in the rubbish

By Matt Adams

Portland, Oregon, Ramp Service Employee Carrol Buczarski and Lead Customer Service Representative Kelly Pederson never would have dreamed that an afternoon spent digging through the garbage would turn them into local celebrities.

But after a customer left her wedding ring and engagement rings in a Buy on Board tapas box that was inadvertently discarded during a recent flight, that's the position in which they found themselves.

While in flight, the customer had taken off three of her rings while she ate, placing them in the box. She then fell asleep, and her husband, assuming it was empty, tossed it in the trash. When they arrived in Portland, they found Kelly in the baggage claim area and desperately asked if there was anything she could do.

Knowing how big a job lay ahead but determined to find those rings, Kelly asked Carrol for help, and the pair began rummaging through bags of trash from the flight.

"I really didn't think we'd find them," Carrol said. "We just looked at all those bags and thought, how are we going to do this?"

After opening and checking dozens of tapas boxes, much to their relief, they hit the jackpot.

"We were laughing, because it was kind of funny," Carrol recalled, saying that they remained in remarkably good spirits as they undertook the not-so-pleasant task.

Kelly ran the rings back up to the terminal, where the grateful customer was waiting. A few days later, photographers from Portland's CBS affiliate, KOIN, showed up to take pictures of Kelly and Carrol. The Port of Portland, which manages the airport, had presented the two with a customer service award and posted about it on their Facebook page. KOIN picked up the story from there, leading to Kelly and Carrol being featured on the evening news.

"Sometimes you do what you have to do," said Carrol. "They were someone's rings; how could you just let that go and not try to find them? It was nice to be able to give them back to the customer. All I can say is thank God for gloves."

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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