Harvey, Irma & Maria relief efforts continue
Relief efforts continue as we work to support those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as by the historic flooding in Texas and the Gulf Coast in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey. Thanks to generous donations from our customers, employees and MileagePlus members, our CrowdRise fundraising campaign has raised a total of more than $3 million to support our humanitarian aid and disaster relief partners: Airlink, the American Red Cross, Americares, Operation USA, the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the Humane Society International. We're partnering with Chase Card Services to provide additional bonus miles to members who donate to the organizations and United will match the $300,000 for efforts raised for both Tropical Storm Harvey and Hurricanes Irma & Maria relief efforts. So far we've committed over 7 million bonus miles to give to our customers who make donations.
Our fundraising efforts are just one way we are pitching in to aid those impacted by these natural disasters. Since August 27, we've operated five humanitarian flights from Chicago O'Hare Airport to Houston Intercontinental Airport and operated two additional flights through Thursday, August 31. The planes have been loaded with food, water, amenities (blankets and pillows) and medical supplies valued at more than $295,000. In addition, thanks to donations from Walgreens, we were also able to transport essential items and medical supplies.
We also flew relief flights for those affected by Hurricane Irma. With the help of MillerCoors, a total of 35,484 cans of water were delivered to impacted airports and we are prepared to deliver an additional 74,880 cans of water to areas in need throughout this week. In addition to relief flights, on Sunday, September 10, we flew an extra flight from San Juan Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport with 179 customers, who were initially brought to Puerto Rico via military rescue from islands throughout the Caribbean. As the effects of Hurricane Irma continue, we will be working closely with all local and federal officials throughout Florida to support critical efforts and recovery operations.
All relief supplies delivered will be allocated to employees and customers at Houston Intercontinental Airport as well as at the Houston Convention Center. We've coordinated and covered the costs of transporting relief items from Houston Intercontinental to the Houston Convention Center, and also donated our hangar at Houston Intercontinental to FEMA for 90 days, so they can use it for military and law enforcement operations as well as other relief coordination needs.
We're so thankful for employees coming together and truly #beingunited. pic.twitter.com/0ifM2kgnEW
— We Are United (@weareunited) August 27, 2017
Additionally, our Hurricane Irma fundraising campaign includes accepting donations to help Humane Society International as they rescue animals across the Caribbean most impacted by her path. In collaboration with our United PetSafe program, we made a $25,000 donation to the Humane Society of the U.S. to support relief efforts for animals impacted by the storm in Texas. To further help free up space at shelters in Houston for animals being rescued off of the streets, over September 11 and September 12, we will begin flying a total of 40 shelter animals out of Houston and into our other hub airports across the U.S.
Read more about all of our charitable partners below:
American Red Cross American Red Cross goes wherever they're needed so people can have clean water, safe shelter and hot meals when they need them most. Donations received will provide critical aid to those affected by Hurricane Irma.
Airlink A rapid-response humanitarian relief organization that coordinates and provides air transportation for relief workers and aid supplies from 70 pre-qualified nonprofits.
Greater Houston Community Foundation After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and companies who want to help, Mayor Sylvester Turner has established a relief fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.
Americares Americares emergency response team is on the ground in Florida addressing changing needs and ensuring that critical medicines and supplies reach the people affected. In particular, the organization is providing those in immediate need with medicine and hygiene supplies, while another team is assessing the damage in the Caribbean, as well as continuing to help those affected by Harvey.
Operation USA Supporting health and educational programs, Operation USA helps children and families recover and thrive in the wake of disasters. All donations will support the shipment of vital material aid to those in need in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Humane Society International Humane Society International works with local and international organizations to provide relief to animals and communities impacted by disasters occurring around the world.
Check back here or visit the United newsroom for updates on our ongoing relief efforts.
Around the web
As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.
Appointed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Jill joins the New Jersey Restart and Recovery Advisory Council — a group of business and municipal leaders tasked with planning to restart the state's economy.
"Serving on Governor Murphy's Restart & Advisory Council uniquely positions us in the epicenter of helping to restart state's economy by providing innovative ideas, sharing best practices and creative thinking to help ensure the rebuilding of New Jersey's economic vitality alongside notable business leaders," said Jill. "I'm honored to represent United Airlines and the transportation industry as a core building block to expediting the state's recovery."
United is the sixth largest company in the state and one of the largest essential businesses continuing to operate through this crisis, and as or advocate, Jill will share some of our best practices and lessons we're learning with the nine different committees through the customer and employee lens.
On the opposite coast, California Governor Gavin Newsom last month appointed Janet to his Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery. Joining Janet at the table are former California governors, legislative leaders and CEOs and executives from numerous businesses with large stakes in the state, such as Apple and Disney. In addition to Janet's position on the task force, Janet is also serving on the Long-Term Jobs Recovery sub-committee and will advocate for industries suffering long-term ramifications of COVID-19 such as tourism, travel and entertainment.
"Being appointed to Governor Newsom's Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery ensures that United is part of the important conversation and part of the plan to help California pave the way toward a fast, safe recovery of jobs," said Janet. "It is an honor to represent the only transportation business on the task force, and I look forward to working alongside a group of very distinguished leaders and focusing on innovative ways to rebuild the economy for our 40 million residents. This work will build on our partnership with the Governor to provide free flights for medical volunteers and having our employees call to check in on isolated older adults as part of the Social Bridging Project."
Pre-COVID, we transported 38 million passengers to, from and within California each year, and directly and indirectly supported tens of thousands of jobs, so the health and well-being of the industry is vital to the prosperity of the state.
As the only airline represented among each of these groups, Jill and Janet are working hard to ensure that our voices, as a company and industry, are heard, valued and utilized as a new chapter dawns on the horizon.
Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.
While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.
First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.
As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.
Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.
We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.
But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.
Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.
Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.
While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.
Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.
At the airport
1Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
2Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
3Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
4Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
5Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
At the gate:
6Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
7Providing hand sanitizer and
8Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
9Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
On our aircraft
1Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
2Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
3Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
4Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
5Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
6Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
7Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
- Limiting middle seat selection
- Moving customers seated closely together
- De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
8Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
9Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles
We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, video conferencing tools that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
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This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.