United's EAA AirVenture Dreamliner flight - United Hub

EAA AirVenture Dreamliner flight

By The Hub team, November 01, 2019

This summer, 100 women from all different roles at United boarded a plane from Chicago to Oshkosh, Wis. It was only a 30-minute flight, but it was history in the making — the first all-female Boeing® 787 Dreamliner flight to EAA AirVenture, the world's largest airshow.

Part of what made this flight unique was that a Dreamliner wasn't the natural choice for a half-hour flight.

"The Dreamliner is best used on long flights because of its ability to fly great distances with greater fuel efficiency," said Capt. Deb McCaw. "It's the best aircraft in United's fleet when it comes to range and fuel use. Most Dreamliner pilots still love to fly those rare short flights when they come along though."

The flight was operated entirely by women, from pilots to ramp service to mechanics to the Network Operations Center team. For the passengers on board, the all-female crew's love of flying was evident, as was the smooth ride of the plane. As the flight landed in Oshkosh, airshow attendees sat outside in lawn chairs to watch its descent and touchdown. Then, the XX-seat aircraft drove straight to the hangar for tours.

Many of the Dreamliner's features center on passenger comfort. It contains Smooth Ride Technology, which allows it to sense turbulence and automatically adjust wing control surfaces for a smoother ride. The sensors are located throughout the entire aircraft. Cabin pressurization and humidity are also different on the Dreamliner than on other aircraft, which helps travelers feel more refreshed upon landing after a long flight.

McCaw noted that these enhancements are nicer for the pilots, too.

We like that we get to enjoy the creature comforts that are unique to the Dreamliner such as the humidified air, the very quiet noise level, and the more comfortable pressurization," McCaw said. "Those benefits leave us feeling better at the end of the flight, as well as the passengers."

In addition to giving the airshow attendees an inside look at the Dreamliner, United also co-sponsored a Women in Aviation breakfast with 1,000 women in attendance. With a strong presence at the airshow, United celebrated its female employees and legacy of gender equality in the workforce. United has the most woman pilots of any U.S. airline, with nearly 1,000 — more 7% of our pilots, compared with the national average of 5%. We're home to the renowned Chix Fix, the first commercial, all-female team of technicians to compete at the Aerospace Maintenance Competition, and have a cybersecurity team that's nearly 40% women.

McCaw noted that the pilots who got to operate the flights were lucky to have the opportunity, and attendee Connie Navarrete said the event exceeded her expectations.

"This is more than I thought it would be," said Navarrete, an Air Traffic Systems ramp controller based out of New York/Newark. "I've been with United for 22 years and I really enjoy what I do, and being here and volunteering."

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.

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.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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