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."

Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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