More Than a Vacation - United Hub
Employee Travel Blog

More than a vacation

By The Hub team, May 19, 2017

Each week we will profile one of our employee's adventures across the globe, featuring a new location for every employee's story. Follow along every week to learn more about their travel experiences.

By HNL Remote Reservations Sales Supervisor Tami Cummings

My daughter was leaving for college last fall, and we wanted to create a lifelong memory before she began this next chapter of her life. My mom, daughter and I, along with some friends, signed up with an organization called Color My World, a nonprofit committed to relieving human suffering through sustainable projects. They put together groups of volunteers to take humanitarian trips and experience the cultures of many Latin American countries. The trip we chose was to Costa Rica. It was everything we hoped it would be and more. We were paired up with a group of volunteers from the U.S. and an amazing coordinator from the U.K.

We worked with an incredible woman named Gail, who went to Costa Rica in the '70s to volunteer with the Peace Corps and fell so in love with the people that she stayed and opened up a preschool for local children. We got to work with the children in the preschool who, without Gail, would not have this opportunity. She teaches them English and basic life skills. Her school is run completely with donations and volunteers. She prepares the children for school beyond preschool, but many of them are not able to attend because you have to have shoes in order to attend school. Unfortunately, many children do not have shoes or the money to buy them, so they are not able to continue school past Gail's preschool. We made sure to bring several pairs of shoes with us to donate to the school. If you ever find yourself in La Carpio, Costa Rica, please consider taking a box or two of children's shoes along with you. Gail will be forever grateful, and you will be the hero of the town!

Mural on one of the walls in Costa Rica

We were also asked to paint a mural on one of the walls in the town. My daughter is an artist and came up with an incredible mural that the people loved. They wanted us to paint the rest of the town! She designed the wall and we all helped paint. The locals joined us, and we named the mural Vivir en Paz (Live in Peace). Gail also took us to meet an indigenous man -- he had an incredible spirit, and the land where his people lived was the most peaceful place I have ever been. Their traditions and beliefs were so intriguing. It was wonderful to learn their ways and how they stay healthy and live long lives.

United employee, Tami Cummings and her daughter near waterfalls in Costa Rica

Beyond our wonderful volunteering experiences, our trip also included plenty of time for fun too! We went ziplining, and our zipline tour included seven different lines with volcano views below us as we soared. It was extremely high and a bit scary for me, but my daughter loved it! We also went whitewater rafting, which was my favorite activity outside of volunteering. Our guide's name was Carlos, and he was very friendly and fun. We spent the last day and night of the trip in a beautiful hotel near a volcano with natural springs. It was a perfect way to relax and end a fun but, more importantly, rewarding vacation. I will never forget this amazing experience in this beautiful country. Costa Rica truly is pura vida (pure life).

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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