D-Day, 73 Years Later - United Hub
Employee Travel Blog

D-Day, 73 years later

By The Hub team, May 26, 2017

Network Planning and Scheduling Analyst Matthew Falkler

Since I was in middle school, I have been fascinated with American history, specifically about World War II. For years, I have imagined traveling to where this history actually took place and one of my top places was Normandy, France. Normandy was the landing site of the Allied liberation of Europe, which occurred on June 6, 1944. It was called Operation Overlord, more notoriously know as D-Day. Finally, I decided to make this trip happen and it did not disappoint.

Coast of France in Normandy

After flying into Paris Airport and checking out the many sites of the City of Light, I took a train to Carentan the next day. I booked a tour, through a company called Bayeux Shuttle, which I highly recommend, that timed nicely for a day trip from Paris in which they pick you up and drop you off at the train stations. From Carentan we made our first stops to Airborne sites. In the very early morning hours of D-Day, Army Airborne Division Paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines with numerous objectives to support the Allied beach landings which would occur just hours later. Our stops included a twelfth century church in Angoville-au-Plain, which was made into an aid station by two 101st Airborne Medics, and a famous battle site called Brécourt Manor which was featured in the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers."

Inside of the Angoville-au-Plain church in Normandy

Our tour group then proceeded to Utah Beach, one of the five beach sectors the Allies stormed and one of the two where American troops landed. We arrived at low tide and our tour guide told us low tide extends the beach to a few hundred yards in length. The landing had to happen at low tide, meaning our soldiers would have to run even farther to secure the beaches because the Germans strategically placed mines and obstacles aimed to stop a high tide invasion as part of their Atlantic Wall. Utah Beach had very nice monuments, a visitor's center and Le Roosevelt Café, named after the famous General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., who led the first wave of troops that landed on Utah Beach. The tour continued to another famous Airborne site, a church in the town of Sainte-Mère-Église. The town became the first officially liberated by the Allies in France.

After a scenic break for lunch, we went to Pointe du Hoc. This is where Army Rangers scaled cliffs 85-100 feet straight up to eliminate German artillery. President Ronald Reagan made his famous 40th Anniversary of D-Day speech at Pointe du Hoc. This was my favorite stop because not much was developed around this area, preserving the history of the war. You can go inside German bunkers and still see how the Allied bombing runs shifted the landscape of the terrain. We then went to Omaha Beach (if you have seen the movie "Saving Private Ryan," that is where they depicted the opening war scene). Omaha Beach saw the fiercest fighting of the invasion as it housed heavy defenses along with well-trained German soldiers.

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

Our final stop was the most moving of the tour -- the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial located right off the coast of Omaha Beach. Nearly 10,000 American men and women were laid to rest here along with a wall dedicated to the Missing in Action. I am glad we spent the most time of the tour at the memorial because having time to reflect is an important part of the experience.

Touring Normandy was an incredible experience, something I will never forget. Honestly, I wish I had more time to walk around and explore. Whether you know much about the war or not, I recommend touring Normandy to anyone. It truly is a humbling experience and reinforces the sacrifices made by the Greatest Generation. This country sacrificed so much to liberate the world from tyranny and oppression and that never should be forgotten.

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.

United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.

Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.

A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.

United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group

Fellow United team members –

Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.

Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.

Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."

Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.

To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.

Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, May 20, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment, and to provide transparency and choice throughout the travel journey.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Rolling out touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
  • 10
    Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in the airport

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft
  • 8
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove 99.97% of airborne particles
    • The cabin recirculated air is exchanged every 2-3 minutes

Cleveland Clinic 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.

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