D-Day, 73 Years Later - United Hub
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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 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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