An escape to Tahiti and Hikueru - United Hub

An escape to Tahiti and Hikueru

By The Hub team

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 Salt Lake City-based Customer Service Representative Thiefaine Magre

This past winter holiday, my family and I went to visit the island of my wife's grandfather, Hikueru. Hikueru is an atoll that inhabits about 70 people in the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. We spent a full week there with a few days in Tahiti before and after the trip to Hikueru.

To get to Hikueru we first had to travel to Tahiti, the main island of French Polynesia. In Papeete we were able to enjoy much of the local culture. We ate local cuisine from Tahitian food trucks called "roulette." The most common dishes in Tahiti are raw fish, sashimi, steak frites and many fresh fruit dishes.

On our second day in Tahiti we flew to Hikueru. There are two ways to get to the island: by cargo ship, which takes about 10 days from the port of Papeete, or by taking the once-a-week flight on Air Tahiti. The flight is about two hours, during which you are able to see many little islands scattered across the ocean below. Because the island is so remote and has such a small population, we needed to arrange with my in-laws to have food and supplies shipped by cargo ship two weeks prior to our arrival. It was a lot of planning, but it was worth all of the effort.

While in Tupapati, the capital and only city of Hikueru, we enjoyed many activities, like swimming at the pier, fishing, walks around the island and boat tours of neighboring motus (motu is the word for a small sand island forming a ring around a lagoon). We enjoyed evening walks, stargazing and basking in the colors of the sunsets and sunrises.

The water was extremely clear and blue -- truly the most beautiful and pristine water in the world. The corals were amazing, full of color and life. We ate fresh fish, clams and other shellfish every day. At mid-day, most of the citizens of the island get together in the town square to play volleyball or soccer together - it was amazing to see the entire community come together on a daily basis.

After our week in Hikueru, we returned to Tahiti for two more days before heading home. We did a short trip around the island and saw the famous "Trois Cascades," three waterfalls, and jumped off bridges into the large rivers.

Tahiti is truly an amazing place to visit. With over 100 islands to visit and discover, there is plenty for everyone to do -- not to mention the beautiful scenery of such stunning waters.

Mauruuru ("thank you" in Tahitian) for reading about my travel journey.

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As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.

A message from Scott Kirby, United’s new CEO

By The Hub team, May 20, 2020


Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.

While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.

First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.

As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.

Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.

We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.

But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.

Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.

Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.

While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.

Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, April 22, 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 throughout your travel experience.

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
    Introducing 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

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
    Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
  • 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
    Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
    • Limiting middle seat selection
    • Moving customers seated closely together
    • De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
  • 9
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles

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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