Fairbanks: Sled Dogs, Denali and 24/7 Daylight - United Hub

Fairbanks: Sled dogs, Denali and 24/7 daylight

By Bob Cooper

The Alaskan interior just became more accessible with nonstop summer service from San Francisco to Fairbanks, giving visitors easy access to North America's highest peak (Denali) and ample opportunities to see reindeer prance and sled dogs dash. There's plenty of daylight to see it all, too, as daylight remains from May 17 to July 27. Summer temperatures routinely reach the 80s. Oh, and if you don't spot a moose, you weren't paying attention.

Passengers aboard the Riverboat Discovery watch a dog sled demonstration at Chena Indian Village in Fairbanks, Alaska Passengers aboard the Riverboat Discovery watch a dog sled demonstration at Chena Indian Village in Fairbanks, Alaska | Photo courtesy of Riverboat Discovery

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Down by the river

After enjoying the daylight flight — a treat in itself, as the route follows the Pacific coast and Inside Passage — get some sleep and then get oriented on the Chena River, which snakes through Fairbanks. First, board the Riverboat Discovery, which stops at a sled dog ranch, where the dogs run at top speeds and you can visit a replica Inuit fish camp. Then, head to century-old downtown Fairbanks, which you can also access on the river, to visit the Morris Thompson cultural and visitors center, two sled dog racing museums, shops, restaurants, bars and Antler Arch — made of dozens of antlers from Alaskan villages.

Pioneer Park narrow gauge train in Fairbanks, Alaska Pioneer Park narrow gauge train in Fairbanks, Alaska| Photo courtesy of Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation

Pioneer Park

The shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors and museums that fill admission-free Pioneer Park are housed mostly in historic log cabins relocated there from downtown Fairbanks. Also found in the park — train rides, a carousel, nightly salmon feeds, musical theatre performances and riverside bike, mountain bike, canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals at Canoe Alaska.

University of Alaska Museum of the North University of Alaska Museum of the North | Photo courtesy of Patricia Fisher

Moose-eums

Pioneer Park's air museum and railroad museum aren't the only two "moose-eums" in town. The sprawling Museum of the North is packed with indigenous artifacts, landscape paintings and exhibits about Alaskan history, mining, dinosaurs and wildlife. The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum is also a delight, featuring a 1903 electric car and mini racecars among 70 automotive gems.

Reindeer at Running Reindeer Ranch Reindeer at Running Reindeer Ranch | Photo courtesy of Bob Cooper

Beyond Fairbanks

Denali National Park is only a one-hour flightseeing tour, two-hour drive or four-hour train ride from Fairbanks. At 20,310 feet, Denali is North America's tallest mountain. Closer to Fairbanks, you can walk with reindeer at a home where 11 of the friendly domesticated animals prance alongside you in a birch forest. Or you can pet the puppies, hear a dog-mushing racer's stories and take a sled dog cart ride at Paws for Adventure,

The 2013 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics The 2013 World Eskimo-Indian Olympics | Photo courtesy of Sherman Hogue/Explore Fairbanks

The Fourth of July and more

Fairbanks hosts a number of festivals including the Midnight Sun Festival (June 23) which brings 30,000 people downtown for 40 live performances. Fourth of July festivities include a parade and live music, Golden Days (July 13-21) features Alaska's biggest parade and a street fair and the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (July 17-20) presents dozens of unique sporting events. Or enjoy concerts, rides and exhibits at the Tanana Valley State Fair (August 2-11).

Pump House restaurant — Alaskan seafood sampler | Photo courtesy of Bob Cooper

Where to eat, drink and stay

Alaskan king crab, cod, salmon and scallops — and reindeer sausage — are served at many Fairbanks restaurants, including riverside spots like the historic Pump House and Pike's Landing. Fairbanks also has many excellent Thai cafes (try Lemongrass's Pad Thai Alaskan Salmon) and ice cream spots like Hot Licks where you should try the Aurora Borealis — vanilla swirled with Alaska blueberries and cranberries.

Places to stay are also plentiful, from hotels to log cabins to the Chena Hot Springs Resort, where guests and non-guests alike can float in the sand-bottom hot-springs pool, tour the ice house (the world's largest manmade ice environment) and take a dog-cart, ATV, fat-tire bike or horseback ride on the resort's trails.

If you go

You can purchase tickets now at united.com or on the United app for any of three weekly nonstop flights between San Francisco and Fairbanks from June 6 to August 18. We also fly nonstop seasonal service from Denver to Fairbanks. Many cities connect through San Francisco. Redeem MileagePlus® Rewards points to cover your hotel and rental car.

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Beach or mountains? Take your pick with our newly announced routes to the West Coast, the Rocky Mountains and the Caribbean

By Matt Adams , November 21, 2019

We will continue building out our already expansive route network next year, adding flights to some attractive leisure destinations in the United States and the Caribbean.

Our hometown hub, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, will be the beneficiary of three of those new routes, which include Santa Barbara, California; Pasco, Washington; and Vail, Colorado. Rounding it out, United will add service from Denver to Nassau, Bahamas, and from Houston to Spokane, Washington. Tickets for all of these destinations are on sale now.

Colorful houses in Nassau

The Denver-Nassau route will begin on March 7, 2020, followed by Chicago-Santa Barbara, Chicago-Pasco, Chicago-Vail and Houston-Spokane on June 4. When that time comes, United will be the only airline offering nonstop service between Denver and Nassau and Chicago and Pasco.

All of these routes will open up a world of connection possibilities for customers living in each market. They'll also be scheduled to give flyers optimal arrival and departure time options. For instance, a passenger going from Chicago to Santa Barbara will have a flight option that departs O'Hare at 7:45 p.m. local time, arriving at Santa Barbara Airport at 10:30 p.m. That's ideal for business travelers.

"We want to offer customers the very best schedule, the best network and the most flight options in the industry," said Ankit Gupta, United's vice president of Domestic Network Planning.

The Boeing 737-800 aircraft will serve the Denver-Nassau route. Passengers going from Chicago to Santa Barbara and from Chicago to Vail will fly on the 737-700. United's 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft, equipped with United First, Economy Plus and United Economy class seats, will operate on the Chicago-Pasco and Houston-Spokane routes.

You'll find flight times and additional details in the grid below. For more information and to book your tickets, visit united.com or download the United mobile app.

Depart

Arrive

Frequency

Duration

Chicago (ORD)

7:45 p.m.

Santa Barbara (SBA)

10:30 p.m.

Daily

Year-round

SBA

11:20 p.m.

ORD

5:20 a.m.

Daily

Year-round

ORD

8:00 p.m.

Pasco (PSC)

10:24 p.m.

Daily

Year-round

PSC

11:38 p.m.

ORD

5:20 a.m.

Daily

Year-round

ORD

4:00 p.m.

Vail/Eagle (EGE)

5:54 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through September 6, 2020)

EGE

9:00 a.m.


ORD

12:45 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through September 7, 2020)

Denver (DEN)

9:56 a.m.

Nassau (NAS)

4:00 p.m.

Once a week on Saturdays

Year-round

(with a break from mid-August through late-October)

NAS

11:37 a.m.

DEN

2:43 p.m.

Once a week on Saturdays

Year-round

(with a break from mid-August through late-October)

Houston (IAH)

9:32 p.m.

Spokane (GEG)

11:32 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through August 17, 2020)

GEG

11:55 p.m.

IAH

6:17 a.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through August 17, 2020)

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

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