Family friendly cities: Sun & sea in San Diego - United Hub

Family friendly cities: Sun and sea in San Diego

By Bob Cooper

Beaches, zoos, parks and festivals — San Diego is brimming with all of these classic summer activities and more. With a mild climate to boot, San Diego is the perfect destination for a family vacation.

Mission Beach in San Diego

Beach play

“Life is a beach" is more than a T-shirt slogan in San Diego — it's a state of mind. Visitors can join locals to indulge in delights of the sand and sea at any of San Diego's dozens of beaches, or the dozens more in beach towns north of the city. San Diego's Mission Beach has the liveliest scene, mostly at Belmont Park, an old-fashioned amusement park with 12 classic rides, including the 1925 Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster. There's also an arcade, zip line and bustling boardwalk. Most of San Diego County's beaches are quieter, but still offer the elements that beach worshipers adore: castle-worthy sand, bodyboarding, surfing and beach volleyball.

Animal attractions

San Diego Zoo is one of the best zoos in the world and ranks first on many lists. Whether it's the collection of 660 species (from pygmy hippos to giant pandas), the Skyfari Aerial Tram or the 4D theaters, this is a zoo for all ages. San Diego Zoo Safari Park — a lesser-known but much larger venue — is 35 miles away and has many of its 300 species roaming in herds throughout large enclosures. They can be viewed on foot or from a tram, zip line or tethered helium balloon. Both of the zoos are worth a half-day visit, but there's too much to see to do them both in the same day. Entertainment-focused SeaWorld San Diego and education-oriented Birch Aquarium are their world-class marine life counterparts.

Balboa Park, City of San Diego, California

Balboa Park

San Diego Zoo is the main attraction in Balboa Park, but the park is also home to many of San Diego's family-friendly museums. America's largest model railroad museum features a 142-foot-long miniaturized railroad display; the San Diego Natural History Museum and Fleet Science Center are both geared toward kids drawn to hands-on science; and the San Diego Air & Space Museum boasts 67 aircraft, from a 1901 Wright Glider reproduction to the Apollo 9 Command Module. You can also find an antique children's mini-train, a 1910 carousel, five playgrounds and countless picnic spots in Balboa Park.

Fab family festivals

San Diego's two big family-friendly festivals this summer are both near the beach and both are free. The 39th Annual OB Street Fair at Ocean Beach (June 23) includes a Wonderland Fun Zone with rides for kids and music for all ages on five stages. The Sun & Sea Festival at Imperial Beach (July 15) offers a full schedule of Kids' Zone entertainment and activities, plus a pirate parade, kids' rides and separate sandcastle contests for kids (ages 5 to 12) and adults.

LEGOLAND in California

LEGOLAND California

Legos are small plastic pieces that kids love to snap together, but there's nothing small about the LEGOLAND California theme park or its popularity, with attendance topping two million per year. Dozens of Lego-themed, kid-friendly rides and shows — many of them interactive — are the main attraction, but you can also add to the fun by upgrading your ticket to access the Lego-themed aquarium and water park next door where kids can assemble their own Lego rafts. Admission prices are steep, but Lego-loving kids of a certain age will want to stay all day, and the memories will be priceless.

If you go

United Airlines offers numerous daily flights to San Diego International Airport from many cities. MileagePlus Rewards can help cover your hotel room and rental car once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your San Diego family getaway.

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Celebrating immigration perspectives and diverse journeys

By The Hub team, September 25, 2020

From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the U.S. celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, a chance to pay tribute to the history, culture and contributions that generations of Latinxs have paved to enrich U.S. history. It is also a reminder to celebrate our differences and spark difficult, yet important, conversations.

To kick off the month, UNITE, our multicultural business resource group for employees, did just that by hosting a panel discussion about the immigrant experience and what it means to be an immigrant in the U.S.

United Litigation and Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, who is a pro bono immigration attorney, moderated the panel, and was joined by Ashley Huebner, Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Magdalena Gonzalez, Program Manager, Leadership Development Programs at Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement. The three women shared their insights and personal stories, while addressing some misconceptions and highlighting the contributions of immigrants to our company and country.

Participants' headshots from United's Hispanic Heritage Month Panel From left to right, Elizabeth Lopez, Ashely Huebner and Magdalena Gonzalez

"I started to notice that there were things I was scared of doing, that I needed to be cautious," said Magdalena while sharing her personal experience as a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient. "My friends, who a majority of them are citizens, did not need to worry about that. As I was able to see that, I realized that, 'oh, there's so many things that revolve around not just being a DACA recipient but revolve around being a person with an undocumented status here in the United States.'"

United maintains a close relationship with the NIJC. In May of 2019, United co-hosted an asylum clinic put on by the legal services organization, where several attorneys and legal professionals were trained on representing asylum-seeking applicants. At the end of the clinic, members of our legal department were assigned an asylum case through the NIJC.

Litigation Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, Commercial Transactions Counsel Tiffany Jaspers, Global Compliance and Ethics Counsel Nancy Jacobson and Employment Litigation Senior Manager Dorothy Karpierz were partnered with attorneys from the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery to take on an immigration case of a mother of three from Honduras. Recently, after a years-long court battle, the legal team was victorious, changing the life of the woman and her family.

United is committed to connecting people and uniting the world. Whether you're an immigrant, a child of immigrants or simply want to learn more about the immigrant experience in the U.S., discussions like these, related to this hot-button issue, are important to have in order to understand the human lives behind it.

Make your voice heard

By Brett J. Hart, September 22, 2020

Your voice matters. Voting is one of the most influential civic activities we can engage in as Americans. At United, our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. That's why we've long provided our employees with resources to help them get registered to vote.

This year, we're taking our support a step further as the official airline of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Since the start of the pandemic, we've overhauled our cleaning measures through a program we call United CleanPlusSM , and the CPD has placed their trust in United to fly Commission production staff to each of the four debates, starting with the first one on September 29, hosted by Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.

Today, on National Voter Registration Day, we also want to make sure our customers have access to information about how to participate in the 2020 Election. Over the past several months, you've heard a lot from us about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed air travel. We've learned that with some planning and extra effort, it's still possible — and safe. That's true of voting, too.

No matter which party you support or how you're planning to vote, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and make a plan to vote.

Best,

Brett J. Hart
President
United Airlines

United named to Year Up Opportunity Hall of Fame

By The Hub team, September 17, 2020

Since its launch 20 years ago, Year Up, one of our critical needs grant recipients, has helped more than 10,000 young adults gain access to corporate business and technical experience at large companies like United while offering the invaluable perspectives they bring with them.

On Wednesday, the nonprofit inducted United into its Opportunity Hall of Fame – a selection that occurs once every five years.

Year Up's mission is to help close the opportunity divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Since 2018, our partnership has allowed talented student learners the opportunity to gain corporate business experience and technical skill training at the airline while bringing their unique perspectives to our United family and culture. One of those students is Emily Lopez, who graduated from the Year Up program in January 2019 and was hired to be part of the United family as an analyst in Revenue Management.

"I moved from Venezuela to the United States in July 2016 and being a young immigrant with no resources can be difficult to pursue a career in a new country," said Emily.

After learning about Year Up and ultimately being accepted into the program, Emily landed an internship with United, an opportunity she is very grateful for.

Emily Lopez - Analyst, Pricing & Revenue Management

"Feedback from my mentors, coaches and managers was key during my internship phase and helped me convert my internship at United to a full-time position. I am grateful for the opportunity United has provided me and my Year Up Alumni colleagues to keep building a professional career within the company. I am so excited to continue building a professional career with the company and to see United being inducted to Year Up's Hall of Fame. Let's continue closing the opportunity divide!" said Emily.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has made this year's partnership a bit more difficult, we continue to do our part to support the Year Up student learners. Last month, we surprised 145 graduates of this year's Year Up Chicago program with roundtrip tickets to pursue career and networking opportunities within the United States.

"I've been personally honored and inspired to be an advocate for Year Up since I joined United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "This program gives young people from challenged backgrounds an opportunity to get their foot in the door as interns at United. This year's graduates are entering a challenging job landscape, but we have one thing that can help: a route network that provides easy access to major business markets across the United States."

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