Fun flight attendant facts you’ll love to share - United Hub

Fun flight attendant facts you’ll love to share

By The Hub team, April 13, 2016

Flight attendants. They help us board, serve us drinks, and get us home safely. But really, they do so much more than that. These men and women are at the frontlines of customer service, assisting travelers with everything from seatbelts to connecting gates. So, what do flight attendants really do? How do they get where they are? Read on to get a glimpse into their lives in the skies.

Flight attendant serving drinks on a flight

History

The history of flight attendants goes back to 1930 when United pioneered the notion of female flight attendants, creating a new profession for women. All eight of the first flight attendants were registered nurses — it was thought that having a nurse onboard would quell early air travelers' fear of flying. Flight attendants turned out to be an instant success and soon every airline, and every flight attendant, would be following in the footsteps of United Airlines.

World travelers

United flight attendants are not just arbiters of the sky — they are global ambassadors, full of experiences and knowledge worth sharing. Collectively, United flight attendants speak more than 22 languages and hail from over 50 different countries. And with such a diverse group of people one thing is certain — if you talk to your flight attendant, you're sure to learn something new.

Culture

Flight attendants for United must go above and beyond in the sky. United's flight attendants navigate the complex world of global culture with the skill and care pilots use to navigate the skies. Our flight attendants have to be sensitive to cultural needs, like never showing the soles of your feet in Japan, or that flights to Israel offer kosher-dining options.

Service complexity

At United, we believe that service is an integral part of the flying experience. That's why our flight attendants are trained to provide a wide range of services, from offering simple snacks and beverages to serving three- to seven-course dinners. Everything depends on the route — a shorter light from San Francisco to Seattle will be very different than a flight from Chicago to Shanghai, and our flight attendants are prepared for each situation.

Expertise

United flight attendants are not only experts when it comes to friendly service, they are also experts in the various features of United's massive fleet. Flight attendants are trained on up to eight different types of aircraft, from long-distance runners like the Boeing 747 to the most technologically advanced jetliner, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. So, regardless of what type of plane you're flying on, you can remain confident that your crew is ready to make your flight as comfortable and safe as possible.

Training

Flight Attendants are highly capable individuals — trained in everything from identifying potential criminal activity and fighting fires to CPR and how to deliver a baby. In the event of an unforeseen problem, flight attendants know how to quickly and efficiently evacuate a full flight in less than 90 seconds.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Big Metal Bird to learn more about what it takes to be a flight attendant with United Airlines.

Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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