The Foodie's Guide to Winter Travel Destinations - United Hub
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The foodie’s guide to winter travel destinations

By Matt Chernov, December 20, 2017

In recent months, the Danish word 'hygge' (pronounced “hoo-ga") has taken the world by storm, and for very good reason. The term refers to a unique feeling of coziness and contentment that helps make long winters more pleasurable. Though often used to invoke a warm and intimate atmosphere, this wonderful lifestyle concept can also be used to describe food as well. In the culinary world, things like slow cooked stews, mulled wine, and roasted seasonal vegetables could all be described as 'hygge.' To help you plan a delicious winter vacation, here are seven travel destinations that showcase food at its finest.

View of the mountains in Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska's biggest city is a picturesque winter wonderland from January through March, and its food scene has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years thanks to a robust economy and an influx of sophisticated eaters who are eager to expand their palates. For a dinner that's guaranteed to warm you up, the spicy Alaskan salmon and rockfish jambalaya at the Spenard Roadhouse compares to none. On chilly days, a decadent giant cinnamon roll coated in thick frosting from Orso will keep you feeling extra 'hygge.'

Cup of coffee

Seattle, Washington

A steaming cup of freshly brewed Seattle coffee sipped on a brisk morning is the very definition of the term 'hygge.' Since the weather in the Pacific Northwest can be spectacularly snowy during the winter months, the city's best restaurants compensate by offering richly flavored meals that will stick to your ribs. Try the slow cooked beef stew with bone marrow at Quinn's Pub, or sample the spicy grilled chicken thighs with poblano peppers at the acclaimed restaurant Brimmer & Heeltap for a tangy winter treat.

Chicago river melting

Chicago, Illinois

Comfort foods are extremely 'hygge' and Chicago features some of the most comforting meals in the Midwest. Winter visitors to the Windy City should reserve a table at the elegantly appointed Tortoise Supper Club. Their famous Pheasant Pie is made with slow-roasted shredded pheasant, combined with seasonal vegetables and foie gras cognac sauce, and comes topped with a crispy pie crust. Or for something simpler but equally delicious, try the irresistible macaroni and cheese with Irish bacon at Lady Gregory's Irish Pub in Chicago's colorful Andersonville neighborhood.

Ramen in Denver

Denver, Colorado

Throughout January, Denver's evening temperatures drop to an average of 15-degrees. To combat the cold, hungry visitors should make their way to the historic Five Points neighborhood and pull up a chair at Acorn, an award-winning restaurant specializing in wood-fired cooking. There, you'll find 'hygge' dishes like wood fired baby yams, tomato braised meatballs, and Creole-style rock shrimp and grits. If you prefer Asian Fusion, head on over to Denver's Highland Parks area and order a comforting bowl of duck ramen at the popular Uncle restaurant. Their shoyu (soy sauce) broth is extraordinary.

Landscape in Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Few destinations in North America capture the magic of winter quite like Vermont. When a fresh blanket of white snow settles on the vibrant streets of Burlington, the effect is like a picture postcard come to life. Diners looking for a taste of something special should pay a visit to Leunig Bistro, an upscale French restaurant in downtown Burlington. Since 1980, they've been serving 'hygge' meals like roast pumpkin chowder with applewood-smoked bacon, and classic beef bourguignon braised in red wine. Whisky lovers owe it to themselves to try a creamy Irish coffee made with triple distilled Tullamore Dew at cozy Finnegan's Pub, also located in downtown.

View of the mountains in Oregon

Bend, Oregon

The winter landscape in Bend, Oregon, is nothing short of breathtaking. For those who worship the great outdoors, this snowy playground is truly a must-visit. After a day spent skiing or ice skating, the homemade pecan sticky buns and syrup-drenched French toast at McKay Cottage will put a huge smile on your face. If farm-to-table dining is more your speed, then the pizzas and pastas made with local seasonal ingredients at Jackson's Corner are exactly what you're looking for.

Mulled wine

Calgary, Canada

Each winter, visitors to Calgary get to experience the best of both worlds: a bustling urban metropolis and an environment filled with scenic natural beauty. Since nothing is more 'hygge' than a warm glass of mulled wine, be sure to stop at Lounge XVIII for a sip of pinot gris infused with clove, anise, ginger, and rosemary and flavored with fresh citrus and honey. If you're in the mood for an intimate atmosphere, the rustic charm of Charbar is the city's top choice. Ask one of their expert mixologists to make you a classic B&B (brandy and Benedictine, served at room temperature) or a cozy fireside cocktail like a Hot Buttered Rum. You'll be experiencing the magic of the 'hygge' lifestyle in no time.

If you go

Get the most from your winter foodie vacation by booking your flight at united.com or by using the convenient United app.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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Spotlighting our own during Hispanic Heritage Month

By The Hub team, October 13, 2020

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 th through October 15th and take the time to recognize the important contributions of our colleagues of Hispanic descent in the United family.

This year, we hosted virtual events organized by our multicultural business resource group UNITE to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, covering topics ranging from immigration reform to Hispanic leadership. We're also taking a moment to highlight Latinx employees nominated by their peers for their contributions both at and outside of work.

These nominees have demonstrated leadership in their position and through their character. Take a moment to read their own words about how their background and heritage plays a role in the way they interact with customers, in how they support their colleagues and why it brings valuable perspective to their work.

Vania Wit – VP & Deputy Counsel

Photo of Vania Wit, VP & Deputy Counsel for United Airlines

"I am the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in the legal department. I am an attorney and have worked in the legal department for over 21 years and am currently responsible for a number of different legal areas – such as litigation, international, commercial and government contracts, labor, employment and benefits, antitrust. I have the privilege of working with a tremendous team of attorneys who are directly leading and managing these areas. One of the things I like most about my job is simply getting to know the backgrounds and personal stories that everyone has about their paths to United or their passion for the industry. Being the daughter of immigrants from South America and growing up in a family who relies heavily on air travel to connect us to our close family and friends is an integral part of my story and what drew me to this industry and this company."

Kayra Martinez – International Flight Attendant, FRA

Photo of Kayra Martinez on board an aircraft

"I love that my work as a flight attendant brings me all over the world and allows me to connect with diverse people across the globe. Because of my Spanish heritage, I've been able to use my language as a way to connect with passengers, crew members and people from every nationality. In addition, my heritage gives me a very close connection to family, creating community and using inclusion as a way to bring people together. After transferring to Europe, I was able to study German, more Spanish, Italian and Arabic. Outside of work, I'm the director and founder of a nonprofit organization that empowers refugees through art. Hundreds of children and adults fleeing war-torn countries have found healing through my art workshops. These refugees are currently displaced in Greece. Their stunning paintings are then sold in art galleries and communities around the world, raising awareness and putting income directly into the hands of refugee artists."

Adriana Carmona – Program Manager, AO Regulatory Compliance

Photo of Adriana standing in front of a plane engine

"I've been incredibly lucky to have amazing leaders during my time at United who have challenged me from day one to think outside the box, step out of my comfort zone and trusted me to own and deliver on the tasks assigned. I think this sense of ownership is largely shaped by my Latino background, which values responsibility, respect and accountability and taking full charge of what's in your control to be able to deliver accordingly."

Harry Cabrera – Assistant Manager, AO Customer Service, IAH

Photo of Harry Cabrera

"My desire to help people is what drove me to start my career in Customer Service over two decades ago. Currently I provide support to our coworkers and customers at IAH , the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. As a Colombian native celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, I'm proud to see the strength that my fellow Latinos forge every day at United Airlines. Family values are a cornerstone of the Latin community; I consider my coworkers to be part of my extended family. Mentor support throughout the years gave me the opportunity to grow professionally. The desire to do better and help others succeed is part of that heritage. I collaborate with our Latin American operations and create ways to improve performance. No matter what language you speak, the passion for what you do and being approachable makes the difference in any interaction."

Juciaria Meadows – Assistant Regional Manager, Cargo Sales

Photo of Juciaria Meadows in a Cargo hold

"During my 28-year career, I've worked across the system in various frontline and leadership roles in Reservations, Customer Service and Passenger Sales in Brazil. I moved to the U.S. in 2012 to work as an Account Executive for Cargo. It did not take too long for me to learn that boxes and containers have as much a voice as a passenger sitting in our aircraft. My job is to foster relationships with shippers, freight forwarders, cosignees, etc. and build strong partnerships in fair, trustworthy and caring ways where United Cargo will be their carrier of choice. That's where my background growing up in a Latino family plays an important role in my day-to-day interactions. I've done many wonderful sales trainings provided by United and my academic background , but none of them taught me more than watching my parents running their wholesale food warehouse. Developing exceptional relationships with their customers, they always treated them with trust and respect. They were successful business people with a big heart, creative, always adding a personal touch to their business relationships and I find myself doing the same. It's a lesson that is deep in my heart."

Shanell Arevalo – Customer Service Representative, DEN

Photo of Shanell Arevalo at work

"I am Belizean and Salvadoran. At a young age my family moved to California from Belize. Although I grew up in the United States , one thing my parents taught me was to never forget the culture, values and principles I was raised on. This includes showing love, compassion, and respect to all people. We learned to put our best foot forward for any situation and always put our heart and mind into everything we do. In my position as a customer service agent, it's the difference of showing the love, compassion and respect to our passengers to show that this is not just a job but rather a passion of genuinely caring for our people. Being Latina, we are raised to always take care of our family, and the way I take care of passengers is the way I would take care of my family. If there's one way I know I can make a difference with our Spanish speaking passengers, it's being able to speak the language. The glow that comes over a passenger's face when they realize there's someone who can speak Spanish is absolutely an indescribable feeling. With that glow comes comfort and joy. The small comfort they get from knowing someone can connect with them makes all the difference in their experience."

Around the web

United Cargo responds to COVID-19 challenges, prepares for what's next

By The Hub team, September 30, 2020

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, United Cargo has supported a variety of customers within the healthcare industry for over 10 years. Three key solutions – TempControl, LifeGuard and QuickPak – protect the integrity of vital shipments such as precision medicine, pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical equipment and vaccines. By utilizing processes like temperature monitoring, thermodynamic management, and priority boarding and handling, United Cargo gives customers the peace of mind that their shipments will be protected throughout their journey.

With the global demand for tailored pharmaceutical solutions at an all-time high, we've made investments to help ensure we provide the most reliable air cargo options for cold chain shipping. In April this year, we became the first U.S. carrier to lease temperature-controlled shipping containers manufactured by DoKaSch Temperature Solutions. We continue to partner with state-of-the-art container providers to ensure we have options that meet our customers' ever-changing needs.

"Providing safe air cargo transport for essential shipments has been a top priority since the pandemic began. While the entire air cargo industry has had its challenges, I'm proud of how United Cargo has adapted and thrived despite a significant reduction in network capacity and supply," said United Cargo President Jan Krems. "We remain committed to helping our customers make it through the pandemic, as well as to doing everything we can to be prepared for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution when the time comes."

Our entire team continues to prioritize moving critical shipments as part of our commitment to supporting the global supply chain. We've assembled a COVID readiness task team to ensure we have the right people in place and are preparing our airports as we get ready for the industry-wide effort that comes next.

In cooperation with our partners all over the world, United Cargo has helped transport nearly 145 million pounds of medical supplies to aid in the fight against COVID-19, using a combination of cargo-only flights and passenger flig­hts. To date, United Cargo has operated more than 6,300 cargo-only flights and has transported more than 213 million pounds of cargo worldwide.

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