1 Inspiration to Another: One-handed Pilot Flies Hailey Home - United Hub

From 1st pitch to the flight deck: Hailey Dawson’s special flight home from Houston

By Ryan Hood, October 31, 2017

Seven-year-old Hailey Dawson inspired the nation Saturday night when she threw out the first pitch in Houston with her 3D-printed hand. We had an inspiration of our own awaiting her at Houston Intercontinental Airport before her flight home on Sunday — Houston-based Boeing 737 First Officer Eric Gaffney.

Eric was born without a right hand. He's been touched ever since learning of Hailey's story, and he was thrilled to have the chance to fly her and her family home from the game in Houston.

"I like mentoring people with similar physical limitations," Eric said. "Lots of people told me I couldn't become an airline pilot with one hand. They were holding me back, but I didn't let anyone stand in my way of achieving my goal."

As a First Officer, Eric sits in the right seat, using his right arm to manipulate the control wheel and his left hand to move the throttles.

First Officer Eric and Hailey Dawson in Houston

Prior to the flight, Eric and Hailey shared personal stories, talked baseball and Eric took Hailey into the flight deck. Hearing herself talking through the PA system was a thrill for young Hailey. As a former baseball player, Eric enjoyed hearing about the baseball legends Hailey has had the pleasure of meeting. So far, she has thrown out a first pitch at three MLB stadiums. She's on a quest to throw out a first pitch at all 30 stadiums.

"No one can stand in your way and you can do anything you want to," Eric told Hailey. "All you have to do is put your best foot forward and have heart and passion for what you want to do."

United cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

December 22, 2020

On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
By United Newsroom, December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

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