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 operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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