Hamburg: Germany's Hidden Gem - United Hub

Hamburg: Germany's hidden gem

By Bob Cooper, March 30, 2018

Hamburg may be Germany's second most populous city, but that's no longer the main reason to visit. In recent years, this city of 2,500 bridges has become a hot destination for travelers from around the world, and here's why.

Popular Water Castle in the warehouse district in Hamburg

Old Hamburg

Most of the places worth visiting in Hamburg lie on or near the broad Elbe River at the city's southern edge. Among them is the massive, century-old harbor complex of brick port buildings in the Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus districts, designated in 2015 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its central role in making Hamburg one of the world's leading centers of trade for generations. These buildings in the city center can be toured, along with other nearby historic buildings such as the Rathaus, the opulent 647-room city hall, and St. Nikolai Memorial, the world's fifth-tallest church tower. Among major museums within walking distance is Miniatur Wunderland, the world's largest model railway exhibition, where 42 circling miniature planes and 260,000 miniature figures add to the delight, including a miniature model of our Boeing 757-200.

Beaches and bikes

The city's location, 50 miles from the Baltic and North Seas, make it a prime destination for summer travelers wishing to visit Germany's northern beaches. On the Baltic coast are prime seaside destinations such as Warnemünde where you can climb the 121-foot-tall lighthouse, Travemünde, which is next to Germany's largest ferry port and Ahrenshoop, on a dunes peninsula. St. Peter-Ording on the North Sea features beaches in a national park and sulphur-springs spas. If you prefer to stay only in the heart of Hamburg, some great outdoor options include strolling through Stadtpark (which has a planetarium), piloting a paddle boat at Alster Lake and riding a rented bike on the Elbe River.

Elbe Philharmonic Concert Hall, Hamburg, Germany

New music palace

The biggest event to put Hamburg on the tourism map was the opening of its tallest building, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, in 2017. The gleaming, $1billion glass edifice, constructed atop an old warehouse, hosts numerous concerts in addition to guided tours. For a completely different music experience, fans of electronic and indie music fill some of Europe's hottest live-music clubs, especially in the St. Pauli district. Older music fans know of Hamburg as the city where the Beatles got their start, playing its clubs for four months in 1960 and 1961. A Beatles tour of these clubs is led four evenings a week.

Hamburgers to haute cuisine

Though hamburgers were believed to have originated in Hamburg in the early 1800s, today you'll find a much larger variety of food as the city has embraced modern food trends. Restaurants here are more likely to serve regional fish specialties from the North Sea, such as dishes made with eel or herring, and tasty soups, stews and breads. Beer has a long history too — Hamburg boasted 600 breweries in the 1500s — and the suds still flow freely at the city's plentiful bars and clubs today. So does coffee, with the city's first coffeehouse opening in 1677 and coffeehouse culture still going strong, with about 90 shops that roast beans.

Boat parade to celebrate Hamburg Port Anniversary

When to visit

There are reasons in all four seasons to visit Hamburg, depending on your interests. Spring brings blooming gardens and nightly “water-light shows" in a spacious botanical garden park, Panten un Blomen. It's also when the Hamburg Port Anniversary festival draws more than a million celebrants to the harbor for an array of events on May 10-13. Summer brings the warmest weather, with an average high of 70 degrees, and the big Alstervergnugen Festival on the city's Alster Lake (August 30-September 2). Fall is when prices go down and the crowds thin out. And winter arrives with seven festive Christmas markets popping up in the city center.

If you go

United Airlines flies daily nonstop flights to Hamburg from New York/Newark from April 25 through October 4. MileagePlus® Rewards can help pay for your car rental and hotel room once you arrive. Go to united.com or use the United app to plan your trip to Hamburg.

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United's regional presidents join respective Governor's COVID-19 task force

By Ryan Wilks, May 21, 2020

As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, May 20, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment throughout your travel experience.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
    • Limiting middle seat selection
    • Moving customers seated closely together
    • De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
  • 9
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles

Cleveland Clinic We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.

A message from Scott Kirby, United’s new CEO

By The Hub team, May 20, 2020


Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.

While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.

First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.

As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.

Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.

We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.

But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.

Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.

Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.

While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.

Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.

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