United Airlines "United Journey" Contest
NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING A PRIZE.
THE FOLLOWING PROMOTION IS INTENDED FOR ENTRY BY LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ("D.C.") ONLY AND WILL BE GOVERENED BY APPLICABLE U.S. LAW. DO NOT ENTER THIS PROMOTION IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE (SEE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENT IN RULES 1) AND LOCATED IN ONE OF THE 50 UNITED STATES OR D.C. AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.
The United Airlines "United Journey" Contest ("Contest"), sponsored by United Airlines, Inc. ("Sponsor") will begin at 12:01:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time ("CDT") on August 7, 2018 and is scheduled to end at 11:59:59 p.m. CDT on August 28, 2018 (the "Promotion Period"). The Contest is subject to applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. By participating, you agree to abide by and be bound by these Official Rules and all decisions of the Administrator (as defined in Rule 1, below), which shall be final and binding on you in all matters relating to this Contest.
The Contest is no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Twitter or Instagram. Twitter and Instagram are not affiliated with Sponsor in any way.
1. ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is only open to individuals who are legal residents of one of the 50 United States or D.C. and 18 years of age or older (19 years or older if a resident of Alabama or Nebraska) at the time of entry. The Contest is not open to employees, officers or directors of Sponsor, or Wunderman, LLC ("Administrator"), or any of their respective parent companies, affiliates or subsidiaries, distributors, Contest material suppliers, Contest or media partners, printer(s) of Contest materials or advertising, advertising or promotion agencies, other coordinating agencies involved in the development or implementation of this Contest (collectively, the "Contest Entities"), and the immediate family members (defined as spouse, biological, adoptive or step-parent, grandparent, child, sibling or spouse of any of the foregoing, regardless of where they live), or household members (whether related or not) of any of the foregoing. Void outside of the 50 United States/D.C. and where prohibited by law.
2. ENTRY: There are three (3) methods of Entry into the Contest.
METHOD #1. VIA WEBSITE: During the Promotion Period, visit https://twitter.com/signup to register for free. During Promotion Period, post a Photo and a description about why this photo represents your favorite travel moment and where you'd want to go on your United Journey; include the hashtag #UnitedJourneyContest (each referred to herein as a "Tweet" or "Entry"). Tweet must include a relevant response, must comply with the Tweet Guidelines (as set forth below) and the Twitter.com Terms of Service, and must include the "#UnitedJourneyContest" hashtag. Each Tweet must contain at least thirteen (13) characters and no more two hundred eighty (280) characters and must be in English. Entrant's Twitter profile must be set to "public" for the Tweet to be a valid Entry. The Twitter account used to enter must be registered in your name. You may not enter via a corporate or shared account. Your properly completed and submitted submission will constitute your "Entry" into the Contest.
METHOD #3. VIA INSTAGRAM: You must be a registered user of Instagram and must be a follower of United to enter this Contest via this method. If you are not a registered user of Instagram simply visit https://Instagram.com/signup to register for free. During Promotion Period, post a Photo and a description about why this photo represents your favorite travel moment and where you'd want to go on your United Journey; include the hashtag #UnitedJourneyContest. Submission must include a relevant response, must comply with the Instagram Guidelines (as set forth below) and the Instagram.com Terms of Service, and must include the "#UnitedJourneyContest" hashtag. Each submission must contain at least thirteen (13) characters and no more than two hundred eighty (280) characters and must be in English. Entrant's Instagram profile must be set to "public" for the submission to be a valid Entry. The Instagram account used to enter must be registered in your name. You may not enter via a corporate or shared account. Your properly completed and submitted submission will constitute your "Entry" into the Contest.
Once submitted, an Entry cannot be deleted, cancelled or modified. Entries must include all required information and the required hashtag, or they will not be eligible. Limit: one (1) Entry per person/email address/Twitter or Instagram account (as applicable) for the entire Promotion Period. Participants are solely responsible for Internet connectivity, software and/or hardware that may be required in order to create and/or submit any Entry.
In case of multiple Entries received from any person/email account, Instagram account or Twitter account during the Promotion Period, only the first Entry received from such person, email address, Instagram account or Twitter account will be included in the Contest.
If you choose to enter via a mobile device, STANDARD MESSAGE RATES AND DATA CHARGES APPLY. Please consult the terms and conditions of your individual service plan prior to participating via a mobile device. A mobile device is not required to enter the Contest.
Please read the judging criteria in Rule 4, below, and the "Photo/Video/Twitter/Instagram Entry Requirements", below, before creating your Entry.
No other method of submitting an Entry will be accepted or acknowledged. Photos, Videos and written paragraphs deemed to be of an indecent or offensive nature, as solely determined by Sponsor and its agents in their discretion, will not be eligible for the Contest. (See complete list of prohibited content in Rule 3, below.) The Contest Entities are not responsible for: any lost, late, misdirected, garbled, damaged, or incomplete Entries; incomplete or inaccurate capture of entry information (regardless of cause); technical, hardware, software, telephone or other malfunctions, errors, delays, unavailability or failures of any kind in online transmissions; any Internet connection, software or hardware; any other delays in the transmission or receipt of Entries, whether human or technical in nature; or unauthorized human intervention. Proof of submission is not proof of receipt by Sponsor.
3. PHOTO/VIDEO/TWITTER/INSTAGRAM ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Photos must be in .JPG or .PNG format and Videos must be in MP4 format. File size must be no more than 10 MB for Photos and Videos. Photos, Videos and written paragraphs must be entrant's own original creation and executed solely by entrant. Modifying, enhancing or altering a third party's preexisting work does not qualify as entrant's own creation. By submitting an Entry, entrant hereby warrants and represents that the Entry conforms to the "Photo/Video/Twitter/Instagram Entry Requirements" set forth herein.
The following requirements apply to the Photo, Video and/or Written Paragraph ("Paragraph") included with the Entry:
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot be sexually explicit or suggestive, violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, or professional group, or of any sexual orientation, national affiliation, disability, or referential to any particular socioeconomic group or age group, nor can it be profane or pornographic, or reference nudity or any materially dangerous activity.
Photo /Video/Paragraph cannot promote alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing), any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous, or any particular political agenda or message.
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot depict any cartoons, drawings, images, slogans, advertising copy, phrases and marks that identify a brand or any proprietary mark of any living person or deceased.
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot promote any religious or political agenda or messages.
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot be obscene or offensive or endorse any form of hate or hate group.
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot defame, misrepresent or contain disparaging remarks about Sponsor or its products, or other people, products or companies.
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot contain, or reference trademarks, logos or trade dress owned by others, or advertise or promote any brand or product of any kind, without written permission of the trademark owner, or contain any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, email addresses or street addresses.
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot contain copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media) without permission, and cannot be in violation of any person's rights of privacy or publicity, nor can it portray any person in a false light.
Other than entrant's likeness, Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot contain materials embodying the names, likenesses, photographs or other indicia identifying any person, living or dead, without permission.
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot communicate messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill to which the Sponsor wishes to associate.
Photo /Video/Paragraph cannot depict, and cannot itself constitute, a violation of any law.
Photo/Video/Paragraph cannot depict or suggest any direct competitors of United Airlines.
No minors may be included in a Photo or Video, subject to the following limited exception: A minor may appear in your Photo or Video if he/she is your child or legal ward.
Entries that do not comply with these Official Rules or that otherwise contain prohibited or inappropriate content, as determined by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, will be disqualified and will not be considered for the Contest.
BY SUBMITTING AN ENTRY, ENTRANT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE ENTRY MAY BE POSTED ON SPONSOR'S WEBSITE AT SPONSOR'S DISCRETION. By entering, entrants acknowledge that Sponsor has no obligation to use or post any Entry submitted. By affirming that United may use or post the Photo/Video, you further affirm and warrant to United that: (a) you are the owner of all rights in the Photo/Video; (b) you are one of the adult person(s) shown in the Photo/Video, if any; and (c) you are the parent and/or legal guardian of any minor(s) who appears in the Photo/Video.
By submitting an Entry, entrant warrants and represents that: (a) it is, in its entirety, the Entrant's original work; (b) it has not been previously published; (c) it has not won previous awards; (d) it does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; and (e) publication of the Entry via various media including on the Sponsor's website and social media channels, will not infringe on the rights of any third party. Entrant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Contest Entities from and against any claims to the contrary.
*LIMITED LICENSE: THE SPONSOR'S TRADEMARKS MAY BE USED FOR PURPOSES OF THIS CONTEST ONLY. NO OTHER RIGHTS IN OR TO SPONSOR'S TRADEMARKS ARE GRANTED UNDER THESE OFFICIAL RULES.
ENTRIES SUBMITTED IN THIS CONTEST WERE NOT EDITED BY SPONSOR AND ARE THE VIEWS/OPINIONS OF THE INDIVIDUAL WHO SUBMITTED THEM, AND DO NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SPONSOR IN ANY MANNER.
IF YOU THINK THAT ANY ENTRY INFRINGES YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS, CLICK HERE IF YOU WISH TO REPORT IT HTTP://WWW.UNITED.COM/LEGAL.HTML.
4. JUDGING: All Entries will be judged by qualified judges on the following equally weighted criteria:
Inspiration (40%) - highlighting a personal moment of discovery; the ability to tell a story and inspire others through travel,
Creativity (30%) - ability to convey an original and imaginative idea, and
Uniqueness (30%) - capturing a unique element of a specific destination.
The Video entries will be judged ONLY among all other eligible Video Entries submitted and the Photo entries will be judged ONLY among all other eligible Photo Entries submitted. Judging will be completed by or about September 18, 2018. In case of a tie, the Sponsor will select the winner on the basis of the highest score received for the criterion "Inspiration".
5. PRIZES: Three (3) PRIZES are available to be awarded, as follows: Two (2) winners will be selected from among all of the eligible Photo Entries and One (1) winner will be selected from among all of the eligible Video Entries.
Each winner will receive: a) One Million (1,000,000) United MileagePlus® award miles ("Miles"). Miles will be deposited into each winner's MileagePlus® Account. (*See details of prize delivery below); and b) Multi-Merchant Gift Cards with a total value of $7,000. The Gift Cards may not be returned, redeemed or exchanged for cash. The Gift Cards will not be replaced if lost or stolen and are subject to the terms and conditions set forth by the issuer including but not limited to those listed on the back of the gift card, and to all applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
The Approximate Retail Value ("ARV") of each prize is $27,000.
Total ARV of all prizes is $81,000. All prizes will be awarded provided they are claimed properly in accordance with these Official Rules.
Winners will be notified via email, U.S. Mail and/or Instagram or Twitter Direct Message on or around September 19, 2018. Sponsor is not responsible for any change to an entrant's email address or social media account subsequent to entering the Contest that makes contact with such entrant impossible.
Potential winners are subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules, including but not limited to verification of age, as a condition of receiving a prize. If a potential winner is found not to be eligible or not in compliance with these Official Rules, or if a prize notification or any prize is returned as undeliverable, the corresponding potential winner will be disqualified and will forfeit his/her prize. Any forfeited prize will be awarded to the entrant whose Entry received the next-highest score from the judges (after the disqualified winner).
Winners may be required to complete, sign, and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (the "Affidavit") (where permitted) within seven (7) days of date printed on prize notification or prize may be forfeited. Failure to provide all required information and signature on the Affidavit, will result in forfeiture of rights to be declared a prize winner and/or receive prize. In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right to award the forfeited prize to the entrant whose Entry received the next-highest score from the judges (after the disqualified winner).
In order to accept a prize, winner must be a member of the United MileagePlus® program. If a winner is not a member of the United MileagePlus® program, s/he may sign up for free at time of prize notification. Upon receipt and verification of each winner's Affidavit and United MileagePlus® program membership, winner will be notified via email or overnight mail regarding the specific delivery details of the deposit of the 1,000,000 United MileagePlus® award miles into winner's account. All federal, state, and local income taxes on the prizes and all other related costs not specifically outlined in these Official Rules are the sole responsibility of the winners. Winners will be required to provide Sponsor with a valid social security number or tax identification number, for tax reporting purposes, before any prize can be awarded. Each winner will be issued an IRS Form 1099 for the value of the prize. Prizes cannot be transferred, assigned, sold, auctioned or redeemed for cash or substituted except at Sponsor's sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value if the advertised prize becomes or is unavailable for any reason. United MileagePlus® award miles are subject to the terms, conditions, and restrictions of the United MileagePlus® program. By accepting a prize, each winner agrees to abide by and be bound by all such terms, conditions and restrictions.
Miles accrued, awards, and benefits issued are subject to change and are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program, including without limitation the Premier® program (the "MileagePlus Program"), which are expressly incorporated herein. Please allow 6-8 weeks after completed qualifying activity for miles to post to your account. United may change the MileagePlus Program including, but not limited to, rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers or terminate the MileagePlus Program at any time and without notice. United and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products or services of other participating companies and partners. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the member. Bonus award miles, award miles and any other miles earned through non-flight activity do not count toward qualification for Premier status unless expressly stated otherwise. The accumulation of mileage or Premier status or any other status does not entitle members to any vested rights with respect to the MileagePlus Program. All calculations made in connection with the MileagePlus Program, including without limitation with respect to the accumulation of mileage and the satisfaction of the qualification requirements for Premier status, will be made by United Airlines and MileagePlus in their discretion and such calculations will be considered final. Information in this communication that relates to the MileagePlus Program does not purport to be complete or comprehensive and may not include all of the information that a member may believe is important and is qualified in its entirety by reference to all of the information on the united.com website and the MileagePlus Program rules. United and MileagePlus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus Program, go to www.united.com and each winner should review such details prior to accepting a prize. The Gift Card portion of the prize will be sent to winner's home address via UPS overnight delivery.
By accepting a prize, each winner acknowledges that the Released Parties (as defined in Rule 7, below) have not made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the prize, including but not limited to its quality, mechanical condition or fitness for a particular purpose.
6. RIGHTS GRANTED: By submitting an Entry, you hereby grant the Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, licensees, and designees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to use, reproduce, edit, market, store, distribute, have distributed, publicly and privately display, communicate, publicly and privately perform, transmit, have transmitted, create derivative works based upon, and promote the Entry or portions of the Entry (as such may be edited and modified by the Sponsor at its discretion) for editorial, commercial, promotional and all other purposes, including without limitation posting on Sponsor-affiliated websites, social media sites and/or other Sponsor-selected media. In addition, you hereby assign to the Sponsor all rights, titles, and interests that you may be deemed to have in any reproduction, product, or derivative work using or incorporating the Entry. Such rights, title and interest shall include, but are not limited to, all intellectual property, sales and licensing rights. Entrant further agrees to waive any "Moral Rights" in the Entry.
By entering the Contest, each entrant agrees that his/her Entry is gratuitous, unsolicited and without restriction, and will not place Sponsor under any obligations other than those contained in these Official Rules, and that Sponsor is free to disclose the ideas contained in the Entry on a non-confidential basis to anyone or otherwise use the ideas therein without any compensation to the entrant. Each entrant further acknowledges that Sponsor does not waive any rights to use similar or related ideas previously known to Sponsor, or developed by its employees, or obtained from sources other than the Entry.
By entering the Contest, each entrant acknowledges that he/she will not now or in the future be paid or compensated in any way for his/her Entry or for granting the Sponsor any of the rights set out in these Official Rules. Each entrant further acknowledges that Sponsor is not obligated to make use of any of the rights granted in these Official Rules.
Upon request of Sponsor, entrants shall execute and deliver such additional instrument of assignment, as may be solely deemed by Sponsor reasonably necessary to establish the grant of license, the transfer of copyrights and waiver of "Moral Rights" under these Official Rules. Should Sponsor fail to request the said assignment as stated, that shall not be deemed a waiver of Sponsor's rights and Sponsor may at a later time request the assignment.
7. OTHER CONDITIONS: By participating in the Contest, each participant agrees to release, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Sponsor, Administrator, their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, distributors, and the officers, directors and employees of each of the foregoing, (collectively "Released Parties") from and against any and all claims, injuries, damages, expenses, losses and/or liabilities of any nature that in any way relate to or arise from participant's participation in the Contest or participation in any Contest-related activity, or from the receipt, possession or use/misuse of any prize (if applicable), including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (b) errors (including but not limited to human errors) in the administration of the Contest or notification of winners; (c) injury or damage to persons or property (including death); and (d) technical, hardware, software, telephone or other communication malfunctions or errors that may limit one's ability to enter the Contest, including but not limited to any injury or damage to participant's or any other person's computer relating to or resulting from participating in the Contest. Each winner shall bear all risk of loss or damage to his/her prize after it has been delivered.
ANY ATTEMPT BY ANY PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL LAWS, AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISQUALIFY AND SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION. If, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of running as planned for any reason which Sponsor, in its sole opinion, deems capable of corrupting or affecting the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate, modify or suspend this Contest, in whole or in part. If the Contest is terminated before the designated end date of the Promotion Period, Sponsor will select the Contest winners based on the Judging criteria (as defined in Rule 4) from among all eligible, non-suspect entries received as of the date and time of the event giving rise to the termination; Sponsor will post notification of the cancellation at www.unitedsweepstakes.com. In no event will Sponsor, and/or other Released Parties, be responsible or liable to any participant for any damages or losses of any kind, including, but not limited to, direct, incidental, consequential or punitive damages, to the extent they may be disclaimed by applicable law, arising out of or in connection with participation in the Contest or the acceptance, possession or use of any prize (if applicable). SOME JURISDICTIONS MAY NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES; THEREFORE, SOME OF THE AFOREMENTIONED LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU, DEPENDING ON YOUR PLACE OF RESIDENCE.
All Entries are subject to verification by Administrator, an independent judging organization, before any prize is awarded. By accepting a prize, each winner agrees and consents to Sponsor and/or Administrator releasing his/her identity/name to any one requesting a list of prize winners and the use of his/her name, likeness, voice and/or biographical information (city and state of residence) for advertising and Contest purposes in any media now known or hereafter invented without time or territorial limitations and without additional notice or compensation.
8. DISPUTES: Except where prohibited, each participant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of the Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in Cook County, Illinois. All issues and questions concerning these Official Rules, participants' rights and obligations, or Sponsor's rights and obligations shall be governed by the laws of the State of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules. Some jurisdictions do not allow for limitations on the ability to pursue class action remedies, and so these limitations may not apply to you, depending on your place of residence.
9. WINNERS LIST: For the names of the winners, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: United Airlines "United Journey Contest" Winners List Request, 233 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1500, Chicago, IL. 60601. Winners Lists will be sent as soon as administratively feasible after the prizes have been awarded. Requests for Winner List must be received by October 30, 2018.
10. SPONSOR: The Contest is solely sponsored by United Airlines, Inc., 233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606 ("Sponsor"). All trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.
Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.
When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.
They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.
I want them to look no further than United Airlines.
That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.
They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.
That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.
We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.
We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.
We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.
As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.
Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.
They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.
Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.
Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.
Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.
But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.
We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.
It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.
On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.
Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.
"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.
"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."
Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.
The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.
Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.
Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.
Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.
"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."
When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.
For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.
Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.
That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.
"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."
The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.
About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.
"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."
When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.
"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."
On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.
"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."
For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.