We're Investing in the New York/New Jersey Travel Experience - United Hub

We’re investing in the New York/New Jersey travel experience

By Jill Kaplan, September 14, 2018

Here at United, the past few months have been extremely busy. As President of New York/New Jersey for United, I'm proud to share what we've been working on for you.

A man and woman enjoy cocktails at the new United Polaris\u00ae lounge

Improving your experience

Our United Polaris® lounge at Newark Airport opened this June, exclusively for travelers in first and business class on select international flights. Like our other United Polaris lounges, it offers rainfall shower suites, abundant workspaces and rest pods with daybeds — but you'll also enjoy local artwork and preflight dining with locally inspired flair. You can learn more in this special article about the United Polaris lounge.

We've also opened a new pop-up United Club location near C93. This is in addition to our other pop-up club near Gate C124 and full-service locations in Terminals A and C. Both pop-up lounges offer beer and wine, as well as light snack options. We know lounge space is important and we'll continue to look for ways to enhance your experience.

The Global Bazaar in the C1 Concourse of Terminal C at EWR

You can also take part in a unique culinary experience by visiting our new Global Bazaar in the C1 Concourse of Terminal C. Designed in collaboration with OTG — a United partner that shares our commitment to working with artisanal suppliers who give back to their communities — this new area offers international dining and gifts inspired by global travels and frequently rotates new products. OTG has also helped us open an array of other restaurants in Terminal C.

We're also working with our partners to transform New York LaGuardia's Terminal B. This state-of-the-art facility will offer innovative new dining concepts, unique retail shopping options and more. Terminal B's new parking lot opened recently with a new indoor pickup area to make ride-sharing and coordinating car service more convenient.

Growing your network

We're proud to continue increasing service from New York/Newark, as well as adding new destinations.*

In September, we'll offer more flights for college football with added service to Madison, WI; Omaha, NE; South Bend, IN; and more. And in October, we'll have an expanded schedule of flights to noteworthy cities such as Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL; and beyond.

This winter, we'll continue to offer nonstop service to key ski destinations. If you prefer a warmer getaway, you can take advantage of our new, seasonal flights operating nonstop between New York/Newark and Palm Springs, CA, starting December 19.

And next summer, we'll begin flying nonstop seasonal service to Prague, Czech Republic, and Naples, Italy.

Keeping you safe

Despite the severe weather we've battled in the East Coast, we're committed to getting you to your chosen destination as quickly and smoothly as possible. During summer thunderstorms, the Federal Aviation Administration may prevent planes from taking off and landing, or restrict the number of planes that can take off or land. In these instances, we may need to delay or cancel a flight to meet our high safety standards. If that does occur, our automated systems will try to confirm you on the next available United flight. If you provided contact information during check-in, you'll receive an email or text message with your updated itinerary. You can also check your itinerary online, on the app or by speaking to an airport representative.

Investing in our community

United has been working closely with local leaders to identify and build deep and meaningful partnerships that address the area's most critical needs. As part of this effort, we've committed $2 million to New York and New Jersey organizations that we are very proud to support: the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Urban League of Essex County and YearUp New York.

Our grants will help these organizations connect teens and young adults with training opportunities through workforce redevelopment programs focusing on creating career pipelines in technology, culinary arts and more. It's a great opportunity for more people in our communities to achieve upward economic mobility and gain access to meaningful careers. So, whether you're excited about your travel plans in the coming months or simply care about helping others make moves in their personal lives, I look forward to the ways United can serve you and your community better.

Thanks for choosing United

You — our customer — are our top priority and I want to thank you for your loyalty. Being new to the airline industry, I've spent the past several months listening and learning from customers like you whose candor has been invaluable as we continuously focus on refining your United experience. Enjoy the fall and please feel free to share your thoughts with me at JillKaplan@united.com.

*Routes are subject to government approval and subject to change.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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