Spectacular LGBT getaway cities
Some of the world's most legendary cities are also among the most LGBT-friendly. These six top both lists for good reasons.
San Francisco, California
Many events are planned during this year's Summer of Love 50th anniversary to celebrate the exciting summer in San Francisco when hippies took over the Haight-Ashbury district. But just over the hill in the Castro district in 1967, a community centered around LGBT culture was taking root, and it's still going strong. Visitors to the Castro should stop by the GLBT History Museum, then catch a classic film at the gorgeous, 1,400-seat Castro Theatre. Besides nightlife in San Francisco, day-trip options include the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country and the Russian River town of Guerneville, a favorite LGBT getaway spot nestled in the redwoods.
South Beach earns its reputation every night as a place where the party never stops — on the beach (the LGBT scene is at the 12th Street beach) and in the adjacent bars and clubs. The presence of an LGBT Visitor Center in “SoBe," which is surrounded by upscale shops and restaurants, speaks to the fact that this is a town that welcomes and celebrates everyone. Also LGBT-friendly are Miami Beach's Haulover Beach Park, and if you don't mind driving a bit farther to the north, Fort Lauderdale — where the beach, inns, restaurants and bars around Sebastian Street are crowded with LGBT locals and tourists.
It makes sense that the largest metropolis in the Mediterranean, the tourist magnet of Barcelona, is a crossroads city with a progressive and welcoming vibe. LGBT visitors are among those who benefit, as Barcelona's many gay and lesbian beaches, hotels, bars, nightclubs and festivals make it the LGBT capital of southern Europe. The LGBT hotspot of Sitges, home to two dozen beaches, is just 20 miles away by train or bus. And accessible from Barcelona by ferry or plane in the Mediterranean are the LGBT-friendly Spanish jet-setter islands of Ibiza and Majorca — the latter of which hosts the Ella International Lesbian Festival (August 31–September 7).
Dublin is one of Europe's most progressive cities, with many hotels, saunas, nightclubs and bars geared to LGBT travelers. It's also the perfect gateway to one of Europe's most beautiful and visitor-friendly countries. Along with Dublin, the city of Cork is especially LGBT-friendly, although so is the rest of the Emerald Isle. In 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to approve gay marriage by popular vote, with 62 percent lifting their Guinness mugs in a resounding “aye" vote. Adding to Ireland's appeal: English is the spoken language, and the Euro is the preferred currency.
The winding shoreline of Sydney is packed with LGBT-friendly beaches, from renowned Bondi Beach to smaller clothing-optional beaches. After soaking in the Sydney sun, visitors can head to LGBT-oriented restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Australia's largest and most cosmopolitan city — or join other tourists in taking in sights like the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Sydney Tower, Australian Museum, Royal Botanic Garden and Olympic Park. Oxford Street-Darlinghurst, sometimes called “The Golden Mile," is the main center of LGBT culture and it's located near the city center.
Toronto's Pride Month is one of the world's biggest, bringing an estimated 1 million visitors to the city each June and culminating in a massive Pride Parade (June 25, 2017). But LGBT visitors also flock to Toronto the rest of the year. The heart of LGBT culture is found in “the Village," which is part of the Church-Wellesley district (near downtown) — but the entire multicultural city of 2.7 million, Canada's largest, is LGBT-friendly. Among Toronto's many visitor attractions are the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada's largest museum; the CN Tower, the Western Hemisphere's tallest structure; and the Eaton Centre, North America's busiest shopping mall with 300-plus shops and restaurants.
If you go
By working together and strengthening partnerships during these unprecedented times, our global community has overcome challenges and created solutions to keep the global supply chain moving. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the shipping landscape, United and our industry partners have increasingly demonstrated our commitment to the mission of delivering critical medical supplies across the world.
United Cargo has partnered with DSV Air and Sea, a leading global logistics company, to transport important pharmaceutical materials to places all over the world. One of the items most critical during the current crisis is blood plasma.
Plasma is a fragile product that requires very careful handling. Frozen blood plasma must be kept at a very low, stable temperature of negative 20 degrees Celsius or less – no easy task considering it must be transported between trucks, warehouses and airplanes, all while moving through the climates of different countries. Fortunately, along with our well-developed operational procedures and oversight, temperature-controlled shipping containers from partners like va-Q-tec can help protect these sensitive blood plasma shipments from temperature changes.
A single TWINx shipping container from va-Q-tec can accommodate over 1,750 pounds of temperature-sensitive cargo. Every week, DSV delivers 20 TWINx containers, each one filled to capacity with human blood plasma, for loading onto a Boeing 787-9 for transport. The joint effort to move thousands of pounds of blood plasma demonstrates that despite the distance, challenges in moving temperature-sensitive cargo and COVID-19 obstacles, we continue to find creative solutions with the help of our strong partnerships.
United Cargo is proud to keep the commercial air bridges open between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Since March 19, we have operated over 3,200 cargo-only flights between six U.S. hubs and over 20 cities in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, India, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
A message from UNITE, United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group
Fellow United team members –
Hello from the UNITE leadership team. While we communicate frequently with our 3,500 UNITE members, our platform doesn't typically extend to the entire United family, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share some of our thoughts with all of you.
Tomorrow is June 19. On this day in 1865, shortened long ago to "Juneteenth," Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and all enslaved individuals were free. For many in the African-American community, particularly in the South, it is recognized as the official date slavery ended in the United States.
Still, despite the end of slavery, the Constitutional promise that "All men are created equal" would overlook the nation's Black citizens for decades to come. It wasn't until nearly a century later that the Civil Rights Act (1964) ended legal segregation and the Voting Rights Act (1965) protected voting rights for Black Americans. But while the nation has made progress, the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have made it undeniably clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve racial parity and inclusion.
Two weeks ago, Scott and Brett hosted a virtual town hall and set an important example by taking a minute, as Brett said, "to lower my guard, take off my armor, and just talk to you. And talk to you straight from the heart."
Difficult conversations about race and equity are easy to avoid. But everyone needs to have these conversations – speaking honestly, listening patiently and understanding that others' experiences may be different from your own while still a valid reflection of some part of the American experience.
To support you as you consider these conversations, we wanted to share some resources from one of United's partners, The National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will host an all-day Virtual Juneteenth Celebration to recognize Juneteenth through presentations, stories, photographs and recipes. The museum also has a portal that United employees can access called Talking About Race, which provides tools and guidance for everyone to navigate conversations about race.
Our mission at UNITE is to foster an inclusive working environment for all of our employees. While we are hopeful and even encouraged by the widespread and diverse show of support for African Americans around the country – and at United - we encourage everyone to spend some time on Juneteenth reflecting on racial disparities that remain in our society and dedicating ourselves to the work that still must be done to fight systemic racism. By honoring how far we've come and honestly acknowledging how far we still must go, we believe United – and the incredible people who are the heart and soul of this airline - can play an important role in building a more fair and just world.
UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)
At the airport
1Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
2Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
3Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
4Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
5Rolling out touchless check-in for customers with bags
At the gate:
6Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
7Providing hand sanitizer and
8Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
9Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
10Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in the airport
On our aircraft
1Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
2Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
3Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
4Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
5Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
6Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
7Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft
8Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove 99.97% of airborne particles
- The cabin recirculated air is exchanged every 2-3 minutes
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.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, video conferencing tools that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
Watch our most popular videos
This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.