Lisa Langdon's 'speaking hands' connect with customer - United Hub
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Lisa Langdon's 'speaking hands' connect with customer

By Matt Adams

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Customer Service Representative Lisa Langdon's first language might surprise most people. Born to two deaf parents, she learned American Sign Language before she was able to speak, a skill that still plays an important role in her life and career to this day.

"When I worked at Sioux Falls, we had a frequent flyer who was deaf," Lisa said. "Because I'm fluent in sign language, I was able to help her many times. I actually saw her in Seattle recently, and she was struggling to converse with a gate agent. When I walked over, she was so happy to see me."

Lisa paints a vivid picture of the frustration deaf or hearing-impaired people feel when they want to be heard but are unable to carry on critical conversations with the people around them. So, it's no surprise that she can recall several similar stories of customers who were relieved to learn that she understands sign language.

One interaction in particular stands out. Earlier this year, the father of a deaf son and daughter posted a video to Twitter. It was of Lisa signing with his young son in a busy concourse at SeaTac. "I saw the mom signing to the little boy, so I walked over and signed, 'Are you deaf?' The mom said, 'No, but my son is.'" Lisa began signing with him, and watched as the boy lit up with excitement at having someone other than his parents to communicate with. "I was amazed — he had only known American Sign Language for about three years, but he carried on complete conversations. He was so happy to sign with someone."

Lisa, who didn't know that the video was on Twitter, smiled when remembering that day. "I probably spent 20 minutes with them, and it was the best. Those kids and that family will always be in my heart."

Lisa's experiences with deaf customers are an excellent reminder of how important her skill is to operate a truly accessible airline. "Deaf and hearing-impaired customers just want agents and crew to be aware," she said. "At the airport, there are so many announcements about things like gate changes and delays that have to be communicated. Being sensitive to that in regards to those customers is essential."

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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