The Little Things That Count The Most - United Hub
Connections Matter

The little things that count the most

By Matt Adams

It was a scene that many customers on our flights wouldn't necessarily have noticed: an elderly woman slowly making her way up the aisle from the lavatory, holding onto the seatbacks as she shuffled along. But Denver-based Flight Attendant Ali Scully saw her. And it was clear to her that the woman was struggling.

Gracefully, Ali went up to her, crouched down and let the customer place her hands on her shoulders for support, then guided her to her seat. After sitting down, the customer thanked Ali, who smiled and went back to her onboard duties, and that was it. The whole interaction lasted only a brief moment. Just a bit of kindness in an otherwise unremarkable day at work.

Sometimes, though, an act transcends the effort put forth. A customer seated nearby saw it all unfold and was so moved by what Ali did that he wrote about it on the travel blog Live and Let's Fly.

"Thankfully I had my sunglasses to put on as I started to get a bit misty eyed," he wrote. "There are a lot of people out there and even a simple gesture goes a long way."

When she found out the story ended up online, Ali was stunned. She said when she saw the woman, she immediately thought of her grandmother, and she just did what she hopes anyone would do for her in a similar situation. Besides, it was what she was raised to do, her actions reflecting the values her mother, retired Flight Attendant Betty Lou Summers, instilled in her.

"My mom was a United flight attendant for over 20 years, so I grew up watching her help people. Not just on airplanes but wherever she was. She had already retired by the time I followed in her footsteps, but even though I can't work with her, I feel that I am an extension of her in that way."

Each day, Ali said, she tries to connect with the people who fly with her. Everyone on the plane, whether they are customers or employees, are passengers on the same trip, both literally and in a more universal sense, and Ali strives to make it a pleasant one for all involved. Before putting on her uniform, she reminds herself of that and of the difference one person can make. The fact that someone saw that in action and blogged about it was beside the point. To that woman, the customer whom Ali helped, her simply being there was enough.

"If your eyes are open, you will see that opportunities to help someone are everywhere," she said. "On the plane, I'm always looking to make people comfortable in any way I can. I've been non-revving since I was a baby, so I'm very comfortable in the air, but a lot of people aren't. They don't fly often, and I don't want them to feel like the journey was the hardest part."

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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