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London's most unique British experiences

By The Hub team, September 27, 2017

We've rounded up some quintessentially British experiences that you must try out in London this autumn season, from touring the queen's residence to exploring a Harry Potter exhibition.

There's nothing more uniquely British than the city's royal attractions. Snoop around the lavishly decorated state rooms of the Queen Elizabeth II's London home as Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public for a few months. Treasures on display include paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Rubens. The palace is also hosting a temporary exhibition Royal Gifts, showcasing more than 200 presents given to the queen during her reign, including a Union Jack flag badge worn in space.

If you want to see pieces from Buckingham Palace's Royal Collection, head over to The Queen's Gallery. On display until November 12 is Canaletto and the Art of Venice, featuring dreamy artworks by the Venetian artist and his contemporaries showing the beauty of 18th-century Venice. Recharge your batteries at the gallery's grand Café at the Palace where you can indulge in afternoon tea with homemade cakes, pastries, sandwiches, loose-leaf tea and optional champagne.

Celebrate Princess Diana's chic style at Diana: Her Fashion Story at Kensington Palace until February 28 of next year. Stunning garments on display include the iconic blue velvet gown that Diana famously wore when she danced with John Travolta at the White House, and the pale pink Emanuel blouse worn for the princess's engagement portrait in 1981.

If you want to experience a very British display of pomp and pageantry, don't miss the Lord Mayor's Show on November 11, an annual event which commemorates the election of the new head of London. Every November dating back to 1215, the newly elected mayor travels from the city to Westminster to pledge alliance to the crown. Nowadays, this takes the form of a colorful parade, featuring everything from military marching bands to samba dancing. The spectacular event concludes with a fireworks display over the river Thames.

For more traditional entertainment, check out the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church on October 1, London's 140-year-old tradition which sees participants dressed in their best dark suits covered in hundreds of bright pearl buttons. The celebration of the autumn harvest features Morris dancing, maypole dancing, marching bands, drummers and plenty of colorful characters.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the publication of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," the British Library is staging the exhibition Harry Potter: The History of Magic that's sure to be a real crowd pleaser. Delve into the traditions of folklore and magic that inspired the Potter books, as well as feasting your eyes on never-before-seen material from J.K. Rowling's archive. The exhibition is open until February 28 of next year.

Autumn in London is open and there is still time to catch many of these events as they remain open until early next year. Book your unique British experience by visiting united.com or through the United app. And while you're there, share your experience on social media with the hashtag #LondonIsOpen and #AutumnSeason.

London Autumn Season partners

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.

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.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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