Love in the Air - United Hub

Love in the air

By Matt Adams

This year marks a major milestone for Peter Methot and Anna Lenhoff-Methot as they celebrate twenty one years of marriage. During that time, they've managed to raise three wonderful boys, sustain a happy, loving relationship and build successful careers here at United. Those accomplishments alone would be impressive enough, but picture them doing all of that while circumnavigating the globe, oftentimes in opposite directions of one another.

As pilots, Los Angeles-based First Officers Peter and Anna share a special bond, first as husband and wife and then as colleagues. While it's certainly rare to find two spouses who both fly, the way that Anna and Peter met is perhaps the most inexplicable thing about their unique story. "It was my second day at United, and I was in the training center (in Denver) late one Friday night finishing up some work," Anna said. "I had been on the computer for hours and went to take a break; that's when I bumped into Peter." Peter was there burning the midnight oil in hopes of getting away for a weekend ski trip, but one word from Anna stopped him in his tracks. "I didn't expect to see anyone else there at that time of night, so it surprised me," he recalled. "Then I heard Anna speak, and she had an accent. I asked her, 'Are you Swedish?' and she said yes. I recognized it instantly because I speak Swedish — my mother is actually from Sweden."

Peter Methot and Anna Lenhoff-Methot, a husband and wife pilot team

From that night forward they were inseparable, as friends and then as a couple, growing close thanks to their mutual interests in flying, the outdoors and a little healthy competition. "We're both athletic, so we spent our off days hiking and skiing; we really pushed each other," Peter said. He still laughs when remembering one tell-tale date in particular: "Once, we drove to the Grand Canyon. We arrived late in the day, but we were determined to hike down to the bottom and back," he said. "There was a sign posted that warned you not to attempt the hike in one day, but we did it anyway by basically jogging all the way down the trail and back up. Neither of us wanted to admit to the other that we couldn't do it. Of course, for weeks afterwards we could barely walk because we were so sore."

After a year-and-a-half together, Anna and Peter married, which is when the real adventure began. Early on in their relationship, flying separately didn't pose much of a problem, aside from some hefty long distance bills. But after their first son was born, they were forced to get creative. "We decided that it would be best to bid opposite schedules so that one of us was always home, which meant spending less time together," Anna said. "It's been a big challenge, but we've really tried to communicate and focus on each other as much as we can. FaceTime has helped tremendously in recent years."

In spite of the sacrifices they've made to ensure that their boys always have at least one of them present, there have been some definite benefits. "It's wonderful to be married to someone who understands flying," Anna said, "and someone who understands what it's like to get home after a long trip and have to readjust. Having a fellow pilot in the house has been helpful." Peter, too, spoke highly of the support system that they've cultivated. "You can share your feelings, talk about your work and grow together," he said. "You can bounce questions and opinions off of each other — I can talk to her about what it's like to fly into Maui, and she can add to the conversation from a professional perspective."

Over the years they've learned to juggle their jobs and their family in a positive way, which oftentimes means wearing multiple hats. When Peter is home and Anna is away on a trip, he plays mom and dad; when Anna is home she plays both roles. And that's something that they believe has benefited their children. "They see us as equals," Peter said, "and they don't see being a pilot as a 'boy job' or a 'girl job.' Throughout their lives, we've tried to put in an equal amount of effort as parents."

Peter Methot and Anna Lenhoff-Methot vacationing with their three sons

"I'm really glad that we sacrificed date night so that we could spend more time as a family," Anna said when thinking back on the few nights alone she and Peter have enjoyed over the years. "I think our kids are well-rounded because of it. That's kudos to our profession and United Airlines, the fact that one of us has always been able to be home with them." Last December, however, the Methots were surprised to learn that they would be flying together for the first time in their lives. "It just so happened that we were bidding flights, and we were both trying to have Christmas off since I worked last year and missed it," Anna said. "We were randomly assigned to the same London trip. After it was over, we were glad to have done it, but at the time it was honestly a little stressful knowing that we would both be away from the boys."

Peter and Anna's youngest is in the seventh grade, so they have a few years left to go before they can start working the same schedule again, with days off together. But even after all the years, the countless flights and the time apart, Peter and Anna are happy with where they've landed. "Our life has been one surprise after another," Anna said. "The fact that we have managed three kids, that we've been able to live our lives as pilots and that we're happy — we wouldn't trade it for anything."

United Cargo and logistics partners keep critical medical shipments moving

By The Hub team, July 02, 2020

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.

Celebrating Juneteenth

By United Airlines, June 18, 2020

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.

Thank you,

UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)

Leadership Team

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, May 20, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment, and to provide transparency and choice throughout the travel journey.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Rolling out touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
  • 10
    Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in the airport

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft
  • 8
    Using 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

Cleveland Clinic 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.

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