5 Last-Minute MLK Weekend Getaways - United Hub

Last-minute MLK weekend getaways

By Bob Cooper

Whether you choose a warm-weather paradise like Hawaii or Mexico, or a ski town that embraces the winter like Park City, Utah, Martin Luther King Day weekend (January 18-21) is the ideal time to take your first trip of the new year. Mid-January is the perfect time to set your travel resolutions into motion. Here are just a few destination ideas.

Park City, Utah

Though you might not believe it, winter will be gone before you know it and with it the snow - so what better time than a long weekend to hit the slopes. Home to two major resorts, Park City has become one of the top winter destinations in the country. Winter activities don't stop at skiing and snowboarding, there are all kinds of activities that attract visitors every year, including snowmobiling and dogsledding the backcountry, snow tubing with lifts back up to the top, snowshoeing trails and the Utah Olympic Park to explore. Once tired from all of those winter activities and looking for a little R&R, indulge in a spa, aprés-ski or try one of the many restaurants and bars downtown.

San Luis Obispo, California

This largest town on the central California coast is a fine midwinter destination whether you favor seabirds or syrahs. January is prime time for admiring the hundreds of bird species that migrate on the Pacific Flyway. A favorite Flyway stopover of theirs (and birders) is the charming beach town of Morro Bay, just 13 miles west of “SLO" (as locals call it). The Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival (Jan. 18-21) hosts 130 events that turns birding into a group activity. SLO County is also home to wine regions that are rated among the best in North America, with more than 200 wineries in the county's Paso Robles and Edna Valley regions. Many keep their tasting rooms open through the winter.

Orlando, Florida

Epcot Center in Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida

Orlando's theme parks are a madhouse during the December holidays, but lines get shorter and hotel prices get lower during MLK weekend, when visiting families can squeeze in two days of fun between arrival and departure. Kicking off that weekend, the annual Epcot International Festival of the Arts (Jan. 18-Feb. 25) will offer an array of musical, theatrical and visual arts for all ages. Experience a captivating performance at one of Disney on Broadway Concert Series, attend a professional workshop to learn tips from the experts or eat your way around Epcot on MLK weekend.

Washington D.C.

Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. during winter.

The nation's capital offers milder January weather than most East Coast cities, but more importantly, its most appealing attractions are indoors anyway. Chief among those are the 13 free museums, galleries and other attractions that line the Capital Mall. Newest among these is the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture, the perfect place to visit on MLK weekend. Honoring Dr. King on MLK Day in Washington, D.C., are a parade and a Kennedy Center concert featuring Tony®, Oscar®, and Grammy®-winning artist Aura McDonald and Tony®-winning artist Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Kahului, Hawaii

Waterfall in Kahului, Hawaii

Maui feels like paradise anytime, but especially for visitors coming from cold-climate locales in mid-January. After arriving from the U.S. mainland in Kahului, it's only a short drive to beach hotels—taking you through sugarcane fields and alongside the typically dry leeward coastline, where you may spot whale spouts close to shore. Once checked in, you can choose languor—a poolside Mai Tai and perhaps a little snorkeling off Black Rock at Kaanapali Beach—or you can be more ambitious: drive and then hike to the 10,023-foot peak of Haleakala, negotiate the famously twisty road to Hana (600 curves, 54 bridges), or run the Maui Oceanfront Marathon, Half Marathon, 15K, 10K or 5K.

If you go

United Airlines offers nonstop flights from U.S. cities to all of these cities. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your mid-winter weekend getaway.

United's regional presidents join respective Governor's COVID-19 task force

By Ryan Wilks, May 21, 2020

As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.

A message from Scott Kirby, United’s new CEO

By The Hub team, May 20, 2020


Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.

While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.

First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.

As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.

Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.

We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.

But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.

Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.

Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.

While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.

Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, April 22, 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 throughout your travel experience.

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
    Introducing 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

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
    Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
  • 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
    Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
    • Limiting middle seat selection
    • Moving customers seated closely together
    • De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
  • 9
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles

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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