MLK Weekend Sunny Escapes - United Hub

Sunny escapes for MLK weekend

By Bob Cooper

Mid-January may be cold and gloomy where you live, but that's why the MLK Day three-day weekend (January 14-16) is the perfect time to go somewhere warm and sunny. Visiting one of these 6 cities may be the perfect antidote to your midwinter blues.

Scottsdale

Just up the highway from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Arizona boasts one of the richest concentrations of lavish resorts, spas and golf courses of any city in America, along with a desert climate that lets you enjoy them all. Invigorating red-rock hiking trails also beckon — from short and steep climbs up Camelback Mountain and Pinnacle Peak to day hikes in 47-square-mile McDowell Sonoran Preserve. MLK weekend events include the 27th Celebration of Fine Arts, Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction (attended by 350,000), and Native Trails (a Native American cultural festival).

New Orleans

New Orleans

It's never a bad time to visit New Orleans, but it's an especially good time to visit in January. Temperatures are mild — typically reaching the 60s — and French Quarter bars and restaurants are just beginning to warm up for Mardi Gras. Fortunately, the impossible crowds that flock to New Orleans in February for the wildly popular festival haven't arrived yet, so in January you can actually snag a reservation at a normally booked gumbo or crawfish spot. Traditional to contemporary blues and jazz liven up the Quarter, where you'll also find a variety of live theater and comedy options to choose from.

. Palm Springs

Palm Springs

It's no wonder that the desert region surrounding Palm Springs, California was recently named a "Best in the U.S. 2017" destination by Lonely Planet. The storied playground for generations of Hollywood celebs offers great golf, tennis and spas. Superb hiking nearby is topped by trails at Joshua Tree National Park and newly opened Sand to Snow National Monument. The huge and prestigious Palm Springs International Film Festival wraps up on MLK weekend, so don't be surprised to see an actor or two relaxing at your resort pool.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, Texas, the southernmost major city in the state, is just as far south as Tampa, Florida and offers Florida-worthy beaches on the Gulf, especially across the bridge to Padre Island. The world's longest undeveloped barrier island — measuring at 113 miles long — is a two-mile-wide sliver of dunes and beaches dominated by Padre Island National Seashore, which swarms with sea turtles and hundreds of seabird species. Back in town you can visit the Texas State Aquarium and USS Lexington aircraft carrier museum.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan

If a warm-weather destination is on your mind, you may want to add Puerto Rico to your travel list for 2017 as it's warmer in January than any other state — including Hawaii. How does an average high of 82 sound this time of year? You can also enjoy zip lining through a rainforest, "body rafting" through a cave, kayaking on a bioluminescent bay, or just hitting the beach or golf course at your resort. San Juan has it all with no passport or foreign currency required.

Nassau, Bahamas

Nassau

The Bahamas is the closest non-contiguous country to the U.S. At only 50 miles from U.S. shores, you can almost see it from Florida. Better yet, you can see it up close over a long weekend that you'll wish is longer. Any activity that involves the ocean can be enjoyed in Nassau, from snorkeling and surfing to every kind of boating. After laying on a boat or the beach, you can try their famous fish-fry, a Bahamian tradition. Then wash your fried conch down with a Bahama Mama, a traditional cocktail made with different rums, juices and liqueur.

If you go

United Airlines flies to all of these cities with the exception of Scottsdale which you can reach via Phoenix. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your January getaway.

Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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