5 Monumental Boeing Planes in United's History - United Hub

5 monumental Boeing planes in United's history

By The Hub team, October 20, 2017

Our relationship with Boeing dates back to 1933, and we continue to share a partnership today. Over the past 84 years, we have continued to increase the number and model types of our Boeing aircrafts. Each of the aircrafts that have been introduced into our fleet has played a role in not only enhancing our aircraft's efficiency, but also our operations and capabilities. With each aircraft comes unique facts and features that distinguishes one from the other. These five Boeing aircraft specifically stand out in United and Boeing's history together.

The Boeing 727

What started as a risky proposal with varying demands from customers, the Boeing 727 became one of the bestselling commercial aircrafts in history. In 1960, Boeing announced the three engine aircraft with orders from United, which later took its first flight in 1962. The early 727 had a very distinctive appearance with a rakish T-shaped tail and three rear engines. Throughout its 22 year run, it made both short and cross-country journeys. You can still climb aboard one of our 727 aircrafts, which has its own exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. You can learn more about the Boeing 727 and hear what it's like to fly one from a few of our pilots who volunteer at the exhibit.

Boeing 737

The Boeing 737

Delivered in 1968, we were the first domestic airline to order the Boeing 737, and with its Next Generation models, this aircraft continues to remain in our current fleet. The 737 was built to operate self-sufficiently, giving the aircraft the ability to fly onto unpaved runways in remote locations, if necessary. There are currently three different types of Next Generation Boeing 737 models in our fleet, with 61 737 MAX 9 and 100 737 MAX 10 models on order, bringing the total to just under 500 aircrafts in our 737 fleet. Designed with less maintenance required, more overhead bin space and superior fuel efficiency, deliveries of our 737 Max 10s will begin in late 2020.

Boeing 747-400

The Boeing 747-400 – Queen of the Skies

Better known as the Queen of the Skies, the 747 has left a lasting impression on customers and crew throughout her 47 years of service. As this aircraft heads into retirement on November 7, it will continue to be best known for its humpback silhouette. Additional modifications have been made to several of the 747 aircraft to be used for special purposes. These include the transformations of 747s in order to be used for SOFIA –the only flying infrared astronomy laboratory, Air Force One for the President, Dreamlifters – created to fly 787 parts that were too large for other forms of transportation and space shuttle carriers. The 747-400 is one of the only aircraft with an upper deck, and it is also one of the fastest passenger aircrafts in service with a cruise speed of 567 mph, which is nearly three times faster than a Formula One racecar.

Look back on the Queen's history before she flies off into the sunset.

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

The Boeing 787 - Dreamliner

Dreaming of the Boeing 787? That's probably because this aircraft is also referred to as the Dreamliner. As Boeing's most fuel efficient aircraft, the 787 provides improved ride quality during turbulence and also gives back to the environment — the 787 is 20% more efficient than a traditional 767. On top of that, the Dreamliner has the largest windows on a passenger plane, allowing for maximum visibility, and also features smart glass windows that dim electronically so there's no need to close the shades. These are just a few of the enhancements you'll experience when flying on the 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing 777-300ER

The Boeing 777-300ER

Meet the 'New Spirit of United.' The all-new 777-300ER was delivered in December 2016 and 13 additional aircraft will be entering our fleet over the next several years. Designed with comfort in mind, the interior offers more space for passengers with enhanced features including LED mood lighting that changes based on the environment and stages of the flight, higher ceilings and more room in overhead bins. Even more unique to the 777-300ER is United Polaris®, our international business class experience. This premium cabin travel gives the customer the full experience, from the all new custom-designed lounges to the ultimate inflight experience – including Saks Fifth Avenue bedding, sleep-themed amenities, a signature beverage service and a dining service that features fresh and seasonal ingredients from around the world.

To experience one of these aircrafts for yourself, visit united.com or use the United app.

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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Spotlighting our own during Hispanic Heritage Month

By The Hub team, October 13, 2020

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 th through October 15th and take the time to recognize the important contributions of our colleagues of Hispanic descent in the United family.

This year, we hosted virtual events organized by our multicultural business resource group UNITE to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, covering topics ranging from immigration reform to Hispanic leadership. We're also taking a moment to highlight Latinx employees nominated by their peers for their contributions both at and outside of work.

These nominees have demonstrated leadership in their position and through their character. Take a moment to read their own words about how their background and heritage plays a role in the way they interact with customers, in how they support their colleagues and why it brings valuable perspective to their work.

Vania Wit – VP & Deputy Counsel

Photo of Vania Wit, VP & Deputy Counsel for United Airlines

"I am the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in the legal department. I am an attorney and have worked in the legal department for over 21 years and am currently responsible for a number of different legal areas – such as litigation, international, commercial and government contracts, labor, employment and benefits, antitrust. I have the privilege of working with a tremendous team of attorneys who are directly leading and managing these areas. One of the things I like most about my job is simply getting to know the backgrounds and personal stories that everyone has about their paths to United or their passion for the industry. Being the daughter of immigrants from South America and growing up in a family who relies heavily on air travel to connect us to our close family and friends is an integral part of my story and what drew me to this industry and this company."

Kayra Martinez – International Flight Attendant, FRA

Photo of Kayra Martinez on board an aircraft

"I love that my work as a flight attendant brings me all over the world and allows me to connect with diverse people across the globe. Because of my Spanish heritage, I've been able to use my language as a way to connect with passengers, crew members and people from every nationality. In addition, my heritage gives me a very close connection to family, creating community and using inclusion as a way to bring people together. After transferring to Europe, I was able to study German, more Spanish, Italian and Arabic. Outside of work, I'm the director and founder of a nonprofit organization that empowers refugees through art. Hundreds of children and adults fleeing war-torn countries have found healing through my art workshops. These refugees are currently displaced in Greece. Their stunning paintings are then sold in art galleries and communities around the world, raising awareness and putting income directly into the hands of refugee artists."

Adriana Carmona – Program Manager, AO Regulatory Compliance

Photo of Adriana standing in front of a plane engine

"I've been incredibly lucky to have amazing leaders during my time at United who have challenged me from day one to think outside the box, step out of my comfort zone and trusted me to own and deliver on the tasks assigned. I think this sense of ownership is largely shaped by my Latino background, which values responsibility, respect and accountability and taking full charge of what's in your control to be able to deliver accordingly."

Harry Cabrera – Assistant Manager, AO Customer Service, IAH

Photo of Harry Cabrera

"My desire to help people is what drove me to start my career in Customer Service over two decades ago. Currently I provide support to our coworkers and customers at IAH , the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean. As a Colombian native celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, I'm proud to see the strength that my fellow Latinos forge every day at United Airlines. Family values are a cornerstone of the Latin community; I consider my coworkers to be part of my extended family. Mentor support throughout the years gave me the opportunity to grow professionally. The desire to do better and help others succeed is part of that heritage. I collaborate with our Latin American operations and create ways to improve performance. No matter what language you speak, the passion for what you do and being approachable makes the difference in any interaction."

Juciaria Meadows – Assistant Regional Manager, Cargo Sales

Photo of Juciaria Meadows in a Cargo hold

"During my 28-year career, I've worked across the system in various frontline and leadership roles in Reservations, Customer Service and Passenger Sales in Brazil. I moved to the U.S. in 2012 to work as an Account Executive for Cargo. It did not take too long for me to learn that boxes and containers have as much a voice as a passenger sitting in our aircraft. My job is to foster relationships with shippers, freight forwarders, cosignees, etc. and build strong partnerships in fair, trustworthy and caring ways where United Cargo will be their carrier of choice. That's where my background growing up in a Latino family plays an important role in my day-to-day interactions. I've done many wonderful sales trainings provided by United and my academic background , but none of them taught me more than watching my parents running their wholesale food warehouse. Developing exceptional relationships with their customers, they always treated them with trust and respect. They were successful business people with a big heart, creative, always adding a personal touch to their business relationships and I find myself doing the same. It's a lesson that is deep in my heart."

Shanell Arevalo – Customer Service Representative, DEN

Photo of Shanell Arevalo at work

"I am Belizean and Salvadoran. At a young age my family moved to California from Belize. Although I grew up in the United States , one thing my parents taught me was to never forget the culture, values and principles I was raised on. This includes showing love, compassion, and respect to all people. We learned to put our best foot forward for any situation and always put our heart and mind into everything we do. In my position as a customer service agent, it's the difference of showing the love, compassion and respect to our passengers to show that this is not just a job but rather a passion of genuinely caring for our people. Being Latina, we are raised to always take care of our family, and the way I take care of passengers is the way I would take care of my family. If there's one way I know I can make a difference with our Spanish speaking passengers, it's being able to speak the language. The glow that comes over a passenger's face when they realize there's someone who can speak Spanish is absolutely an indescribable feeling. With that glow comes comfort and joy. The small comfort they get from knowing someone can connect with them makes all the difference in their experience."

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United Cargo responds to COVID-19 challenges, prepares for what's next

By The Hub team, September 30, 2020

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, United Cargo has supported a variety of customers within the healthcare industry for over 10 years. Three key solutions – TempControl, LifeGuard and QuickPak – protect the integrity of vital shipments such as precision medicine, pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical equipment and vaccines. By utilizing processes like temperature monitoring, thermodynamic management, and priority boarding and handling, United Cargo gives customers the peace of mind that their shipments will be protected throughout their journey.

With the global demand for tailored pharmaceutical solutions at an all-time high, we've made investments to help ensure we provide the most reliable air cargo options for cold chain shipping. In April this year, we became the first U.S. carrier to lease temperature-controlled shipping containers manufactured by DoKaSch Temperature Solutions. We continue to partner with state-of-the-art container providers to ensure we have options that meet our customers' ever-changing needs.

"Providing safe air cargo transport for essential shipments has been a top priority since the pandemic began. While the entire air cargo industry has had its challenges, I'm proud of how United Cargo has adapted and thrived despite a significant reduction in network capacity and supply," said United Cargo President Jan Krems. "We remain committed to helping our customers make it through the pandemic, as well as to doing everything we can to be prepared for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution when the time comes."

Our entire team continues to prioritize moving critical shipments as part of our commitment to supporting the global supply chain. We've assembled a COVID readiness task team to ensure we have the right people in place and are preparing our airports as we get ready for the industry-wide effort that comes next.

In cooperation with our partners all over the world, United Cargo has helped transport nearly 145 million pounds of medical supplies to aid in the fight against COVID-19, using a combination of cargo-only flights and passenger flig­hts. To date, United Cargo has operated more than 6,300 cargo-only flights and has transported more than 213 million pounds of cargo worldwide.

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