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.

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.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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