The Mystical and Magical Morocco - United Hub

The mystical and magical Morocco

By The Hub team

Each week we will profile one of our employee's adventures across the globe, featuring a new location for every employee's story. Follow along every week to learn more about their travel experiences.

By SFO Customer Service Representative Madhura Chitale

I've always wanted to see the Sahara Desert, explore old medinas and eat the delicious food of Morocco, a place I imagined to be very exotic and full of colorful palaces. Recently, I finally got to experience all that when I decided to take a trip there with some co-workers and friends.

Madhura Chitale and friends in Morocco

We decided to go to Marrakech first. Once we arrived we headed straight to our bed and breakfast we had booked in the historic district. After having mint tea and a good lunch, we visited the medina and explored some beautiful architecture. A medina quarter is a distinct city section found in many North African cities that is typically walled, with many narrow and maze-like streets.

After exploring the medina, we went to the famous Jemaa-el-Fnaa Square, where you can find hundreds of people at night eating and shopping. Later that night we decided to go to a travel agency to find transportation for our trip to the Sahara Desert. We decided on a tour guide who took us to the desert in a Land Cruiser the next morning and brought us back the following day. It was a very long trip, but worth the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Early the next morning, our travel began with a drive across the high Atlas Mountains. We passed many beautiful villages and made a stop in Ait Benhaddou -- a walled city along the former caravan route between the Sahara Desert and Marrakech, as well as the famous Kasbah, which has been used in various films as a backdrop.

We stopped in Ouarzazate to have lunch and then crossed a more than 120 mile long Draa Valley to arrive in Merzouga, the gateway to the dunes of the Moroccan Sahara Desert. We arrived at night and rode camels to our Berber camp. It was so dark that we could see the Milky Way very clearly. Once at the campsite, we had a wonderful homemade dinner, while watching Berber people playing music. As all the lights went off, we could fully appreciate the starry sky. There is nothing around you, and all you can hear are footsteps of camels on soft sand -- it was a dramatic experience.

camels in Morocco

The next morning we were ready to climb the dunes and take lovely pictures of the sunrise. Our bodies were a little sore from trekking for an hour the previous night, so we decided to take road transportation to the starting point of our camel safari. We have very fond memories of the entire journey, during which we experienced the most beautiful, spectacular and dramatic scenery in the world.

The next day we took a train to Fez, famous for its walled medina. We wandered through a maze-like city of minarets with Arabic and French influence. The medina of Fez was founded in the 9th century at around the same time that Islam arrived in Morocco and the imperial rule of the country began. Fez was the capital of Morocco until 1912. We also visited the Jewish quarter, The Mellah, where few Jewish people still live.

Exploring archaeological sites in Morocco

After leaving Fez, we explored the archaeological site of Volubilis. This was a Roman city dating back to the 3rd century BC and was a central administrative city of this part of Roman Africa. People lived there for more than 1,000 years until it was abandoned in 18th century and was demolished in order to build the palace of the Sultan in Meknes. We visited Bab el-Mansour, which is the main gate between the Meknes medina and Imperial City districts. The Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail is the tomb of Morocco's greatest ruler, who made Meknes his capital city in the 17th century.

After exploring imperial cities of Morocco, our last stop was Tangier. We took a four-hour drive by private van from Fez to Tangier, which is a Moroccan port on the Strait of Gibraltar. We took a ferry across to Tarifa, Spain, ending our fabulous trip to mystical and magical Morocco.

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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