New Summer Markets - United Hub
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Taking off: New summer markets

By Bob Cooper , February 27, 2017

We are revitalizing our route network with more destinations, more flights and more convenient connections for customers in both domestic and international markets. Four U.S. cities, including three in the Midwest, will open their gates for the first time to United Airlines travelers from June through August. Flights will begin service on June 8 to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; Rochester, Minnesota; and Santa Rosa (Sonoma County), California. United connections to Columbia, Missouri, will begin on August 1.

Don't let their sizes fool you — there's plenty to do in these midsize cities.

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

When you step off of the plane in Champaign-Urbana in central Illinois, you'll be stepping onto University of Illinois property, which owns the airport. This is fitting because nearly all of the Champaign County's top attractions have a connection to the university of 45,000 students, which boasts 647 buildings on a seven-square-mile campus stretching across Champaign and Urbana. After visiting the iconic Alma Mater statue and adjacent bell tower in Altgeld Hall, sports fans will want to see the 60,000-capacity Memorial Stadium, where the Fighting Illini have won 15 Big Ten titles, and the State Farm Center, home to 17 Big Ten men's basketball titles. Nature lovers can stroll through the university's arboretum, notable for its Japan House and Japanese tea garden, and art lovers will appreciate the extensive collection at the university's Krannert Art Museum.

Rochester, Minnesota

Minnesota's third-largest city, Rochester, is tucked in the state's southeast corner and is best known for the renowned Mayo Clinic. It isn't surprising that a city known for its hospital was ranked by USA Today in 2016 as America's healthiest city, determined by the quality and length of residents' lives. Visitors can enjoy a slice of that high quality of life by hiking the trails at Quarry Hill Park, known to be the “jewel" of the Rochester Park system, or Silver Lake Park, where renting a canoe is a summertime option. In the winter, you can snowshoe in these parks or skate at any of its eight outdoor rinks. The city's unique attraction is the Mayowood Mansion, part of the History Center of Olmstead County, where you can tour the palatial estate and gardens of the co-founder of the famed hospital.

Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, home of the University of Missouri, is undoubtedly a college town. But this city in the middle of the “Show Me State" has more to show than a 32,000-student campus with an array of historic 19th-century buildings. Locals are also delighted to show off the parks nearby. At Columbia's Stephens Lake Park, you can ice skate or ice fish on the lake in the winter and enjoy swimming in the summer. At the 2,200-acre Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, you can follow a boardwalk path beside an underground stream — one of several unusual geologic features. On “indoor" days, you can step inside the free and recently renovated Museum of Art and Archaeology, which displays everything from 2,500-year-old Greek pottery to works by Andy Warhol.

Santa Rosa, California

Some time ago, people started referring to America's most famous wine region as “Napa-Sonoma" rather than “Napa Valley." Today it's too hard to ignore the abundant wineries of Sonoma County, as they've achieved the same acclaim as their Napa County counterparts.

Santa Rosa, a city of 175,000, is in the heart of Sonoma County and within a half-hour drive of Carneros, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley appellations. Each one has dozens of wineries with daily tastings, and some offer daily tours. If you favor beer over wine, there's something for you too. The renowned Russian River Brewing Company calls Santa Rosa home and serves up delightful suds to a healthy mix of tourists and locals in their lively taproom. Between winery or taproom visits, you can stop at the Charles Schulz Museum, a charming spot for all ages. The “Peanuts" cartoonist was so beloved in the county that the airport is named the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.

Starting on Monday, June 19 - Friday, June 30 enroll in TSA Pre✓® at Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport from 9 AM to 12 PM. MileagePlus® members can use 10,000 award miles for a payment code that covers the $85 TSA Pre✓ application fee.

If you go

United Airlines offers three daily flights connecting Champaign-Urbana's Willard Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, three daily flights connecting Rochester International Airport with Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, two daily flights connecting Columbia Regional Airport with Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and three daily flights connecting Sonoma County Airport with San Francisco International Airport. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your visit.

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

Mission Accomplished

By Matt Adams , November 06, 2019

The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.

Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.

Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.

Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.

"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."

When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.

For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.

Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.

That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.

"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."

The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.

About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.

"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."

When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.

"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."

On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.

"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."

For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.

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