Taking off: New summer markets
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.
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.
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, 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.
Around the web
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.
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.
UNITE (United Airlines Multicultural Business Resource Group)
At the airport
1Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
2Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
3Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
4Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
5Rolling out touchless check-in for customers with bags
At the gate:
6Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
7Providing hand sanitizer and
8Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
9Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing
10Rolling out Clorox Total 360 Electrostatic Sprayers to disinfect in the airport
On our aircraft
1Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
2Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
3Providing onboard items like pillows and blankets upon request
4Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
5Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
6Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
7Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft
8Using 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
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.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams, video conferencing tools that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
To use on Zoom:
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
- Start by downloading your favorite United image to your computer. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- C:\[insert your device user name here]\AppData\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads
- If you're using a Mac copy the images to this folder on your computer:
- /users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Teams/Backgrounds/Uploads
- If you're using a PC, copy the image you want to use into this folder:
- Once you start a Teams meeting, click the "…" in the menu bar and select "Show background effects" and your image should be there
Watch our most popular videos
This is why we fly.
20 UCSF Health workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.
We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice.
In celebration and appreciation of all first responders and essential workers. 👏🏻👏🏼👏🏽👏🏾👏🏿
This is the story of Jason and Shantel. You see, Jason and Shantel love each other very much. They also love traveling and they love the classic Adam Sandler film, The Wedding Singer.
It all began when Jason reached out to United's social media team, hoping for assistance with his upcoming plan to propose. Some phone calls and one borrowed guitar later, the stage was set for Jason. Put all that together, mix in some helpful United employees and, voila, you have a truly memorable marriage proposal. Congratulations to this fun-loving and happy couple, and here's to many more years of making beautiful music together.
A big thank you to Chicago-based flight attendants Donna W., Marie M., Karen J. and Mark K. for making this proposal come to life.