Our Ongoing Commitment to New York/New Jersey - United Hub

Our ongoing commitment to New York/New Jersey

By Matt Adams

For the last 90 years, we have proudly served the New York/Newark region with the most flights to the most destinations around the world. We have always had a strong presence in the area, and over the years we've demonstrated our commitment to this region through the transformation and development of our hub, Newark's Liberty International Airport, into a global gateway.

Expanding our network

Street view of Naples harbor

Over the past year, we've grown our route network by leaps and bounds, including new year-round service to Rome and Buenos Aires as well as new seasonal service to Naples, Italy and Prague, Czech Republic. Today, we operate over 400 daily flights out of Newark, including more than 30 daily flights to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America, and daily nonstop flights to four cities in Asia. But our New York story isn't only about strengthening our network — it's about connecting with our nearly 15 million customers and over 14,000 employees in the region.

Enhancing our hub

EWR Polaris Lounge

With more than $2 billion invested over the past few years, we partnered with concession management company OTG to turn Newark's Terminal C into a destination unto itself. Home to dozens of specialty dining options, you'll find some of the area's finest cuisine just steps away from your gate. We're also working with our partners to transform New York's LaGuardia Airport Terminal B into a cutting-edge facility with new dining concepts, unique retail shopping options and more. Recently, Terminal B's new parking lot opened with a new indoor pickup area to make ride-sharing and coordinating car service more convenient.

And while New York might be the city that never sleeps, we've taken the opposite approach for our business travelers thanks to our newly opened United Polaris® lounge at Newark Airport. Offering local touches in the design elements of the space and the food we serve, we want you to experience the best of the best. Whether you want to relax, catch up on work, freshen up or enjoy a meal pre-flight, the lounge offers it all; from rainfall shower suites to rest pods with daybeds. Last year, we also announced an enhanced premium transcontinental service that includes deluxe amenities, flat-bed seats and a culinary experience inspired by United Polaris onboard dining. Customers seated in United Economy Plus® will also enjoy a coastal-city-inspired menu from one the four cities served — Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Grab-and-go food options at the Global Bazar

Investing in the New York/New Jersey area

We have been working closely with local institutions and building meaningful partnerships to ensure they can serve their critical missions. As part of this effort and a larger initiative, we announced a $2 million grant to be split between the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Urban League of Essex County and Year Up New York. We are partnering with these organizations to help support their local communities' dedication to vital workforce development initiatives.

New Yorkers are well-connected to the rest of the world and don't settle for second-best and neither do we; that's why we're on a mission to be the best airline in the region and your top choice when you fly. We fly places New Yorkers want to go, whether that means connecting them with clients and business partners across the globe, or uniting family and friends all over the world. Closer to more of Manhattan than JFK International Airport, we are well-positioned at Newark and at New York LaGuardia Airport to make that happen. Or as we like to say, "More flights from Newark, less traffic from New York."

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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