Friends for Life: A Special Bond Formed Through Running - United Hub

Friends for life: A special bond formed through running

By Ryan Hood, November 06, 2017

After a friend's passing from sudden heart attack, Luis Absalon was determined to lead a healthier lifestyle. Absalon, a Newark-based maintenance technician, was overweight, out of shape and horrified by what had happened to his friend. With a new inspiration to become healthier, he started running. First, he ran a 10k. Then he ran another 10k. In no time, he had progressed to half-marathons. And on Sunday, November 5, he completed his first full marathon, participating in the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon.

Helping him along that journey has been fellow maintenance technician and close friend, Jose Saborido. Both technicians work on our wide-body aircraft and eat lunch together every day. And on Sunday, they added another commonality – completing the marathon together. Both had won spots in the New York City Marathon through an employee lottery, as United is the race's official airline partner. When they found out they each had won spots, they felt like they'd won the lottery twice.

"We work on wide-body aircraft together and now that we've gotten to run together, it's made us practically brothers," said Saborido, who was participating in his fifth marathon on Sunday.

Luis and Jose at work on the tarmac

Running – and running together – has helped improve both of their lives. Absalon has learned to lead a healthier lifestyle. He's lost more than 70 pounds since he first started running, and he continues to work towards maintaining his current fitness level to not only stay healthy, but to also motivate his three young daughters and show them the power of believing in one's self.

"Running became my passion and changed the way I see life," Absalon said. "I take life like running – one step after another without looking back."

As fate would have it, running has helped make Saborido more comfortable at work. He is fairly new to the wide-body maintenance team, and Absalon helped get him acclimated to his new surroundings after they discovered their mutual hobby. The two were in different waves so they weren't able to run together on Sunday, but they met up before the race. Saborido just narrowly missed his goal of running it in four hours or less, finishing in 4:01, while Absalon finished in 4:21.

"That we were able to experience this unforgettable event together has turned us into lifelong friends," Saborido said. "Few things can top that."

United Cargo operates more than 11,000 cargo-only flights in one year

By The Hub team, March 19, 2021

On March 19, 2020, United operated its first flight carrying cargo without passengers on board. While the passenger cabin was empty, its cargo hold was completely full, carrying more than 29,000 pounds of commodities from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt Airport (FRA).

A year later, United Cargo has operated more than 11,000 cargo-only flights carrying more than 570 million pounds of freight. To support the COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts, United Cargo has also transported more than 113 million pounds of medical and pharmaceutical products on both cargo-only and passenger flights as well as approximately 10 million COVID-19 vaccines, providing global communities access to the items they have needed most.

10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

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