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 Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team , April 02, 2020

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, a video conferencing tool 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).

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.

Working to bring people home – repatriation flights underway

By The Hub team , April 02, 2020

When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.

We have operated more than 56 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 8,000 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.

Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.

Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Managua, Nicaragua
  • Roatan, Honduras
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • Amsterdam
  • Brussels
  • Munich
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo-Haneda
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Melbourne, Australia

We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.

We fly crucial medical equipment for COVID-19 testing

By The Hub team , March 31, 2020

In the midst of mobilizing our cargo operations, our teams at New York/Newark (EWR) and Jacksonville (JAX) stepped in to assist Roche Diagnostics with transporting a vital component for an instrument being used for COVID-19 testing.

The component was stuck at EWR en route to the Mayo Clinic in Florida after another airline's flights were cancelled. A Roche employee contacted us asking for help and, within a few hours, our teams had the piece loaded onto a Jacksonville-bound aircraft, with arrangements in place to deliver it to the Mayo Clinic.

The item we shipped will allow the Mayo Clinic in Florida to process hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been on the front lines of increasing testing capacity to expedite caring for patients at this critical time and working to ease the burden being felt at test processing laboratories in a growing number of areas.

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