United Pilot Surprises Teen he Inspired - United Hub

United pilot surprises teen he inspired

By The Hub team, May 27, 2016

Robert Loesch was just 10 years old when he stepped aboard one of our flights from Chicago O'Hare to Denver seven years ago. Now age 17 and headed to flight school, he says it was that flight with Captain Denny Flanagan that changed his life.

Robert recently learned of Denny's upcoming retirement and wrote a touching letter about the huge impact Denny's actions had on him.

"I had always had a passion for aviation, but that night you helped shape my future and became a role model in my life," he wrote. "From that moment on I have been working to become a pilot at United Airlines. Not just any pilot, though. I hope to someday carry on your legacy of premier customer service … You go above and beyond to make sure everyone has a very pleasant experience flying on your aircraft. I read in an article a few weeks ago about your retirement flight coming up. Tears came to my eyes … Thank you so much for continuing to be an inspiration to me and many other pilots."

In support of Robert's pursuit of becoming a pilot – maybe even a United pilot! – we couldn't resist inviting him to our Denver Flight Training Center where he toured the facility, met with our recruitment team and even sat in a Boeing 757 simulator with an instructor.

While Robert sat in the simulator learning from the instructor, Denny paid him a surprise visit.

"I am shocked right now," Robert said. "This is already so incredible and having him here in person makes this that much better. It's so exciting to see him again and to sit beside him in the simulator."

Denny said, "I was awestruck to meet Robert. What a great young man and inspiration to other young men and women aspiring to get into the aviation industry. It gave me goosebumps to see him in that simulator today and pursuing his dream, and what a great job he did in there! I'm very impressed with him and I know he's going to be a great pilot."

Over the next 20 years, we'll hire more than 10,000 pilots based on retirements and attrition alone. In that same time period, U.S. airlines will need to hire more than 50,000 pilots. As Denny nears his June 1 retirement date and passes the baton to our next generation of aviators, Robert's letter came as a delightful surprise.

"Receiving that letter truly just sums up my career," said Denny. "Knowing that I made an impact on this little kid and learning that he is now on the path of realizing his dream of becoming a pilot couldn't be more rewarding for me."

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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