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."

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By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

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On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
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CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Why we fly

By The Hub team, November 27, 2020

In October 2019, we launched a first-of-its-kind airline miles donation platform, Miles on a Mission. In the inaugural year, MileagePlus members donated over 70 million miles, with United matching over 20 million miles, to 51 organizations. These miles have allowed for these organizations to do important, life-changing, life-saving work in the communities we serve around the globe.

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