Places to Go on Your Next #Avgeek Vacation - United Hub
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Places to go on your next #AvGeek vacation

By Benét J. Wilson , August 16, 2017

The world is full of aviation enthusiasts, affectionately known as #avgeeks, who love to visit any spots aviation related as part of their vacation plans. But you don't need to be a hard-core aviation enthusiast to include these places on your next vacation. With National Aviation Day coming up on August 19, below are seven aviation-related places that are fun for everyone.

Aerial view of the Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago, Illinois

Where else in the world can you see a Boeing 727 -- in the United Airlines livery -- hanging over your head? Only at the Museum of Science & Industries' Transportation Gallery, where the tri-engine jet hangs in the East Court Hall. Visitors can climb inside the 727, which features hands-on activities and interactive displays. Volunteer United pilots are on hand to help explain how the jet works, share their experiences on the job and offer advice on aviation careers. The museum's displays also feature an iconic 1917 Curtiss JN-4D, known as the Jenny, a 1928 Boeing 40B used as a mail transport plane and a 1930 Texaco TravelAir Model R Racer. Don't forget to check out the museum's Flight and Ride simulators.

Los Angeles, California

Have you ever wanted to experience what it was like to fly during the golden age of travel? Now you can find out, thanks to Air Hollywood, a company that creates realistic aircraft interiors and props for the film industry. The company offers the Pan Am Dining Experience, where guests board a replica of the airline's Boeing 747. Each customer receives a 1970s-style boarding pass, ticket jacket and first class carry-on tags and can tour the Clipper Club, featuring vintage Pan Am memorabilia. Passengers board the Clipper Juan T. Trippe, where they are greeted by stewardesses wearing original Pan Am uniforms serving cocktails. A stewardess then prepares the cabin for a gourmet five-course dinner. After dinner, guests can take a tour of Air Hollywood's production sets.

Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Fly into Virginia's Norfolk International Airport and drive for two hours to this city in North Carolina's Outer Banks to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The site, managed by the National Park Service, is where the Wright Brothers flew the first successful powered heavier-than-air aircraft flight on Dec. 17, 1903. Among the many things to do at the memorial are visiting the site where the Wright Brothers first took off and landed, the reconstructed camp where they lived during flight testing, the large marble memorial that offers stunning views of the site, a bookstore for souvenirs and the Visitors Center, where Park Service rangers offer tours and information. If you want to get in some beach time, there is one nearby the memorial and Cape Hatteras National Seashore is only 10 miles away.

Tucson, Arizona

The Pima Air & Space Museum, number seven on CNN Travel's list, is located on 80 acres and serves as home to more than 300 aircraft, ranging from a replica of the Wright Flyer to a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It's also home to an impressive 2,600-acre boneyard, where U.S. military and government planes sit after being retired. The main hangar features exhibits on topics such as Seaplanes and Amphibians, Aircraft Carriers and Aerial Reconnaissance. There is also the Joyce M. Corrigan Women in Flight Gallery, which puts the spotlight on female aerial achievements from the 1700s to the present.

Older aircraft at The Palm Springs Air Museum

Palm Springs, California

The Palm Springs Air Museum, number 14 on CNN Travel's list of the 14 Best Aviation Museums, focuses on military aviation during World War II, the Korean and the Vietnam wars with stellar exhibits of static and flyable aircraft. The Major Gen. Ken Miles Hangar houses aircraft from the Korean and Vietnam wars including a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and a Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler. Visitors can also see the museum's maintenance and restoration facility and participate in educational programs. You can't leave without taking a ride in the museum's C-47 Skytrain or a P-51 Mustang flown by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.

Washington, D.C.

It is no surprise to #avgeeks that both Smithsonian Air & Space Museums -- the downtown location and the The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center next to Washington Dulles International Airport -- were number one on the CNN Travel List. Both museums feature IMAX theaters and flight simulators.

The downtown museum, made up of 22 galleries, features the Glamorous Glennis, the Bell X-1 rocket engine-powered used by Gen. Chuck Yeager to break the sound barrier, the Mercury Friendship 7 capsule, the Lockheed Vega flown by Amelia Earhart in 1932 in the first solo trans-Atlantic flight by a woman and the Spirit of St. Louis flown by Charles Lindberg. The Dulles museum has an Air France Concorde, the Space Shuttle Discovery, the Enola Gay, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress used to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan and the Boeing Dash 80, which would become the 707, the plane that launched the jet age. Both museums are large, so plan to spend at least a day at each.

Museum of flight in Seattle.

Seattle, Washington

The Emerald City is not only the home of Boeing, but also to the Museum of Flight, the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world and number four on CNN Travel's list. Try your hand at flying a drone, catch an aviation- or space-themed flick at the 3D Movie Theater or see if you have the skills to become a pilot during a one-hour course that ends with a simulator ride. The Aviation Pavilion is home to 19 commercial and military aircraft including the first Boeing 727, 737 and 747 jets and the first Air Force One jet.

If you go

Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your trip to these great #avgeek destinations.

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

Mission Accomplished

By Matt Adams , November 06, 2019

The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.

Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.

Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.

Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.

"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."

When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.

For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.

Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.

That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.

"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."

The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.

About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.

"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."

When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.

"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."

On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.

"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."

For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.

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