A Message from Oscar Celebrating Women's History Month - United Hub

A message from Oscar celebrating Women's History Month

By Oscar Munoz, Former CEO and Executive Chairman, March 01, 2017

The Wright Brothers — of course, everyone has heard of them; their names are synonymous with the invention of flight.

Yet, few people know that there was also a Wright Sister: Katharine Wright.

"If ever the world thinks of us in connection with aviation," said her brother Wilbur, "it must remember our sister." Katharine played an important role in her brothers' success, and she became one of the first women ever to fly, all while taking a leading role in the women's suffrage movement of the era.

Yet, as is too often the case, the enormous contributions that women like Katharine have played in the history of aviation become eclipsed in our memory. In addition to Katharine Wright, pioneers such as Blanche Scott, Bessie Coleman, and Amelia Earhart — among so many others — helped push humanity into the skies and further toward equality.

As America observes Women's History Month in March, we at United also celebrate the unique part we've played in the story of women in aviation. For example, it was an intrepid young reporter for the Chicago Herald-Examiner named Jane Eads who, on July 2, 1927, boarded a flight from Chicago to San Francisco. That flight would make her America's first official airline passenger, as well as the very first passenger of a carrier service that would eventually become United Airlines.

It was a woman named Ada Brown Greenfield, hired by United Airlines in 1940 as a flight attendant, who successfully organized her colleagues to form the world's first union of flight attendants. That organization has grown in to the Association of Flight Attendants that represents the interests of more than 50,000 airline professionals across the industry.

And it was a United Airlines pilot named M'Lis Ward who broke another barrier in aviation to become the first African American woman to earn the status of captain of a major US airline.

These women were not just pioneers of flight, but of social equality and progress as well.

Despite the vital role that women have played in the aviation and airline industry, there are still too few young women who choose to pursue careers in the field. We are determined to change that and make sure that more young women see the exciting future they can forge in this cutting-edge industry. That's why each year women in positions of leadership throughout the United family dedicate their time and talents in an effort to inspire the next generation of girls to explore their interests in the aviation field.

Our focus on recruiting, retaining, and empowering the talented women of our industry is an imperative and ongoing mission. It is one that has shown great success, especially thanks to the inspiring efforts of such accomplished aviators as Captain Bebe O'Neil, our Chief Pilot in Houston. "As a little girl, I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon," says Captain O'Neil. "It left such an indelible impression on me when they said he was an aerospace engineer and naval aviator, and it got me interested in aviation since childhood."

Neil Armstrong may have taken one small step for a man, but he inspired a lifelong path for Bebe as a young woman. Now, she is dedicated to inspiring and empowering a new generation of young women to reach for the skies.

We all have further to go before each of our sisters and daughters have the same opportunities for success as their brothers and sons. In whatever field their passion and talents lead them, we ought to take this month to rededicate ourselves to ensuring that the skies are truly the limit for young women everywhere.

In gratitude,

Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines

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The airline offers customers the most transparent and user-friendly options in the industry to encourage and simplify using travel credits
By United Newsroom, September 23, 2021

CHICAGO, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United today announced it is giving customers even more flexibility when they need to rebook their travel by helping them to find and use their travel credits. United is the only airline to make it easy for customers to use their credits by automatically displaying them as a payment option during the checkout process. This functionality will be available for MileagePlus® members first and the airline is working to roll it out to all customers in the near future. Also, beginning next week, United will be the first to let customers use their travel credits for extra legroom seats and to pre-pay for checked baggage.

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United to operate the first ever nonstop flight between Washington, D.C. and Lagos and offer more flights between D.C. and Africa than any other carrier
By United Newsroom, September 17, 2021

CHICAGO, Sept. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines announced today that new service between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria will begin November 29 (subject to government approval). The airline will operate three weekly flights connecting the U.S. capital to Nigeria's largest city, which is also the top Western African destination for U.S-based travelers. Tickets will be available for sale on united.com and the United app this weekend.

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By United Newsroom, September 09, 2021

CHICAGO and DES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United and Honeywell today announced a joint multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels – a cleantech company that is pioneering first-of-its-kind technologies for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at scale by converting abundant biomass, such as forest and crop waste, into sustainable low-carbon, drop-in replacement crude oil that can be used to produce aviation fuel. When used together across the fuel lifecycle, the Alder technologies, coupled with Honeywell's Ecofining™ process, could have the ability to produce a carbon-negative fuel at spec with today's jet fuel. The goal of the technologies is to produce fuel that is a 100% drop-in replacement for petroleum jet fuel.

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