We team up to send volunteers and supplies to hard-hit Puerto Rico - United Hub

We team up to send volunteers and supplies to hard-hit Puerto Rico

By The Hub team, October 04, 2017


Today, a very special flight took off from Newark/New York — Flight 2709 — bound for San Juan, Puerto Rico. Filled with more than 300 first responders and skilled workers, the flight carried more than 35,000 pounds of essential supplies. We teamed up with AFL-CIO, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), to fly the humanitarian team to help with relief efforts and the rebuilding of Puerto Rico.

"God bless you all for doing what you're doing, giving up your time and energy to help your fellow Americans," said George Miranda, International Brotherhood of Teamsters international vice president-at-large and airline division chairperson. "They are counting on us for support; the island is absolutely devastated and, without the hard work of the people who are boarding that plane, it could not be done."

The highly skilled volunteers, assembled by AFL-CIO, represent 20 different unions from 17 states and include nurses, doctors, engineers, carpenters, electricians, truck drivers and firefighters. They will help with various efforts including clean-up, servicing hospital patients, delivering emergency supplies and restoring power and communications to the island.

For Dan Maldonado, a member of Teamsters Local 445 in Rock Tavern, New York, this volunteering trip is more personal than others he's been a part of. Dan's family is from San Lorenzo, a small town south of San Juan, and he still has many family members there.

"The most beautiful part of this mission so far was that no one even hesitated when they were asked to volunteer," said Dan. "Everyone responded within seconds saying 'we're in.' Nobody was concerned about what the job would be or the conditions. No questions asked, we were all just ready to go help."

The aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER, will also deliver donated food, water and essential supplies to be distributed to those in need. It will return to Newark/New York on Wednesday evening with evacuees from Puerto Rico, who are being provided complimentary seats as part of our ongoing humanitarian relief efforts.

Thank you to the wonderful flight crew volunteers who made the trip, today, possible:

Newark/New York-based 777 Captains Jose Pascual and Alan Moses

Chicago-based 777 First Officers Mike Hamilton and Jose Raices

Boston-based Flight Attendants Sara (Nelson) Borer, Steve Ekerberg, Andrew Fahy, Danny Herbert and Maki Herbert

London-based Flight Attendant Jeffrey Heisey

Washington DC-based Flight Attendants Jennifer Grega and Bobbie Mas

Houston-based Flight Attendant Franko Ocasio

Los Angeles-based Flight Attendants Dante Harris and Kimberly Burckhalter

Newark/New York Flight Attendants Jennifer Ritter and Anne Fusaro

Additional thanks go to the ramp employees who supported the flight on the ground in Newark/New York and San Juan, our Tech Operations teams who keep the aircraft running, and all employees who had a hand in accomplishing these relief flights.

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.

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.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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