United PetSafe rescues cats from Puerto Vallarta - United Hub
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PetSafe rescues cats from Puerto Vallarta

By Matt Adams, March 16, 2017

For years, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, has been a second home to customer Jill Goldstein and her family, their annual beach-side escape from the winters back home in Minneapolis. But last year Ms. Goldstein noticed something in her adopted city that troubled her – a significant increase in the abuse of the stray cats who live on Cuale Island in the heart of Puerto Vallarta.

"The island has been a dumping ground for the past 20 or 30 years, and people abandon their cats and dogs there," Ms. Goldstein said. "And some of the things that were happening to them are just too terrible to talk about. Recently, many of them were even poisoned."

Heartbroken, Ms. Goldstein, who is the founder and executive director of Pause 4 Paws, a Minneapolis-based animal charity, knew that she had to do something. With the help of Puro Gato, a shelter in Puerto Vallarta, she decided to transport as many of the cats as she could to Minneapolis with the goal of finding homes for them. The mission was dubbed "Gotta Getta Gato," but the logistics proved to be a challenge.

After speaking with other carriers and forwarders who were unable to help them, Ms. Goldstein's mother and father, Nancy and David, got in touch with United in Mexico. Fortunately, we had just the right solution for them – our PetSafe program, which is specially designed for just such movements.

Since March 1, a team of cargo and sales employees, both in the U.S. and in Mexico, has not only worked to secure space on board our aircraft for 60 cats, they have gone above and beyond to ensure that the feline passengers enjoy a comfortable journey, much to Ms. Goldstein's relief.

"Recently, some of the cats had to stay overnight in Houston before they could board a flight to Minneapolis," she said. "The Houston PetSafe employees checked on each one, making sure that they were eating and that they were okay. I was so grateful that they were able to put me at ease."

Operation Gotta Getta Gato is expected to wrap up by April 8, so as not to conflict with Minnesota's kitten season, when the local shelters will fill up. By that time, it's expected that we will have flown a total of 74 cats from Puerto Vallarta to Minnesota, where Pause 4 Paws partner Angel of Hope Rescue is providing veterinary care and adoption services.

"Your airline made this possible," Ms. Goldstein said. "It's my hope that, in a year from now, we can do this again."

For more information on Gotta Getta Gato and to donate to the ongoing project, please visit the Pause 4 Paws site here.

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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