United Summer Associates' Dreams Take Flight - United Hub
Company

Watch now: United Summer Associates' dreams take flight

By The Hub team, July 31, 2017

Ever since she was a young girl, aviation science major Tahchiona Smith says she dreamed of flying. Her grandmother would drive her to the viewing area at Lea County Regional Airport in New Mexico where they would lie in the bed of their pickup truck and watch planes take off and land. "It was just so beautiful," Tahchiona says, "I love the whistle sound of the jet engine. I remember thinking this equipment is so powerful. You can get anywhere in the world in 24 hours. That was just amazing to me."

For the past eight weeks, Tahchiona and 89 other college students had the opportunity to explore the aviation industry on a deeper level through the United Summer Associates (USA) program. Launched 11 years ago at Newark Liberty International Airport, the paid internship program expanded this year to include San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, giving more students from these communities first-hand experience in our day-to-day operation. With this year's program coming to an end, the USA students shared some of the invaluable lessons they learned over the past two months.

"Working with the customers made me realize that it's important to be able to step out of my shoes and step in somebody else's," said Houston's summer associate Broderick Braziel, who is pursuing a degree in business and IT management. "Getting to talk with people from all parts of the world helped me understand that a lot of our issues are pretty small compared to other issues in this world."

Summer Associates at Newark Liberty International Airport

For Newark's Daneja Jefferson, the connections she's made during the program have made a lasting impact. "I've learned to try to build relationships with employees no matter what," she said. "You may never know who you may meet and who may help you in the end."

This also holds true for Los Angeles' Autumn Macklin, who has found a shining example in Airport Operations Supervisor Charlie Giggers. "Charlie has been a great leader. He's so enthusiastic and very happy to teach us about all the parts of the airport process."

Seeing all that is involved in getting our customers to their destination safely and on time has been an eye-opener for San Francisco's Lovina Akauola, who is interested in business administration. "I've always been involved on sports teams," she said. "Being able to make sure that everyone is playing their part and getting a plane out on time is just like that. It's one group of people working together."

For San Francisco's Joseph John Gomez, an Air Traffic Management major, a highlight of this experience was hearing from United's CEO, Oscar Munoz, on his first day. "What I learned from Oscar is to figure out really what your purpose is, and, once you find that purpose, that is what will really be the driver for you."

Group of Summer Associates at Houston George Bush International Airport

While not every student plans to stay in the aviation industry, Houston's Tachiona Smith certainly has jet fuel in her veins. She's determined to become a pilot at United, and her time in the program cemented that dream. At Houston Intercontinental Airport, she met several pilots and has taken their advice to heart.

"Everybody told me to hang in there and it's going to be hard," she said. "Stay on top of scholarships and meet people. Once you get there, it will be worth it."

Whether these students choose to stick to the aviation industry or pursue a different passion, one thing is clear – the future is bright for our 2017 United Summer Associates.

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.

Scroll to top