United through the Generaciones - United Hub

United through the generaciones

By Matt Adams

Fifty years ago, on December 16, 1966, Trans-Texas Airways — which later, through the Continental merger, became part of United — opened its first station in Monterrey, Mexico, the only U.S.-based airline doing business in Monterrey at that time, marking an important milestone in opening the door to Mexico for United's customers.

Luis Rodriguez was one of the Trans-Texas employees responsible for getting the new station up and running on day one. His career at Trans Texas and Continental spanned 33 years, and his son, Jose Luis Rodriguez, United's Puerto Vallarta station general manager, has picked up where his dad left off. Recently, both men got together to recount the early days of United in Monterrey and their shared passion for the company.

Father and son picturedJose Luis (left) and Luis Rodriguez

"We built that station from the ground up," the elder Rodriguez said, reminiscing about the Monterrey opening, "and at times, it was a rough start. I remember one story in particular — one day an immigration officer asked me to join him for coffee, and he explained to me that we had to have passenger and cargo manifests for each arrival flight; we had no idea. It was a complete learning process."

When it began, the route, which consisted of one daily turn between Houston, McAllen (Texas) and Monterrey, was celebrated for its positive economic impact on the region, connecting South Texas to the important Mexican industrial center. Today, a half-century later, United operates more flights to Mexico than to any other country, and serves more destinations there than any other U.S. carrier. Our Monterrey routes are still critical conduits for customers on both sides of the Rio Grande, providing access to and from Mexico's third-largest city and the home to several U.S. corporations' manufacturing operations.

"The flights have been very good for the city and for Mexico. Monterrey is an industrial community, and a leader in steel and glass production," Luis said. "At one point, back in the beginning of the route, the mayors of San Antonio, Austin and Houston flew with us to visit the city, [to help bring attention to the possibility of further U.S. investment] and the town hosted a big party for them."

Following in his father's footsteps, Jose Luis joined Continental in May 1981. Over the course of the next 35 years, he would have the opportunity to work in several stations around Mexico, including Mexico City, Zihuatanejo and Cancun, among others, prior to Puerto Vallarta. Listening to Jose Luis speak about his father, it's clear to see why he chose the career that he did. "My father has been my mentor all of my life," he said. "He has taught me so many lessons — how important it is to do things right the first time, to listen to your people and to work hard. Every time I need something, I call him and he gives me advice."

Luis and Jose Luis Rodriguez represent the two generations of United in Mexico, and our decades-long commitment to servicing the country and expanding our network there. As we say feliz cumpleaños to our station in Monterrey, we also say gracias to Luis, Jose Luis and each and every one of our employees in Mexico who have, and continue to, keep our operation growing.

United's regional presidents join respective Governor's COVID-19 task force

By Ryan Wilks, May 21, 2020

As a member in the tourism, travel and transportation industries, United offers a unique perspective into the economic and operational effects rippling across the U.S. To advocate United's efforts, and in anticipation of a bright future, New York/New Jersey President Jill Kaplan and California President Janet Lamkin have both been named to their states' respective governor's COVID-19 response task force committees.

Making every step of the travel journey safer for you

By United Airlines, May 20, 2020
United Clean Plus | Clorox

We remain passionate about connecting the world safely

United CleanPlus SM is our commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of your journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness. We're teaming up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures, and over the coming months, we'll roll out Clorox products across our U.S. airports, starting in select locations, to help support a healthy and safe environment throughout your travel experience.

At the airport

  • At check-in:

  • 1
    Implementing temperature checks for employees and flight attendants working at hub airports
  • 2
    Installing sneeze guards at check-in and gate podiums
  • 3
    Encouraging use of the United app for contactless travel assistance and more
  • 4
    Promoting social distancing with floor decals to help customers stand 6 feet apart
  • 5
    Introducing touchless check-in for customers with bags
  • At the gate:

  • 6
    Disinfecting high-touch areas such as door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones and computers
  • 7
    Providing hand sanitizer and
    disinfectant wipes
  • 8
    Allowing customers to self-scan boarding passes
  • 9
    Boarding fewer customers at a time and, after pre-boarding, boarding from the back of the plane to the front to promote social distancing

On our aircraft

  • 1
    Providing individual hand sanitizer wipes for customers
  • 2
    Requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering and providing disposable face coverings for customers who need them
  • 3
    Temporarily removing onboard items like pillows, blankets and inflight magazines
  • 4
    Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables and armrests, before boarding
  • 5
    Reducing contact between flight attendants and customers during snack and beverage service
  • 6
    Ensuring aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
  • 7
    Applying social distancing to seating procedures when possible, including:
    • Limiting middle seat selection
    • Moving customers seated closely together
    • De-planing in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding
  • 8
    Using electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft, to be completed on all flights by mid-June
  • 9
    Using state-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles

Cleveland Clinic We're working closely with the experts at Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols for the safety of our employees and customers. Visit Cleveland Clinic's website to learn more about COVID-19.

A message from Scott Kirby, United’s new CEO

By The Hub team, May 20, 2020


Hello. I'm Scott Kirby, the new CEO of United Airlines. I'm a proud Air Force Academy graduate and have spent my entire career in and around aviation, including the last four years as President of United.

While I had planned for my first communication with you to be about the meaningful investments we were making to the travel experience and our continued growth across the U.S. and expansion to exciting new destinations around the world, today, the situation rendered to us by the COVID-19 pandemic leads me to a different type of message.

First, I graciously and humbly thank you for your business. Now, more than ever, our customers' loyalty is so deeply appreciated by every member of the United family.

As essential workers, the men and women of our airline have been hard at work over the past two months to transport vital medical supplies and critical goods to places that need them most, to provide free travel to healthcare professionals and to help thousands of individuals repatriate to their home countries.

Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus. We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of your mind when making travel decisions. We're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to protect our customers and employees.

We are installing plexiglass in lobby and gate areas, we're using the same equipment used to clean hospitals to disinfect the interiors of our aircraft, all crew and customers on board are required to wear face mask coverings and we're taking the temperature of our employees before they start work.

But at United, we're not stopping there. We're teaming up with experts from Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to set a new standard for cleanliness and healthy flying that we are calling United CleanPlus℠.

Clorox is working closely with us to improve how we disinfect common surfaces and provide our customers with amenities that support a healthy and safe environment.

Physicians and scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, will advise us on new technologies and approaches, assist in training development and create a rigorous quality assurance program. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help us use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep our customers safe.

While we may not know when this pandemic will subside, what we do know is that travel is so deeply woven into the fabric of our global culture. We all desire to visit family, dance at a friend's wedding, hug parents…and see the wonders of this beautiful world. No matter how sharp the picture quality – or how strong the WiFi signal – there's simply no substitute for being there – in person – to collaborate, celebrate, explore. We are confident that travel will return. And when it does, United Airlines will be ready to serve you again in the friendly skies.

Thank you. Be well. And I look forward to seeing you on board.

Scroll to top