Top 5 Places to Ring in the New Year - United Hub

Top 5 destinations to ring in the new year

By The Hub team

Every city has its New Year's Eve celebration, but some cities are worth traveling to for their renowned merrymaking. If the thought of singing "Auld Lang Syne" at the same place each year or watching the ball drop at home becomes too much to bear again, book a flight to the one of these celebrated cities — places known for their spirited, jaw-dropping spectacles — to ring in the new year.

Times Square, New York City, New York

New York City

Experience the most famous New Year's Eve celebration of all in person at Times Square. Since 1906, millions have gathered in the streets around the tower atop One Times Square to watch the ball descend as they ring in the new year. Today, Times Square feels like the center of the universe on New Year's Eve. Nearly a million people gather in the streets; confetti drifts like snow and top musical acts perform onstage as cameras capture the festivities for audiences far and wide. Don't forget to wave while celebrating, because the whole world is watching.

Sydney, Australia

Sydney

One of the largest fireworks displays on earth dazzles viewers in Sydney each December 31. Harbour Bridge, next to the iconic Sydney Opera House, is the focal point of the event, where giant colorful chrysanthemums of light burst overhead while fountains of firelight spout from the girders. The harbor is filled with boats full of onlookers, but you'll find the best vantage points on any of the many peninsulas that jut into the water around the bridge. For the best closeup views, head to the Royal Botanic Gardens, where there are free gathering areas and ticketed events such as "Midnight at the Oasis."

Paris, France

Paris

The City of Light earns its nickname on La Réveillon de Saint Sylvestre — as New Year's Eve is known in France — when Paris is bathed in even more illumination than usual. The Champs-Élysées, one of the more renowned thoroughfares on the planet, brims with champagne-toasting revelers. Another popular gathering spot is Sacré- Cœur on top of Montmartre, with its breathtaking city skyline views. At midnight, all eyes turn southward across the Seine to the Left Bank and the Eiffel Tower, backlit by a soaring display of fireworks easily seen all around the city.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

Drawing up to 2 million people each year, Rio boasts one of the world's largest Véspera de Ano Novo celebrations. The festivities take on a Carnival-like atmosphere in the streets and along the wide, curving beaches. Locals and tourists alike dress in white to bring good luck in the new year. Copacabana Beach is the center of the action. Fueled by champagne and cachaça (the rum-like national liquor of Brazil) cocktails and the strains of samba music, revelers throw flowers into the surf in tribute to the sea goddess Yemanjá. The surreal fireworks display takes place over the water, from barges lined up along the coast.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo

In Tokyo, they literally ring in the new year by lining up at temples for the traditional ringing of the bell 108 times. This is the time of "hatsumode," the first Shinto shrine visit of the year, when prayers are said for health, luck and peace. The place to be at midnight is Meji Shrine, where up to three million people gather. Fireworks aren't a common way to celebrate New Year's in the Land of the Rising Sun, but Tokyo is brimming with revelry well past midnight, especially at its many electronic dance music clubs, including the mammoth Sound Museum Vision.

The world's great cities are where you'll discover the biggest New Year's Eve celebrations on the planet. No matter which continent you find yourself on, come ready for a fun-filled cultural experience beyond compare.

If you go

Change up your New Years Eve plans and visit one of these highly celebrated cities. Go to united.com or use the United app to book your trip.

Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

Scroll to top