An unexpected Arrival Time - United Hub
Connections Matter

An unexpected arrival time

By The Hub team

September 23 was a day that started out like any other for Washington D.C.-based Customer Service Representative Vonda Snow-Gregory.

"When I come to work, I have the mindset that every customer is important," said Vonda. "I will give them the best service possible."

Vonda was going about her usual routine preparing to board passengers for a 5 p.m. flight to Zurich when customer Miguel Montero approached the desk with a concerned look on his face.

Mr. Montero, from Syracuse, New York, was on his way to Zurich for a week-long work trip installing radar systems at airports when he received a call from his wife Stephanie who was eight months pregnant. She had gone into labor, and she was on her way to the hospital to have their first child.

"He had this work trip planned, and some people thought he was crazy going a month before my due date," said Mrs. Montero. "I had nothing ready, so I threw a bag together and drove myself to the hospital."

"I was not okay with the idea she was by herself," added Mr. Montero. "We don't have any close family nearby, so I decided I needed to get back to her right away."

Cue cool, calm and collected Vonda, who quickly jumped into action to get Mr. Montero back home as soon as possible.

Not knowing the timeframe she was working with, but knowing she had to work fast, Vonda searched flights and saw one that was leaving for Syracuse, New York in 40 minutes. With the new ticket purchased, she then made the call to get Mr. Montero's bag off the plane and on to his next flight, which was tricky considering the Zurich flight was about to depart.

"'Please, you need to do this,'" Mr. Montero remembers Vonda saying to the ramp employee. "'This guy is about to have a baby and needs to get back home.' Then you could see that the person she was talking to understood and did it."

Vonda's last obstacle was getting him to his new gate, which was in a different terminal and required a bus to get there.

"She walked me to the bus," said Miguel. "I barely remember anything once I got on that plane, but I went right to the hospital."

Mr. Montero arrived at the hospital at 7 p.m., and, around 3 a.m., a healthy Santiago Montero was born with no complications.

"The timing was just so perfect," said Mrs. Montero. "He was there for the whole thing and was able to stay with me at hospital for the next five days."

The timing was perfect and it was all thanks to Vonda's quick thinking and her drive to go above and beyond for every customer she serves.

"I just believe there are some monumental moments in life that you can't get back," reflected Vonda. "Whether it's a graduation or a birth of a baby, that's why I did what I did. If that's what caring looks like, then I'm glad to be among the people who care."

Customer stories like this remind us of what we can achieve when caring comes first. For more stories like this, visit our Connections Matter page.

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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