The best ways to pass time on a flight
We all love traveling to beautiful and exciting destinations, but for some, finding things to do to pass the time may seem daunting. If that sounds like you, here are a few simple suggestions that will help make your next flight a breeze.
Traveling with young children
- When flying with young children, reading to them about airplanes before the trip will help get them excited, and it will also give your family something fun to talk about while you're in the air. Filled with colorful pictures and charming text, "The Airport Book" by Lisa Brown offers a wonderful introduction to first-time flyers, ages 5 through 7.
- For longer trips, parents can buy a few small toys or treats from a local dollar store and wrap them individually to unveil throughout the flight.
Traveling with teens
- Reading is a great way to pass the time, so surprise your teenager with the latest young adult bestseller, bring along some educational magazines or introduce them to our award-winning inflight magazines, Hemispheres and Rhapsody, which you can always find onboard.
- It's hard to stay in your seat the whole time and even harder on your muscles. When allowed to move about the cabin, encourage your teen (and yourself) to take quick walking breaks every couple of hours on longer flights. You'll be amazed at how a little physical movement and some simple stretching can turn longer trips into manageable blocks of time.
For the business travelers
- For the business traveler who wants a break from a digital screen, relax your eyes with an audiobook on your next flight.
- If staying connected to the office helps you pass the time, then United Wi-Fi is exactly what you need. This high-speed wireless service is available for purchase on nearly all of United's mainline aircraft and two-cabin United Express aircraft, so you can check your emails while flying to your next meeting or trade show.
- Long flights are perfect for binge watching, so download a new series to your personal laptop or tablet before your trip, or save the storage space and enjoy our DIRECTV programming, available for purchase on select Boeing 737 and 757-300 aircraft. With access to more than 100 of your favorite TV channels, plus the latest Hollywood blockbusters, passing the time on an airplane has never been easier.
- For additional inflight entertainment, try Personal device entertainment, one of our free United Private ScreeningSM options. From new Hollywood releases to popular TV channels, there is something for everyone. United Private Screening is available on select aircraft and can be viewed using your personal laptop, Apple IOS device or Android device.
If you can't get to Mars, what's the next best thing? Apparently Iceland. A team of renowned explorers and researchers recently journeyed to Iceland to test a Mars analog suit in a Martian-like environment.
The United sponsored expedition, led by The Explorers Club — an internationally recognized organization that promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space — and in partnership with Iceland Space Agency, involved the team venturing inside the Grímsvötn volcano and across the Vatnajökull ice cap. The group traveled to the remote location and lived for six days in the Grímsvötn Mountain Huts and endured harsh weather conditions and unstable terrain.
Helga Kristin Torfadöttir, Geologist and glacier guide, using the LiDAR system to map the ground and test the suit's capabilities on the glacier.
The objective of the mission was to explore the potential of concept operations at the Grímsvötn location while testing the suit in an arctic environment similar to what would be found on the surface of Mars. "This mission was an important test of the design of the MS1 suit, but it was also incredibly helpful to understand the how to conduct these sorts of studies in Iceland," said Michael Lye, MS1 designer and NASA consultant and RISD professor. "No matter how thoroughly something is tested in a controlled environment like a lab, studying it in a setting that accurately represents the environment where it will be used is absolutely essential to fully understand the design."
The suit was designed and constructed by faculty and students at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) with input and guidance from members of the HI-SEAS IV crew and NASA's Johnson Space Center Space Suit Engineering team. At 50-60 lbs, the suit is similar to what a planetary exploration suit would weigh in Martian gravity. The suit was originally designed to be used in the warm climate of Hawaii, however the martian climate is much closer to what would be found on top of the glaciers in Iceland. The data collected will inform the future of habitat and spacesuit design that can be used to train astronauts on Earth.
Today, we remember the colleagues, customers and every single victim of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
I know each of us in the United family marks this difficult moment in our own way. Still, we all share a common commitment to honor how our brothers and sisters left us and also celebrate what they gave to us during their lives. We remember their professionalism and heroism. We cherish their camaraderie and friendship. We carry with us the examples they set forth, especially in the heroism and bravery displayed by so many on that terrible day. Above all, we understand a simple truth: While thousands of our fellow human beings lost their lives in New York City, Arlington and Shanksville, the attacks of September 11th were aimed at all people of peace and good will, everywhere. They were attacks on the values that make life worth living, as well as the shared purpose that make us proud of what we do as members of the United family: connecting people and uniting the world.
We may live in times scarred by discord and disagreement, and we know there are those around the world who seek to divide us against one another. But, on this day – above all – we come together, as one. We affirm our core belief that far, far more unites us as citizens and fellow human beings than can ever divide us.
Let us embody that belief as we go about serving our customers and one another – on this day and every day – as we continue to help building a world that's more united. Let that be our memorial to the sisters and brothers we lost, eighteen Septembers ago.