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.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.
We have operated more than 56 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 8,000 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.
Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.
Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:
- Quito, Ecuador
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Roatan, Honduras
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Seoul, South Korea
- Melbourne, Australia
We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.
In the midst of mobilizing our cargo operations, our teams at New York/Newark (EWR) and Jacksonville (JAX) stepped in to assist Roche Diagnostics with transporting a vital component for an instrument being used for COVID-19 testing.
The component was stuck at EWR en route to the Mayo Clinic in Florida after another airline's flights were cancelled. A Roche employee contacted us asking for help and, within a few hours, our teams had the piece loaded onto a Jacksonville-bound aircraft, with arrangements in place to deliver it to the Mayo Clinic.
The item we shipped will allow the Mayo Clinic in Florida to process hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been on the front lines of increasing testing capacity to expedite caring for patients at this critical time and working to ease the burden being felt at test processing laboratories in a growing number of areas.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.