Weekend Inspiration: Singapore - United Hub
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Weekend inspiration: Singapore

By Kelsey + Courtney Montague

Singapore is, in a word, a marvel. With over 5.5 million people, it is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. However, over 50 percent of the land on this island is covered by green spaces, including 50 parks and four nature reserves. Given all its greenery, and how spotless the city is, the city doesn't feel congested or cramped. Instead, it's a stunning confluence of Asian and ex-pat culture.

Friday evening

When you arrive in Singapore, we recommend making reservations at Lavo Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar in Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower 1. Try to go early for a drink and a walk around their scenic balcony.

If you have enough room after dinner, head over to Non-Entrée Deserts for desserts that will blow your mind. Make sure to order The Chocolate Avalanche or the Rubber Ducky, depending on if you like chocolate or mango sorbet, respectively.

Saturday

There's no time to waste in this stunning Asian metropolis, so we recommend waking up early and checking out a local favorite for breakfast: Toast Box. We love the Kaya Toast, a sweet coconut based jam with butter on toasted bread.

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

After breakfast, grab a cappuccino and make your way over to the famous Gardens By The Bay. Stroll through all of it, but if you have a limited amount of time, don't miss the Cloud Forest - home to the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. If it's not raining, you have to see The Garden's "super trees," man-made trees that are each 25-50 meters tall and full of vertical gardens. After you've had your fill of the most beautiful flowers & greenery in the city, continue your walk to the Art Science Museum.

The Art Science Museum sits in the unique intersection of art and science. Each installation is interesting and many are interactive. Make sure to grab a coffee at their cute gift shop on the main floor on your way out.

The Marina Bay Sands Mall sits right next to the Museum. Head to the mall for an afternoon of shopping and, if you're hungry, grab lunch at Black Tap Burgers in the mall. Although you should expect a line, their crazy milkshakes are well worth the wait. Their cake batter milkshake is our personal favorite.

Cake batter milkshake from Black Tap Burgers

Dinner at Caffe Fernet with a beautiful view of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel is a must. After dinner, if you have the energy, we recommend walking to Merlion Park to see Singapore's most famous foundation.

Sunday

Wake up and grab a Kopi coffee in a to-go bag at Singapore Zam Zam, then continue your walk down Haji Lane and be on the look out for cute shops & restaurants. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Selfie Coffee – You can take a selfie and they'll print it on a coffee for you.
  • Juice Clinic – Perfect for healthy foods and really fantastic juices.
  • 68 Haji Lane – Cute boutique for jewelry, purses and handbags.
  • Windowsill Pies – This is, hands down, the best smelling shop on the lane. Grab a slice of pie and head upstairs to their second floor to watch the bakers bake. If you go up one more floor you'll find a cozy Harry Potter-feeling attic room.
  • Funq – A great place for drinks, people watching or a light lunch.
  • Arab Street – This street right next to Haji Lane is incredibly cute with some great shops.
Singapore Zam Zam
Atlas, a stunning bar in Singapore

If you're looking for a pre-dinner drink stop by Atlas, a stunning bar. If you have time, make reservations beforehand – we arrived at 3 p.m. when they opened and there was already a line.

Cap off the night with a drink on the rooftop bar at Andaz Singapore. Enjoy a cocktail with an incredible 360-degree view.

On your way out be sure to stand with our botanically inspired #WhatLiftsYou wing mural on the 25th floor.

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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.

United works with partners to send food to USDA food bank

By The Hub team, July 23, 2020

In collaboration with food-logistics company Commodity Forwarders Inc. (CFI), United moved nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. This new program was created to provide critical support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

A variety of fresh fruits were transported from Los Angeles (LAX) to Guam (GUM) on United's newly introduced, non-stop cargo-only flight – a route added to meet cargo demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The fresh food was repacked in 10-pound cases in Los Angeles, prepared for departure at CFI's LAX location, and flown to GUM by the United team. Through this beneficial partnership between United and CFI, the perishable goods were kept cool during every step of the process and distributed as part of the food bank program in Guam.

"Everyone on our team has worked relentlessly during the pandemic to get critical goods to where they are needed most. Establishing a comprehensive network of cargo-only flights have allowed us to keep the supply chain moving even while passenger flight capacity has been reduced," said Regional Senior Manager of Cargo Sales, Marco Vezjak. "Knowing that we are able to help during these difficult times – in this case the Guam community – is our biggest reward and greatest motivation to keep moving forward."

United is proud to play a role in maintaining the global food supply chain and helping people access the supplies they need. Since March 19, United has operated over 4,000 cargo-only flights, moving over 130 million pounds of cargo.

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