A Weekend in San Francisco - United Hub
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A weekend in San Francisco

By The Hub team

Passion Passport is a community-based website that tells meaningful travel stories and facilitates global connections. Our team hails from across the United States and Canada and is always up for an adventure. To learn more about where we're going and what we're doing, visit our website: PassionPassport.com

Enchanted by the beauty of San Francisco? This summer, we traveled to the west coast to explore all that this city by the bay has to offer. Here are a few of our favorite locations.

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Chinatown in San Francisco

Explore the city

Mission District — The Mission District is known for its multicultural enclaves and host of delicious restaurants, including Taquería Cancún, a popular place to grab a burrito (or three), and Foreign Cinema, a restaurant that features both foreign and independent films in its gorgeous outdoor courtyard. That said, the district is most well known for housing Mission Dolores, the oldest building in San Francisco. Many travelers visit the gardens and cemeteries of the site and stand in awe of the centuries-old structure. For gorgeous views of the downtown area, head down the street to Dolores Park.

Union Square — As the main commercial area of San Francisco, Union Square offers a variety of shopping opportunities, as well as plenty of theaters, hotels, galleries, and restaurants. To support local artistic ventures, venture to the American Conservatory Theater, a non-profit theater company. Union Square is also known for the iconic Cable Car Turnaround at Market and Powell streets. Taking a cable car is a great — and popular — way to experience San Francisco and to catch some incredible views of the city as well — plus, seeing the cable car turnaround is an experience in itself.

Chinatown — San Francisco is home to North America's oldest Chinatown enclave, which has welcomed generations of Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans over the decades. Wander through the neighborhood, and you'll stumble across a host of markets, traditional restaurants, and intriguing shops. You'll likely traverse the main thoroughfares of Stockton Street and Grant Avenue, but if you duck into side streets and alleyways along your route, you'll discover hidden treasures, such as Tin How Temple, one of the oldest Chinese temples in the United States. If you get hungry from all of the walking, take a break and enjoy egg tarts and other traditional sweets at Golden Gate Bakery on Grant Avenue. To learn more about the Chinese immigrant experience in the U.S., visit the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum. If you're lucky enough to visit during Chinese New Year or the Autumn Moon Festival, you'll have the chance to experience lively celebrations with plenty of parades, dances, food, and entertainment.

California Street in San Francisco

Admire stunning views

California Street — California Street is a beloved locale that doubles as a photographer's playground. As one of the longest streets in San Francisco, this famous thoroughfare encourages visitors to traverse the Financial District, Lincoln Park, Chinatown, and even Nob Hill. To fully experience the street, take the California cable car route.

Lombard Street — You've undoubtedly seen photos of this famous street before, because it's known as one of the steepest and curviest in the United States. Lombard Street's most famous section is in the Russian Hill neighborhood, which features eight sharp turns that make for interesting photo opportunities. There is an abundance of beautiful mansions scattered across the area, and in the spring, you'll also be able to spot a plethora of flowers blooming.

Twin Peaks — Have an affinity for beautiful views? Twin Peaks is a must-visit location for photographers and hikers alike. These peaks provide stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the downtown area, nearby Angel Island, and more. That said, many travel to the north peak parking lot for views of the city. While you'll find plenty of photo opportunities here, be sure to take some time to explore. Hike the trails across the peaks and enjoy the wildlife that roam the area.

Pier 9 in San Francisco

Wander along the waterfront

Fisherman's Wharf — To experience San Francisco's most beloved tourist attraction, head to Fisherman's Wharf. With historic ships, seafood restaurants, boutique shops, and entertainment venues, this area has something for everyone. Learn about sea lions at the Sea Lion Center, experience maritime history at San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, and enjoy theatre, music, and comedy performances at nearby venues. You can arrive at the wharf by ferry or take to the water and explore the bay via boat. You can also take a boat from Fisherman's Wharf to visit both Alcatraz and Angel Islands.

Embarcadero — Walk (or bike) along the Embarcadero waterfront, and you'll spot a variety of piers, parks, and restaurants. Check out the iconic Ferry Building, which houses shops, restaurants, and an abundance of food stalls. For more shopping, dining, and live entertainment, head to Pier 39. And, if you've got a hankering for sustainable seafood, pay a visit to Fog Harbor while you're there — it also offers great views of the water. That said, dessert lovers should walk to the end of the Embarcadero to visit Ghirardelli Square, which features various shops, restaurants, and (free) chocolate samples.

Crissy Field — Crissy Field was transformed from a former military airfield into a beautiful environmental area where visitors can stroll on windswept beaches and enjoy a picnic lunch with a view. Perfect for walking, biking, or just relaxing, the promenade offers stunning views of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge at any time of day.

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Working to bring people home – repatriation flights underway

By The Hub team, April 07, 2020

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 85 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 12,000 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
  • Amsterdam
  • Brussels
  • Munich
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo-Haneda
  • 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.

We’re making some key changes to the MileagePlus program for you

By The Hub team, April 05, 2020

Throughout these unprecedented times, we remain committed to doing what is right and fair for all of our MileagePlus® members and are pleased to share the steps we are taking to reciprocate the trust and loyalty that you have placed in United. These steps include not only Premier status updates, but also an extension of current memberships and subscriptions. The updates will happen automatically over the next few weeks — there's nothing you need to do.

The big news: If you have current 2020 Premier status, it will be extended to January 31, 2022. At a minimum, you will enjoy the same published status next year that you have today, up to and including Premier 1K®.

For the 2021 status year, United is reducing thresholds for Premier qualification by 50% for each status level, to make reaching an even higher tier easier. You'll still need a minimum of four flight segments on United or United Express®.

2021 status

Earn Premier qualifying flights

and PQP

… or meet a higher PQP goal

Silver

6

2,000

2,500

Gold

12

4,000

5,000

Platinum

18

6,000

7,500

1K

26

9,000

12,000

We're also doubling PQP for United Explorer cards and quadrupling PQP for the United Club cards.

At the same time that we're decreasing the published program's PQP requirements, via a promotion from May 1 – December 31, 2020, we're doubling (for United Explorer cards) or quadrupling (for United Club cards) the maximum number of PQP that Cardmembers can earn from card spending during 2020 to help achieve a higher level of status than you already have. More details to come later.

1K® and Platinum members, we're increasing your ability to upgrade by extending PlusPoints expiration dates by six months and expanding Skip Waitlist.

  • This means a six-month extension of any PlusPoints set to expire on or before January 31, 2021.
  • Last year we introduced Skip Waitlist on select flights as a benefit to 1K members, giving you more opportunities to confirm an upgrade request at the time of booking. This benefit will now be available for the rest of 2020 in a significantly expanded selection of long-haul international regions and will have expanded availability in 2021 as well.

We're extending all annual membership and subscription benefits by six months.

  • We want to make sure your benefits are still there when you're ready to start flying again. That's why we're extending purchased United Club℠ memberships purchased directly from United and purchased subscriptions for Economy Plus®, United Wi-Fi℠ and checked bags by six months. You should see this reflected in your MileagePlus account soon.

All electronic travel certificates now have 24 months to be used.

  • If your travel plans have been disrupted, and you have an electronic travel certificate from us for the value of your ticket, you now have two years from the date it was issued to book a new flight, as well as up to an additional 11 months to travel. This includes all currently valid and all new electronic travel certificates issued on or after April 1, 2020.

We have removed some redeposit fees for the rest of the year.

  • We are currently waiving all award redeposit fees for travel through end of May 2020.
  • We are now also waiving all redeposit fees for award ticket cancellations made more than 30 days before departure for the remainder of 2020.

Finally, we'll be making it easier to earn status in 2021 for the 2022 program year. We recognize that getting back to travel will occur at a different pace for different members. Keep an eye out for changes we will make to help you earn status in 2021 for 2022, as we'll share details later this year.

Over the years, you have placed your trust and loyalty in United, and we are honored to do the same for you. We are all in this together.

Status extension to January 31, 2022, applies to all members that met the published criteria of the MileagePlus program in 2019, status match associated with the United/Marriott Bonvoy partnership and status offered as part of a Sales nomination. Status granted from other programs and policies may not apply.

How to change your flight, or cancel and rebook later

By The Hub team, April 04, 2020

To help with the uncertainty around future travel — be it summer vacations, conferences, events and more — customers now have until April 30 to make changes to, or cancel, any travel they have booked through the end of the year without fees. This is in addition to existing waivers already in place which allow customers to change or cancel plans for travel through May 31.If you decide to cancel your flight, you can retain the value of your ticket to be applied to a new ticket without a fee. These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. You might not see this policy change reflected everywhere right away – we appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.

Eligible travelers on domestic flights and international tickets can request a refund on united.com or may call our contact centers if their flights have been severely adjusted or service to their destination suspended either due to government mandates or United schedule reductions related to COVID-19.

Certain tickets cannot be changed on united.com or the mobile app, including tickets booked through another airline (if the ticket receipt does not begin with 016). Please contact the original ticketing airline for changes.

Follow the steps below to stay up to date, change or cancel your flight.

Change your current flight:

  1. On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your flight information to retrieve your flight.
  2. Select "Change flight" and then "Edit" to make the following changes:
    • Date of travel or destination
    • Add a flight
    • Remove a flight
  3. Select "Continue" and choose a new flight option
  4. Continue through booking to confirm your new flight

Note: The change fee will display as waived, but any difference in fare may apply.

Cancel your flight and rebook later:

  1. On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your reservation information to retrieve your flight
  2. Select "Cancel flight"
  3. Confirm flight cancellation
  4. If you have future flight credit, when you return to the reservation, select "Use Future Flight Credit" to shop for new flights and apply the credit towards a new flight.

Canceling or changing an award flight:

When you select "Cancel flight," you will have the option to cancel your award reservation and redeposit the miles or to cancel your award reservation and use those miles for another trip in the future.

*We're currently experiencing heavy traffic to united.com. If you experience an error while trying to change or cancel your flight, please try again later.

Click through the slideshow below for more detailed instructions:

​Start on the United homepage: ​

User can select 'My Trips' on the homepage widget to find and retrieve their reservation.

  • If you're not signed in or you're a guest user, enter your confirmation number and last name.
  • If you are signed in, you can select a trip from your current trips or select the 'Find another trip' link.
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