What To Do With 40 Hours in Alaska - United Hub

What to do with 40 hours in Alaska

By The Hub team

My first voyage to the Last Frontier certainly won't be my last. Alaska makes you appreciate how much our country has to offer. The U.S. is truly an amusement park of terrain filled with an array of deserts, forests, mountains and glaciers. Alaska is home to some of the most fascinating land I've seen in the U.S., and possibly throughout all my travels around the globe.

From the airport, Anchorage is only twenty minutes via cab. I sat in the back seat with a big awestruck smile on my face as I admired the beauty of the mountains and glaciers in the distant background. I knew I would get closer to this natural beauty later in my trip, but the anticipation was intoxicating.

Once in Anchorage, I immediately stopped at Glacier BrewHouse and had a few beers while eavesdropping on the patrons. It was 10 PM on a summer Tuesday, and there were a ton of people out and about. As I sat wondering whether the food was what drew this large of a crowd, I happened to peer out the window and register that it was still quite light outside. So light, in fact, that kids were playing across the street at a skate park. As I looked at my phone and debated whether I had time traveled, it became clear that the diners were drawn out by the long hours of sunlight. That said, the Grilled Sockeye Salmon I ate was one of the best salmon dinners I've ever had, so I'm sure the food helped bring the crowd as well.

The next morning, I hiked to the Alaska Railroad train station. The price of a ticket was a little over $100, but well worth the cost. (If you pay a little more, you get a roof seat with an even better view). I'll admit time and time again that this four hour journey was by far one of the most exhilarating train rides I ever have, or likely will, be part of. The glaciers, grayish metallic waters surrounding the mountains, and wildlife were breathtaking, and the tour guide was excellent.

Foggy Day, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

As soon as I got off the train, I was already on a cruise to Kenai Fjords National Park. I chose to do the six hour National Park Tour. We hit some heavy bumps on the Atlantic Ocean along the way, and pulled up within twenty feet of a magnificent sheet of ice that moves six feet every day. The glacier was caving and everyone on the boat was ooohing and awing in delight. Surprisingly, we even experienced wildlife while on the boat. We came up close to birds that could dive 200 feet into the ocean waters, humpback whales, sea otters, harbor seals, and even watched two orcas swim right by the boat.

Time on planes, trains, automobiles and boats took up several of my limited hours in Alaska, but it was easily one of the best 40 hour periods of my life. Definitely stay longer if you go—I just got a glimpse of this wonderful piece of land, will be back soon–preferably racing in the Iditarod or lying on my back glazing at the Northern Lights.

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Celebrating immigration perspectives and diverse journeys

By The Hub team, September 25, 2020

From Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the U.S. celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, a chance to pay tribute to the history, culture and contributions that generations of Latinxs have paved to enrich U.S. history. It is also a reminder to celebrate our differences and spark difficult, yet important, conversations.

To kick off the month, UNITE, our multicultural business resource group for employees, did just that by hosting a panel discussion about the immigrant experience and what it means to be an immigrant in the U.S.

United Litigation and Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, who is a pro bono immigration attorney, moderated the panel, and was joined by Ashley Huebner, Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) and Magdalena Gonzalez, Program Manager, Leadership Development Programs at Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement. The three women shared their insights and personal stories, while addressing some misconceptions and highlighting the contributions of immigrants to our company and country.

Participants' headshots from United's Hispanic Heritage Month Panel From left to right, Elizabeth Lopez, Ashely Huebner and Magdalena Gonzalez

"I started to notice that there were things I was scared of doing, that I needed to be cautious," said Magdalena while sharing her personal experience as a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient. "My friends, who a majority of them are citizens, did not need to worry about that. As I was able to see that, I realized that, 'oh, there's so many things that revolve around not just being a DACA recipient but revolve around being a person with an undocumented status here in the United States.'"

United maintains a close relationship with the NIJC. In May of 2019, United co-hosted an asylum clinic put on by the legal services organization, where several attorneys and legal professionals were trained on representing asylum-seeking applicants. At the end of the clinic, members of our legal department were assigned an asylum case through the NIJC.

Litigation Managing Counsel Elizabeth Lopez, Commercial Transactions Counsel Tiffany Jaspers, Global Compliance and Ethics Counsel Nancy Jacobson and Employment Litigation Senior Manager Dorothy Karpierz were partnered with attorneys from the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery to take on an immigration case of a mother of three from Honduras. Recently, after a years-long court battle, the legal team was victorious, changing the life of the woman and her family.

United is committed to connecting people and uniting the world. Whether you're an immigrant, a child of immigrants or simply want to learn more about the immigrant experience in the U.S., discussions like these, related to this hot-button issue, are important to have in order to understand the human lives behind it.

Make your voice heard

By Brett J. Hart, September 22, 2020

Your voice matters. Voting is one of the most influential civic activities we can engage in as Americans. At United, our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. That's why we've long provided our employees with resources to help them get registered to vote.

This year, we're taking our support a step further as the official airline of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Since the start of the pandemic, we've overhauled our cleaning measures through a program we call United CleanPlusSM , and the CPD has placed their trust in United to fly Commission production staff to each of the four debates, starting with the first one on September 29, hosted by Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.

Today, on National Voter Registration Day, we also want to make sure our customers have access to information about how to participate in the 2020 Election. Over the past several months, you've heard a lot from us about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed air travel. We've learned that with some planning and extra effort, it's still possible — and safe. That's true of voting, too.

No matter which party you support or how you're planning to vote, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and make a plan to vote.


Brett J. Hart
United Airlines

United named to Year Up Opportunity Hall of Fame

By The Hub team, September 17, 2020

Since its launch 20 years ago, Year Up, one of our critical needs grant recipients, has helped more than 10,000 young adults gain access to corporate business and technical experience at large companies like United while offering the invaluable perspectives they bring with them.

On Wednesday, the nonprofit inducted United into its Opportunity Hall of Fame – a selection that occurs once every five years.

Year Up's mission is to help close the opportunity divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Since 2018, our partnership has allowed talented student learners the opportunity to gain corporate business experience and technical skill training at the airline while bringing their unique perspectives to our United family and culture. One of those students is Emily Lopez, who graduated from the Year Up program in January 2019 and was hired to be part of the United family as an analyst in Revenue Management.

"I moved from Venezuela to the United States in July 2016 and being a young immigrant with no resources can be difficult to pursue a career in a new country," said Emily.

After learning about Year Up and ultimately being accepted into the program, Emily landed an internship with United, an opportunity she is very grateful for.

Emily Lopez - Analyst, Pricing & Revenue Management

"Feedback from my mentors, coaches and managers was key during my internship phase and helped me convert my internship at United to a full-time position. I am grateful for the opportunity United has provided me and my Year Up Alumni colleagues to keep building a professional career within the company. I am so excited to continue building a professional career with the company and to see United being inducted to Year Up's Hall of Fame. Let's continue closing the opportunity divide!" said Emily.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has made this year's partnership a bit more difficult, we continue to do our part to support the Year Up student learners. Last month, we surprised 145 graduates of this year's Year Up Chicago program with roundtrip tickets to pursue career and networking opportunities within the United States.

"I've been personally honored and inspired to be an advocate for Year Up since I joined United," said CEO Scott Kirby. "This program gives young people from challenged backgrounds an opportunity to get their foot in the door as interns at United. This year's graduates are entering a challenging job landscape, but we have one thing that can help: a route network that provides easy access to major business markets across the United States."

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