What To Do in Sydney - United Hub
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What to do in Sydney

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

Between its sparkling beaches, gorgeous vistas, and plentiful outdoor adventures, Sydney is a paradise that often feels a million miles away. On a recent trip, we explored the best of this coastal city, and we want to help you do the same. In that light, here are a few of our favorites activities in the Land Down Under.

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Get to know the city

Sydney is known around the world for its friendly atmosphere and welcoming hospitality. In addition, its sunny disposition, good weather, unique architecture, vibrant gardens, and hidden gems merit a place at the top of any bucket list.Whether your stay in this Australian city is short or extensive, your first stop should be Sydney's most recognizable structures: the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Their iconic designs helped put Sydney on the map, and their location on the waterfront makes them all the more beautiful.If you're jetlagged and are in need of some downtime, spend an afternoon relaxing in the city's multiple green spaces. From the unique, sunken plots of Paddington Reservoir Gardens (built on land that used to supply water to the city) to the thriving flower beds of Wendy's Secret Garden (established by a local in the 1990s), you'll have your pick of parks and nature reserves. Commit to an afternoon in your chosen locale, and if you're so inclined, bring along a picnic lunch, a camera, or a sketchbook.

Sunrise over three sisters, Blue Mountains, Australia

Explore the great outdoors

No trip to Australia would be complete without exploring the country's beaches and peaks.

The Blue Mountains are the best option for those looking to escape the bustle of Sydney without the long haul of a multi-day journey. This stunning range is part of a national park, which lies just 60 miles (100 kilometers) outside of Sydney proper. The mountains themselves offer plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking, canyoning, and mountain biking — so be sure to pack your walking shoes!

During your time in Sydney, don't pass up Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, which is home to pristine shorelines and sparkling blue waters. No matter the season, this national park will stun you with its abundance of wildlife and cultural legacies. While you're at the park, keep an eye out for brightly colored birds, and stretch your legs with a trek on the Aboriginal Heritage walk, where you can see handprints and rock carvings from the area's aboriginal people. No one's quite sure how long these artifacts have been there, but archaeologists estimate that the carvings are more than 7,000 years old.

Finally, get up close and personal with Australia's most famous animals at Featherdale Wildlife Park. If you've always wanted to cuddle a koala, pet a dingo, or hold a baby crocodile, this is your chance. The park is run by a team of animal specialists, who love to teach visitors all about the animals and their ecosystems, and they'll gladly snap a photo of you interacting with these uniquely Australian species!

Bondi Beach, Sydney Australia

Spend some time on the water

Water enthusiasts rejoice! Sydney is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, and the sandy shorelines certainly live up to the hype.

Make Sydney Harbour your first stop and venture into the water for activities such as kayaking and whale-watching. Or, if you'd prefer to stay on dry land, you can always explore Barangaroo, a dynamic precinct that bustles with attractions, including restaurants, boutiques, gardens, and art installations. Although Barangaroo's development is still ongoing, this creative hub will be the centerpiece of the waterfront for years to come.

For beautiful views of the harbor, take a stroll down Circle Walk. If you do, remember to wear sneakers — after all, the trail is 37 miles (60 kilometers) long! You can either traverse a small portion of the walk or you can commit to taking several days to complete the entire route. Regardless of which option you choose, the scenery makes this trek a must-see.

Lastly, whether you consider yourself a beach enthusiast or not, Bondi Beach has something for everyone. While water-lovers take to the crystal-clear water to swim or surf, other visitors can traverse the coastal cliff tops, shop at the area's many markets, or grab a bite at one of Bondi's famous eateries. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy this area's iconic offerings!

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Beach or mountains? Take your pick with our newly announced routes to the West Coast, the Rocky Mountains and the Caribbean

By Matt Adams , November 21, 2019

We will continue building out our already expansive route network next year, adding flights to some attractive leisure destinations in the United States and the Caribbean.

Our hometown hub, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, will be the beneficiary of three of those new routes, which include Santa Barbara, California; Pasco, Washington; and Vail, Colorado. Rounding it out, United will add service from Denver to Nassau, Bahamas, and from Houston to Spokane, Washington. Tickets for all of these destinations are on sale now.

Colorful houses in Nassau

The Denver-Nassau route will begin on March 7, 2020, followed by Chicago-Santa Barbara, Chicago-Pasco, Chicago-Vail and Houston-Spokane on June 4. When that time comes, United will be the only airline offering nonstop service between Denver and Nassau and Chicago and Pasco.

All of these routes will open up a world of connection possibilities for customers living in each market. They'll also be scheduled to give flyers optimal arrival and departure time options. For instance, a passenger going from Chicago to Santa Barbara will have a flight option that departs O'Hare at 7:45 p.m. local time, arriving at Santa Barbara Airport at 10:30 p.m. That's ideal for business travelers.

"We want to offer customers the very best schedule, the best network and the most flight options in the industry," said Ankit Gupta, United's vice president of Domestic Network Planning.

The Boeing 737-800 aircraft will serve the Denver-Nassau route. Passengers going from Chicago to Santa Barbara and from Chicago to Vail will fly on the 737-700. United's 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft, equipped with United First, Economy Plus and United Economy class seats, will operate on the Chicago-Pasco and Houston-Spokane routes.

You'll find flight times and additional details in the grid below. For more information and to book your tickets, visit united.com or download the United mobile app.

Depart

Arrive

Frequency

Duration

Chicago (ORD)

7:45 p.m.

Santa Barbara (SBA)

10:30 p.m.

Daily

Year-round

SBA

11:20 p.m.

ORD

5:20 a.m.

Daily

Year-round

ORD

8:00 p.m.

Pasco (PSC)

10:24 p.m.

Daily

Year-round

PSC

11:38 p.m.

ORD

5:20 a.m.

Daily

Year-round

ORD

4:00 p.m.

Vail/Eagle (EGE)

5:54 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through September 6, 2020)

EGE

9:00 a.m.


ORD

12:45 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through September 7, 2020)

Denver (DEN)

9:56 a.m.

Nassau (NAS)

4:00 p.m.

Once a week on Saturdays

Year-round

(with a break from mid-August through late-October)

NAS

11:37 a.m.

DEN

2:43 p.m.

Once a week on Saturdays

Year-round

(with a break from mid-August through late-October)

Houston (IAH)

9:32 p.m.

Spokane (GEG)

11:32 p.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through August 17, 2020)

GEG

11:55 p.m.

IAH

6:17 a.m.

Daily

Summer seasonal

(June 4 through August 17, 2020)

Reflecting on Veterans Day: a message from our CEO Oscar Munoz

By Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines , November 11, 2019

Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.

When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.

They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.

I want them to look no further than United Airlines.

That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.

They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.

That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.

We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.

We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.

We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.

As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.

Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.

They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.

Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.

Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.

Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.

But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.

We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.

It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.

On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.

Humbly,

Oscar

United named a top workplace for veterans

By The Hub team , November 10, 2019

Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.

"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.

"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."

Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.

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