Improvements to on board entertainment and WiFi experience - United Hub

Improvements to our on board entertainment and Wi-Fi experience

By The Hub team, April 12, 2018

We know that for a lot of our customers – business and leisure alike – the ability to connect online and use entertainment options while in flight plays an important role in choosing an airline. Having access to a reliable onboard connection is vital for our customers who need to finish up on work, check emails, stay connected or simply stay entertained throughout their entire journey.

United is an industry pioneer in offering satellite Wi-Fi and personal device entertainment (PDE), and we still have the largest fleet of satellite Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft worldwide. Last year, we noticed our Panasonic Wi-Fi product, which is the streaming service on many of our Airbus, 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft, wasn't as reliable as we would like, and we are took that as an opportunity to do better by making investments to improve this experience for our customers. Here are a number of steps we have taken and are still taking to do that:

  • More connection points - We are working with Panasonic to improve the quality of the Wireless Access Points (WAPs) on all of our Panasonic aircraft. These devices connect the user with the Wi-Fi and PDE on the aircraft. More and better WAPs mean more customers can tap into a strong, steady connection at the same time.
  • More bandwidth - We are also installing new broadband controllers on all the aircraft. These units connect the aircraft to the satellite network and will largely solve the outage issues we experience on our Panasonic fleets. In addition, the controllers will also increase throughput by over 20 times and allow for much quicker connection speeds.
  • More coverage - Panasonic is also adding satellites to its network, so our customers will benefit from better coverage, speed and bandwidth.

In addition to providing more reliable Wi-Fi, we have also recently expanded our PDE option to all aircraft with DIRECTV live streaming for purchase to provide at least one free entertainment option on all Wi-Fi equipped aircraft (which is any aircraft with more than 70 seats). Between February and April of this year, we installed personal device entertainment onto more than 200 aircraft that previously only offered DIRECTV. Customers can now use a personal laptop, Apple iOS device or Android device to access a library of complimentary movies and TV shows, in addition to having the opportunity to purchase DIRECTV to view live programming.

We are also committed to improving our entertainment options for customers with disabilities. Earlier this year, we began offering a new main menu category on seatback on-demand that is labeled Accessible Entertainment. This new section makes it easier for customers with hearing and vision challenges to find accessible entertainment options, grouping all of the titles that are either audio descriptive or closed captioned in one main menu category. Seatback on-demand is one of our entertainment options available on 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.

Customers can download the latest United app to access personal device entertainment on Apple or Android mobile devices. They can also visit www.unitedprivatescreening.com to learn about what entertainment options are on their upcoming flight, watch movie trailers and filter content by language, genre, audio description and closed captioning availability.

We are always working on improving our product and making changes that will help us provide the consistent, high-quality connectivity our customers expect. These enhancements are a just a few of the investments we are working on that will improve your customer experience.

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.

Best,

Brett J. Hart
President
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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