Great Getaways for Wine Lovers - United Hub

Great getaways for wine lovers

By The Hub team, August 02, 2016

No matter where you stand on the spectrum of wine lovers, the second best place to sit down is a winery's tasting room. The very best place to take a seat? In an airplane, being whisked away to the vineyards and cellars where grapes are transformed into wines that tempt and tease your palate. Whether you're an aficionado of after-work drinks, an aspiring connoisseur or a bona fide oenophile, revel in a day trip or linger longer with one of these wine-country getaways.

Monterey County, California

Monterey, California: Grapes kissed by Pacific breezes

The jewel of California's central coastline, Monterey County is known for spectacular scenery, celebrities, cozy inns and its wealth of wineries. A short nonstop flight from San Francisco or Los Angeles lands you in the heart of three distinctive grape-growing regions. If you have just a day to sip and play, head to Carmel-by-the-Sea, where more than a dozen local wineries host tasting rooms in a very walkable four-block section of the quaint downtown. If you can stay longer, meander up the River Road Wine Trail, where chardonnay and pinot noir grapes thrive in the Santa Lucia Highlands soil. For an extra thrill, book an all-terrain vehicle tour of the estate vineyards at Hahn Family Wines just outside the little town of Soledad.

Columbia River Gorge wine country, Oregon and Washington

Columbia Gorge: Oregon and Washington varietals

You might get sidetracked by the stunning scenery on the hour-long drive from Portland International Airport to the Columbia River Gorge wine country. But the evergreen forests, rocky cliffs, waterfalls and rugged hills give you a glimpse at the diverse geology, making the next 40 miles a new mecca for varietal wine lovers. The winery offerings are widely diverse too. Take a tasting tour with cellar-master guides at Cathedral Ridge Winery or time your visit to coincide with a summer concert at the award-winning Maryhill Winery, where artists from Counting Crows to Willie Nelson draw thousands to its outdoor amphitheater.

Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay

Michigan: Old Mission Peninsula

When you yearn for fresh air and expansive views along with Old World-style wines and hospitality, take a tour of the eight wineries perched along Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. From Traverse City, drop into each of the wineries' tasting rooms as you head north up the center of the peninsula to the historic Mission Point Lighthouse. It sits directly on the 45th Parallel — a latitude known for a wine-friendly climate shared with the likes of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Oregon's famed Willamette Valley vineyards. Summer is perfect for sipping samples on the Chateau Grand Traverse winery's patio.

Piney Woods Wine Trail near Tyler, Texas

East Texas: Piney Woods Wine Trail

Get far away from big city hustle and bustle along the Piney Woods Wine Trail, which passes through the laid-back countryside surrounding Tyler, Texas. Travel a little further — about halfway between Dallas/Fort Worth and the Louisiana border — to a string of family-owned vineyards that produce comforting and complex artisan wines. Stop by Kiepersol Estates Vineyards and Wineries for a traditional tasting room experience. Then enjoy fine dining in the estate's restaurant, or stay longer at the RV park or bed-and-breakfast accommodations. In nearby Lindale, visit country music star Miranda Lambert's Pink Pistol shop featuring music merchandise and her signature Red 55 Winery wines.

Piedmont Wine Trail in Maryland

Maryland: Grapes of the Piedmont Plateau

Baltimore-Washington International Airport is your gateway to the vibrant North Maryland wine region. Just a half-hour drive from the airport is the renowned Boordy Vineyards nestled in the peaceful farmland of the state's Piedmont Plateau. Drive a few minutes farther to DeJon Vineyard, a family operation with a tasting room described as country-chic. Both are on the Piedmont Wine Trail. So is the Fiore Winery, a vineyard with Italian roots and a place on the Mason-Dixon Wine Trail. Stay in a local country inn or charming bed-and-breakfast for full relaxation, or trek the short distance back to Baltimore if you enjoy the big city vibe.

Visit or use the United app to plan your next wine tasting getaway.

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

















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 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 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 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 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 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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