Blazing a path in technology - United Hub
women's history month

Blazing a path in technology

By The Hub team, March 21, 2017

In honor of Women's History Month, each week we will profile one of the many strong and inspirational women of United. Follow along throughout the month of March to learn more about their stories.

IT Applications Development Manager, Erica Henson

Erica was just 10 years old when her father, impressed with how her mind worked, told her she was destined for a career in programming and computer science.

At the time, Erica refused this prediction, thinking that she was destined for a career in music. Fast forward to today, and Erica's father can proudly say, "I told you so."

"After my first taste in school of what computer science could offer the world, I can see in hindsight this was my destiny," said Erica. "I spent a lot of time fighting it, but when I look back, I see a fairly obvious pattern of what I was meant to do. Even in the most trying situations, the truth is the work we do matters."

Erica has been with United since 1997, and in her 20-year journey at the company, she has contributed to many airline-industry firsts. From helping build the first network domain at Continental, to taking an active role in developing the technology and processes to ensure compliance with the Sarbanes Oxley Act and being part of the team that created the first direct channel for companies like Orbitz and Travelocity to book tickets directly with airlines, Erica has faced and conquered many challenges throughout her career.

The list of Erica's roles and achievements is long. Most notably, she was part of the post-9/11 emergency team brought in to make changes to the SPS (Security Profile System). More recently, Erica was involved in rolling out Agile, which helps us accelerate delivery between our airline and our customers.

When Erica was growing up, there wasn't much emphasis on getting girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, but Erica proves that the presumptions in a male-dominated field didn't stand in her way.

"The best thing to help counter the idea that women don't belong in STEM careers is to become a fixture," said Erica. "Don't ever let anyone lead you away from what you want to achieve."

United Makes it Easier for Customers to Find and Use Travel Credits

The airline offers customers the most transparent and user-friendly options in the industry to encourage and simplify using travel credits
By United Newsroom, September 23, 2021

CHICAGO, Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United today announced it is giving customers even more flexibility when they need to rebook their travel by helping them to find and use their travel credits. United is the only airline to make it easy for customers to use their credits by automatically displaying them as a payment option during the checkout process. This functionality will be available for MileagePlus® members first and the airline is working to roll it out to all customers in the near future. Also, beginning next week, United will be the first to let customers use their travel credits for extra legroom seats and to pre-pay for checked baggage.

United Airlines Plans to Begin Flights Between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria in November

United to operate the first ever nonstop flight between Washington, D.C. and Lagos and offer more flights between D.C. and Africa than any other carrier
By United Newsroom, September 17, 2021

CHICAGO, Sept. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines announced today that new service between Washington, D.C. and Lagos, Nigeria will begin November 29 (subject to government approval). The airline will operate three weekly flights connecting the U.S. capital to Nigeria's largest city, which is also the top Western African destination for U.S-based travelers. Tickets will be available for sale on united.com and the United app this weekend.

United, Honeywell Invest in New Clean Tech Venture from Alder Fuels, Powering Biggest Sustainable Fuel Agreement in Aviation History

United agrees to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over 20 years - which is one and a half times the size of the rest of the world's airlines' publicly announced SAF commitments combined
By United Newsroom, September 09, 2021

CHICAGO and DES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- United and Honeywell today announced a joint multimillion-dollar investment in Alder Fuels – a cleantech company that is pioneering first-of-its-kind technologies for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at scale by converting abundant biomass, such as forest and crop waste, into sustainable low-carbon, drop-in replacement crude oil that can be used to produce aviation fuel. When used together across the fuel lifecycle, the Alder technologies, coupled with Honeywell's Ecofining™ process, could have the ability to produce a carbon-negative fuel at spec with today's jet fuel. The goal of the technologies is to produce fuel that is a 100% drop-in replacement for petroleum jet fuel.

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