United Airlines

United’s new safety video + ticket giveaway

United Airlines’ new safety video is rolling out this month and, to celebrate, the airline is giving away five pairs of tickets to anywhere the airline flies. Enter by October 4 here.

The video includes the necessary pre-flight safety information, of course, and offers it amid scenes of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, Munich’s Oktoberfest, India’s Holi Festival and a hot-air balloon festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Look for cameos by characters from previous videos, including the llama and the dinosaur, plus an appearance by United CEO Oscar Munoz.

 

Donate (and earn miles) to help Hurricane Harvey victims

The devastation in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey is still being tallied, but it is clear many people lost their homes, their business, their livelihoods and, in some cases, their lives.

Donating money to groups such as the Red Cross is a great way to help right now and American Airlines is encouraging you to do so by offering you some bonus miles when you do.

Through September 24, 2017, AAdvantage members can earn 10 miles for every dollar they donate to the Red Cross, with a minimum donation of $25.  Donate here.

United Airlines is also encouraging you to donate to hurricane relief efforts and has set aside 3 million bonus miles and $100,000 to match contributions from Mileage Plus members made to the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Airlink, or Operation USA through this fundraising page.

Donate $50-$99 to earn 250 bonus miles; $100-$249 to earn 500 bonus miles and donate $250 or more to earn 1,000 bonus miles.

 

 

 

An overnight ‘ride-along’ with United Airlines

My overnight ‘ride-along’ last week with United Airlines at Denver International Airport was exhausting – but exhilarating and extremely educational.

I’m working on a full-length slide show (so far, I’ve got 60 photo keepers) and report for my next At the Airport column on USA TODAY,  but sharing a few snaps today here on StuckatTheAirport.com to get the ball rolling.

At around 10 pm, my tour started at United’s Station Operations Center – a darkened room where about 50 people were seated in clusters at desks with multiple computer screens doing everything from making sure passengers made their connections to monitoring weather and  gate assignments.

Then it was off to the maintenance hangar, where 8 airplanes were undergoing service checks and repairs, included an engine swap for an Airbus 319.

 

While in the hangar, another airplane was visited by a fast-moving cleaning crew, who were doing everything from cleaning the lavs and galley (with different rags and cleaning solutions) to making sure seat back literature was refreshed and the tray tables were washed.

 

At 3 am it was back to the Station Operations Center, which was pretty much empty, except for Zone Controller Mike Lowrey, who I’d met earlier in the evening. He was checking with maintenance to see if all the planes they’d been working on overnight were ready for morning flights and doing what he could to make sure the first flights of the day would leave on time.

 

3:47 a.m. : A quick look in the concourse to see if anything was happening. Nothing. Yet.

The Flight Operations Center opens at 6 a.m.  That where captains and first officers such as Michael Daigneault can pick up supplies and plan for their flights.

My flight back to Seattle left, on time, at 8:08 a.m. I even got a set of plastic wings from the crew.

My full report on my overnight ride-along with United Airlines at Denver International Airport will show up during the week on USA TODAY.

 

 

And now: United will fly from Everett’s Paine Field

 

Courtesy Propeller Airports

First Alaska Airlines, And now United Airlines

United Airlines announced that it will begin flying six daily flights between Paine Field, north of Seattle, and both Denver and San Francisco beginning in the fall of 2018.

What’s the big deal about Paine Field?

It’s the airfield in Everett – 23 miles north of Seattle – where Boeing has a much-toured production plant and where there’s been talk – and debate – for  years of providing additional commercial flights for the traffic-clogged Seattle metro area.

The field was originally constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1936 to create jobs and economic growth in the region and in 1939 United Airlines operated the first commercial flight from the airport, the carrier reminds us.

Paine Field has since become the center of Boeing’s production facilities producing many United aircraft including the 747, 767, 777, and the 787 airplanes and employing tens of thousands of employees:, the airline said in a release.

Back in May, Alaska Airlines announced it would be the launch carrier from Paine Field, with a planned nine flight beginning in Fall 2018.

Alaska Airlines to begin scheduled commercial air service from Paine Field in 2018

 

Why you should go to Newark Airport hungry

There is now a very sweet, very fresh and very good reason to go to the airport hungry – if you’re flying through United Airline’s Terminal C and Newark Liberty International Airport.

United Airlines and OTG are finishing up a $120 million “re-imagining” of Terminal C at EWR, creating 55 new restaurants, bars and food markets. One of the new venues – the Mélange Bakery Café – includes what is likely the first 24-hour production bakery inside an airport.

The staff there is not only creating croissants, macarons, gourmet chocolates, bagels, doughnuts and other pastries for café customers, but for all the food outlets in the terminal.

It’s a tall order, and consulting Chef Jacques Torres (aka “Mr. Chocolate) wasn’t quite sure the staff of two executive pastry chefs and team of round-the-clock bakers could pull off making everything fresh on the premises in an airport, but during an opening celebration on Tuesday Torres said, “It works! It’s unusual for an airport, but the beauty is everything goes from the oven to the store, just like the bakeries in France.”

Here’s what Melange plans to bake each day: more than 1,000 croissants, assorted pastries and buns; more than 1,200 hand-rolled New York-style bagels (including rainbow bagels); 600+ muffins; 200+ hand-crafted chocolate bars; 12 types of macaroons; 10 varieties of doughnuts, such as Passion Fruit and Maple Bacon, six varieties of sweet and savory eclairs and lots of cupcakes.

Find Mélange in the Global Bazaar on the C1 Concourse in United’s Newark Liberty Terminal C, by Gates 90-91.