We believe every action counts. United partners with nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in the United States and around the globe to deliver on our social impact goals, aligning our community investments with our business priorities. Our actions are rooted in our four cornerstones:
- Lifting communities in crisis after disaster
- Breaking down barriers to promote inclusion
- Inspiring the next generation of leaders
- Flying toward a more sustainable future
Lifting up communities in crisis
As an airline, we can respond to disasters and crisis needs in unique ways by delivering much-needed relief supplies and volunteers to impacted areas.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have supported the communities where our employees and customers live and work. As part of our efforts, we provided free roundtrip flights for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals traveling to New York City, New Jersey, California and Guam.
In New York City, we partnered with the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and a network of medical volunteer organizations, including The Society of Critical Care Medicine, to coordinate travel. It was our hope that providing air travel at no cost would allow additional dedicated volunteers and first responders the ability to reach the Tri-State area and communities across California that were hit hardest by COVID-19 early on in the crisis.
We also worked with local government agencies and their nonprofit partners to ensure qualified medical professionals had the proper housing and transportation to enable them to offer their services effectively. Additionally, we collaborated with a network of professional medical volunteer organizations to help enlist volunteers.
COVID-19 Relief Accomplishments:
- 2,900+ flights booked for medical professionals
- 27,000,000+ miles donated by MileagePlus members to organizations providing COVID-19 relief
- 8,700+ cargo-only flights transporting 603,000,000+ pounds of cargo to communities in need
- 82,300,000+ pounds of medical equipment and PPE transported
- 3,300,000+ pounds of supplies transported to support military troops
- 1,170,000+ pounds of food from United Polaris lounges, United Clubs, and catering kitchens donated to local food banks and charities
- 2,800+ amenity kits and 5,000+ self-care products donated to New York City and Chicago area hospitals and homeless shelters
- 15,000+ pillows donated to local charities supporting the homeless population
- 7,500+ face coverings were made from upcycled unused ramp uniforms
- 2,200,000+ pounds of food and household goods processed for the Houston Food Bank
Breaking down barriers to promote inclusion
We are flying toward a more sustainable future, with the goal of being the most environmentally conscious airline in the world. As we strive toward that momentous milestone, we continue to break down barriers and promote inclusion. We are doing our part to create a world where acceptance and appreciation of everyone is the norm. We support programs designed to fight systemic racism and programs that amplify the voices of marginalized people, including veterans, the LGBTQ+ community, and those with physical and intellectual disabilities.
In October 2020, United celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Special Olympics ambassador program, which has provided Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our Chicago O’Hare airport operation. United has championed the inclusion revolution by providing roles that afford the athletes a unique and meaningful career in aviation.
Daniel, Z, Lauren and Kyle are the four Service Ambassadors brought on to be part of the United family thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. These Service Ambassadors work one-on-one with their United mentors to provide excellent customer service with a smile.
Since 2018, United has supported Special Olympics’ mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities by investing over 10,500 volunteer hours and donating over 1.2 million dollars in travel to the organization.
United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to making our world a better place.
To learn more about the partnership and ways United has teamed up with Special Olympics, listen to Daniel’s podcast, “The Special Chronicles,” where he describes his role as a United Service Ambassador and what being a leader means to him.
Inspiring the next generation of leaders
United is committed to the success of future generations. When we invest in programs that encourage the next generation of leaders, we are making sure our business and the communities we serve will be successful for years to come. We display our commitment by partnering with organizations like Year Up, which provides young adults with training, skills and job experience for a more equitable experience in the workplace to achieve a sustainable career. United has hosted several Year Up cohorts to provide real-world work experience, permanent employment with United when available, and in other cases, air travel to assist with job searches. In addition, we capitalize on opportunities to share our love of aviation with future leaders through continuous engagement with aviation-focused organizations like Air Camp, which inspires and provides access for young people from any background to pursue careers in aviation.
Flying toward a more sustainable future
United works with partners across all sectors to better understand and reduce our impact on the environment. We support organizations focused on reducing carbon in the atmosphere, recycling and redistribution strategies for decommissioned goods, and programming that provides environmental education and innovation
Learn how we’re taking an active role in our global community and making Every Action Count.