As a global airline, we recognize that our people and planes can do a lot of good in the world. So when disaster strikes or the need arises in any of the communities we serve, we always look for a way to help. These efforts to assist people in need are coordinated by the Global Community Engagement (GCE) team at United. We spoke with a few members of the team to learn more about what they do and the incredible feats they’ve achieved recently.
What kinds of activities is the GCE team engaged in?
Suzi Cabo, Managing Director, Global Community Engagement: “The GCE team connects United’s strengths to drive meaningful, positive impact in the communities we serve. We work with over 125 nonprofit organizations like Special Olympics, Thur-good Marshall College Fund, Air Camp, World Central Kitchen, and GRID Alternatives to inspire K–12 students to pursue careers in aviation, ensure underrepresented communities have access to STEM education, transport supplies to communities impacted by disaster, and create opportunities to help the environment.”
How is United able to assist in the wake of a natural disaster?
Dawn Segura, Manager, GCE Operations and Humanitarian Response: “Working with nonprofits and local teams in the wake of a disaster, we’ve been able to utilize our resources to fly relief workers to the site of natural disasters or help residents seek refuge. We also help transport essential supplies to those areas—often repurposing our own stocks of water bottles, toiletries, or pet carriers—so they can be distributed to groups in need.”
What is Miles on a Mission? How are donated miles used for relief efforts?
Aaron Stash, Senior Manager, GCE Programs: “Miles on a Mission connects our generous MileagePlus members with nonprofit organizations that rely on travel to accomplish their mission. Any eligible non-profit can set up a Miles on a Mission profile to accept donations, in the form of miles, from any MileagePlus member. Those miles are then used by the nonprofit to book travel for their teams and people in need. In 2021 alone, over 106 million miles were donated to support travel for asylum seekers, first responders, cancer patients, families of fallen veterans, and many others.”
What else has the GCE team accomplished recently?
Pulin Thakkar, Senior Manager, GCE Operations: “Last year, United played a major role in the resettlement of Afghan refugees. As part of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, we operated more than 60 flights to evacuate refugees and U.S. citizens from Afghanistan. This was a massive undertaking made possible with the help of thousands of United employees who served as crew members, translators, or medics on these flights. We then raised over 48 million miles for various aid organizations, which ultimately helped about 4,000 Afghan refugees travel to safety in the U.S. and acquire food, medical care, and other support. This September, over 1,000 United employees volunteered at nearly 100 events in our annual September of Service month of giving back. We’re always working to connect our employees to support our communities and keeping an eye on world events so we can be prepared to step in and offer assistance.”