For an airline dedicated to “Connecting People. Uniting the World.” the month of November is pretty special. It is a time when all of us at United are able to reflect on everything we are thankful for, and that includes you, our loyal customers.
This has been a remarkable year for giving back. With the help of our MileagePlus members, we have been able to support communities around the world—including thousands of Afghan refugees fleeing violence in their homeland and looking for a new start in the U.S.
In August, our first flight as part of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CR AF) landed at Washington Dulles with more than 300 U.S. military personnel, U.S. civilians, and Afghan evacuees onboard. Since then, we have operated 13 international flights, carrying nearly 4,000 U.S. citizens and Afghan evacuees safely to the U.S.
More than 8,000 United employees, including some who have deep personal or family ties to Afghanistan or are military veterans, raised their hands to participate in these missions—working as crew members, onboard translators, and volunteer onboard medics; coordinating the complex operation; and most importantly taking care of our customers.
In addition to helping transport Afghan refugees to the U.S., we invited our MileagePlus members to join the relief effort by donating their MileagePlus miles to nonprofit organizations, including Miles4Migrants, World Central Kitchen, and Americares, which are helping Afghan evacuees once they arrive on U.S. soil.
These partner organizations support the thousands of refugees who will need to be resettled across the country by providing them with meals and medical care along their journey and with travel to their final resettlement destinations. We’re delighted at the response of our MileagePlus members who donated, and together, with 15 million miles matched by United, we’ve raised more than 43 million miles.
This year, beyond Afghanistan relief, United’s disaster response partners have also stepped in to help people affected by Hurricane Ida, the wildfires in British Columbia, and the Caldor and Dixie fires in Northern California.
On November 30, we will celebrate Giving Tuesday at United, and we invite you to take a look at the amazing work our partner organizations are doing and consider donating your MileagePlus miles in support of their missions. Information about Miles on a Mission can be found at united.com/donate.
We are so proud to have helped, and we’re grateful for the generosity of our customers who have joined us in these relief efforts. As always, thank you for choosing United, and I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving.
Brett J. Hart
President, United Airlines