CHICAGO, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines is proud to join the Make-A-Wish Wishes in Flight campaign this month. Throughout April, when MileagePlus members donate miles to Make-A-Wish, United will match the miles to help support wishes that involve travel for children and their families. Customers can visit www.united.com/charitymiles to donate and help wishes come true. The airline will match up to four million miles.
"Even in United's business of flying customers around the world every day, we still appreciate the magic of flight and just how special air travel can be," said Praveen Sharma, United's vice president of loyalty and business development. "We are delighted to give the gift of travel and join Make-A-Wish in connecting deserving children to wonderful experiences across the globe."
Each year, Make-A-Wish grants nearly 14,000 life-changing wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Nearly 75 percent of all wishes require air travel, making airline miles a critical resource for the organization.
Make-A-Wish is among United's top five recipients of charity miles, with United employees and customers donating more than 380 million miles to date. Through these donations, the airline has helped fulfill more than 2,300 wishes.
For more than 17 years United has been a proud supporter of Make-A-Wish, and the airline is a designated Wish Champion sponsor with support of more than $1 million annually through mileage donations and corporate support. United employees also collaborate with local Make-A-Wish chapters to help fulfill travel wishes around its global network. The airline will participate in the organization's World Wish Day on April 29 in many of its hubs and airports.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of more than 5,300 flights a day to more than 360 airports across six continents. In 2013, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 139 million customers. United is delivering a more flyer-friendly experience, offering more premium-cabin flat-bed seats and extra-legroom, economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S. global carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi, including on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on more than 200 aircraft, with more live television access than any airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and, in 2014, will take delivery of 35 new Boeing aircraft and welcome the E175 aircraft to United Express. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2013, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the Best Frequent-Flyer program for 10 consecutive years. Air Transport World named United the Eco-Aviation Airline of the Year Gold Winner in 2013. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 28 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world's leading children's charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 240,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.
SOURCE United Airlines