CHICAGO, June 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second straight year, United Airlines will donate one million MileagePlus miles to Make-A-Wish® Illinois, a donation that will help children with life-threatening illnesses reach their wish destinations. The airline donated the miles as part of the annual Make-A-Wish "Mileathon" held earlier this week.
United pledged to match up to one million miles donated by its MileagePlus members during the one-day Mileathon – part of the Make-A-Wish® Wishes in Flight® program. Several United employees also volunteered at the event, raising charity miles from Make-A-Wish supporters and MileagePlus members.
"United has been a proud partner of Make-A-Wish for more than 15 years," said Martin Hand, United's senior vice president of customer experience and a Make-A-Wish America board member. "We are grateful to our MileagePlus members for their generous donations, and we are thrilled to continue supporting this special program on behalf of all our customers."
United employees regularly collaborate with local Make-A-Wish chapters, helping fulfill travel wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Make-A-Wish is one of United's top recipients for charity miles, with United employees and customers donating more than 500 million miles to date. Through these donations, the airline has helped fulfill more than 3,125 wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,446 flights a day to more than 370 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 194 countries via 27 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 226,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2012 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org to learn more.
SOURCE United Airlines