Call it a win for nostalgia, as well as an opportunity for the company to throw a little party and let their employees celebrate: United Airlines is celebrating 25 years of hub operations at Newark this year and today was the main event. The party today also included an unveiling of the new uniforms for the airline. In addition to inviting many employees and media types in to celebrate the company also invited a few dozen customers to the event. Not surprisingly, I made sure I was on the list to attend.
There were a few “typical” moments at the party, including speeches by the CEO and local elected officials. I’d say more than a typical number of senior employees were at the event and they were quite willing to chat with the invited guests. There were also some very cool things available, such as a rather impressive display of memorabilia from the past 25 years or so on both the Continental and United side of operations. For me that was probably the highlight.
The party involved the unveiling of the new uniforms for the crew. They will go into service on June 25, 2013. They ran a fashion show on the stage; I only saw it from afar so the photos I got aren’t the best.
There were also a few games/contests going on. One involved tossing a balsa airplane as far as possible. Making it to the orange cards got a $25 voucher; making the red earnt 25,000 MileagePlus points. I don’t know that anyone made the red but several made the orange.
The birthday cake was from Cake Boss in Hoboken. He got more applause than anyone else at the event, including Smisek.
There was also a follow-up event where a number of 1K and GS elites from the area were invited to attend. Most of the executives hung out for a bit. During our 30 seconds with Smisek he mentioned that the final two 787s will be finished with the repairs this week (the other four are already completed) and that he’s very much looking forward to the A350s joining the fleet, among other things.
All in all, an interesting few hours of my day. Nothing incredibly revealing or revolutionary but decently fun.
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