United is raising airline miles for Special Olympics during National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month to help athletes fly to trainings and competitions across the country and around the world.
During October, the airline’s industry-leading crowdsourcing program, Miles on a Mission, will spotlight Special Olympics and encourage loyalty program members to donate unused miles for a charitable cause. Last year, Special Olympics athletes participated in over 100,000 games, trainings and competitions.
United’s long-standing partnership with Special Olympics extends beyond raising miles – the airline also sponsors Special Olympics Plane Pull® competitions, local volunteer events and Special Olympics World Games. In 2019, United launched the Special Olympics Service Ambassador (SOSA) Program, where Special Olympics athletes work in airports as part-time employees, welcoming United customers and helping them find check-in kiosks, where to drop bags and how to find TSA PreCheck lines. There are currently 18 SOSAs working at United’s hubs in Chicago, Houston, Denver and Washington, D.C.
Donated miles help support Special Olympics’ travel across the globe. Since 2017, United has contributed more than $8.5 million in travel and cash to support Special Olympics’ athletes. These events foster inclusive and engaging experiences and break down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities.