November 13, 2018
United Airlines today reaffirmed its commitment to California and to lifting up communities in need by announcing $150,000 in direct donations to Ventura County Community Foundation and North Valley Community Foundation for their efforts in areas affected by the ongoing California wildfires, while launching a new Crowdrise by GoFundMe campaign to award up to five million bonus miles for individuals who make donations of $50 or more. All funds will go toward efforts to support affected communities in California. The airline also continues to work with the Governor's Office of Emergency Services and both community foundations with offers to fly first responders who need to get in or around California.
"United is deeply connected to the affected communities and with a profound sense of both sadness and duty during this difficult time, we are proud to offer our assistance," said Janet Lamkin, United's president for California. "We will continue to engage our generous customers, employees and MileagePlus members and work with local leadership to support all those affected by these devastating fires."
Donations to the Crowdrise by GoFundMe campaign support three relief partners: American Red Cross, Ventura County Community Foundation and North Valley Community Foundation. This commitment to American Red Cross is in addition to United's annual gift to the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program. Since the fires began, this annual funding has enabled the organization to mobilize its immediate response to support evacuees in emergency shelters and provide food, water and other needed services.
"Stepping forward during treacherous times is the sign of great leadership and, in this case, a great company," said Vanessa Bechtel, Executive Director of Ventura County Community Foundation. "With United's generous donation to support those impacted by the wildfires, Ventura County Community Foundation is able to provide direct financial support to help get our community back on its feet."
"The generosity of United helps provide shelter, food and hope, making a compassionate difference for people affected by the destructive wildfires in California," said Elizabeth Penniman, vice president, Communications at the American Red Cross.
"The outpouring of support is immense and amid the flames and smoke it is a ray of light. We are so grateful to United Airlines for immediately responding with care and support," said Alexa Benson-Valavanis, president and CEO of North Valley Community Foundation.
Today's announcement builds on United's continued commitment to California and recent campaigns to aid in response to wildfires and other disasters. Over the last 12 months, United has raised and donated more than $900,000 to help communities affected by the wildfires.
The airline is offering a travel waiver for customers ticketed on flights to, from or through Los Angeles International Airport, Hollywood Burbank Airport and San Francisco International Airport. Customers may reschedule their itineraries for travel through Nov. 25 with a one-time date or time change, and the airline will waive the change fees and any difference in fare for flights booked in the same cabin and same arrival/destination airports. United will continue to monitor conditions and will make updates and announcements on its Twitter handle @United and on united.com.