Former United Airlines employees from across the country gather in Hilo for reunion

During the weekend of Sept. 5-7, former employees of United Airlines in Hilo hosted a reunion to celebrate a time when working for the No. 1 airline in the world meant something special to all of them.

ADVERTISING


During the weekend of Sept. 5-7, former employees of United Airlines in Hilo hosted a reunion to celebrate a time when working for the No. 1 airline in the world meant something special to all of them.

Some had not seen each other for 35 years, and the event brought people together from across the country.

From 1967-86, Hilo was the only gateway to Hawaii other than Honolulu, and United was the primary carrier that opened “The Other Hawaii” to the world.

There were other carriers flying into Hilo during this period, including Pan American, Western and Continental.

They all chose to leave in the coming years, leaving United as the only one to continue providing service in a way no other carrier could.

At one time, up to five flights a day were coming to Hilo, according to a former United employee.

For many of them, working in Hilo was the start of a wonderful career for the United employees.

Friday, a potluck was hosted at the home of one of one of the reunion attendees.

Saturday featured a picnic at Papaikou Park, with a luau Sunday at Wailoa State Park.

ADVERTISING


The event was put together by a group that developed the idea in January and worked hard to attempt to contact everyone who worked for United in Hilo during that time.

The group hopes this reunion’s success will carry on, possibly every year.