And they even got a shout out from NBA star and United partner, Steph Curry.


United Airlines flew a team of medical workers from San Francisco to New York over the weekend to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are grateful to this awesome group for volunteering to work in the heart of the #COVID19 pandemic—and to our equally awesome staff caring for patients in #SF," University of California San Francisco Hospital shared in a tweet complete with photos of the medical workers on the United flight. 

The doctors and nurses were specifically heading to New York-Presbyterian hospital for a month as New York has become the epicenter of the virus in the United States. According to the New York State Department of Health, there are currently 188,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus — with over 103,000 in New York City.

The passengers flew first class and also got a special video shout out from United's partner, NBA star, Steph Curry.

“It’s unbelievable, the sense of sacrifice and selflessness and you stepping up to the call to serve people and go above and beyond,” Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry said to the healthcare workers on their way to New York. “Just want to say we’re thinking about you guys, praying for your health and your safety and know that you’re doing amazing work, helping people that need it the most. Safe travels, wishing you all the best. We are all trying to do our part to try to stop the spread of this virus, but we couldn’t do it without the work and the sacrifice of people like you.”

medical workers aboard a United airplane
Credit: Courtesy of United

Mark Laret, the president and CEO of UCSF Health, called the healthcare workers “heroes” as they boarded their flight.

“These people have volunteered to spend a month away from family and friends to give of themselves to help others in need,” he said.

This flight comes after United Airlines partnered with New York City earlier this month to provide free round-trip flights for medical volunteers. On Friday, the airline extended the program and partnered with California.

“This is why we fly,” United Airlines said in an Instagram post on Saturday along with a photo of the healthcare workers settling into their seats.

“20 @ucsfhealth workers, who voluntarily set aside their own lives to help save lives, are on their way to New York City.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ We are humbled by your selfless sacrifice. Thank you.”

United staff holding a "You Rock" sign
Credit: Courtesy of United

United is the latest airline to fly frontline workers to COVID-19 hotspots around the country. Last month, Southwest filled up a whole flight with healthcare workers heading from Atlanta to New York.

And Delta Air Lines has offered medical workers free flights to Louisiana, Michigan, and Georgia.

Click here for the most recent updates on coronavirus from Travel + Leisure.

The information in this article reflects that of the publishing time above. However, as statistics and information regarding coronavirus rapidly change, some figures may be different from when this story was originally posted. While we strive to keep our content as up to date as possible, we also recommend visiting sites like the CDC or websites of local health departments.