Diamond Sponsor Spotlight: United Airlines

United Airlines

Doreen Burse

Doreen Burse

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales, United Airlines



Doreen Burse is senior vice president of worldwide sales at United Airlines. In this role, she oversees the global sales strategy, enhancing existing business travel programs and building new partnerships to improve the United for Business customer and partner experience.

Prior to joining United, Doreen worked for 30 years in the hospitality industry. Most recently, she led a team who served over 1,300 Corporate, Association and Meeting & Agency intermediary partner accounts as the Vice President of U.S. and Canada Global Sales at Marriott. During her time at Marriott, she also held leadership roles in distribution services and global procurement, guiding her teams to best support customers through multiple significant internal and external changes, including the 2020 pandemic.

Doreen is a well-known figure in the travel industry. She frequently speaks on thought-leadership panels and participates in a variety of industry-related organizations. Most recently, she was a member of the foundation board for Meetings Professional International (MPI) and the board of directors of AMC Institute. Currently she is on the airline editorial board for Smart Meetings magazine, the Business Travel News board, the Allied Leadership Council member for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), is a Chairman’s Circle member on the US Travel Association board and sits on the board for Choose Chicago.


How is United approaching its sustainability goals?

As an industry that depends on fossil fuels to operate, we recognize our contribution to climate change and our responsibility to help solve it. At United, we have thought differently than many airlines about how to approach sustainability. As you might know, we’re committed to reducing our carbon emissions by 100% by 2050, the only airline to do so without the use of traditional carbon offsets. By investing in more efficient aircraft, carbon capture and sequestration, sustainable aviation fuel and more, we’re taking the harder, better path towards reducing the emissions from flying.

With that said, we don’t want to be on this path alone. Working with fellow airlines and collaborating with other industries will accelerate real and lasting change. We’re making it easier for our customers to both measure and lower their carbon footprint on United, resulting in the linking of arms down the path to decarbonization. Our mission at United is Connecting People and Uniting the World – and we’re helping to ensure our world has a better future.


What should travelers look forward to in their next journey with United?

We’ve invested heavily in the travel experience from end-to-end. The United mobile app is truly a one-stop shop for all your travel needs on United – checking a bag with our Bag Drop Shortcut, navigating busy airports, and talking to a live customer service agent, especially during IRROPs, are all made easier with the app.

We’re also delivering new aircraft and retrofitting our existing mainline, narrow-body fleet with our United Next plan. Travelers will enjoy enough overhead bin space for their carryon bag, Bluetooth connectivity and screens at every seat, and the industry’s fastest WiFi available. By 2023, we’re scheduled to deliver an average of one brand new aircraft every three days – for five years in a row!


How is United creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive future for both employees and customers?

We’re in the business of bringing people together, and our company should look like the communities we serve. We’re taking a proactive and assertive approach to our diversity, equity and inclusion practices – and we’re doing it publicly to both set a new industry standard and to hold ourselves accountable for making progress.

As the business diversity ambassador for our commercial team, this is front and center for me. We’re taking a multi-pronged approach to reach our goals: 

  1. Expanding our talent pool to ensure diverse candidate slates 
  2. Including diverse suppliers in our purchasing processes 
  3. Continuing to update policies or technology to ensure an inclusive travel experience such as braille on overhead bins and updated uniform policies 
  4. Sponsoring diverse communities and programs like HBCUs


What are you most excited about the future of United?

All of the above! Our company is authentic and conscious, made up of people who are committed to doing the right thing. I am excited to see these initiatives come into fruition, launching our company from being an industry leader to a global leader – a force for good.