United Airlines today announced it plans to fly 40% of its full schedule in October 2020 compared to October of last year. In September, United expects to fly 34% of its full schedule.
Domestically, United plans to fly 46% of its full schedule in October 2020 compared to October of last year, compared to the 38% schedule it plans to fly domestically in September 2020. The airline also plans to resume eight routes to Hawaii, pending approval of the state's pre-arrival COVID testing program.
Internationally, United expects to fly 33% of its schedule compared to October of 2019, which is up compared to the 29% schedule it plans to fly in September. United continues to respond to the growth in leisure travel demand by adding flights to cities in Mexico, Central America and South America.
"We continue to be data-driven and realistic in our approach to rebuilding our network," said Ankit Gupta, United's vice president of Domestic Network Planning. "Because October is typically a slower month for leisure travel, we're adjusting our schedules to reflect these seasonal changes in customer demand while resuming service or adding capacity on routes where we're seeing increased customer demand for travel."
United is being just as thoughtful in its approach to enhancing the customer experience as it is in rebuilding its network. Earlier this week, the airline was the first U.S. legacy carrier to permanently eliminate change fees on all standard Economy and Premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. In addition, starting on January 1, 2021, any United customer can fly standby for free on a flight departing the day of their travel regardless of the type of ticket or class of service. United has also been a leader in safety and enhanced cleaning protocols; as part of its United CleanPlus program, the airline established a partnership with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic in May, was a leader in establishing mandatory face covering policies for both customers and employees and was the first airline to roll out touchless check-in for baggage. Yesterday, United also launched the Destination Travel Guide, a first among U.S. airlines, which makes it easy for customers to plan their travel by helping them easily see local COVID-19 restrictions in all 50 states.
United is even realigning its schedule patterns with the customer in mind to match the current demand for leisure travel. In October, the airline plans to add more flights on days popular with leisure travelers looking to get a head start on long weekend getaways and will schedule fewer flights on days where demand is traditionally lower.
- Resuming or starting new service on nearly 50 routes, including 37 routes from United's Chicago, Denver and Houston hubs.
- Resuming additional service to Florida including Washington-Dulles to Sarasota and Miami, and Denver to Fort Myers.
- Resuming service between Los Angeles and Eugene, Medford and Redmond/Bend in Oregon.
- Resuming service to 14 international destinations including Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru and Panama City, Panama.
- Increasing to twice daily service between New York/Newark and Tel Aviv and resuming three-times weekly service between Washington, D.C. and Tel Aviv on October 25.
- Resuming or increasing service to Cancun, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico from its hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, New York/Newark and Washington, D.C.