Responding to Thanksgiving Travel Demand, United Adds Over 1,400 Domestic Flights to Schedule - United Hub

Responding to Thanksgiving Travel Demand, United Adds Over 1,400 Domestic Flights to Schedule

United seeing more customers booking Thanksgiving travel closer to departure this year
November 09, 2020

CHICAGO, Nov. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines expects the week of November 23 will be its busiest since March as customers travel to visit friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, United is anticipating approximately 50% of United customers flying for Thanksgiving are booking travel less than 30 days prior to departure compared to last year when around 40% of Thanksgiving travelers booked less than 30 days before departure. To help customers reconnect with loved ones this holiday season, United is adding more than 1,400 domestic flights during the week of Thanksgiving and is monitoring bookings in real-time to swap in larger aircraft when needed to accommodate last-minute demand.

"We know that for many customers, this holiday season may be their first time back on a plane since the start of the pandemic, and we're committed to helping provide flexibility and a safer, clean, travel experience," said Ankit Gupta, United's vice president of Network Planning and Scheduling. "While this holiday travel season looks quite different than recent years, we're continuing to follow the same playbook we have all year long – watching the data and adding more flights, adjusting schedules and leveraging larger aircraft to give customers more ways to reunite with family or reach their destinations."

In December, the airline expects to see a similar travel pattern with customers booking holiday vacations closer to departure opting for warmer weather and ski destinations in the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico. Popular destinations include cities in Florida, Hawaii, Colorado, Montana, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. United expects to fly 48% of its overall schedule in December compared to 2019, adding more than 140 daily flights and increasing capacity on more than 350 routes.

December Domestic Schedule Highlights

In December, United intends to fly 52% of its domestic schedule compared to December 2019, which is a 3-point increase compared to November 2020.

One of the biggest changes holiday travelers may notice this year are additional flights on peak travel days from United's Chicago, Denver, Houston and Washington Dulles gateways. The airline is adding more departures to provide customers with more options to get to their destination this holiday season. With these changes, United expects to operate more than 200 additional departures on peak days during the holiday period. Highlights of United's December schedule include:

  • Additional service to popular warm-weather destinations in Florida and Hawaii, including: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Meyers, Tampa, Miami and Palm Beach in Florida and Honolulu, Maui, Kona and Lihue in Hawaii.
  • In Hawaii, United will reintroduce service between Los Angeles and Hilo, Chicago and Maui, as well as between New York/Newark and Honolulu for the holiday period. United will also increase service on 13 Hawaii routes beginning December 17.
  • United will also begin six new routes between Fort Myers, Florida and Columbus, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, between New York/LaGuardia and Palm Beach, and between Milwaukee and Tampa beginning December 17.
  • United will increase service to popular ski destinations, including Aspen, Jackson Hole, Steamboat Springs and Vail, with over 580 weekly roundtrips beginning December 17.

December International Schedule Highlights

In December, United intends to fly 43% of its international schedule compared to December 2019, which is a 4-point increase compared to November 2020. The airline is seeing an increase in demand to beach destinations internationally as well, specifically to Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. December international schedule highlights include:

  • Operating 40 additional daily international roundtrips compared to November.
  • Launching 36 new and returning routes including eight new destinations in Latin America.
  • Increasing service on 84 additional routes to 33 destinations in Latin America including Liberia, Cancun, Aruba, Nassau and Punta Cana.
  • Growing service to India, with new nonstop service between Chicago and New Delhi starting December 10 and increasing service between San Francisco and New Delhi to daily.
  • Increasing service between San Francisco and Taipei; Los Angeles and Sydney; and New York/Newark and Brussels, Belgium.

Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use. The latest research demonstrates that United's aircraft are among the safest of public indoor environments. A recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) revealed the risk of COVID-19 exposure on board aircraft is almost zero due to United's advanced air filtration systems, required mask-wearing and the airline's diligent cleaning protocols.

Since the start of the pandemic, United has been a leader in enacting new policies and innovations designed to keep employees and passengers safer when traveling. It was the first U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, quickly following with customers and employees. United was also among the first U.S. carriers to announce it will not permit customers who refuse to comply with the airline's mandatory mask policy to fly with them while the face mask policy is in place. United was also the first U.S. airline to roll out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and the first to require passengers take an online health assessment before traveling. The airline also recently announced it plans to apply Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA-registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to its entire mainline and express fleet before the end of the year. For more details on all the ways United is helping keep customers safe during their journey, please visit united.com/cleanplus.

About United

United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

SOURCE United Airlines

For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, 872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

Airline and its customers use crowdsourcing platform - Miles on a Mission - to donate more than 11 million miles for charities like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care
December 01, 2020

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United is inviting MileagePlus members to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season by donating miles to nearly 40 non-profits through United Airlines' crowdsourcing platform, Miles on a Mission. Non-profits like Thurgood Marshall College Fund, College to Congress and Compass to Care are attempting to raise a total of more than 11 million miles to be used for travel for life-saving health care, continued education, humanitarian aid and more. United will match the first 125,000 miles raised for each of these organizations to help ensure they meet their goals.

United Raises Miles for Dozens of Non-Profits that Rely on Travel

United Introduces Customer COVID-19 Testing from Houston to Latin American and Caribbean Destinations

United and Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory team up to offer self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 tests to help ensure travelers meet country entry requirements
November 23, 2020

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United announced today it is expanding its customer COVID-19 testing efforts to include flights out of Houston to select destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Starting for flights departing on December 7, customers originating from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will have the option to take a self-collected, mail-in test that meets local entry requirements for the following destinations, allowing them to reunite with family or start their vacation immediately:

  • Aruba (AUA)
  • Belize City, Belize (BZE)
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA)
  • Lima, Peru (LIM)
  • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Panama City, Panama (PTY)
  • Roatan, Honduras (RTB)
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
  • San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

    United Introduces Customer COVID-19 Testing from Houston to Latin American and Caribbean Destinations

    United and Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory team up to offer self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 tests to help ensure travelers meet country entry requirements
    November 23, 2020

    CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United announced today it is expanding its customer COVID-19 testing efforts to include flights out of Houston to select destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Starting for flights departing on December 7, customers originating from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) will have the option to take a self-collected, mail-in test that meets local entry requirements for the following destinations, allowing them to reunite with family or start their vacation immediately:

    • Aruba (AUA)
    • Belize City, Belize (BZE)
    • Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA)
    • Lima, Peru (LIM)
    • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
    • Panama City, Panama (PTY)
    • Roatan, Honduras (RTB)
    • San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
    • San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)
    • Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

    "Widespread testing is key to unlocking international borders and safely reopening global travel. This is particularly important for our customers in Houston, who rely on United to keep them connected with their family and friends in Latin America and the Caribbean," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United. "We'll continue to lead the way on testing – United was the first to announce a customer COVID-19 testing program and the first to offer free tests on flights across the Atlantic – and we'll look at new, innovative ways to make the travel experience even safer."

    The self-collected, mail-in COVID-19 test is $119. The test will be administered by Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL) and processed at their COVID-19 testing laboratory in San Antonio, Texas. United will reach out to customers 14 days ahead of their flights to provide instructions on ordering a test and the testing process. United encourages customers to research the local requirements for further questions specific to their destination. Customers are advised to take the tests 72 hours before departure and should expect to receive results via email within 24-48 hours of mailing in their test.

    "As the energy capital of the world and most diverse city in the United States, Houston plays an influential role in linking global economies," said Sylvester Turner, City of Houston mayor. "As we fight against a second wave of the coronavirus, the private and public sectors, with guidance from public health experts, must work collaboratively and judiciously to reopen the global economy. Although a vaccine would be the ultimate solution, United's expansion of its customer testing program is a step in the right direction. I commend United for their leadership and forward-thinking."

    ADL's self-collection kit includes a plastic tube, a nasal swab and instructions on how to properly collect a specimen. ADL's telehealth system will be available to support customers traveling to countries that require a health care professional to supervise the COVID-19 test. United has worked closely with officials in each country to ensure that any customer – both visitors and nationals returning home – who tests negative will be able to enter the country.

    "Accurate and reliable testing is not only critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19, but essential in helping get this virus under control," said Stan Crawford, chief operations officer for ADL. "We are invested in United's commitment to ensuring customers not only meet their destination's entry requirements but that, when they do travel, they do so in a way that is safer."

    Click here for b-roll and visual assets of ADL's self-collection kit and testing 

    In addition to adding another key element to its layered approach to safety, United has also seen a positive impact on travel demand and significant increases in customer load factors and revenue when testing options are available. For example, after United announced its COVID-19 test for customers traveling from San Francisco to Hawaii and allowing them to avoid a 14-day quarantine, the airline saw a nearly 95% increase in passengers compared to the prior two-week period. Last week, United launched the world's first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot between Newark Liberty International Airport and London Heathrow Airport. Through this pilot program, all crew members and customers over the age of two on select flights will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test and provide a negative result in order to take the flight, ensuring that everyone on board over the age of two has tested negative before departure.

    A safer travel experience: United CleanPlusSM

    Since the start of the pandemic, United has been a leader in enacting new policies and innovations designed to keep employees and passengers safer when traveling. It was the first U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, quickly following with all customers and employees. United was also among the first U.S. carriers to announce it wouldn't permit customers who refused to comply with the airline's mandatory mask policy to fly with them while the face mask policy is in place. United was also the first U.S. airline to roll out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and the first to require passengers take an online health assessment before traveling. United is applying Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA-registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to its entire mainline and express fleet before the end of the year. 

    The latest research, including a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense, shows COVID-19 exposure risk on board United aircraft is almost zero due to the airline's advanced air filtration systems, mandated mask policy and diligent cleaning protocols.

    For more details on all the ways United is helping keep customers safe during their journey, please visit united.com/cleanplus.

    About United

    United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

    About Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory

    Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL) is a leader in scientific testing standards for the COVID-19 virus, both in the U.S. and internationally. Located in San Antonio, Texas, ADL has over 80 years of combined experience in clinical diagnostic testing procedures and works globally with local communities to provide safe and healthy lifestyles. For more information, call ADL at 1.800.834.3522 or visit our website at ADLHealth.com.

     

    SOURCE United Airlines

    For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

    First United Airlines Flight Offering Free Transatlantic COVID-19 Testing Takes Off

    First of its kind, testing program guarantees customers over two years old and crew test negative before departure
    November 16, 2020

    NEWARK, N.J., Nov. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, United customers traveling on flight 14 from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to London Heathrow (LHR) were the first to experience the airline's free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot program. The airline provided rapid tests to every passenger over 2 years old and all crew members on board, free of charge, guaranteeing everyone* on the flight tested negative prior to departure.

    United Airlines to Present at the 2020 Bernstein Operational Decisions Conference

    November 13, 2020

    CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines' Mike Leskinen, Vice President of Corporate Development and Investor Relations will present at the Bernstein Operational Decisions Conference on Tuesday, November 17th. The presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. CT / 1:30 p.m. ET.

    The live webcast will be available on the investor relations section of United's website at ir.united.com. The company will archive the video webcast on the website within 24 hours of the presentation, and the webcast will be available for a limited time.

    About United

    United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

    SOURCE United Airlines

    For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, media.relations@united.com

    United Airlines Makes it Easier to Earn MileagePlus Premier Status for 2022

    Airline reduces qualifying thresholds and offers first-ever promotions to accelerate earning status
    November 12, 2020

    CHICAGO, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced changes to its MileagePlus® Premier® program that will make it easier to earn status in 2021 for the 2022 program year. United is reducing Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) and Premier Qualifying Flights (PQF) thresholds next year and introducing first-of-its-kind promotions that help members earn status more quickly. Early next year, United will deposit 25% of the PQP-only requirements in Premier members' accounts based on their 2021 Premier status level. United will also give members bonus PQP for their first three trips flown in 2021 through Mar. 31, helping their flights go further toward reaching status.

    United Airlines Now Using New Clorox® Electrostatic Sprayers to Disinfect Airport Terminals

    Clorox® Total 360® System sprays solution that is EPA-approved to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19;
    November 11, 2020

    CHICAGO, Nov. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the United CleanPlus commitment to enhancing safety for travelers both onboard and at the airport, United Airlines is now using the Clorox® Total 360® System to disinfect terminals at 35 of the airline's busiest airports. This electrostatic spraying system is similar to the electrostatic spraying technology used onboard aircraft and will be used to spray surfaces in ticketing lobbies, terminals, gate rooms, employee spaces and United Club locations. The disinfecting solution is EPA-approved to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Through its United CleanPlus program, United has been working closely with Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic since early May to consult on all its cleaning and disinfection protocols. The airline currently uses Clorox Disinfection Wipes on all mainline aircraft and in United Club locations.

    We are Back! United Announces Return to New York's JFK Airport

    Airline to offer new transcontinental service from JFK to the west coast starting February 1
    November 10, 2020

    CHICAGO, Nov. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines announced today that it will be returning service to New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) on February 1, 2021 with nonstop service to the west coast. The airline's entry back into JFK after five years reflects not only its strong commitment to the New York City area, but a continuation of aggressively and strategically managing the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to and from the places where customers want to fly. The new United service will operate out of Terminal 7.

    United Airlines Launches World's First Free Transatlantic COVID-19 Testing Pilot

    Free testing guarantees all customers over 2 years old and crew on board have tested negative before departure
    October 29, 2020

    NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced the world's first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot program for customers. From November 16 through December 11, the airline will offer rapid tests to every passenger over 2 years old and crew members on board select flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to London Heathrow (LHR), free of charge. Anyone who does not wish to be tested will be placed on another flight, guaranteeing everyone on board other than children under two will have tested negative before departure.

    United Airlines Redesigns Mobile App to be More Accessible for People with Visual Disabilities

    United increased color contrast, added more space between graphics and reorganized page flows to result in better integration with screen reader technologies;
    October 28, 2020

    CHICAGO, Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today launches a redesigned version of its mobile app, with new enhancements intended to make travel easier for people with visual disabilities. Throughout its award-winning app, the carrier has increased color contrast, added more space between graphics and reordered how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with the screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack that are built into most handheld devices and read aloud on-screen messages and notifications. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app. According to the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, more than 25 million Americans have self-reported travel-limiting disability. The improved accessibility of the app is just one of the ways United is continuing its commitment to accessibility and inclusion of customers with disabilities.

    United Airlines Announces Eight New Routes and Increases Flights to 19 Destinations in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico for Winter Sun-Seekers

    Starting Oct. 17, United will begin selling tickets for new flights from Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Cleveland
    October 16, 2020

    CHICAGO, Oct. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced a significant expansion of its winter international schedule, introducing eight new routes and adding flights to 19 destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. Starting in December, United will begin new nonstop service between Los Angeles and San Jose, Costa Rica and San Pedro Sula, Honduras; between Denver and Belize City, Belize and San Jose, Costa Rica; between Washington D.C. and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and returning service between Cleveland and Cancun, Mexico. In January, United will begin new nonstop service between Liberia, Costa Rica and both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The new flights are subject to government approval.

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