New Summer Markets - United Hub
routes

Taking off: New summer markets

By Bob Cooper, February 27, 2017

We are revitalizing our route network with more destinations, more flights and more convenient connections for customers in both domestic and international markets. Four U.S. cities, including three in the Midwest, will open their gates for the first time to United Airlines travelers from June through August. Flights will begin service on June 8 to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois; Rochester, Minnesota; and Santa Rosa (Sonoma County), California. United connections to Columbia, Missouri, will begin on August 1.

Don't let their sizes fool you — there's plenty to do in these midsize cities.

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

When you step off of the plane in Champaign-Urbana in central Illinois, you'll be stepping onto University of Illinois property, which owns the airport. This is fitting because nearly all of the Champaign County's top attractions have a connection to the university of 45,000 students, which boasts 647 buildings on a seven-square-mile campus stretching across Champaign and Urbana. After visiting the iconic Alma Mater statue and adjacent bell tower in Altgeld Hall, sports fans will want to see the 60,000-capacity Memorial Stadium, where the Fighting Illini have won 15 Big Ten titles, and the State Farm Center, home to 17 Big Ten men's basketball titles. Nature lovers can stroll through the university's arboretum, notable for its Japan House and Japanese tea garden, and art lovers will appreciate the extensive collection at the university's Krannert Art Museum.

Rochester, Minnesota

Minnesota's third-largest city, Rochester, is tucked in the state's southeast corner and is best known for the renowned Mayo Clinic. It isn't surprising that a city known for its hospital was ranked by USA Today in 2016 as America's healthiest city, determined by the quality and length of residents' lives. Visitors can enjoy a slice of that high quality of life by hiking the trails at Quarry Hill Park, known to be the “jewel" of the Rochester Park system, or Silver Lake Park, where renting a canoe is a summertime option. In the winter, you can snowshoe in these parks or skate at any of its eight outdoor rinks. The city's unique attraction is the Mayowood Mansion, part of the History Center of Olmstead County, where you can tour the palatial estate and gardens of the co-founder of the famed hospital.

Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, home of the University of Missouri, is undoubtedly a college town. But this city in the middle of the “Show Me State" has more to show than a 32,000-student campus with an array of historic 19th-century buildings. Locals are also delighted to show off the parks nearby. At Columbia's Stephens Lake Park, you can ice skate or ice fish on the lake in the winter and enjoy swimming in the summer. At the 2,200-acre Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, you can follow a boardwalk path beside an underground stream — one of several unusual geologic features. On “indoor" days, you can step inside the free and recently renovated Museum of Art and Archaeology, which displays everything from 2,500-year-old Greek pottery to works by Andy Warhol.

Santa Rosa, California

Some time ago, people started referring to America's most famous wine region as “Napa-Sonoma" rather than “Napa Valley." Today it's too hard to ignore the abundant wineries of Sonoma County, as they've achieved the same acclaim as their Napa County counterparts.

Santa Rosa, a city of 175,000, is in the heart of Sonoma County and within a half-hour drive of Carneros, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley and Dry Creek Valley appellations. Each one has dozens of wineries with daily tastings, and some offer daily tours. If you favor beer over wine, there's something for you too. The renowned Russian River Brewing Company calls Santa Rosa home and serves up delightful suds to a healthy mix of tourists and locals in their lively taproom. Between winery or taproom visits, you can stop at the Charles Schulz Museum, a charming spot for all ages. The “Peanuts" cartoonist was so beloved in the county that the airport is named the Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport.

Starting on Monday, June 19 - Friday, June 30 enroll in TSA Pre✓® at Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport from 9 AM to 12 PM. MileagePlus® members can use 10,000 award miles for a payment code that covers the $85 TSA Pre✓ application fee.

If you go

United Airlines offers three daily flights connecting Champaign-Urbana's Willard Airport and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, three daily flights connecting Rochester International Airport with Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, two daily flights connecting Columbia Regional Airport with Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and three daily flights connecting Sonoma County Airport with San Francisco International Airport. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your visit.

Working to bring people home – repatriation flights underway

By The Hub team, April 07, 2020

When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.

We have operated more than 85 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 12,000 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.

Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.

Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Managua, Nicaragua
  • Roatan, Honduras
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • Amsterdam
  • Brussels
  • Munich
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo-Haneda
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Melbourne, Australia

We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.

We’re making some key changes to the MileagePlus program for you

By The Hub team, April 05, 2020

Throughout these unprecedented times, we remain committed to doing what is right and fair for all of our MileagePlus® members and are pleased to share the steps we are taking to reciprocate the trust and loyalty that you have placed in United. These steps include not only Premier status updates, but also an extension of current memberships and subscriptions. The updates will happen automatically over the next few weeks — there's nothing you need to do.

The big news: If you have current 2020 Premier status, it will be extended to January 31, 2022. At a minimum, you will enjoy the same published status next year that you have today, up to and including Premier 1K®.

For the 2021 status year, United is reducing thresholds for Premier qualification by 50% for each status level, to make reaching an even higher tier easier. You'll still need a minimum of four flight segments on United or United Express®.

2021 status

Earn Premier qualifying flights

and PQP

… or meet a higher PQP goal

Silver

6

2,000

2,500

Gold

12

4,000

5,000

Platinum

18

6,000

7,500

1K

26

9,000

12,000

We're also doubling PQP for United Explorer cards and quadrupling PQP for the United Club cards.

At the same time that we're decreasing the published program's PQP requirements, via a promotion from May 1 – December 31, 2020, we're doubling (for United Explorer cards) or quadrupling (for United Club cards) the maximum number of PQP that Cardmembers can earn from card spending during 2020 to help achieve a higher level of status than you already have. More details to come later.

1K® and Platinum members, we're increasing your ability to upgrade by extending PlusPoints expiration dates by six months and expanding Skip Waitlist.

  • This means a six-month extension of any PlusPoints set to expire on or before January 31, 2021.
  • Last year we introduced Skip Waitlist on select flights as a benefit to 1K members, giving you more opportunities to confirm an upgrade request at the time of booking. This benefit will now be available for the rest of 2020 in a significantly expanded selection of long-haul international regions and will have expanded availability in 2021 as well.

We're extending all annual membership and subscription benefits by six months.

  • We want to make sure your benefits are still there when you're ready to start flying again. That's why we're extending purchased United Club℠ memberships purchased directly from United and purchased subscriptions for Economy Plus®, United Wi-Fi℠ and checked bags by six months. You should see this reflected in your MileagePlus account soon.

All electronic travel certificates now have 24 months to be used.

  • If your travel plans have been disrupted, and you have an electronic travel certificate from us for the value of your ticket, you now have two years from the date it was issued to book a new flight, as well as up to an additional 11 months to travel. This includes all currently valid and all new electronic travel certificates issued on or after April 1, 2020.

We have removed some redeposit fees for the rest of the year.

  • We are currently waiving all award redeposit fees for travel through end of May 2020.
  • We are now also waiving all redeposit fees for award ticket cancellations made more than 30 days before departure for the remainder of 2020.

Finally, we'll be making it easier to earn status in 2021 for the 2022 program year. We recognize that getting back to travel will occur at a different pace for different members. Keep an eye out for changes we will make to help you earn status in 2021 for 2022, as we'll share details later this year.

Over the years, you have placed your trust and loyalty in United, and we are honored to do the same for you. We are all in this together.

Status extension to January 31, 2022, applies to all members that met the published criteria of the MileagePlus program in 2019, status match associated with the United/Marriott Bonvoy partnership and status offered as part of a Sales nomination. Status granted from other programs and policies may not apply.

How to change your flight, or cancel and rebook later

By The Hub team, April 04, 2020

To help with the uncertainty around future travel — be it summer vacations, conferences, events and more — customers now have until April 30 to make changes to, or cancel, any travel they have booked through the end of the year without fees. This is in addition to existing waivers already in place which allow customers to change or cancel plans for travel through May 31.If you decide to cancel your flight, you can retain the value of your ticket to be applied to a new ticket without a fee. These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. You might not see this policy change reflected everywhere right away – we appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.

Eligible travelers on domestic flights and international tickets can request a refund on united.com or may call our contact centers if their flights have been severely adjusted or service to their destination suspended either due to government mandates or United schedule reductions related to COVID-19.

Certain tickets cannot be changed on united.com or the mobile app, including tickets booked through another airline (if the ticket receipt does not begin with 016). Please contact the original ticketing airline for changes.

Follow the steps below to stay up to date, change or cancel your flight.

Change your current flight:

  1. On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your flight information to retrieve your flight.
  2. Select "Change flight" and then "Edit" to make the following changes:
    • Date of travel or destination
    • Add a flight
    • Remove a flight
  3. Select "Continue" and choose a new flight option
  4. Continue through booking to confirm your new flight

Note: The change fee will display as waived, but any difference in fare may apply.

Cancel your flight and rebook later:

  1. On the united.com homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your reservation information to retrieve your flight
  2. Select "Cancel flight"
  3. Confirm flight cancellation
  4. If you have future flight credit, when you return to the reservation, select "Use Future Flight Credit" to shop for new flights and apply the credit towards a new flight.

Canceling or changing an award flight:

When you select "Cancel flight," you will have the option to cancel your award reservation and redeposit the miles or to cancel your award reservation and use those miles for another trip in the future.

*We're currently experiencing heavy traffic to united.com. If you experience an error while trying to change or cancel your flight, please try again later.

Click through the slideshow below for more detailed instructions:

​Start on the United homepage: ​

User can select 'My Trips' on the homepage widget to find and retrieve their reservation.

  • If you're not signed in or you're a guest user, enter your confirmation number and last name.
  • If you are signed in, you can select a trip from your current trips or select the 'Find another trip' link.
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