United Airlines restoring and adding flights in October, focused on leisure travelers

Posted at 6:52 AM, Sep 07, 2020

United Airlines is looking to add flights to their schedule in October, including resuming previously canceled trips and adding new ones.

According to the airline, this will bring them up to flying 40 percent of their full schedule in October compared to October 2019. In September, they are only expecting to fly 34 percent of their full schedule.

The news comes a week after the airline announced it will furlough more than 16,000 employees in October. That’s when federal bailout money from the federal government expires.

The resumed flights include eight routes to Hawaii, “pending approval of the state’s pre-arrival COVID testing program.” Hawaii recently extended their out-of-state visitors ban to October 1. Once they allow visitors and tourists again, travelers must fill out a“safe travels” formand go through pandemic screening measures.

"We continue to be data-driven and realistic in our approach to rebuilding our network," Ankit Gupta, United's vice president of Domestic Network Planning said in a press release. "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."

Some of those “data-driven” decisions may have led United to realign their schedule to match “current demand for leisure travel.” The airline says in October they will add more flights on days popular with leisure travelers looking for a long weekend getaway, and will schedule fewer flights on days where demand is lower.

Other changes and additions in October include:

  • Resuming or starting new service on nearly 50 routes in the US; mostly from United’s hubs in Chicago, Denver and Houston.
  • Resuming additional service to Florida and along the west coast.
  • Resuming service to 14 international destinations, including parts of South America and Mexico.

United was one of the airlines last week who announced they will be permanently eliminating change fees on flights within the US. Starting next year, they are also expanding their standby options.