LONDON – United Airlines (UA) has announced it will add more flights to operations out of Florida.

Tampa (TPA), Orlando (MCO), Fort Myers (RSW) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) will see route expansions due to increased demand.

It is understood that these service additions are for Winter 2020, which will start on November 6.

United Comments

Commenting on this route development was UA’s Vice President of Domestic Network Planning, Ankit Gupta, who gave confidence over the routes.

“The addition of these new flights represents United’s largest expansion of point-to-point, non-hub flying and reflects our data driven approach to add capacity where customers are telling us they want to go”.

“We look forward to offering customers in the Midwest and Northeast more options to fly nonstop to Florida this winter.”

Routes in Question

Below is a list of the routes that will be offered from the four Florida airports.

From November 6 to January 10, 2021, the carrier will operate non-stop services from Boston (BOS), Cleveland (CLE) and New York’s LaGuardia (LGA).

  • Boston:
    • Boston-Fort Lauderdale – Twice daily with its Boeing 737-800 (B738).
    • Boston-Fort Myers – Once daily with its Airbus A320.
    • Boston-Orlando – Twice daily with a mix of B738 and A320 aircraft.
    • Boston-Tampa – Once daily with its B738 aircraft.
  • New York LaGuardia:
    • LGA-Fort Lauderdale – Twice daily with its A320 aircraft.
    • LGA-Fort Myers – Once daily with its B738 aircraft.
    • LGA-Orlando – Twice daily with its A320 aircraft.
    • LGA-Tampa – Once daily with its B738 aircraft.
  • Cleveland:
    • Cleveland-Fort Lauderdale – Once daily with its B738 aircraft.
    • Cleveland-Fort Myers – Once daily with its B738 aircraft.
    • Cleveland-Orlando – Once daily with its B738 aircraft.
    • Cleveland-Tampa – Once daily with its Embraer E175 aircraft.

Then from December 17, the carrier will add Indianapolis (IND), Milwaukee (MKE), Pittsburgh (PIT), Columbus (CMH) to RSW & TPA.

Fort Myers to Boston will see an increased flight as well as Tampa to Boston also witnessing the same. RSW will also have an additional flight to LGA as well as Tampa also receiving one additional flight too.

Fort Myers again remains focused on as Cleveland will also feature another additional flight also, and FLL this time receiving the same.

  • Milwaukee:
    • Milwaukee-Tampa – Once daily with its Airbus A319 aircraft.
    • Milwaukee-Fort Myers – Once daily with its Airbus A319 aircraft.
  • Columbus:
    • Columbus-Fort Myers – Once daily with its E175 aircraft.
  • Indianapolis:
    • Indianapolis-Fort Myers – Once daily with its A320 aircraft.
  • Pittsburgh:
    • Pittsburgh-Fort Myers – Once daily with its E175 aircraft.
Photo: Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

COVID Protection

United has been very strong on the way it aims to protect its travellers during this pandemic.

The carrier currently requires all travelers, including crew members, to wear face coverings.

It also threatened customers with the revoking of travel privileges for customers who do not follow the rules.

UA is also using state-of-the-art HEPA filters on most aircraft to remove 99.97% of airborne particles.

The airline also uses electrostatic spraying on its aircraft to remove as much bacteria from the plane as possible.

It also offers a step to the check-in process where passengers must fill out a COVID-based form to confirm the passenger does not have the virus.

Finally, UA offers a touchless baggage check-in experience at more than 200 airports within the U.S, and was also the first airline to offer this.

United Airlines Boeing 737-800 N37267. Photo: Hiro Nishikura

United Thinking Ahead

In-all, this is good news for United for two reasons.

Firstly, it is able to expand services further in the wake of a deadly pandemic as demand is beginning to increase incrementally.

Secondly, the airline’s robust system on COVID-19 means that reducing flights is unlikely, unless the individual states of course call for a lockdown.

It is ultimately trying to proactively reduce the spread of the virus whilst trying to bring the industry to a recovery point.

For United, all eyes will be on the carrier and its other competitors to see how further forward it can bring route expansions to.

Featured Image: A view from one of the United Polaris lounges. PHOTO: United Airlines.