In response to surging demand, United Airlines has announced a domestic winter schedule that is the biggest since March 2020. The airline says it plans to offer more than 3,500 daily domestic flights in December, which puts the carrier’s schedule at 91 percent of its domestic capacity compared to 2019.
The airline says holiday travel flight searches on united.com and the airline’s app are up even compared to pre-pandemic levels, rising 16 percent over the same period in 2019. United expects the busiest travel days for Thanksgiving week will be Wednesday, Nov. 24, and Sunday, Nov. 28. Other high-traffic days will include holiday travels on Thursday, Dec. 23, and Sunday, Jan. 2.
“We’re seeing a lot of pent-up demand in our data and are offering a December schedule that centers on the two things people want most for the holidays: warm sunshine and fresh snow,” said Ankit Gupta, vice president of network planning and scheduling at United. “We know families and friends are eager to reunite this holiday season, which is why we’re thrilled to add new flights that will help them connect and celebrate together.”
The focus of the December schedule, according to the airline, is connecting Midwest cities to warm weather destinations. United will launch new direct flights to Las Vegas and Phoenix from Cleveland, and to Orlando from Indianapolis, in addition to the resumption of eight direct flights from the Midwest to Sunshine State destinations like Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa.
In all, United says it will offer up to 195 daily flights to 12 cities in Florida this winter. The ramped up capacity comes on top of the airline’s previously announced increases to other warm-weather destinations in Georgia, California, Arizona and Nevada, plus Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.
United has also added more flights to ski destinations this winter, with 66 daily flights to over a dozen ski destinations across the US, including new service beginning this December between Orange County, CA, and Aspen. This winter season, United will offer flights from its hub airports to Aspen/Snowmass, Mammoth, Bozeman/Big Sky, Eagle/Vail, Kalispell, Gunnison/Crested Butte, Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Jackson Hole, Montrose/Telluride, Reno/Tahoe and Sun Valley.