Despite Scandals, a Record Number of Passengers Flew United in June

Jul 13, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

United’s spring was rocked with scandals — from BumpGate, LeggingsGate and ScorpionGate to SundaeGateRantGate and TobaccoGate. All of these incidents left a lot of flyers taking to social media to swear off the airline. However, numbers can tell a whole different story, so we’ve been keeping a close eye on United’s traffic releases.

In May, the airline posted an impressive 79% drop in involuntary denied boardings with strong traffic. But, June’s numbers are even better — more than 13.5 million passengers boarded a United flight last month. Based on TPG analysis, that’s the most passengers the PR-beleaguered airline has carried — since at least the beginning of 2014.

However, this hasn’t been from filling up aircraft. In fact, United’s loads (the percentage of seats filled with passengers) was the lowest it’s been in years. Instead, United is fueling this passenger growth through massive expansion in available seat miles. On just its mainline domestic routes, United had a whopping 10.8% more capacity in June 2017 compared with a year prior.

Other numbers that stand out in June’s report: United completed 99.5% of its scheduled flights, “only” canceling 0.5%. But, United’s on-time departure rate was quite poor. Only 64.5% of United’s flights departed by the scheduled departure time. Mind you, this doesn’t mean that the flights ended up being late. Between schedule padding (scheduling flights longer than they should take) and the 14-minute grace period that the FAA allows for “on time” arrivals, 78.6% of United’s flights were deemed to arrive on-time. This put United second behind operational-powerhouse Delta.

Were you one of the 13.5 million who flew United in June?

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.