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United just added a brand-new pin to its route map

Jan. 26, 2021
3 min read
United just added a brand-new pin to its route map
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Despite it only being January, United is gearing up for what'll hopefully be a much better and safer holiday season.

The Chicago-based carrier filed plans during the past weekend for two brand-new routes to Barbados, marking the first time the carrier has flown to the Caribbean nation under the United callsign.

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The new routes from the carrier's two Northeast hubs of Newark (EWR) and Washington/Dulles (IAD) will begin on Dec. 5, according to Cirium schedules and confirmed by the carrier. The flights will be operated by a 166-seat Boeing 737-800, sporting 16 business-class recliners and 150 economy seats.

For now, United plans to fly one weekly roundtrip on each route every Sunday. Should the routes prove successful, it's likely that the carrier would increase frequency.

The new flights are already on sale on United.com, with introductory one-way fares from $323 in coach and $558 in business. Award availability is sparse, but it will likely improve if — and when — the carrier loads cheaper paid fares.

Though Barbados is a new pin for United's route map, Cirium schedules show that Continental Airlines last flew to the island in January 2006. United and Continental merged four years later in October 2010.

Bridgetown, Barbados at sunset (Photo by Alan Copson/Getty Images)

Adding island and other "sun-and-fun" destinations has proven to be a popular strategy for United and its competitors during the pandemic. United recently boosted flights to Florida from its Denver hub, following other recent expansions to the Sunshine State from its other hub airports.

American and JetBlue have also boosted Florida flights, and the latter even launched new Caribbean flights to Nassau, Turks and Caicos, Punta Cana, and others during the pandemic.

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United will face stiff competition from JetBlue when it launches Barbados flights. The New York-based carrier is scheduled to fly 105 flights from the Northeast to the Caribbean nation in December 2021: 97 from New York-JFK, four from Boston (BOS) and four from Newark (EWR).

More: Reopening soon? A country by country guide to coronavirus recovery

American Airlines is the only other U.S. carrier flying to Barbados, with a total of 98 non-stop flights from its Charlotte and Miami hubs scheduled for December 2021.

As such, with once-weekly flights, United is just dipping its toes into the new market, though it will become the only U.S. carrier to fly to Barbados from the Washington, D.C., area.

On July 12, 2020, Barbados officially reopened its borders to international travel with a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test taken no earlier than three days prior to departure.

United's new Barbados schedule is as follow, subject to local government approval:

  • United Flight 388 Newark (EWR) — Bridgetown (BGI) 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • United Flight 389 Bridgetown (BGI) — Newark (EWR) 3:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
  • United Flight 390 Washington/Dulles (IAD) — Bridgetown (BGI) 8:15 a.m. - 2:05 p.m.
  • United Flight 391 Bridgetown (BGI) — Washington/Dulles (IAD) 3:05 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
Featured image by (Photo courtesy of United Airlines)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more