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United is adding 3 new routes to the Caribbean, Latin America

Sept. 06, 2021
3 min read
United is adding 3 new routes to the Caribbean, Latin America
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The latest pandemic-era network adjustment spells good news for the Caribbean and Latin America.

United Airlines is adding three new routes to the region from two of its current domestic hubs, as well as one former hub. Beginning on Dec. 18, United will start Saturday-only service in the following markets:

  • Cleveland (CLE) to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS) aboard an Embraer 175
  • Chicago O'Hare (ORD) to Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA) aboard a Boeing 737-800
  • Denver (DEN) to Roatan, Honduras (RTB) aboard a Boeing 737-800

Though United already has a sizeable presence in all three destinations, this winter will mark the first time the airline has connected each U.S. city to these countries.

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In Cleveland, United will be the only carrier to offer direct service to the Caribbean this winter — Frontier, Spirit and United all serve Cancun, but United will have a monopoly on the Bahamas. Technically, this route is a resumption for the carrier, which last flew to the Caribbean nation in March 2014 after inheriting the route (and the then-Cleveland hub) from Continental.

United's new Denver route will mark the airport's first service to Honduras, joining the airline's existing flight to Roatan from Houston. In explaining the move, the airline reaffirmed its commitment to positioning Denver as a key gateway hub for flyers from the West headed to Central America. Just this year, UA has added flights from Denver to the Bahamas, Belize and Costa Rica.

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The only new route with direct competition will be service from Chicago to Guatemala City. American Airlines, which also operates a hub in Chicago O'Hare, offers twice-weekly nonstops to the capital of Guatemala. Having flown the route since July 2017, AA is entrenched in the market, and it'll be interesting to see how United's new service performs.

As for why United's expanding south of the border, Patrick Quayle, vice president of international network and alliances at United, explained that “throughout the pandemic, Latin America has remained one of the strongest regions for United with leisure demand meeting or exceeding 2019 levels."

“We have been adding new flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America since last summer and with today’s announcement, United will fly 20 new routes across Latin America that we did not operate in 2019 so our customers can enjoy more beaches and warmer weather," he added.

In total, United will operate 167 daily flights to the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, representing a 26% capacity increase compared to what it operated in winter 2019.

United isn't the only airline seeing strength in the Latin American market. American Airlines, which has historically overperformed in the region compared to its big 3 U.S. competitors, continues to expand there.

Last week, the carrier shuffled its wide-body strategy for the winter with an 18-route Latin America boost. AA will send its largest international jets capable of flying across the Atlantic on much shorter missions to the region thanks to stronger than expected demand.

“This is a direct result of the continued strong leisure bookings we’re seeing there this winter,” an American Airlines spokesperson confirmed to TPG regarding the recent upgauge.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
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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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023