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United Airlines joins American in signaling that the summer may not be lost

June 04, 2020
5 min read
United Airlines joins American in signaling that the summer may not be lost
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United Airlines is joining joining peers in rolling out a more robust schedule in July, yet another indication that summer holidays may not be lost.

The Chicago-based Star Alliance carrier is adding flights across its U.S. domestic network. Key business markets, like its Newark (EWR) hub, will see more flights, but so will less-obvious vacation destinations. Places like Aspen, Colorado (ASE) — near national parks and other outdoor recreation areas — historic Charleston, South Carolina (CHS) and Portland, Maine (PWM), a gateway to the state's forests and craggy coast.

The additions will see United fly 30% of what it flew a year ago in July, the airline said Thursday. This is better than previous plans to fly a quarter of last year's schedule and a double-digit improvement over the seats offered for sale its bare-bones schedule in June.

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“I think we can see land but it’s a long way to way and there are a lot of shoals from here to there," United CEO Scott Kirby said about the recovery during a June 3 virtual staff town hall that was reviewed by TPG. "It’s still a long way away but the fact we can see it is encouraging.”

American Airlines also unveiled a more robust July schedule on Thursday. The carrier will fly about 55% of what it flew in 2019 during the month, with additions focused on some of the same popular leisure destinations as United. It is also adding flights to popular leisure destinations in the south as well as the Rocky Mountains.

Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines also plan to add flights, and discounter Frontier Airlines announced 18 new routes for June and July.

The additions come as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sees steadily increasing number of people coming through airport checkpoints. The agency screened 353,261 people on June 1 — the most since the crisis began in March — though that's still just 14% of the number screened a year ago.

Related: American to reopen lounges, add flights to Florida, Rockies as flyers return

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In July, United will add flights back at all of seven of its domestic U.S. hubs. Chicago O'Hare will see a 25% jump in departures to 260 on peak days compared to June, according to the airline. Denver (DEN) and Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) will both see comparable increases, with schedules growing to 206 and 210 departures, respectively.

Chicago, Denver and Houston are major connecting complexes on United's map. They have been the focus of the carrier's accelerated growth strategy since 2018. As recently as February, United signed a lease to expand its footprint at the Denver airport to 90 gates by 2022.

United hubs in Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and Washington Dulles (IAD) will also receive more flights in July.

Related: United Airlines to return to 11 cities in Asia, Europe and South America in July

Below are details of United expanded hub schedule in July, departures are on peak days.

Chicago O'Hare: 260 departures to 133 destinations

Denver: 206 departures to 120 destinations

Houston Intercontinental: 210 departures to 112 destinations

Los Angeles: 43 departures to 26 destinations

Newark: 115 departures to 61 destinations

San Francisco: 116 departures to 65 destinations

Washington Dulles: 124 departures to 74 destinations

Featured image by Getty Images

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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees