Skip to content

United adds one-stop bus service to 2 Colorado destinations

March 11, 2021
5 min read
United adds one-stop bus service to 2 Colorado destinations
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.

Editor's Note

This post has been updated to say that the service has launched. 

United Airlines is expanding its reach in Colorado.

On Thursday, March 11, the Chicago-based carrier began its partnership with luxury-bus operator Landline to offer flyers one-stop itineraries through its Denver hub, with ground transportation to or from Breckenridge and Fort Collins.

The new partnership allows United customers to search and book itineraries to both destinations, with the last leg of the journey operated by one of Landline's premium coach buses. Once-daily service to Breckenridge began on Thursday, while four-times daily Fort Collins service begins on April 1.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

The first Breckenridge bus service carries United flight numbers 6388 and 6389. The first bus departed Denver for the mountains at 11:15 a.m. local time, while the return journey is slated for a 2:15 p.m. departure.

The first United-Landline bus ready to depart Breckenridge (Photo courtesy of United)

United's vice president of domestic network planning Ankit Gupta told TPG in an interview that these sub-100 mile destinations are popular with travelers, but there isn't a commercially feasible way to operate flights to either city. (United and Continental Express last flew to Fort Collins in the 1990s.)

"This seamless product transfers you from Denver to Breckenridge and Fort Collins and vice versa," Gupta told TPG.

Your boarding pass will be scanned right as you enter the bus (Photo courtesy of United)

Before United's new partnership, flyers headed for a Breckenridge ski vacation or to visit Fort Collins rented a car, used a rideshare or took a public shuttle to get to their final destination. This required maneuvering through Denver's three-concourse airport and claiming checked bags before finding ground transportation.

On the return to Denver, travelers needed to worry about potentially hazardous road conditions and unpredictable traffic patterns.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

More from Colorado: United Airlines boosts Denver hub in 4-route Florida expansion

The United-Landline partnership eliminates much of the stress and hassle. For one, travelers are protected during irregular operations. "We at United will take care of you," said Gupta. If flights are late or the bus is stuck in traffic, United promises to get you to your final destination on both ends of your journey.

Additionally, the Landline partnership offers the most seamless Denver connection experience possible. To start, you'll receive your bus boarding pass when checking in for the first flight on the itinerary.

After arriving in Denver, you'll head to Gate A78 in the A concourse, while your checked luggage, including skiing equipment, is transferred directly to the bus.

When originating in Breckenridge or Fort Collins, flyers receive their United boarding pass during check-in, and checked bags are tagged to the final destination. When arriving in Denver, you first proceed directly to security before going to the departure gate.

Landline is working on adding remote security screening at its outstations so that you can arrive in Denver already pre-screened and ready to make your connecting flight.

You'll get some great airside views from the new United-Landline partnership (Photo courtesy of United)

As for the passenger experience, each bus sports free Wi-Fi, streaming entertainment and spacious leather seating arranged in a 1-2 configuration. Landline has implemented United's CleanPlus anti-coronavirus cleaning initiatives, and bus capacity will be capped at 50% to promote social distancing.

MileagePlus members can earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQPs) and redeemable miles on the bus portion of the itinerary.

This isn't the first time that United's partnering with a bus operator. In Newark, the carrier offers one-stop connecting service to Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE) via Easton Coach. Since 2019, Sun Country Airlines has offered a Landline bus connection from its Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) hub to cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Related: Your inside look at Denver Airport's new terminal expansion

As for what's next with the United-Landline partnership, Gupta described two expansion opportunities. The first is simply growing the range of destinations.

"There are so many opportunities from Denver. Boulder, Copper Mountain, Estes Park Resort. We wanted to start with this test pilot and see how it performs,” Gupta said.

Aside from Denver, Gupta mentioned that "coastal gateways" like United's Newark or San Francisco hubs could be other cities ripe for expansion. In the New York area, points of interest near the Stewart International Airport could make Landline service worthwhile.

Another option United is considering is adding the ability to purchase bus service as a post-purchase add-on. Say you book a flight to Denver and then three months later decide you'll ski in Breckenridge. By offering the bus as an ancillary service, you could easily add the bus segment without reticketing your entire itinerary.

United's Colorado push comes as Denver passenger traffic has proven resilient during the pandemic. The carrier is boosting flights from its mega-hub as it competes fiercely with Southwest Airlines. United is down just about 20% in Denver departures compared to the pre-pandemic highs of 2019.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of United)
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.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
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

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

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.

Pros

  • 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
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    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

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

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.

Pros

  • 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