United plans new New York-Washington shuttle amid growth spurt

Oct 25, 2019

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 Airlines is jumping into the lucrative New York air shuttle market with an expanded service to Washington that will begin next spring.

The Star Alliance carrier will offer up to 13 daily flights between its Newark Liberty (EWR) hub and Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA), United commercial chief Andrew Nocella said Friday at the airline’s media day in Chicago. The service will be flown with either Bombardier CRJ550s with 50 seats or Embraer 175s with 76 seats. Both aircraft offer first class and economy.

“It’s about the convenience of an hourly pattern,” said Nocella when asked if United would offer any other shuttle amenities, including complimentary beer and wine, or free changes to other flights.

Rear-door deplaning, a traditional shuttle feature still offered on the American Airlines Shuttle, will not be offered on United’s new service, he said.

Related: Why the American Airlines Shuttle continues the ‘tradition’ of rear-door deplaning

A United Express Embraer 175 in the airline's new look at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Photo by Edward Russell/TPG)
A United Express Embraer 175 in the airline’s new look at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. (Photo by Edward Russell/TPG)

 

United is the latest airline to jump into the New York shuttle market. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have long offered shuttles between New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Boston Logan (BOS), Washington National and – more recently – Chicago O’Hare (ORD). JetBlue Airways joined the crowded market this summer, upgrading  its service between Boston and the New York area’s three airports — John F. Kennedy (JFK), LaGuardia and Newark — to shuttle status.

United already flies up to eight daily flights between Newark and Washington National on a combination of Embraer ERJ-145s and E175s, according to Diio by Cirium schedules.

The move is also a bit of back-to-the-future for United. Continental Airlines, which merged with United in 2010, offered a shuttle service on the Newark-Washington National route at various times since it acquired People Express and the low-cost carrier’s Newark hub in 1987.

Related: The best credit cards for United flyers

The new Washington shuttle is just one piece of United’s growth plan for 2020. The airline will add a sixth daily flight between Newark and London Heathrow (LHR) next summer as well as a bevy of new transatlantic services, add four new routes to Tokyo’s close-in airport Haneda (HND) in time for the 2020 Olympics, and continue with the accelerated domestic growth plans it kicked off in 2017.

United maintains plans to grow capacity by 4-6% year-over-year in 2020 despite plans to take delivery of 40 to 50 new Boeing 737 MAX jets, said Nocella. The MAX deliveries are dependent on when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certifies the aircraft to fly again, something Boeing expects by December.

Denver, a centerpiece of United’s domestic growth, will see around 550 daily flights next summer, said Nocella. The hub handled an average of 480 daily flights this summer, and up to 503 flights on peak days, Diio shows.

Much of the domestic growth in 2020 is expected to come from adding seats on existing routes. For example, United will replace one of its flights between Newark and Orlando (MCO) flown with a Boeing 737-900ER with a Boeing 777-200 next March. The 777 seats up to 364 passengers compared to just 179 seats on the 737.

Featured image by Edward Russell/TPG.

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.