Breaking: United suspends nearly all operations from the New York area
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.
Well, United is now the second major U.S. airline to significantly pare down its operations in the New York City area following the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in the region.
Starting April 5, UA will operate only 17 daily flights from the NYC region. The airline already made significant reductions to its Newark and LaGuardia flights, but these cuts are much more drastic. (Note that United doesn’t operate any flights from New York’s largest airport, JFK).
Specifically, UA is going from 139 daily flights serving 62 destinations from its mega-hub in Newark to just 15 daily flights serving nine destinations. At LaGuardia, it’s going from 18 daily flights to four destinations to two daily flights serving just one destination.
In a memo to employees, United COO Greg Hart states that the carrier is taking a “major step” to keep employees in the region safe, as well as do its part in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
The memo states that these changes are going into effect for at least the next three weeks. UA will continue flying its three long-haul routes from Newark — to Frankfurt (FRA), London Heathrow (LHR) and Tel Aviv (TLV) — though it wasn’t immediately clear which domestic flights would still be operated.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, United operated 404 daily flights on average out of Newark, its largest hub on the East Coast. In this latest schedule update, it’s removing over 95% of this flying, a sign that the worsening outbreak is causing demand to come to a grinding halt.
United joins Spirit Airlines in (mostly) suspending service to the New York area. Spirit’s cuts are a bit more drastic since it completely stopped serving five airports in the Tri-State area: Hartford (BDL) in Connecticut; Newark Liberty (EWR) in New Jersey; and New York LaGuardia (LGA), Niagara Falls (IAG) and Plattsburgh (PBG) in New York.
Though this reduction in flying will require many fewer ground employees, United is committed to maintaining pay and benefits for all its local employees in Newark and LaGuardia during this time.
We’re living in unprecedented times. United’s latest schedule reduction eliminates over 95% of its NYC-area flying. Only time will tell if this temporarily reduced schedule will stick past the three-week mark.
All photos by the author.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.