Breaking: United suspends nearly all operations from the New York area

Apr 5, 2020

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).

Find COVID-19 updates on TPG’s coronavirus hub page and sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest news.

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.

Related: United Airlines says revenue is down by $100M a day because of coronavirus

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, 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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • 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.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.