United upgrades 14 outdoor-focused routes for the summer

Apr 12, 2021

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.

If outdoor-focused travel is on your radar, United Airlines likely has a flight for you.

Over the weekend, the Chicago-based carrier filed a significant schedule adjustment for 14 routes, primarily aimed at bringing vacationers to national parks and other outdoor destinations in the West. The full list of changes is below, per Cirium timetables, from June through August.

Origin Destination Change
Chicago (ORD) Bozeman, Montana (BZN) from 1x daily to 15x weekly
Chicago (ORD) Cody-Yellowstone Regional, Wyoming (COD) Saturday-only service resumes on July 3
Chicago (ORD) Jackson Hole (JAC) From 1x daily to 2x daily
Denver (DEN) Aspen (ASE) From 4x to 7x daily
Denver (DEN) Vail/Eagle (EGE) From 2x to 3x daily
Denver (DEN) Bozeman, Montana (BZN) From 4x to 6x daily
Denver (DEN) Cody-Yellowstone Regional, Wyoming (COD) from 2x to 4x daily
Denver (DEN) Gunnison–Crested Butte, Colorado (GUC) From 1x to 2x daily
Denver (DEN) Jackson Hole (JAC) From 3x to 5x daily
Denver (DEN) Kalispell/Glacier National Park (FCA) From 3x to 5x daily
Denver (DEN) West Yellowstone, Montana (WYS) From daily to 12x weekly
Houston (IAH) Jackson Hole (JAC) From 1x daily to 8x weekly
Houston (IAH) Key West (EYW) Daily service extended to Sept. 7, from June 30
Los Angeles (LAX) Aspen (ASE) From 1x to 2x daily


The biggest winner is Yellowstone National Park, which is seeing service boosts to every major gateway airport, including Bozeman, Montana; Cody, Wyoming; and West Yellowstone, Montana. United is increasing the frequency of flights from its hubs in Chicago and Denver to these destinations, giving travelers around the U.S. more one-stop options to one of America’s most popular national parks.

Stay up-to-date on airline and aviation news by signing up for our brand-new aviation newsletter.

Ski resorts that usually fare best in the winter are feeling the summer love. Flights to Aspen and Vail are getting big boosts from across the United network. Though the snow will have melted, those looking to hike, fish, golf or relax outdoors will find plenty of things to do in the Rocky Mountains.

Note that United has suspended its summer service to Vail from Chicago (ORD) and Houston (IAH), though American Airlines has swooped in, adding its own daily Chicago-Vail flight from June 3 to Sept. 7.

Though United is only adding two daily flights from Denver (DEN) to Kalispell, Montana (FCA), this northern Montana airport has become one of the most popular with the major U.S airlines. Both JetBlue and Sun Country are starting new service there this summer, while American, Alaska and Delta are all adding routes or increasing frequencies on existing ones.

Kalispell’s appeal for most travelers is its proximity to Glacier National Park.

Related: TPG’s guide to the best national parks in the United States

The renewed focus on outdoor-friendly destinations comes as leisure travel is rebounding. The vaccine rollout is well underway, and as more travelers get inoculated, many are returning to the skies. The TSA is screening over 1.5 million flyers each day, and analysts are predicting a meaningful uptick in travel this summer.

With business travel still largely suspended, airlines have plenty of spare planes to repurpose for leisure flying.

United’s spacious CRJ-550 (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

United is adding 26 new point-to-point routes from the Midwest and East Coast to a variety of leisure spots, like Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Portland, Maine, this summer. The airline is using its 50-seat CRJ-550, a plane originally retrofitted in a spacious configuration to appeal to business travelers, to support all the new flying.

Now, the CRJ-500, one of the most comfortable regional jets in the sky, will be primarily deployed on vacation routes, as the airline’s short-term focus moves to the leisure segment.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

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
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • 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
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
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.