Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

United Airlines Resumes Service on Major International Routes

Carrier resumes services on almost 30 international routes as restrictions for US travelers remain largely in place

August 2, 2020

United Airlines has announced plans to reopen service on close to 30 of its international routes in September. The flights resuming include service to Asia, India, Australia, Israel and Latin America.

The airline says that it will fly 27 percent of its overall schedule in September, a 4 percent increase in capacity from August.

The airline has also announced that it will extend its waiver of change fees and award redeposit fees for reservations through August 31. The announcement follows news that Delta Air Lines is waiving change fees through September 30

“We continue to be realistic in our approach to building back our international and domestic schedules by closely monitoring customer demand and flying where people want to go,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of International Network and Alliances.

Domestically, United says it will fly 40 percent of its schedule. The airline plans to add more than 40 daily flights on 48 routes to locations including Austin, TX, Colorado Springs, and Santa Barbara, CA. Additionally, United plans to resume service between the US mainland Hawaii, adding services to Hilo and Kauai and increasing frequencies to Honolulu, Kona and Maui.

Internationally, United intends to fly 30 percent of its schedule as compared to September 2019, which is a 5-point increase over this month. The airline expects to resume service on 20 routes in Latin America and the Caribbean, including to popular vacation destinations like Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico and to San Jose and Liberia in Costa Rica.

United intends to begin new nonstop service between Chicago and Tel Aviv – subject to regulatory approval — and resume eight routes in the Atlantic and Pacific, including service between Chicago and Amsterdam; Houston, Amsterdam and Frankfurt; and San Francisco and Munich. Chicago and Frankfurt and San Francisco and London service will increase to daily flights.

In the Pacific, United will restart three-times-weekly service between Los Angeles and Sydney and passenger service between Chicago and Hong Kong, upon governmental approval.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the airline is adding 20 new routes in September including new service between Chicago and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Washington-Dulles new service between New York/Newark and St. Thomas and added flights to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with resumption of service from Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. Service will resume between Denver and Cabo San Lucas and the number of flights between Houston and Quito, Ecuador will increase.

Although airlines report resumption of service, this does not mean that US citizens are allowed to fly these routes. The European Union has just updated its list of countries allowed to fly into its borders and the US is still not on that list.

In an interview in July,  airline industry analyst and principal at Atmosphere Research Group Henry Harteveldt told Business Traveler USA that, while Americans are still blocked from travel on these routes to Europe, there would still be “a handful of American leisure travelers heading to the few countries abroad where American visitors are still welcome (Croatia is one), Americans traveling on essential business, and foreign nationals returning to their home countries.”

He also said that the routes would be “carrying a lot of cargo in the bellies of their aircraft.”