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United Boosts Denver with New Flights, Gates, and Lounges

United is set to open 12 new gates at Denver International over the next year, as well as six brand-new and exclusive routes

by Lauren Smith

May 25, 2023

Photo: United Airlines. Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

United Airlines is spending big to consolidate its position at Denver International Airport (DEN), with plans to add six destinations, 12 gates, and new lounge facilities to its Rocky Mountain hub.

United already dominates in the Mile High City, with a leading 46% passenger market share last year, eclipsing nearest rivals Southwest (31%) and Frontier (10%). But the Star Alliance carrier is eager to fortify its position at the world’s third-busiest airport and to outpace competitor Southwest and is spending lavishly to do so.

Photo: United Airlines, Boeing 737-800. Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

United is pumping $1 billion into its infrastructure at DEN. It’s already debuted a new check-in lobby, new-look gates, and a grab-and-go lounge dubbed the United Club Fly, where harried travelers can pick up pre-made meals and snacks.

Over the next year, United will add 12 new gates across the airport’s A and B concourses, giving it a total of 90 gates by mid-2024.

United will launch six new routes from Denver this autumn—all exclusives. From September 29, it will fly Embraer E175 jets to Dayton, Ohio (DAY); Asheville (AVL); Greensboro (GSO), North Carolina; and Lexington, Kentucky (LEX).

Photo: United Airlines, Embraer E175. Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

On October 29, United will inaugurate a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU), and on November 4, it will open a link to Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ). Both Caribbean routes will be served by Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

United will also increase the frequency of flights to popular domestic destinations such as Atlanta (ATL), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA), Boston (BOS), Austin (AUS), and Los Angeles (LAX). With the new routes and upped frequencies, United will add 35 additional flights to its Denver schedule and double the number of early-morning departures and late-night arrivals at the hub.

Photo: United Airlines. Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

This summer, United will also cut the ribbon on a new lounge on Denver’s A concourse and reopen a revamped lounge on B concourse. A third lounge renovation is also underway and set to complete later this year. All three spaces will feature two levels of club space and design reflective of the Colorado region.

When all the lounges are open, United will offer premium travelers around 100,000 square feet of club space at the airport.

“Denver is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country and, as the Mile High City’s most flown airline, it’s essential that we maintain the most modern infrastructure and fleet to support our local employees and customers and deliver a great experience,” said United CEO Scott Kirby.

“Our expansion in Denver will further enable us to connect our customers to destinations across the globe and revitalize our presence at the airport with modern, customer-friendly offerings.”

The expansion may finally settle United’s squabble with Southwest about which airline dominates at DEN. Southwest has claimed in advertising that it’s the airport’s largest carrier, a claim it bases on locally departing passengers, while United cites numbers including connecting travelers.

Southwest Airlines operations in Denver. Photo: Courtesy of Southwest Airlines / Stephen M. Keller

United notes that it will average 450 daily departures to 150 destinations this summer. That’s “more than 50% more flights and destinations than the airline’s nearest competitor,” it adds in a jab at Southwest.