United Airlines Reveals Big Point To Point Florida Expansion

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United Airlines has announced its largest point-to-point flying increase with new Florida flights. Passengers from seven Midwestern and Northeast US cities will have access to nonstop United flights to destinations in Florida like Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Tampa. The first of these flights will come into place in November with further increases coming in December.

United 737-800
United is betting on some point-to-point travel this winter. Photo: United Airlines

New November flights

Starting from November 6th, United will be adding the following new flights out of Boston (BOS):

  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL); up to two daily flights using Boeing 737-800s
  • Fort Myers (RSW); five times per week using Airbus A320s
  • Orlando (MCO); up to two daily flights using 737-800s and A320s
  • Tampa (TPA); five times per week using Boeing 737-800s

Out of New York City– LaGuardia (LGA), United is also adding flights to the aforementioned four Floridian vacation getaways:

  • FLL; up to two daily flights using Airbus A320s
  • RSW; five times per week using Boeing 737-800s
  • MCO; up to two daily flights using Airbus A320s
  • TPA; five times per week using Boeing 737-800s

From Cleveland (CLE), the schedule is as follows:

  • FLL; five times per week using Boeing 737-800s
  • RSW; five times per week using Boeing 737-800s
  • MCO; five times per week using Boeing 737-800s
  • TPA; five times per week using Embraer E175s

For flights that operate five times per week, the only days United is not flying are on Tuesday and Wednesdays.

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Delta and United
United will be going head-to-head with other carriers like Delta on some of the routes. Photo: Getty Images

Increasing services in December

In December, the routes above will increase in service. All flights from Boston and New York LaGuardia to Florida will see double daily roundtrip service. Meanwhile, out of Cleveland, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, and Orlando will see up to two daily flights. Cleveland to Tampa flights will turn into daily service and switch from an E175 to a 737-800. All other flights will maintain the aircraft type operating in November.

In addition to increasing those services, United is adding the following new flights:

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  • Milwaukee (MKE) – TPA; five weekly using an Airbus A319
  • MKE – RSW; five weekly using an Airbus A319
  • Columbus (CMH) – RSW; five weekly using an Embraer E175
  • Indianapolis (IND) – RSW; daily using an Airbus A320
  • Pittsburgh (PIT) – RSW; daily using an Embraer E175
United NFL player sexual assault
United is using narrowbody aircraft for the new routes. Photo: Getty Images

All of these routes, including from Boston, LaGuardia, and Cleveland, are set to suspend on January 10th.

In a press release viewed by Simple Flying, United’s VP of Domestic Network Planning, Ankit Gupta, stated the following:

“The addition of these new flights represents United’s largest expansion of point-to-point, non-hub flying and reflects our data driven approach to add capacity where customers are telling us they want to go. We look forward to offering customers in the Midwest and Northeast more options to fly nonstop to Florida this winter.”

What is United doing?

Times are tough in the airline industry, and finding new sources of revenue is not always easy– especially when so few people are traveling. However, leisure travel has started to rebound, giving carriers some hope. In this spirit, United Airlines has built up this schedule.

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There’s also a territorial battle to consider. JetBlue recently announced its significant point-to-point expansion, including adding several new routes of Newark-Liberty International Airport (EWR), a major United hub. United has bet big on Newark as a hub and is trying to gain a large share of originating passengers out of New York– something that JetBlue already has and is growing. While growing out of a hub remains a relatively secure bet for airlines to increase their passenger counts, United is also tapping into JetBlue’s point-to-point strategy and trying to earn more customers that way, including entering JetBlue’s big leisure territory in Florida.

United planes getty
This is a move away from United’s traditional hub-based expansions. Photo: Getty Images

These routes are relatively low-risk. United has a brand presence in Cleveland, thanks to the former Continental Airlines’ hub that was closed down a few years ago. All of these routes are also seasonal and are scheduled during the peak leisure travel time this winter– giving United a fair bit of a shot at making these routes work for as long as they fly.

Are you going to take any of these new United routes? Let us know in the comments!

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