United Adding Nearly 25,000 Flights in August, Extends Change Fee Waiver

United Airlines will add nearly 25,000 domestic and international flights to its August schedule compared to July 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions gradually lift and air travel demand picks up this summer.

Despite tripling the size of its August schedule compared to its June 2020 schedule, the carrier still plans to fly only 40 percent of its overall schedule in August compared to the same month last year.

United also announced that it will continue to give travelers added flexibility when booking this summer by extending its waiver of change fees and award redeposit fees for new bookings through July 31.

United is expected to add more than 350 daily flights from its U.S. hubs in August, including doubling the number of flights from New York/Newark compared to July and increasing connectivity in mid-continental hubs such as Chicago, Denver and Houston. The airline will also offer more flights to mountain and national park destinations such as Aspen, Colorado; Bangor, Maine; Bozeman, Montana and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

United said it plans to return about 90 aircraft back into service this August to meet the rising demand.

“We’re taking the same data-driven, realistic approach to growing our schedule as we did in drawing it down at the start of the pandemic,” said Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of Domestic Network Planning, in a statement accompanying Wednesday’s announcement. “Demand is coming back slowly and we’re building in enough capacity to stay ahead of the number of people traveling. And we’re adding in flights to places we know customers want to travel to, like outdoor recreation destinations where social distancing is easier but doing so in a way that’s flexible and allows us to adjust should that demand change.”

Flights booked now through July 31 can be changed for free over the next 12 months to allow for additional flexibility. All existing travel can be changed without fees as well.

See waiver for details: https://t.co/1FjRdCNl6m pic.twitter.com/XheEUBVgb3

After resuming service to China on July 8, United will return to Tahiti and add more flights to Hawaii, the Caribbean and Mexico this coming August along with increased frequency and trans-Atlantic options to Europe, including places like Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Munich, Paris and Zurich.

“United’s international schedule continues to be guided by customer demand as we add back capacity in regions with relative strength,” added Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of International Network and Alliances. “For August, we’ve seen increasing demand for leisure travel and have added options to places like Cancun and reinstated service to Tahiti. Additionally, we are further building out service to partner hubs like Frankfurt and Zurich, where customers can connect on to a wide array of destinations.”

TSA screened more than 623,000 passengers nationwide four out of the past six days as travelers slowly return to the skies. Monday (625,235) marked the first time since March 19 that air traveler numbers exceeded 25 percent of pre-COVID levels.

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