United Airlines will begin year-round service between Denver and Frankfurt next year, giving all United hubs in the Continental U.S. a nonstop flight to Germany, except for one…
Let’s not turn good news into a complaint. The new service from Denver will begin on May 02, 2019 and be operated under the following schedule:
|Daily||DEN – FRA||3:40 p.m.||09:20 a.m. +1 day||Boeing 787-8|
|UA 181||Daily||FRA – DEN||11:05 a.m.||1:20 p.m.||
The flight becomes United’s 15th daily to/from Frankfurt, an impressive mix of flights from San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Newark, and Washington Dulles. The new Denver – Frankfurt flight will be well-timed for customer connections, allowing for many new one-stop itineraries to Germany from cities served exclusively by United Express in the Rocky Mountain region.
The new space is now bookable on united.com. Keep an eye out for saver award space, which may come later.
But I cannot help to point out that this route announcement leaves only one hub in the United States, Los Angeles, without service to Frankfurt.
I know, I know. Lufthansa and United are JV partners and Lufthansa flies from LAX to Frankfurt once per day during the fall and winter and twice per day during the spring the summer. But “metal neutrality” may be true on the revenue sharing side, but not on the consumer side. Lufthansa also flies to Denver, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Newark, and Washington Dulles.
I don’t deny for one moment that United has a stronger hub presence at all of those cities compared to highly-competitive LAX. Even so, Frankfurt is such an important city for United and the Star Alliance network. While United serves London nonstop from LAX, the lack of a partner hubbed in London often necessitates double connections. No flight would be more helpful to me than a nonstop between Frankfurt to Los Angeles. I am sure I am not the only one.
Even as I am disappointed that Denver got the new Frankfurt flight instead of Los Angeles, this is great news for consumers. And I am excited about the new Denver flight. Hopefully, the new Denver flight will complement the Lufthansa flight and remain the schedule for years to come.