Bracing for its busiest week since March, United Airlines will add over 1,400 domestic flights for Thanksgiving week.
United Airlines Adds Thanksgiving Week Flights
Traditionally, Thanksgiving travel is booked months in advance. While attending law school, I can remember booking Thanksgiving travel quite early in order to take advantage of preferential flights and upgrades. But 2020 is a very different year and United estimates that 50% of customers will book Thanksgiving travel within 30 days of the holiday.
To compensate for what it hopes will be increased last-minute demand, United will add over 1,400 flights domestic flights during Thanksgiving week. Additionally, it will be monitor loads and be ready to swap in larger aircraft between city pairs, as appropriate.
As Ankit Gupta, United’s Vice President of Network Planning and Scheduling, explained:
“We know that for many customers, this holiday season may be their first time back on a plane since the start of the pandemic, and we’re committed to helping provide flexibility and a safer, clean, travel experience. While this holiday travel season looks quite different than recent years, we’re continuing to follow the same playbook we have all year long – watching the data and adding more flights, adjusting schedules and leveraging larger aircraft to give customers more ways to reunite with family or reach their destinations.”
There are no new routes as part of this announcement. Instead, expect to see additional hub-to-hub flights and some uptick in service to busier spokes on the route network.
When To Purchase Holiday Airfare In 2020
Like much of 2020, it is best to throw conventional wisdom out the window. Buying fares at least three weeks in advance may no longer be the smartest way to shop for holiday airfare. With close-in increases in supply, it would not surprise me to see attractive revenue and mileage deals at the last-minute this year.
My rule remains to check early and check often: if you see an attractive price, book it. But if prices are already sky-high, they may well come down this year…that’s a risk I’d be more comfortable taking in 2020 than ever before, even with the possibility of prices rising even higher or flights selling out.
United Airlines also hints we may see more last-minute flight additions in December as well. Welcome to the new reality, in which advance planning even for domestic travel may no longer be attractive.
Will you be traveling for Thanksgiving this year? Have you booked your airfare yet?
United has been short flight attendants ALL MONTH. How well they crew so these extra flights?? Thanks for letting off thousands and thousands. Good luck chewing ask these flights!!
Damon auto correct!! Youse get the point though!!
My rule is not to fly until I get a vaccine. I predict a bleak Christmas and New Year. Folks traveling for Thanksgiving is basically going to spread Covid even faster.
Thank you. This is what the experts are urging people to do. The current covid curve is essentially vertical, but nobody seems to care – it’s business as usual. Epidemiologists are asking people to NOT get together, to just stay home for Thanksgiving with only those in your immediately family – those you reside with and no others (exactly what I”m going to do). Every Thanksgiving airline flight will contribute to mass deaths.
Look forward to a complete lockdown by Christmas.
People are just too stupid, lazy and selfish.
Drill, baby, drill! Fly, baby, fly! I would gladly fly to the top ten COVID-19 hotspots in the United States around Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of flying to reach lifetime GS, after all.
For all the hysteria about increases in COVID-19 cases, the number of deaths has remained quite stable in the US. Also, media fear mongering makes the public think that anyone could drop dead at any minute from COVID-19 when in reality only 3% of deaths have been of people younger than 45 and most involved comorbidities. And kids? Fewer than 500 deaths in total thus far under the age of 25 as of the end of last month. But think of the children (and listen to the teachers’ unions, they have the interests of the kids at heart)! Close the schools! Keep paying the teachers!
Perhaps restrictions on free movement should be limited to fat people. The obese are 113% more likely to be hospitalized, 74% more likely to be admitted to an ICU, and 48% more likely to die than people of healthy weight. Of course, the woke will likely cry racism, given that in the US 50% of blacks are obese while only 17% of Asians are. Of course, fat is white supremacist. In South Korea only 4% of adults are obese and 30% are overweight (including the 4% obese). There aren’t nearly enough whites to impose white supremacy there, I guess.
Yes. Very good.
Covid is killing fat and old people. You notice trump has lost weight? That fat ugly turd was probably told to lose weight or die of covid. If that POS can lose weight anyone can.
Texas has the most cases in the us now. All you mcho people of red states, please dont waste our money. If you get sick go to the corner and die quietly instead of going to the hospital.
I plan to buy tickets to travel for Thanksgiving, but so far the prices have been sky high for my destination. I’m waiting til the last minute. I also have the option of non-rev travel, but I usually prefer to buy a ticket so I still have options if prices don’t come down. As for covid, I fly multiple times a week for work anyway. What’s one more flight?
And United has been very short staffed. I think they laid off too many FAs and I’m not sure how they plan to cover an extra 1400 flights that week. They’ve already sent out a memo criticizing the FAs for too many sick calls…with covid and flu season, I don’t think a scolding memo is going to help much because employees who usually come to work sick are now staying home when sick.
That is great news. I would love to see packed airports again, people heading home to spend the holiday with family. This is what life is all about. I applaud United for making this happen.
United management owns their success United employees owns their failure…particularly Fight Attendants.
I don’t get this post. Please expand on your thoughts….
With Covid-19 FAR worse than it was in April when there was a partial shutdown in some place in the US. Zoom is the best way for now.
Rather bold on United’s part. I doubt it will stick. With 150K new cases yesterday (and climbing each week) this country is headed for a reckoning. And it’s not going to be pretty. By Thanksgiving hospitals will be overrun, and there is the likelihood that every single family in this country will be directly affected by Covid. Airports and planes will be ghost towns within days.
Our chance of a normal holiday was thrown out the window when so many states (Florida and Texas especially) did not issue mask mandates – and where half its population refuses to wear them (accept when they need a Mocha at Starbucks and then make an acceptation – as a coffee milkshake will trump their fight for liberty when it involves sugar addiction). Too late now.
Remember this when you are sitting at home alone on Thanksgiving. No one able to come together. Eating frozen pizza instead. That the selfish 40% of this country led us here with their complete disregard for fellow man and countrymen. All because of one idiot who convinced them that a piece of cloth around their mouth was somehow going to strip them of their freedom as Americans. That is of course,, until they need a Mocha Latte.
So hospitals will be swamped but thanksgiving?? Yeah right this is just yet another chicken little prediction that had no basis in fact and well turn out to be wrong….
Let’s examine this again in a couple of weeks….