United Airlines will run near-hourly shuttle service between Newark and Washington National in order to hold onto its DCA slots, a move that massively increases the number of seats available between the two cities.
New United Airlines Shuttle Service Between Newark And Washington National
Between Newark (EWR) and Washington (DCA), United will operate “nearly hourly” service between 6:00AM and 10:00PM, totaling 18 flight per day. Furthermore, United will operate five daily flights between Newark and Washington Dulles (IAD) and nine between New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Dulles. The increased service will commence on October 31, 2021.
The move will increase flight between the Washington area and New York area by 78% over current levels.
United could have run 50-seat regional jets with no first class or Economy Plus, so I am thankful that the CRJ-550 will be used for the EWR-DCA route. I’m also happy to see all two-cabin service including the occasional mainline Boeing 737 MAX 8 between Washington Dulles and Newark as well as LaGuardia.
Why so many new flights? Because the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has said carriers must now use their slots or lose them when it comes to domestic service. For the last 18 months, carriers had been granted a reprieve during the pandemic. That is now over. DCA, LGA, and JFK are slot-controlled airports.
View From The Wing explains why slot-squatting is ironic considering the Department of Justice is suing to block closer ties between American Airlines and JetBlue. He’s right: United’s decision to run such frequent service between the two cities (Delta is also adding 100 new departures from LGA and New York JFK to various destinations) seems like a bigger red flag than concern that American Airlines will overshadow JetBlue as a low-fare provider by adding more seats to the NYC market…
Schedule For United Airlines EWR-DCA Shuttle Service
From Newark to Washington National, flights will depart at:
From Washington National to Newark, flights will depart at:
All flights on this shuttle route will be operated by the CRJ-550.
> Read More: United Airlines CRJ-550 First Class Review
With so many flights likely outstripping actual demand, look for easy upgrades and great fares traveling between New York and Washington. When I was in law school I used to take the bus between these cities, preferring to save money over Amtrak or flying. I wonder if fares on United will shortly reach bus levels or will remain high and United will simply operate with mostly empty seats?