United Airlines is adding two new destinations from its Denver hub, including a destination United has never served before.
Starting on March 8, 2019, United will begin daily service ice to Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport (STS), about seven miles from downtown Santa Rosa in California’s wine country. A CRJ-200 will service the new route, which will arrive and depart in STS each morning.
Although United has said it was not an exchange, it will reduce its daily flights between Santa Rosa and San Francisco from four to two. An early morning and late evening service will still connect the two airports. The flight, at 66-miles, is the shortest in the United system. But service to Denver will allow for easier connections to much of the Midwest.
Steve Jaquith, United Vice President of Denver, stated:
This new flight between Denver and Sonoma will not only give customers easy access from the West Coast to the Rockies, it opens up hundreds of options for customers to connect through our Denver hub to destinations all over the world.
And that’s true, but if we are talking about international connections, halving the number of flights to San Francisco will make it harder to smoothly connect to longhaul international flights on United. Then again, if SFO is only 66 miles away it may just be cheaper to make the drive.
United also announced service to Flagstaff, Arizona, the closest airport to the Grand Canyon. Service will begin on March 31, 2018 and United will offer two daily flights, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. A ERJ-145 aircraft will be utilized for this route.
You can look at this news as a glass half empty (horrid regional jets) or glass half full (new destinations are better than no destinations). I’ll look at this positively – a growing domestic route network makes United a better airline. More options never hurt.