United Airlines Offers 30 Clues For New Routes They’ll Be Announcing Tomorrow

At 10 a.m. Central time (11 a.m. Eastern) on Wednesday United is making a big route announcement, and they’re dropping hints – they say there are 30 clues – in a video posted to social media.

This must be international-focused, aside from most of the clues Patrick Quayle is featured and he’s United’s Vice President for International Network Planning. And in contrast to ‘work from home’ network planning has been “working to get us far from home,” there’s also an international boarding pass in the video (in addition to passports).

Eleven seconds in there’s a sticky note with a weight estimate, factoring passengers, baggage, and cargo. That could suggest an ultra long haul route. At 13 seconds there’s also a range calculation on a white board, and a long haul Boeing 787-9 is called out at 19 seconds.

At 20 seconds someone scrolls through destinations on an iPhone.

From this list they’re clearly not announcing flying to Azerbaijan, Mali, or Brunei. They just aren’t. But Thailand isn’t completely nuts, and there hasn’t been non-stop service to Thailand since Thai Airways exited the Los Angeles – Bangkok market (they also dropped New York JFK – Bangkok) unable to make money operating Airbus A340-500 flying gas cans.

I think we’re going to see something from Newark, Washington Dulles, and Chicago O’Hare. At 12 seconds Newark is circled on a map. At 28 seconds there’s a pin in a map at Chicago O’Hare. At 36 seconds Washington Dulles is circled on a map. At 31 seconds a Boeing 767-300ER is mentioned so that’s likely to be the plane for some transatlantic flying.

Some of you may want to download the video, slow it down, and look for more clues. Or just come back tomorrow to see what they’ve got planned, but what fun is that?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. My guesses, with no idea as to when services would actually begin:

    EWR-OGG (w EWR-HNL and ORD-HNL going to hi-density Polaris 767)

    IAD-DKR (Senegal has done well with the pandemic, SA used to fly this route before it shut down)

    EWR/IAD/ORD-ZAG/DBV (Americans can presently visit Croatia with a COVID-19 test)

    SFO-BKK (made no sense pre-pandemic, but if Thailand reopens to US visitors next spring/summer it makes a lot of sense now)

    IAH-MVD (UA used to serve MVD many moons ago)

  2. @ Gary — SFO-BKK would be great if it were operated by a decent airline (you know, NOT United). That routes makes sense since SFO-NRT-BKK used to be popular with the creepy LBH types from Silicon Valley.

  3. @Ryan – US airlines are permitted to fly there, the safety issue is with respect to Thailand’s aviation safety regulator, they need to regain FAA category 1 rating in order for the country’s airlines to fly here

  4. Pretty gross that they’d produce a video like this/ spend resources on this video when they just laid off a sizable portion of their planning staff and others across the corporate groups. I know tons who have either been laid off or taken buyouts to leave. Pretty tone deaf vanity piece

  5. IAH/MVD should be the one, the only country in South America who’s been able to control the Covid19….something to think about…

  6. Some guesses:



    Buenos Aires

    I suspect many of the international routes won’t start anytime soon, but I’d love to be wrong!

  7. Who needs new routes? I wish United would restore some of the IAD-Europe routes that have been on hiatus, some since the start of the COVID crisis, and some since the end of the 2019 summer season. Having to travel via EWR or FRA to get from IAD to most European cities on United is just plain ugly!

  8. Exactly.. More then 6400 people are going to be furloughed and united is announcing new route?? Is that a joke?? Wake up people

  9. I agree, wouldn’t it be nice to start up Fantastic Europe again….A girl can dream can’t one. Anywhere United flies will be wonderful. We need to get people moving again for work, play, just go. The world is our oyster we need to find the pearls and United will get us you and me there. I have confidence this pandemic will pass and when it does, look out world – here we come! See you and toast ourselves on United.

  10. @Jason – I completely see your point but view things differently. For starters, United has made some horrible schmaltzy videos in the recent past that glorify the CEO who is now giving people the boot; at least this is not misleading or hypocritical. Also, the video team need to do something to justify their existence amid a pandemic and this is better than nothing. Finally, they’re at least trying to make this fun for customers. If Kirby knows the word fun it’s only because somebody made him look it up. Anyway, you may be seeing things in the worst possible light IMO.

  11. I heard it’s going to be a BOM-CMB tag onto the already EWR-BOM route. Because SriLanka was apparently lonely planet’s top 2019 destination.

  12. @Jason — you’re basically complaining that a struggling business is still hanging onto its marketing team, as if marketing doesn’t help bring in more business so it will someday not be struggling. You’re an ass, a dummy, a boor, a schmuck, a prick, a dick, a loser, a cuck

  13. @Jason-
    Why the bullying? I was simply giving my opinion on something that I don’t agree with. No need to be mean about it and take it personally. I’m rather startled by your response. I thought we were adults. I just know several people whose jobs will be gone by the end of the month at the company who are trying to make sense of things, and for whatever reason you choose to insult. Not sure what your motivation is but starker by your response that seems very out of line for something that really shouldn’t impact you personally.

  14. For me it’s SGN & GRU & EZE & BNE & VIE & BKK & DEL & BOM and hopefully GIG.
    Wow, Baku that would be interesting. So would IST.

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