United’s Regular Europe Schedule Operates For One Week, Then This Is All That’s Left

United has been the most aggressive out of the gate contracting into survival mode. That’s not just about cancelling flights, but also about cancelling spending. Don’t expect new Polaris lounge openings, for instance, the question is which existing ones remain open.

In light of the U.S. government’s limits on travel by non-U.S. citizens that have been to Europe within the past 14 days, in addition to reduction in travel broadly in reaction to the novel coronavirus, United has announced that it will only fly it’s current schedule through Thursday, March 19. That gives people time to get home, and to bring employees home.

Beyond March 19th they currently “expect to”:

  • Fly daily to Zurich, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Machnester and Edinburgh
  • Maintain ‘multiple flights’ to Frankfurt and Munich
  • Operate 18 flights a day to London (the U.K. is not covered by the current travel restriction)
  • Operate 3 flights a day to Dublin (Ireland is not part of the Schengen area and thus not covered by the current restriction)
  • Offer ‘less than daily’ service to Lisbon

The notion that this is what’s expected suggests it is a best case, subject to forward demand. Note that multiple flights to Frankfurt and Munich, hubs for their transatlantic joint venture partner Lufthansa and airports where they send a good deal of connecting traffic beyond Europe, doesn’t mean multiple flights at each hub. It means there will be more than one flight a day to each city in total, across all of United’s hubs.

That’s aggressive cutting, but good to know with a week’s notice what to expect. And when a customer’s flights are cancelled, United has to provide a refund, even if they’ve become difficult to get refunds from when they merely change a customer’s itinerary to something substantially different than what they purchased.

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. -Argentina announced today that visitors coming from China, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, South Korea and the United States will be subject to a mandatory 2 week home quarantine.

  2. “Note that multiple flights to Frankfurt and Munich, hubs for their transatlantic joint venture partner Lufthansa and airports where they send a good deal of connecting traffic beyond Europe …”

    So does that mean that airside connections on non-Schengen to US itineraries, at Schengen airports such as FRA and MUC, don’t count as having been in Schengen?

    I haven’t seen any official word that’s the case.

    Getting clarification on that would be huge. For example, there’s a lot of UK(regional)-AMS-US on KLM/Delta starting at airports such as Norwich, Birmingham, Bristol, etc. And a lot of those pax are worried.

  3. This is getting more and more bizarre in understanding who can go where and when. That’s a pretty robust schedule from United given that Schengen passports can’t enter the U.S. I mean, what’s the point? I understand getting U.S. citizens and residents back from Europe but surely that can be done in a few days. There is a mass exodus going on as we speak. But after a week who will be left to fly? And if transiting from, say, Moscow or Delhi or Accra via FRA why are foreign passports considered ok under those circumstances? They still run the risk of contracting or carrying it here and in the coming days might be even more a threat.

  4. Where’s Machnester? Seriously, hit spell check before hitting send. Otherwise, you just undermine your credibility

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