United Airlines’ Florida Transcon Expansion

United Airlines’ Florida Transcon Expansion

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We know that this past winter Florida become one of the hottest destinations for airlines, thanks to the state’s lack of restrictions, which made people visit from all over the country. It looks like we’re going to see a repeat of that this upcoming winter, as United Airlines has just added some interesting new routes to both Fort Myers and Tampa.

United Airlines’ Fort Myers expansion

United Airlines will be operating two transcon routes to Fort Myers this upcoming winter, from both Los Angeles and San Francisco.

As of December 16, 2021, United Airlines will operate a daily Los Angeles to Fort Myers flight using a Boeing 737-800. The schedule will be as follows:

UA1806 Los Angeles to Fort Myers departing 10:15AM arriving 6:15PM
UA1775 Fort Myers to Los Angeles departing 7:15PM arriving 9:30PM

As of December 16, 2021, United Airlines will operate a daily San Francisco to Fort Myers flight using a Boeing 737-800. The schedule will be as follows:

UA1056 San Francisco to Fort Myers departing 10:47AM arriving 7:17PM
UA1875 Fort Myers to San Francisco departing 7:00PM arriving 9:50PM

It’s pretty awesome to see this kind of growth for Fort Myers. Prior to the pandemic Fort Myers didn’t have any regularly scheduled transcon flights. That changed when Alaska Airlines added a Los Angeles to Fort Myers route as of November 2020. Now we’re seeing United add Fort Myers service from both of its west coast hubs.

United Airlines will operate two transcon routes to Fort Myers

United Airlines’ Tampa expansion

United Airlines is doubling down on its transcon service to Tampa this upcoming winter, as the airline will add a route from Los Angeles, and double service from San Francisco.

As of October 31, 2021, United Airlines will operate a daily Los Angeles to Tampa flight using an Airbus A320. The schedule will be as follows:

UA2018 Los Angeles to Tampa departing 10:35PM arriving 6:35AM (+1 day)
UA1789 Tampa to Los Angeles departing 7:00AM arriving 9:15AM

As of December 16, 2021, United Airlines will operate a second daily San Francisco to Tampa flight using a Boeing 737-800. The schedule will be as follows:

UA1956 San Francisco to Tampa departing 10:30PM arriving 6:25AM (+1 day)
UA1223 Tampa to San Francisco departing 7:03PM arriving 9:40PM

This complements the existing frequency, which operates with the following schedule:

UA2670 San Francisco to Tampa departing 10:54AM arriving 6:59PM
UA1513 Tampa to San Francisco departing 7:22AM arriving 9:50AM

A few things stand out about these new Tampa routes:

  • Just days ago American Airlines announced it would resume its Los Angeles to Tampa route, so this route will now be operated by Alaska, American, Delta, and United; it’s interesting those four carriers compete, yet not a single low cost carrier is competing in the market
  • The only other airline competing in the San Francisco to Tampa market is Alaska
The Los Angeles to Tampa market is getting competitive

Bottom line

United Airlines will be adding a few transcon routes to Florida this coming winter, including flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to both Fort Myers and Tampa. Those are all new routes for United, except the San Francisco to Tampa service, where we’re simply seeing capacity expanded.

While Florida has long been a “hot” destination for visitors in winter, the pandemic increased its popularity even more. It looks like airlines are counting on that sticking even this coming winter.

What do you make of United’s new routes to Fort Myers and Tampa?

Conversations (16)
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  1. Neil

    737's for transcontinental jet service equals a big no for me . Way too cramped of a cabin for a 5 / 6 hour flight .

  2. Nicer John

    Ben, you say it’s interesting that no low cost carriers compete on these routes. I don’t live in the US so I might be missing something, but that’s what I would’ve expected, as the low cost carrier advantage must reduce significantly on longer flights (because fuel makes up a larger percentage of operating cost than on shortly flights). Add to that these are likely lower margin leisure routes for the legacy carriers, compared to other...

    Ben, you say it’s interesting that no low cost carriers compete on these routes. I don’t live in the US so I might be missing something, but that’s what I would’ve expected, as the low cost carrier advantage must reduce significantly on longer flights (because fuel makes up a larger percentage of operating cost than on shortly flights). Add to that these are likely lower margin leisure routes for the legacy carriers, compared to other flights of similar length, then there is additional price compression. So if the LCC won’t charge much less than the legacy carrier then they’re probably better competing on other routes?

  3. shoeguy

    Florida will remain popular, particularly in Fall/Winter for those seeking warmer weather as there are still limited options going into that season. If the pandemic recedes worldwide going into 2022, expect a gradual paring back of all this Florida capacity which long term, isn't sustainable.

  4. MrBean

    I don’t think the previous poster flies transcons very often if that is truly the case.

  5. Ronak

    Both Southwest and Spirit used to serve the TPA-LAX route, but have since pulled out.

  6. LovetoFly

    I'm all for the Florida expansion, especially Tampa. That being said, the gate area for United is painful. I don't know if it can support a lounge yet, but would be welcome!

  7. derek

    Years ago, if Fort Myers were added, it would have been an early morning departure to SFO to connect with flights to Asia.

  8. Sam Les

    The seat pans on the first class recliners of united 737's are garbage. Especially anything with the DirecTV seats.

  9. Tim

    I am all for expansion but how about expanding at an airport you already have a presence and have cut service over the years? I wonder how many of your shareholders know you are paying Cleveland over $1.4 million a month until 2026 for a concourse that is currently closed. You cut the service Continental built and turned it into a joke. While United is still the largest carrier in CLE, you've cut over 200...

    I am all for expansion but how about expanding at an airport you already have a presence and have cut service over the years? I wonder how many of your shareholders know you are paying Cleveland over $1.4 million a month until 2026 for a concourse that is currently closed. You cut the service Continental built and turned it into a joke. While United is still the largest carrier in CLE, you've cut over 200 daily flights since 2013. When Continental was the dominent carrier, everytime I flew the flight was always full. Should be no reason you can't add flights there too.

  10. Lou

    For flights this long you really have to do something about the seats. The headrest cushion pushes your head forward and is very uncomfortable. I see more people putting their heads down on the tray tables than ever before. The seats that don’t recline are even worse.

  11. Night Owlette

    Poor utilization of aircraft and a classic management decision of the [former] Continental Airlines to serve leisure travelers instead of the money generating business clientele.

  12. C.L.Miller

    This isn't a bad idea; however, it's seasonal. Why aren't there more flight (direct) flights in and out of Atlanta... Especially on mainline aircraft. I've had the pleasure of commuting to EWR, IAH, ORD and SFO out of Atlanta. Flying a regional jet to any flight associated with Atlanta is a serious joke and miscalculation. There's a reason why Delta flies narrow bodies and 75/76 on the SFO-ATL routes... DEMAND! Atlanta is the "World's Busiest...

    This isn't a bad idea; however, it's seasonal. Why aren't there more flight (direct) flights in and out of Atlanta... Especially on mainline aircraft. I've had the pleasure of commuting to EWR, IAH, ORD and SFO out of Atlanta. Flying a regional jet to any flight associated with Atlanta is a serious joke and miscalculation. There's a reason why Delta flies narrow bodies and 75/76 on the SFO-ATL routes... DEMAND! Atlanta is the "World's Busiest Airport" and we don't even have the SFO-ATL direct any longer. I'm sure there's some sort of thought process into this; but I'd like to challenge that thinking.

    The same argument can be made for our other hubs as well. I'm speaking as a traveler, a commuter and a person with friends that complain about this aspect regarding United Airlines all the time.

  13. Retired

    A couple of reverse partial redeyes.

  14. Edward Moylan

    UA is at a disadvantage with no United Club at TPA. Both DL and AA have clubs. Time for UA to match them if they expect to attract premium traffic.

  15. hafa

    I could care less about a UA club at TPA. United provides the best service, and that's all I need to fly them over anyone else.

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hafa

I could care less about a UA club at TPA. United provides the best service, and that's all I need to fly them over anyone else.

Edward Moylan

UA is at a disadvantage with no United Club at TPA. Both DL and AA have clubs. Time for UA to match them if they expect to attract premium traffic.

Retired

Amen to that

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