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United Is Cutting Flights to 9 Major Cities, Starting Now

The airline is scaling back its schedule over the coming months, affecting many of its hubs.

Part of the anxiety around traveling can come from the sudden changes to your flight plans. Airlines are typically equipped to handle extreme weather, but they're often still forced to ground planes in the worst cases. And even in the long term, carriers will often reduce departures to ensure they're hitting their bottom line or focusing their resources on the right destinations to meet customer demand. Now, United is the latest airline to announce such changes, saying it will be cutting flights to nine major cities, effective immediately. Read on to see how the move could affect your travel plans.

RELATED: Alaska Is Cutting Flights to 14 Major Cities After This Year.

United Airlines began cutting flights from some of its hubs last week due to a natural disaster.

united airlines check in area
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock

The island of Maui is suffering through its worst natural disaster in Hawaii's history as wildfires have destroyed property and tragically claimed more than 100 lives. As residents begin a prolonged recovery and focus on rebuilding, many airlines are temporarily scaling back their flights to the popular tourist destination—including United.

As of Aug. 19, the carrier announced it had dropped all flights from Denver International Airport to Kahului Airport in Maui through at least Oct. 29, Simple Flying reports. United will also be entirely cutting its service from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to the island beginning next month.

The airline is also reducing the number of flights from some of its other hubs in September, including Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. In total, the changes will see 146 departures dropped from United's schedule, per Simple Flying.

But while United may be bringing fewer passengers, it's still showing up in Maui in a meaningful way. Last week, the carrier flew planes loaded with relief cargo and supplies to the island and evacuated residents on their way out.

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The carrier is also scaling back flights from other major cities later this fall.

A United Airlines flight taking off from the airport with an air traffic control tower in the background
iStock / Boarding1Now

Those with travel plans this fall and winter may notice some other changes to United's schedule. According to data posted to flight information website Cirium, the carrier is also reducing flights to London Heathrow Airport from some of its hubs, beginning with a slight reduction from Newark Liberty International Airport on Oct. 28 from seven daily flights to five, Simple Flying reports. While the daily offering increases to six the following day, it also cut one daily flight—or 60 total—from the route in November and 124 in January, with cuts carried all the way through March.

United is also reducing flights to the British capitol from Washington Dulles International Airport, cutting service by five flights starting in late October before dropping roughly 60 flights per month through March 2024. The carrier is also dropping flights from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Heathrow beginning in November, in addition to paring back a handful of departures from its hubs in San Francisco, Houston, and Los Angeles over the winter, per Simple Flying.

Best Life reached out to United Airlines about the schedule changes, and we will update this article with their response.

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United has recently decided to strategically scale back its flights from some cities.

travler looking at united airlines flight schedule
Sorbis / Shutterstock

The busy summer travel season has been an eventful one for United. After bad weather brought about a series of cancellations around the Fourth of July holiday, the carrier announced plans to reduce its schedule to help ease operational strains and logistical issues.

The airline's first set of changes saw 700 flights dropped from across its route map in November, especially on flights between Newark and the carrier's other hubs. It has also done away with a few international routes while scaling back on other flights to Hawaii before its latest Maui reductions.

However, it hasn't just been cutbacks: United also beefed up its departures to other destinations. The airline will introduce several new routes to Asia in late October before launching service from Denver to Sangster Airport in Montego Bay, Jamaica, as of Nov. 4.

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Other major airlines have also recently announced flight cuts.

Three airplanes sitting on the runway in heavy airport traffic
iStock / thamerpic

But United isn't the only major airline to pare back departures. Last week, JetBlue announced it would reduce the service on its route between New York's LaGuardia Airport and Boston's Logan Airport, Simple Flying reported. As of November, the changes will see 71 flights dropped in total through at least February. The New York airport will also lose one of its two daily flights each to Charleston International Airport and Nashville International Airport.

The airline is also cutting 15 flights in each direction between Boston and Ronald Reagan National Airport in November. And it will entirely drop its service from LaGuardia to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport as of Oct. 29.

American Airlines is also making significant changes to its schedule, including reducing flights from the airline's hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Paris, Miami to London, and New York to Rome from up to two daily flights to just one as of next year, The Points Guy reported. The airline will also be suspending its service between Dallas/Fort Worth and Santiago, Chile, which had been initially posted on the carrier's schedule for next summer.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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