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United Just Made This Major Upgrade to Your Summer Travel

The carrier's latest announcement is good news for passengers gearing up for vacation.

Two years into the pandemic that slammed the travel industry, virtually shutting down global air travel in 2020, the demand for seeing the world is once again white-hot—and airlines are adding routes and passenger capacity to meet the moment. Read on to learn United Airlines' latest announcement and how it could affect your summer vacation plans.

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Major domestic carriers have already announced expanded routes and schedules to meet travelers' strong demand.

Silhouette of young family and airplane
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Beginning this summer, the JetBlue and American Airlines' regional Northeast Alliance will offer nearly 500 daily departures from the three major airports in the New York metro area, as well as 200 daily departures from Boston.

As part of the growth, American announced plans to launch new nonstop service between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, in June—which will make it the only U.S.-based airline to offer flights to the Middle East destination. The same month, JetBlue also plans to launch its first-ever Canadian route with new nonstop service between New York's Kennedy airport and Vancouver.

United is among the airlines that announced offering expanded routes to meet demand.

United Airlines aircraft preparing to take off and American Airlines aircraft landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Last fall, United announced it would add five new international destinations to its flight offerings this summer. The major expansion will include routes to Spain, Portugal, Norway, and Jordan.

The announcement was overall good news for travelers, but not without some caveats. For instance, the Newark to Azores route will use United's Boeing 737 MAX 8 for the flight, which is a fuel-efficient aircraft but not a wide-body jet, so it won't offer the perks and comforts premium-cabin travelers are used to.

And this week, United announced an even bigger boon for American travelers seeking a summer vacation abroad.

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United Airlines is planning a major boost to its flight offerings this summer.

United Airlines Boeing 747 jumbo jet airliner taking off from Sydney Airport.

In response to the overwhelming demand for travel, United Airlines is gearing up to offer more flights across the Atlantic this summer than it did in 2019, the year prior to the pandemic shutdowns. In fact, on April 26 the airline said that it plans to augment transatlantic passenger-carrying capacity by 25 percent compared with pre-pandemic levels. Flight offerings will include both existing favorite routes like London, as well as new destinations entirely.

Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of United's international network, explained that the move would be the biggest single transatlantic increase the carrier has ever made. "We will be the largest carrier across the transatlantic," Quayle told CBS News.

The outlet also noted that United had scheduled more passenger-carrying capacity to Europe in June and July than its nearest competitors, even before this latest expansion announcement. Indeed, it already offered 15 percent more than Delta Air Lines and 36 percent more than American Airlines, according to data from research firm Cirium cited by CBS.

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United's expanded service begins its rollout this week.

united plane in the sky

The rollout will begin this week, with United serving the new locations that it announced last fall, including Portugal's Azores and Spain's Canary Islands. Beginning in late May, it will also boost flight offerings on existing routes, with a jump to 22 flights daily from the United States into London.

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Alesandra Dubin
Alesandra Dubin is a lifestyle editor and writer based in Los Angeles. Read more
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