Visitors to NYC by train will be prompted to quarantine for two weeks if they have been to states with high coronavirus infection rates. The city has opened checkpoints at Penn Station to warn visitors of fines for quarantine violations. (August 6)

AP Domestic

Airlines are looking for passengers and the much-needed financial stability is changing everything in the coronavirus pandemic to compensate for the drop in business activity.

Latest example: United Airlines is ramping up its service to and from Florida this winter with the launch of 13 new direct flights from cities where the airline normally does not offer direct service.

New cities: Boston; New York LaGuardia (United’s major East Coast hub in Newark, New Jersey); Pittsburgh; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; and Milwaukee. Flights between Cleveland and four Florida cities are being resumed, in some cases with additional flights.

The airline calls this its biggest move to expand nonstop service outside of its hubs.

It will face competition from a number of airlines with a larger presence in Florida.

Why Florida?

Before the recent spike of COVID-19, United research showed a strong interest in both searches and bookings to Florida.

“Tourists have a special preference for sunlit states, and Florida is definitely at the top of that list,” said Ankit Gupta, United’s vice president of domestic network planning.

Of course, Florida has always been famous for its weather and tourist attractions, with 3 of the top 25 domestic air routes in the country having flights to Florida, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Unlike many tourist attractions in California, some of Florida’s major attractions, including Disney World, have reopened.

Gupta said United will closely monitor the COVID-19 and the travel situation and will adjust its plans if necessary. Tickets are currently on sale only for early January travel, including the typically busy holiday season.

“As the COVID sentiment in Florida gets better, then I think this will definitely be a great exercise for us, ” he said.

If things go negative, he said, the airline will cut capacity to Florida.

“We will be very quick on this,” he said. “We don’t know where the next increase will be. That’s where we want to be very realistic and data-driven about this. ”

United will face more competition on new routes from a number of airlines with a larger presence in Florida, including major carriers such as Delta Air Lines and on some routes, airlines. discount airlines Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air. That’s good news for ticket buyers.

New direct United flights to and from Florida

Some flights start in November, others in December. Check out United website.

Boston-Fort Lauderdale


Boston-Fort Myers


New York LaGuardia- Fort Lauderdale

New York LaGuardia-Orlando

New York LaGuardia-Fort Myers

New York LaGuardia-Tampa


Milwaukee-Fort Myers

Columbus, Ohio-Fort Myers

Indianapolis-Fort Myers

Pittsburgh-Fort Myers


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