CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — United Airlines is signaling its emergence from the pandemic travel woes, planning new service to airports in Colorado and California among an increase to 3,500 domestic flights a day.
After 18 months of record-low passenger numbers, American is emphasizing flights from the Midwest to warmer-weather travel destinations just in time for the run-up to Thanksgiving, traditionally one of the busiest times at airports across the country and seen as the start for the holiday travel season.
Las Vegas and destinations near vacation hotspots such as the Rocky Mountains will also be on the new expanded flight schedule. There are nearly 200 flights to Florida alone on the schedule.
International travel is still problematic due to a confusion of vaccination and quarantine requirements that shift frequently depending on which country travelers pick as a destination.
Airport officials and the FAA are reminding travelers that the expanded flight options do not come with lessened COVID-19 or security precautions, however. Masks are still required in all airports and on all flights, and a bill currently under consideration in Congress could make proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test mandatory before being allowed to fly.
According to United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, 97% of the airlines’ employees are fully vaccinated, and the airline has a mandatory vaccination policy in place. Currently, Delta Airlines is the only legacy carrier without a vaccine mandate for employees.
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