Frustrated because all the awards were booked on the trip you wanted to take this summer? Well keep hope alive — you might just be able to get those awards after all.
With summer here, each of the top three U.S.-based airlines, American, United and Delta, have announced increases in their flight schedules, which means more awards to go around. On June 1, United began restoring 162 flights that were discontinued in April and May due to a drop in demand. American says it will restore half of its discontinued international flights and Delta will restore most of the domestic and international flights it suspended.
“We are delighted to offer our customers a wider variety of more convenient travel options,” said Marty St. George, Director-Network Planning, United Airlines. “As we prepare for the summer travel season, we have been encouraged by the upturn in bookings that indicate a strong recovery in many of the markets we serve.”
Some of the highlights among the routes being restored include:
- Added seasonal service from Chicago to Anchorage (two daily roundtrips) and Calgary (one daily roundtrip).
- Increased service from San Francisco to Honolulu, Kona, Maui and New York/JFK.
- Resumption of all Australia service, including daily San Francisco-Sydney flights.
- Resumption of service between San Francisco and Seoul (this service was last flown in September, 2001 and was suspended as part of the post Sept. 11 cutbacks).
- Resumption of service from New York/JFK to Athens, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Madrid, Nice, Rome and Venice.
- Resumption of service between Atlanta and Madrid.
- Increased service between Atlanta and Frankfurt and between Atlanta and London-Gatwick.
While this news bodes well for all travelers, it could be especially useful to those frequent flyers who have, up until now, been unable to secure award seats this summer. Because these flights are being reinstated with such short notice, the likelihood of your capturing an award seat on one of the new routes is quite good — if you act quickly. And remember, the routes listed above are just a sampling of those that have been restored and/or added.
Though American, United and Delta are the only airlines to have announced summer flight increases to date, it would not be at all surprising to see the other majors follow suit soon.
So keep your eyes and ears open, and your fingers on the dial buttons, and these awards could be yours.