United Airlines bulks up DC flights ahead of national conventions

United Airlines is bulking up its schedules at some hubs in preparation for a significant increase in demand, including for flights from the D.C. area to Milwaukee and Chicago for this summer’s national political conventions.

United has penciled in nearly 200 additional flights, increasing its Milwaukee flights by more than 75% for the Republican National Convention in July.

United will also fly its largest schedule from its Chicago O’Hare hub since 2019 for the Democratic National Convention in August. That includes a 40% increase in flights between O’Hare and Reagan National Airport in August.

“These conventions are steeped in tradition and have now evolved to become a weeklong celebration of our political process,” said Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of global network planning and alliances. “We’re proud to give people even more options to visit two great cities, and participate in these historic events and make their voices heard.”

During the week of the Republican National Convention, United will operate more than 280 flights to and from Milwaukee, including a new nonstop between Reagan National and Milwaukee, and 72 additional flights from Dulles, Chicago, Newark, Denver, and Houston. Many of those flights will be on larger aircraft than normally operated on those routes.

During the Democratic National Convention, United will operate more than 530 Chicago flights per day on peak days. It includes 38 additional flights between Chicago and Reagan National, and more than 80 additional flights between Chicago and other cities, including Baltimore, Phoenix, San Diego, Atlanta and Seattle.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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