United Airlines Applies for New Daily Flight Between Washington National and San Francisco International

ByTravelling For Business

July 9, 2024
United Airlines seeks DOT approval for new daily flights between Washington National (DCA) and San Francisco International (SFO), aiming to provide more nonstop options and enhanced connectivity. An alternate proposal includes the first-ever DCA-Los Angeles (LAX) route.

United Airlines has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for approval of a new daily roundtrip flight between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

If granted, this new route will offer customers additional nonstop options between DCA and SFO, along with connections from SFO to approximately two dozen domestic markets in the Western U.S. and seven international destinations. Notably, at least nine of these destinations currently lack United connection options to DCA via San Francisco.

The proposed route aims to bypass the busiest travel times at DCA, one of the most congested airports in the U.S. Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances, highlighted the benefits: “With our hub in San Francisco, United is well positioned to serve the strong customer demand for air travel between Washington National and the Bay Area. If awarded by the DOT, this new service will give customers a unique morning departure from Washington National and a unique afternoon departure from San Francisco, as well as more connectivity for both domestic and international travellers via SFO.”

United plans to operate the new flight using the Boeing MAX 8 aircraft, which features 150 economy seats and a total of 166 seats. This addition will mark the first time a morning departure from DCA to SFO and an afternoon departure from SFO to DCA are available, providing customers with more scheduling flexibility.

The Washington, D.C. area, a major commerce hub home to over 15 Fortune 500 companies and key government and global institutions, mirrors California’s significant role in innovation and business. California, with the highest number of Fortune 500 companies and the world’s fifth-largest economy at $3.9 trillion in 2023, hosts over 30 Fortune 500 companies in the San Francisco area alone. United’s comprehensive network in San Francisco covers more than 60 domestic and over 30 international destinations, with an average of 240 daily departures and more than 12,000 employees in the Bay Area.

As an alternative proposal, United has also applied for its first-ever DCA-Los Angeles (LAX) flight. This route, if approved, would enhance competition among the three airlines currently flying the route and offer customers the earliest arrival in LAX and the latest morning departure to DCA. This flight would also be operated with the Boeing MAX 8 aircraft, offering greater schedule flexibility for passengers.