United ("RE") Adds CLE Service


Contract 2020????
Aug 14, 2004
Total Time

United Airlines adding Florida nonstops out of Cleveland Hopkins

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- United Airlines will resume flying nonstop to two Florida cities that it cut last year, and increase service to a third, adding more competition to the sunshine destinations out of Cleveland.

United's winter schedule, posted Sunday, shows it adding back Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers as nonstops out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport starting in late October, and adding a second daily nonstop to Orlando in March.

"Great to see a full service airline back on these routes," said Daniel Eleff, who covers travel bargains and frequent flyer news at DansDeals.com, a Beachwood-based website.

United is jumping into a competitive market. Spirit Airlines launched service to eight popular leisure destinations in 2015, including Orlando, Fort Myers and Tampa, in January, and Fort Lauderdale, Dallas/Fort Worth and Las Vegas, in February. JetBlue Airways began flying from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale in April.

Frontier Airlines has daily nonstops to Fort Myers and Tampa and two daily nonstops to Orlando. Frontier will use a new 230-seat Airbus 321 on the Orlando flight beginning Nov 4.

United's decision to restart the service is a bit of a surprise, and not only because of existing flights. Florida service is typically seasonal, so it wasn't unusual for United to end those flights last April. But it did so in a way that suggested they might not be coming back any time soon. The financial performance of the flights, the airline said, didn't meet expectations.

Cleveland-area travelers welcomed United's swivel, though business traveler Rich Catalano noted in an email that one of the jets shown on the schedule is a "crummy old A-320, a pre-merger United plane. Can't even spare a Boeing from pre-merger Continental."

United spokesman Charles Hobart said the carrier uses "the right aircraft for the right particular route. In this case we think that's the right aircraft for that route."

United and Continental merged in May 2010, a consolidation that by early 2014 led the combined airline to sharply reduce service at what had been a Continental hub in Cleveland.

Hobart on Monday reiterated what airline executives said at the time. "Cleveland had lost money for over a decade," he said. "It was a situation where we couldn't continue to sustain those losses. And there was no foreseeable reversal of that trend."

Excepting, apparently, in South Florida. No other non-hub that United flies out of has nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and Orlando.

"Wow, even with the competition from Frontier, Spirit and JetBlue. This is good news as related to the United Cleveland operation," said air traveler Ron Likover.

Eleff said the flights are the first time that United has added any new service to Hopkins since it chopped service, so it's definitely a sign that things are stabilizing for the airline in Cleveland.


Well-known member
May 16, 2005
Total Time
Good news! Clapped out Airbus better than an RJ... Hell of a lot better than leaving entirely!!