United Airlines is providing another way for its passengers to head to Hawaii.
Starting May 6, United will be launching a new route from Orange County, Calif. to Honolulu, Hawaii, the airline exclusively confirmed to Travel + Leisure on Thursday.
"Given the requirements that have been put in place for people that are outside the United States — getting tested prior to coming back — we've seen a shift in U.S. passenger demand," United's vice president of international network and alliances, Patrick Quayle, told T+L. "People are wanting to stay in the United States and at the same time go to a place warm [with] sunshine."
The Orange County to Honolulu flight will be a daily, year-round route. Passengers in the O.C. will also be eligible for United's preclearance program with Hawaii where travelers can upload their negative COVID-19 test results before boarding, and skip the document screening lines that would normally await at their destination. The preclearance program also helps passengers bypass Hawaii's 10-day quarantine mandate.
"There is a huge amount of demand between southern California and Hawaii," Quayle said. "So whether there's a pandemic or not, the demand is there."
United is also launching service from Chicago O'Hare to Kona and Newark Liberty International Airport to Maui on June 3 that will fly four days a week. In already existing routes, passengers around the country will be able to travel to Honolulu from hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.
Quayle also noted that since traveling during COVID-19 has led to the trend of spur-of-the-moment trips, the airline was able to accommodate the demand and launch the new route within a few weeks.
"That's really a result of the booking horizon and booking window moving so much closer in," he said. "People are not booking tickets until 35 days or 25 days before the flight because they want to know what are the travel restrictions what are the coronavirus rates so it allows us to be very nimble and look at what we can add in a relatively short period of time."
The announcement comes after the airline announced a partnership with Clear's Health Pass app between Los Angeles Airport and Honolulu where, starting Feb. 18, passengers will be able to upload their COVID-19 test results and avoid the state's quarantine.
Christine Burroni is Travel + Leisure's Digital News Editor. Find her keeping up with just about everything on Twitter or see what she's up to on Instagram.
Source: Read Full Article