Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Game On! United Adds 120+ Flights for College Football Fans

Game On! United Adds 120+ Flights for College Football Fans

Old Jul 26, 22, 12:25 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MBS/FNT/LAN
Programs: UA 1K, HH Gold, Mariott Gold
Posts: 9,431
Game On! United Adds 120+ Flights for College Football Fans

Much like years past, UA is adding non stop flights for select CFB games.
https://www.united.com/en/us/newsroo...road-this-fall
CHICAGO, July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- United is giving college football fans more chances to see their favorite team on the road this fall by adding 120 new flights to its schedule. According to a recent survey of the airline's loyalty customers, more than 80% of avid college football fans are likely to fly to see a game this season. United is adding connections to more than 45 away games – including some of the country's biggest powerhouses like Alabama, Oklahoma, Iowa, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan – and tickets are on sale now in the United app and United.com.

"College football fans love following their team on the road and this year we're making it easier than ever," said Michael Weeks, managing director of domestic schedule development and publication at United. "We're flying nonstop to some of the most historic football towns in the country, including South Bend, Columbus and Baton Rouge, and also significantly expanding our service on the west coast to help more PAC 12 fans travel to cheer on their teams."
Previous years:
United adding extra flights for college football fans
United Airlines Adds 55 Flights on 8 Routes for Football Fans
SPN Lifer likes this.
jhayes_1780 is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 2:57 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA 1K, AA, DL, LH, VX, HA
Posts: 6,505
The whole proposition is a little odd . . . they're adding a flight, probably about 150 seats on some 737 variant, for games in stadiums that hold 80-100k people.
drewguy is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 3:15 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Gold, Avis Pres
Posts: 206
I would pass on the lowest fare in Q and U class lol
leftysauce is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 3:29 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DEN
Programs: No earned status, these days...
Posts: 642
Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
The whole proposition is a little odd . . . they're adding a flight, probably about 150 seats on some 737 variant, for games in stadiums that hold 80-100k people.
Most of the home fans would already live nearby. Away fan ticket allotments are usually <5k seats, max.

I see it as a way to generate revenue on incremental routes that usually have no demand and where people would be willing to pay extra to not connect in in an out of the way hub. Clemson @ ND strikes me as a great example. Avoiding ORD and the drive down to South Bend would be very attractive, I would think.
SPN Lifer likes this.
mpw81 is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 3:36 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.03MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite; WoH Dis
Posts: 51,122
Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
games in stadiums that hold 80-100k people.
Ah, the small stadia. (Go Blue!)

Originally Posted by mpw81 View Post
Most of the home fans would already live nearby.
Definitely not true. I'd say 90% of fans live hundreds of miles or more away from their team's home city.
jsloan, jhayes_1780 and KBMIFlyer like this.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 3:54 pm
  #6  
Moderator, Omni, Omni/PR, Omni/Games, FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K MM; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 63,628
What I find interesting is that they're point-to-point, not just capacity increases on hub-to-spoke flights. That's only capturing the local fans / students going to the games, as alumni are likely coming from all over and would benefit from added hub-to-spoke capacity.

Given what I've seen people pay for flights to college football games, it seems like a good business bet to add those flights, honestly, even with that oddity. The fact that most (all?) are to/from the nearest airports with commercial service and not like some of the UA "national parks" flights is even better; I always hated spending hours flying, then hours more in the car after the flight when traveling to games (and unlike friends, I usually paid a premium to go to, say, LNK instead of OMA for a game at Nebraska).
SPN Lifer likes this.
exerda is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 4:12 pm
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.03MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite; WoH Dis
Posts: 51,122
Originally Posted by exerda View Post
What I find interesting is that they're point-to-point, not just capacity increases on hub-to-spoke flights.
I hadn't followed the link, but now I see that. Based on that, it's clear to me that these flights are insignificant and are only being flown for PR value.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 4:12 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 17
Some of these make a lot of sense and allow travelers to skip a hub of fly to a city that may not have regular service. Others, though, seem quite odd...check this one out. Stanford is about equidistant to SFO and SJC, and there is already good frequency on the SFO-SEA flights...where you presumably could just add another flight or upguage?

notquiteaff likes this.
wbatl1 is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 4:16 pm
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: GVA (Greater Vancouver Area)
Programs: DREAD Gold; UA 1.03MM; Bonvoy Au-197; PCC Elite+; CWC Au-197; CCC Elite; WoH Dis
Posts: 51,122
Originally Posted by wbatl1 View Post
Stanford is about equidistant to SFO and SJC
I'm sure this flight is targeted at the Stanford fans who live in Silicon Valley, not those who live on campus.
jsloan likes this.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 4:30 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 16,750
Originally Posted by exerda View Post
The fact that most (all?) are to/from the nearest airports with commercial service and not like some of the UA "national parks" flights is even better; I always hated spending hours flying, then hours more in the car after the flight when traveling to games (and unlike friends, I usually paid a premium to go to, say, LNK instead of OMA for a game at Nebraska).
Most; the nearest airport to Washington State is PUW (Pullman, WA / Moscow, ID); the nearest airport with UA service is LWS (Lewiston, ID). But GEG (Spokane, WA) is much larger.

I'd really like to see flights to places like YIP, but I don't think that's happening.
jsloan is online now  
Old Jul 26, 22, 4:58 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DEN
Programs: No earned status, these days...
Posts: 642
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Ah, the small stadia. (Go Blue!)


Definitely not true. I'd say 90% of fans live hundreds of miles or more away from their team's home city.
Since the topic of the thread is flights to attend football games, I'm talking about fans as people who would attend a football game, not alumni. And even 90% of alumni dispersing hundreds of miles away is a stretch outside of schools in dumpy little towns in the middle of nowhere. On top of that, these flights are all coming from the visiting team's home town. I'm sure their are Wisconsin fans in Western Washington, but probably not many. The one thing I can guarantee you about that GEG to MSN flight is that they could jam the cargo hold full of lite beer and fireball and those Wazoo fans would still drink that plane dry.

The majority of the fans at most college football games who either have season tickets or purchase single game tickets to support the home team are local. 90% of the home fans at any given game did not travel hundreds of miles to attend. South Bend is under 100 miles from Chicago, Portland is about the same distance from Eugene as is College Station from Houston. Your average USC or UCLA fan probably feels like they are travelling hundreds of miles because of the traffic. People do travel, but the majority drive less than 3 hours to attend. I say all this as someone who averages 8 college football games for the past 20 years, lives 20 miles from the stadium and tailgates with a parking lot full of people who all traveled less than 100 miles to the game except the 10% or less who traveled in for the game.
mpw81 is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 5:07 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA 1K, AA, DL, LH, VX, HA
Posts: 6,505
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I'm sure this flight is targeted at the Stanford fans who live in Silicon Valley, not those who live on campus.
The real oddity is that Stanford fans have never travelled in great numbers!
whlinder likes this.
drewguy is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 5:23 pm
  #13  
Suspended
Hilton Contributor BadgeHyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Programs: Delta Gold Medallion, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,010
UA can't solve their ongoing pilot and staffing issues. And now they're luring CFB fans to be added their on-going current travel mess? 🥱🥱
What a mixed message
notquiteaff and giporlos like this.
Gertjaars is offline  
Old Jul 26, 22, 5:33 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 16,750
Originally Posted by Gertjaars View Post
UA can't solve their ongoing pilot and staffing issues. And now they're luring CFB fans to be added their on-going current travel mess? 🥱🥱
What a mixed message
After the end of August, the schedule slims down considerably. Adding two or four extra flights per weekend isn't going to contribute in any meaningful way to operational issues.
SPN Lifer likes this.
jsloan is online now  
Old Jul 26, 22, 5:56 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: CLE (mostly)
Programs: UA Plat, Hyatt Explorist, Mlife Gold, Starbucks Gold
Posts: 809
Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
The whole proposition is a little odd . . . they're adding a flight, probably about 150 seats on some 737 variant, for games in stadiums that hold 80-100k people.
Not too odd of a proposition if you consider UA is doing it to make money, rather than as some sort of fan service.

It only serves a fraction of the fans at the game, but looking at the routes, I bet UA will have no problem selling out 150 seats for a nonstop flight between city pairs that wouldn't otherwise have nonstop service.
ezefllying and drewguy like this.
Wooglin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread