United Launches New Europe Route, Adds Flights to Outdoor Destinations in North America

Whether you’re craving Mediterranean beaches, U.S. national parks, or the Canadian wilderness, United has you covered with its newly released summer 2024 flight roster.

The Blue Caves in Zakynthos, Greece, with a natural rock arch over water framing a sailing boat

If you’re flying from or through Chicago, United has a proposition for you: How do you feel about Greece?

Photo by Max Van Den Oetelaar/Unsplash

There’s good news for those hoping to spend their summer basking on white-sand beaches, visiting sun-bleached ruins, noshing on tangy tzatziki, and sipping Greek vintages: Travel to Greece just got a bit easier.

United Airlines recently announced plans to operate seasonal nonstop flights between Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Athens International Airport, starting May 28 and running through August 18, 2024.

The daily flights will depart Chicago at 4:35 p.m. (local time) and arrive in Athens 10 hours and 15 minutes later at 10:50 a.m. the following day (local time). On the return, the jets will depart Athens at 12:45 p.m. (local time) and arrive 11 hours and 40 minutes later in Chicago at 4:25 p.m. (local time). As of press time, the cheapest round-trip economy tickets available on United.com for the Chicago-Athens flight were $1,839, whereas business class seats were offered at $9,469 round-trip.

Flights will take place on the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which features 28 Polaris business class lie-flat pods (a favorite of AFAR staffers), 21 Premium Plus recliners, 36 Economy Plus seats, and 158 standard economy seats.

“We’re thrilled to add another exciting destination for customers flying out of Chicago O’Hare to explore with our new summer service to Athens,” Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of global network planning and alliances, stated in a press release.

In addition to launching the Chicago flights, United this summer will resume seasonal service connecting Athens to Washington Dulles International Airport (starting April 14 and ending December 3) and to New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport (beginning March 30 and wrapping up October 25). In total, the airline will increase its flights between the United States and Athens by 25 percent from last year. American Airlines is the only other carrier operating a Chicago to Athens route.

Beyond Athens, United will maintain nonstop service from Chicago to 14 other European cities, including Amsterdam; Brussels; Edinburgh; Frankfurt and Munich, Germany; Milan; Reykjavik, Iceland; Shannon, Ireland; and Zurich. No other U.S. carrier operates as many international routes from the Windy City.

United to add more than 100 North America flights

The tiered and steaming Mammoth Hot Spring in Yellowstone National Park

The otherworldly wonders of Yellowstone National Park will be easier to reach this summer, thanks to additional United service.

Photo by Jean Beller/Unsplash

Closer to home, United announced it would add more than 100 new flights within the U.S. and Canada this summer. Many of the flights are additional departures to destinations that United already serves (and that are favorites of those who love the great outdoors), such as:

  • Chicago to Aspen, Colorado; Bozeman, Montana; and Montreal and Toronto
  • Washington, D.C., to New Orleans, Phoenix, and San Antonio
  • Denver to Bozeman and Kalispell, Montana; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Vail, Colorado
  • Houston to Boston, Charleston, Miami, and Tampa

Bozeman, Montana, is a popular gateway hub for Yellowstone National Park, and the airport in Kalispell, Montana, is often used for those looking to access Glacier National Park. And, of course, Aspen and Vail in Colorado and Sun Valley in Idaho are all world-class mountain resort destinations.

“We know people want to get outdoors this summer,” Quayle said of the additions. “From adding nonstop service to places previously only reachable through multiple connections to leveraging our relationships with airline partners like Air Canada, we’re giving customers lots of options to unlock new experiences.”

Furthermore, the carrier shared that it would add or resume (for the first time post-pandemic) eight routes to and from Canada and Alaska, including:

  • Chicago O’Hare to Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada; nonstop service resumes May 2024
  • Chicago O’Hare to Québec City, Canada; nonstop service resumes May 2024
  • Denver to Winnipeg; nonstop year-round service resumes May 23
  • Denver to Fairbanks, Alaska; nonstop daily seasonal service starts May 23
  • Houston Intercontinental to Ontario, Canada; nonstop service resumes May 2024
  • Newark Liberty to Halifax in Nova Scotia, Canada; seasonal nonstop service resumes May 23
  • Washington Dulles to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada; nonstop daily seasonal service starts May 23
  • Washington Dulles to Anchorage, Alaska; nonstop daily seasonal service starts May 23
Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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