Travelers at Miami and FLL airports are getting more options as United adds new flights

South Florida travelers who prefer to “fly the friendly skies” may be in for an early holiday treat.

Here’s what to know:

Miami

United Airlines, one of the world’s largest airlines, is adding over a dozen new fights mostly for the winter. It will operate two new flights between Chicago O’Hare and Miami International Airport for the Christmas holidays, giving it a total of 10 between the two airports. Those new flights will only operate between Dec. 21 and Jan. 8, 2024 . Still, in the first quarter of next year, United will average eight daily departures, an increase from five in the first quarter of this year.

Fort Lauderdale

The carrier will add two new daily departures between Denver and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, giving it a total of eight. Those new flights will operate between Dec. 21 and Jan. 8, 2024, and then also from Feb. 15 to March 30, 2024.

Meanwhile, United will increase number of daily flights between Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale from one to two, beginning on Nov. 28 and continuing through the spring.

Growing number of visitors

The additions come as South Florida continues to draw tech and finance professionals, often opening offices, combined with the usual jump in number of visitors seen during the winter. MIA continues to see record traffic this year, and Fort Lauderdale airport is building its fifth terminal, at a cost of $404 million and which is 230,000 square feet.

MIA’s largest customer, American Airlines, said this month that it has “its largest-ever winter international schedule from MIA” this year, operating nonstop service to 45 international destinations. It has expanded its coverage to Latin America and the Caribbean.

Starting on March 28, 2024, American will offer daily flights between Miami and Tulum, Mexico. American serves more than 150 places from MIA with more than 380 peak daily flights this winter.

Meanwhile, Delta Airlines is also expanding service from South Florida through its partnership with LATAM Airlines Group.

Key West

United is also upping its service from Key West International Airport. It already has flights between Key West and Newark, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Chicago, but on 70-seat E170 regional jets. This winter, it will use the 126-seat 737-700 aircraft. In addition, service between Key West and Washington, D.C., and Key West and Houston will increase from weekend only to daily. These overall changes will result in nearly 10,000 new seats in the first quarter of 2024, a company spokesperson said, a 70% increase versus the same period one year ago.

Fort Myers and Tampa

On the west coast of Florida, United is also increasing service from Fort Myers to Chicago, going from 8 daily flights to 12, effective Dec. 21 to Jan. 8 and Feb. 15 to March 30.

United will operate a daily flight between Cleveland and Tampa, starting this month.