Yesterday, I flew United for the fourth time since the pandemic started. Previous flights all had reasonably light load factors, typically less than 50%. I detailed why this is an issue for airlines, even though it does give some comfort to passengers. There have also been full flights during the pandemic, which has caused some people to rebook their travel plans.

Our flight yesterday was very full. Only six seats were empty out of the 50 on our CRJ-200. But it didn’t necessarily have to be that full. Here’s why.

United Rebooking Full Flights

The evening before our departure, I received a text from United informing me that our flight would be “fairly full.” They were proactively offering to rebook us onto a different flight. For the record, “fairly full” was a load factor of 88%. This is very full, in my opinion.

United rebooking full flights

While I didn’t take United up on the offer, I’m glad that they are being proactive enough to offer this to customers. It’s a conscientious choice for those who are nervous about flying in the current climate.

I’m now wishing I would have visited the link to see what sort of change United would be willing to make. Would they simply rebook you on the next flight? Can you rebook for the next week? I’m honestly curious. Sending out a text the day before isn’t ideal, as most people have their travel plans locked in. But at least it’s an option.

Final Thoughts

I’m glad to see United rebooking full flights for customers who don’t want to fly on packed aircraft. Both United and American have taken heat for the packed aircraft that they have operated. But I can’t blame them. Flying mostly empty planes only loses them more money. While it’d be nice, it’s simply not a sustainable option. Alaska, Delta and JetBlue are still committed to blocking middle seats for the next couple months.

Have you taken advantage of the option to rebook a full flight?