(February 16, 2017) Tampa International Airport this week celebrated the launch of nonstop daily service between Tampa and San Francisco on United Airlines. The Airport welcomed the arriving plane with a water arch salute, a San Francisco-themed cake and live music highlighting the new destination. United also treated employees and inaugural passengers to hot dogs, hamburgers and brisket on a plane-shaped grill designed to look like a 777.
The connection provides a long-awaited link between the Tampa Bay area and the West Coast’s Bay area that has been in high demand among sbusiness and leisure travelers for years.
“San Francisco service has long been a top priority for the airport team and our partners,” said Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “Working together with our regional economic development groups and tourism bureaus, as well as the persuasiveness of our traveling community, we’ve logged a big win here in Tampa.”
“Since arriving here in 2011, I can’t even count the number of times I have been asked: When will we have a flight to San Francisco? I’m pleased to say that time is now.”
Local resident Mike Stonebraker, who was at TPA to board the inaugural flight with his wife Carla, says that his job in the tech industry with Keysight Technologies requires traveling over 1.5 million miles annually with United. He says that the schedule is perfect for his business travel and he’s looking forward to being able to fly nonstop out of his hometown airport.
“Our company headquarters is located just north of the Bay Area in Santa Rosa, so I’m back and forth to California all the time and making this trip about 5-6 times a year,” said Stonebraker. “Of course, I’d love to fly out of Tampa, but in the past I’ve had to connect…this is just fabulous. I’ll save a half a day in travel every time.”
United will fly a 737-900 with United First, United Economy and Economy Plus seats. The flight leaves San Francisco daily at 8:30 a.m. and arrives in Tampa at 4:51 p.m. It will depart Tampa at 5:50 p.m. and arrive in San Francisco at 8:45 p.m.
“As the leading carrier in San Francisco, this new route will connect customers in Tampa’s high-tech community to our premier hub in the Bay Area,” said Grant Whitney, Vice President of Domestic Route Network at United Airlines. “This route will help fuel Tampa’s booming technology economy, and with our prominent position in San Francisco, we are pleased to give customers a more convenient option for traveling between the two cities and beyond.”
Prior to today’s service launch, 600 people traveled daily between the two regions, making the Tampa to San Francisco Bay Area connection the most underserved route in America. The new flights are expected to connect the Tampa Bay area’s growing technology industry directly to Silicon Valley and will provides easy access to international destinations through our premier gateway to the Asia Pacific region.
The United flights strengthen TPA as the top gateway to the west coast of Florida, as well as rounding out TPA’s nonstop service to the West Coast. The Airport launched daily nonstop service to Seattle on Alaska Airlines in 2014 and currently offers nonstop flights to Los Angeles on Delta Airlines.
Tickets for the United flights between Tampa and San Francisco can be purchased at www.united.com