Effective Oct 25, 2009, United Airlines will suspend its PEK-IAD route indefinitely. Tickets already booked for this route had been canceled or re-routed via Chicago.
UA 897/898 is the only route between capitals of China and the US, the two largest economies in the world. United gained the right of this route after winning a fierce competition for a route (rare resource) between the two countries. However, since its inception, Boeing 747 Jumbo jets had been replaced by smaller 777s, and daily operation had been reduced to multiple services in a week. Still the demand has been high. Tickets have been well sought after. Price of this route is higher than others (San New York City to Beijing, Francisco to Shanghai, etc.). In general, the flights have been full. The outlook from a frequent passenger's angle does not appear to be as bad as that from the UA administration. Perhaps the executives are eager to show the board they are cutting, something; Oh well, not on your own legs.