United Airlines returns to JFK in February 2021 with daily non-stop service to Los Angeles and San Francisco, five years after moving all its long-haul flights to Newark. United also flies out of LaGuardia.
The West Coast flights will use the Boeing 767-300ER, which used to ferry passengers across the Atlantic.
United will use Terminal 7 for JFK-LAX and JFK-SFO flights, with two daily round-trips for each West Coast city.
The planes are being reconfigured 16 additional Business class seats, which provides all-aisle-access seating for those most concerned about in-flight isolation due to Covid-19. So there will be a total of 46 premium seats on each flight.
The aircraft will also feature 22 United Premium Plus® seats, 47 Economy Plus® seats and 52 Economy seats. That’s the most premium seats between the New York City area and Los Angeles and San Francisco markets.
JFK Terminal 7 also is used by United’s partner airline, Japan’s All Nippon Airways, a member of the Star Alliance network, which could simplify international connections.
United left Kennedy in October 2015 after failing to make a profit there for seven years, despite intense competition with Delta and American for West Coast business.
The return to JFK means it will be serving all three NYC area airports for the first time in five years.
United had been operating six daily flights from JFK to Los Angeles and seven to San Francisco. By bringing those flights to Newark, United said at the time that it could better serve customers on the West Coast with connections to Europe.
Apparently, that hasn’t worked out as well as expected, and competition is driving United back to JFK.
My own person experiences with United at Newark have been brain-numbing –
The United terminal is a gi-normous sprawling mess with an inconvenient layout that requires walking what feels like miles back and forth through the terminal – check in, hike the length of the terminal for the security line a football field or more away on the other side of the terminal, then hike back to approximately where you started to get to the gate entrances. It’s exhausting and demoralizing.
The airline’s entry back into JFK after five years reflects not only its strong commitment to the New York City area, but a continuation of aggressively and strategically managing the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to and from the places where customers want to fly. The new United service will operate out of Terminal 7.
Effective February of next year, United will serve both JFK to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and JFK to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with two round-trips for each west coast city.
Tickets are now available for purchase on United.com.
United service from JFK to West Coast
United service from West Coast to JFK
*Schedule times subject to change/government approval
Official statements about the return of United to JFK:
“I have been waiting a long time to say this – United Airlines is back at JFK,” said United’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby. “Come early next year, we will be serving all three major New York City area airports with a best-in-class product to provide our customers unmatched transcontinental service from New York City and the west coast.”
“The upcoming return of United to JFK while continuing service at Newark Liberty and LaGuardia Airports will offer more choices for transcontinental flights just as travelers return to the skies,” said Kevin O’Toole, Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“As the recovery begins, we’re pleased to see these increased options for those who choose to fly in and out of the Port Authority’s airports.””United Airlines’ return to JFK Airport is a clear sign that air travel is returning in New York and across the region,” said Rick Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“As numbers start to rise, the Port Authority is ready to welcome travelers back to JFK, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia Airports with increased cleaning and sanitizing in all terminals and touch-free options from curb to gate to ensure a world-class travel experience even in these unprecedented times.
“United’s premium cabin will feature flat-bed seats on all flights similar to the current Newark-Los Angeles and Newark-San Francisco offerings, providing a consistent and comprehensive NYC-west coast product. Additionally, United’s wide-body service can participate in the robust cargo market between JFK and the west coast.
Today’s announcement also follows the airline unveiling the addition of new nonstop flights to Florida from seven Midwest and northeast cities to offer customers the best and fastest options direct to top warm weather and leisure destinations.
Committed to Ensuring a Safe Journey
Since the start of the pandemic, United has been a leader in enacting new policies and innovations designed to keep employees and passengers safer when traveling. It was the first U.S. airline to mandate masks for flight attendants, quickly following with customers and employees.
United was also among the first U.S. carriers to announce it will not permit customers who refuse to comply with the airline’s mandatory mask policy to fly with them while the face mask policy is in place.
United was also the first U.S. airline to roll out touchless check-in for customers with bags, and the first to require passengers take an online health assessment before traveling.
The airline also recently announced it plans to apply Zoono Microbe Shield, an EPA-registered antimicrobial coating that forms a long-lasting bond with surfaces and inhibits the growth of microbes, to its entire mainline and express fleet before the end of the year.For more details on all the ways
United is helping keep customers safe during their journey, please visit united.com/cleanplus.