United is ending an era of air service to New York JFK airport on October 25, 2015 when the airline moves its last two remaining routes between New York JFK and San Francisco and Los Angeles to Newark. The airline has made a smart operational move to terminate service at JFK and focus on all transcontinental flying from their fortress in Newark which will eliminate overlap between Newark and JFK and will allow for more comfortable flights for connection passengers and more PS service for Origin/Destin traffic. With the transition to EWR, all flights between Newark and Los Angeles and San Francisco will be upgraded to Premium Service flights with lay flat beds in Business Class.
The shift from P.S. flights from New York-JFK to Newark, will provide United with the same competition advantage that Delta and American currently enjoy from NY-JFK—the ability to connect premium customers from TransAtlantic long haul flights to the San Francisco and Los Angeles’ market and customers from TransPacific flights to New York in a premium hard product. Currently, customers traveling from the West Coast to Europe on United fly domestic configurations between the West Coast and Newark before transiting to internationally configured aircrafts. The shift to Newark will provide an enhanced flying experience from coast to coast and beyond. Furthermore, the transition to Newark will make United the market leader in premium lay flat seats on transcontinental routes, as United will offer more daily flights witha premium hard product than any other airline.
With the addition of p.s. service at Newark Liberty, United customers flying on transcontinental flights to and from Newark in the BusinessFirst cabin will, for the first time, enjoy flat-bed comfort for their entire journey when connecting to and from flights across United’s extensive trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific networks.
United will cement its role as the leader in transcontinental flying with more than 1,250 daily flat-bed seats – the most in the New York market – and a 44 percent increase in flat-bed seats year-over-year. The airline will fly up to 17 daily round trips Newark-San Francisco and up to 15 daily round trips Newark-Los Angeles, leading the industry with a total of up to 10,000 round-trip seats offered per day on the two combined key transcontinental routes.
The move to Newark makes great business sense as United can truly focus on the premium experience from their fortress hub, instead of disjointed operations at a dilapidated terminal at JFK. With the move, United will also renovate Terminal C at EWR and remodel the existing United Club. Furthermore, Newark already offers enhanced services specifically designed for premium customers.
The company also announced today that it is making a multi-million dollar investment to renovate United’s Terminal C lobby and to bring its new airport lounge design concept to all United Club locations at Newark Liberty. United already has invested more than $2 billion to build a world-class gateway at Newark Liberty where, with its airport partners, the airline is offering chef-driven restaurants, redesigned lounge-like gate areas and improved United Club locations.
At Newark Liberty, the airline offers a full range of premium services, including a new United Global Services reception lobby for its top frequent flyers, offering personalized check-in and travel services to members of the airline’s invitation-only Global Services program and to customers traveling on long-haul international flights in United Global First. United also offers its Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service, and when feasible, representatives meet Global Services and United Global First customers with applicable itineraries who may have tight connections and will drive them across the tarmac to their connecting flights.
Although it is sad to see United pull out of the New York –JFK market and it will make award and revenue travel more difficult when connecting to Star Alliance partners at JFK, the business move to leave JFK will save the airline money and allow United to focus more on the premium passenger flying experience from their largest East Coast hub.