United moves New York p.s. flights to Newark Airport

United moves New York p.s. flights to Newark Airport

United Airlines’ flagship p.s. transcontinental flights between New York and both Los Angeles and San Francisco have now switched from JFK to Newark Liberty Airport in a move which also guarantees BusinessFirst passengers a fully-flat bed and airport lounge access on every flight.

Located to the west of New York City and just across the state border into New Jersey, Newark provides easy access to Midtown and Lower Manhattan via the NJ Transit train service: linking the airport with NY Penn station at Madison Square Garden in just three stops.

All of United’s existing flights from Newark to LA and San Francisco – many of which are currently served by Boeing 737 aircraft with domestic-style recliners at the pointy end – will also switch to Boeing 757s with international-grade flatbed seating:

That’s a significant upgrade to the previous and admittedly confusing system whereby some cross-country services boasted beds, inclusive airport lounge access and deemed ‘BusinessFirst’; some provided flatbeds as ‘United First’ but no lounge privileges while others included neither, also branded ‘United First’.

Every p.s. flight offers wireless Internet access, three course dining at meal times and access to a personal inflight entertainment system, while Global Services members and travellers connecting onwards to Sydney in United Global First can make use of a private check-in lobby at Newark Airport.

Newark also features two United Club airport lounges for transcontinental p.s. flyers and Star Alliance Gold members, a dedicated security screening entrance for p.s. and Premier-grade frequent flyers and onward connections to destinations such as Boston, Toronto and São Paulo.

Also read: United Boeing 787 BusinessFirst: Melbourne-Los Angeles

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

7 comments

  • kimshep

    kimshep

    28 Oct, 2015 11:49 am

    My understanding is that United (UA) has quit JFK completely and moved ALL New York ps flights to Newark.

    There are, however, still services from LGA (LaGuardia) - just not ps services to the West Coast.

    Seems like Jetblue's Mint service and AA / DL's upgraded equivalent services might be making the 'kitchen' too hot - and UA chose to get out, choosing to centre their premium services at the Newark stronghold instead.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    28 Oct, 2015 12:11 pm

    Correct re: your first paragraph, as above United's p.s. flights have (all) moved from JFK to Newark. United continues to offer a number of regional services from LaGuardia and the bulk of its other flights from Newark. As the p.s. services were United's only flights from JFK, United now no longer serves JFK.

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  • Steele

    Steele

    28 Oct, 2015 07:59 pm

    It appears United kept the product whilst Continental retained the hubs. JFK used to be a UA powerhouse whilst Newark was always been Continental's main hub (besides Houston) since the 1980's, I believe. 

    Newark is around 25 minutes to New York City, whilst JFK is nearly 40 minutes, plus add onto JFK's delays both on the tarmac and on the road; It appears Newark might be the better option for the greater NY area. Time will tell. 

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  • Newbie7

    Newbie7

    29 Oct, 2015 03:29 am

    It really depends on where you're trying to go, how you're trying to get there, and even the time of day. For leisure travellers opting for the train, despite what UA boasts as 'three stops to Manhattan' the NJ Transit comes only every 20-30min or so off-peak, and the Amtrak service that does stop there costs double. In Comparison, JFK has two Subway stops and the Long Island Railroad, with options to get direct to Midtown and Lower Manhattan, too. If you happen to catch the train right when it's arriving it's longer from JFK, but it can be a toss up. (And the AirTrain at JFK is a lot faster than Newark's which operates like a Disneyland monorail from the 70s!)

    By car though, and especially if your final destination is Jersey City or Hoboken, Newark is definitely the way to go. Roads around JFK are a mess any time of the day, and navigating through Brooklyn or Queens into the city can be hellish. I've had cab rides easily going over $100 from JFK, which is probably why the new "Uber Helicopter" that is launching for trial one-way trips from Manhattan offices to JFK for $150 sounds completely justifiable - and in only 5 minutes!

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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    29 Oct, 2015 10:20 am

    In general, I agree with most of your comments re. travel *time*, however, my multiple experiences on road *costs* vary significantly from yours.

    I've stayed - quite regularly, for years - across the Hudson River, at the excellent Westin Newport Hotel in Newport / Jersey City .. and the cab ride to EWR is uniformly USD $90.00 both ways. Add the additional toll fees into Manhattan (if you dare) and EWR becomes a very expensive airport to travel to / from, by car.

    OTOH, the regulated taxi fare from JFK to anywhere in Manhattan is a set USD $55.00. Yes, traffic can be a 'pain' depending on timing but the differential on pricing is still significant. Add to that, EWR certainly isn't the world's most attractive gateway, even including the constant re-modeling efforts going on there.

    On your comment about the NJ PATH system, while it is functional - it still requires 'changes' of PATH trains and is not a true 'through' service, despite being hailed by UA as a '3 stop' experience.

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  • Newbie7

    Newbie7

    30 Oct, 2015 05:38 am

    Kimshep, thanks for the insight on the cabs to EWR, had no idea the prices were that high! I have to admit, I've only accessed EWR by train or private car, and half those times was getting from Jersey City too so car was a lot quicker. Is that flat taxi fare from JFK something new? I actually prefer to take the trains even for work so I haven't used a cab from JFK in over a year but I definitely paid more than that last time once you include the tolls, random surcharges (I think I had a late night charge at 8pm!) and tips.

    With the trains into Manhattan from EWR, actually the NJ Transit IS a direct line without any transfers - it's a separate system from the PATH, which is more like the Subway. Ironically, if you're trying to get to Jersey City or Hoboken by rail though, you do have to tranfer to PATH and it becomes a joke - it's almost twice as fast to get into Manhattan in fact! So I completely agree, train to JFK is actually my preference, again unless that Uber Helicopter becomes fully operational!

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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    30 Oct, 2015 09:23 am

    Thanks for your kind comment. Cab fares from both JFK and LGA have been regulated for years by the PANY (Port Authourity of NY), but unfortunately a lot of arriving foreign travellers headed to Manhattan are not aware of this and thus become a jackpot for certain taxi drivers. The set fare excludes toll and tips.

    Don't forget the other options from JFK/LGA - being the shuttle services operated by SuperShuttle and NY Airporter services, which generally cost sub USD $25 per traveller to your hotel. Good for single travellers, but where 2-3 ar travelling together, a cab is the winner here.

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