A couple of weeks ago United Airlines announced some new long haul flights, including to Africa, India, and Hawaii. United’s new long haul flights to Hawaii are now on sale, so we finally have a sense of what the schedules will look like. Let’s get into the details.
United Airlines’ Chicago to Kona flight
As of June 3, 2021, United will launch 4x weekly flights between Chicago and Kona with the following schedule:
UA66 Chicago to Kona departing 10:15AM arriving 2:35PM
UA67 Kona to Chicago departing 5:05PM arriving 6:10AM (+1 day)
A few more details about United’s new Chicago to Kona flight:
- The flight will operate on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, so that’s great in terms of maximizing time off
- The flight covers a distance of 4,216 miles in each direction
- The flight is blocked at 9hr20min westbound and 8hr5min eastbound
- United currently flies to Kona from Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
- Out of Chicago, United’s current Hawaii destinations are Honolulu and Maui
United Airlines will use a Boeing 787-8 for the route. As of now it looks like the airline plans to use its old configuration, though by next summer it’s possible that more 787-8s will be reconfigured, featuring new Polaris as well as Premium Plus seats.
United’s new configuration Polaris business class seats (not scheduled for this flight)
United’s old configuration 787-8s feature a total of 219 seats, including 36 business class seats, 70 Economy Plus seats, and 113 regular economy seats.
The 787-8 business class seats you can expect from Chicago to Kona
United Airlines’ Newark to Maui flight
As of June 3, 2021, United will launch 4x weekly flights between Newark and Maui with the following schedule:
UA42 Newark to Maui departing 8:10AM arriving 1:05PM
UA43 Maui to Newark departing 2:40PM arriving 6:10AM (+1 day)
A few more details about United’s new Newark to Maui flight:
- The flight will operate on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
- The flight covers a distance of 4,903 miles in each direction
- The flight is blocked at 10hr55min westbound and 9hr30min eastbound
- United currently flies to Maui from Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
- Out of Newark, United’s only current Hawaii destination is Honolulu
United Airlines will use a Boeing 767-300 for the route. The airline has scheduled an old configuration 767-300 for the route, featuring a total of 214 seats, including 30 business class seats, 49 Economy Plus seats, and 135 regular economy seats.
United will fly 767-300s between Newark and Maui
I guess this isn’t surprising, though I could have also seen a world in which United used one of its super-premium 767s for the route, featuring 46 new Polaris seats, as well as a Premium Plus cabin with 22 seats.
United won’t fly its premium 767s to Maui
After all, in order for this route to work, United will need to be able to command a price premium for the nonstop, and it seems like the airline is most likely to do that by filling business class seats. I feel like there are a good number of people who would pay for the convenience of a nonstop between New York and Maui, especially in business class.
Pricing for these flights (in cash and miles)
What are business class fares and award pricing like for these United routes? Obviously this is subject to change, but if paying cash, business class fares start at ~$1,980 roundtrip from Chicago to Kona, and ~$2,195 roundtrip from Newark to Maui.
Ultimately I’d say that’s very reasonable entry level pricing, when you consider that these are longer than many transatlantic business class flights.
Unfortunately there’s not much saver award availability in business class on these flights — while economy is readily available for 22,500 MileagePlus miles one-way, the lowest business class award cost on most dates starts at 95,000 miles one-way.
Next summer United Airlines will launch two new 4x weekly long haul flights to Hawaii. The Chicago to Kona flight will represent United’s third flight to Hawaii out of Chicago, while the Newark to Maui flight will represent United’s second flight to Hawaii out of Newark.
These flights should be great new options for those on the East Coast and the Midwest who are looking to get to Hawaii. It would be the icing on the cake if United put planes with new Polaris seats on these routes.
What do you make of United’s new routes to Hawaii?