United Airlines Reveals New Tokyo Haneda Routes

Filed Under: United

Last week the US Department of Transportation formally granted US airlines 12 additional daytime slots for Tokyo Haneda. This is Tokyo’s most convenient airport, and there was quite some competition for these slots.

How the 12 Tokyo Haneda slots were allocated

Of these 12 slots, Delta was granted five of them, United was granted four of them, American was granted two of them, and Hawaiian was granted one of them.

Following this decision, Delta revealed that they planned to completely pull out of Tokyo Narita, meaning that they would exclusively use Tokyo Haneda. While Haneda is no doubt more convenient than Narita, one has to wonder how much that’s in the public interest, when they’re not actually adding any capacity.

United Airlines’ Tokyo Haneda plans

Well, United Airlines has now revealed their plans for their new Tokyo service, launching next March. The airline was granted Tokyo Haneda slots out of Chicago, Los Angeles, Newark, and Washington.

Let’s take a look at the details of these flights, and you can expect that they’ll go on sale as of tomorrow, Saturday, August 17, 2019.

United’s new Chicago to Tokyo Haneda flight

As of March 28, 2020, United will launch daily flights between Chicago and Tokyo Haneda, with the following schedule:

UA881 Chicago to Tokyo departing 12:45PM arriving 3:55PM (+1 day)
UA882 Tokyo to Chicago departing 5:45PM arriving 3:55PM

The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200ER. Furthermore, United will discontinue their Chicago to Tokyo Narita flight when they launch this one.

United 777-200

United’s new Washington to Tokyo Haneda flight

As of March 28, 2020, United will launch daily flights between Washington and Tokyo Haneda, with the following schedule:

UA803 Washington to Tokyo departing 12:30PM arriving 3:30PM (+1 day)
UA804 Tokyo to Washington departing 4:00PM arriving 3:45PM

The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200ER. Furthermore, United will discontinue their Washington to Tokyo Narita flight when they launch this one.

United’s new Newark to Tokyo Haneda flight

As of March 28, 2020, United will launch daily flights between Newark and Tokyo Haneda, with the following schedule:

UA131 Newark to Tokyo departing 10:40AM arriving 1:35PM (+1 day)
UA130 Tokyo to Newark departing 5:15PM arriving 5:10PM

The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777-200ER. This route will operate in addition to United’s Newark to Tokyo Narita flight.

United 777-200

United’s new Los Angeles to Tokyo Haneda flight

As of March 28, 2020, United will launch daily flights between Los Angeles and Tokyo Haneda, with the following schedule:

UA39 Los Angeles to Tokyo departing 12:00PM arriving 3:45PM (+1 day)
UA38 Tokyo to Los Angeles departing 6:20PM arriving 12:25PM

The flight will be operated by a Boeing 787-10. This route will operate in addition to United’s Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita flight.

United 787-10

United’s existing San Francisco to Tokyo Haneda flight

United’s only current flight to Tokyo Haneda is from San Francisco. That flight operates daily with the following schedule:

UA875 San Francisco to Tokyo departing 10:45AM arriving 1:55PM (+1 day)
UA876 Tokyo to San Francisco departing 3:45PM arriving 9:05AM

The flight is operated by a Boeing 787-9. This route is operated in addition to United’s San Francisco to Tokyo Narita flight.

United’s Tokyo Narita flights

While Delta is completely pulling out of Tokyo Narita, United will continue to have a significant presence there. In fairness, Narita makes a lot more sense for them, given that they have a close partnership with All Nippon Airways. ANA also has a hub there, so it’s a great airport for providing connectivity to the region.

Narita offers lots of connectivity with ANA

Even when the Haneda flights launch, United will still operate flights to Tokyo Narita from Denver, Guam, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Francisco.

Bottom line

It’s nice to see United’s schedule published for their Tokyo Haneda flights. The airline will have a total of four additional flights to Tokyo Haneda, and in the process will only be canceling a total of two flights to Tokyo Narita.

  1. We got to stop calling Haneda the “most convenient airport in Tokyo” Tokyo is huge and Narita is much more convenient for certain areas of tokyo

  2. I second @Vincent. Narita Express is single seat ride 1:20 to Shinjuku. Haneda is 1 hour to Shinjuku by bus. Tell me how that’s so infinitely better people talk about it like it’s Dorval versus Mirabel.

  3. So much DL hate in all of this. With no benefit to staying at Narita why would DL do that? You specifically mentioned no increase in capacity with these changes, if my simple math is correct UA is only adding 2 flights of capacity in these new grants. That’s not far better than DL. So while I’m not a DL apologist I’m quite disappointed (offended is too harsh a word here) at the vitriol toward DL.

  4. @lucky can you write a post on what United is doing with their 777-200’s currently. It seems like a lot of them have been replaced by 787-10’s on some routes (especially to Europe and Israel) and have subsequently been redeployed elsewhere in their network. Was wondering if you might be able to write a bit about what you think United’s strategy is here (especially since many 777-200s are being reconfigured)?

  5. @Henry and Vincent…
    HND is absolutely the most convenient airport into Tokyo. How many visitors into Tokyo actually are going into say…Chiba rather than, say… Shibuya? Your comparison in transport time is also ridiculously misleading. The fact is, HND proximity to central Tokyo essentially offered up taxis and/or car rides as affordable options.
    Almost no one takes taxi from Narita-Shi, so it’s either a 2.5 hr bus ride to central Tokyo hotel, or Narita Express: haul your bags, walk 5 minutes to ticketing, queued up for ticket at least 10 minutes, walk another 5- 10 minutes, wait 5-30 minutes for the next train, 1 hr train ride plus taxi/train/bus to final destination after NEX. Repeat for the return trip. You are essentially saving a total of 4-6 hours of your total time in Tokyo flying into Haneda. Not even close….

  6. @Alan When considering the previous SFO slot UA was awarded (that has also been run in addition to the existing NRT flight), UA has added three flights total to Tokyo.

  7. @mark – I did not consider that since it was not part of this latest round of HND slots, it didn’t make sense to consider that when comparing against DL’s moves as related to this round of slot awards. If that were the case then where stop?

  8. HND to central Tokyo much cheaper by train then NRT to Tokyo. No fancy N’eX train or Keisei Skyliner.

    Arrival Hall to train door:
    NRT- lengthy walk
    HND- fast and close

    No lengthy waits at Haneda ticket machines. Weekend discount too.
    30mins-1hr waits at Narita B2 JR West ticket offices for International passport holders to get a discount.

    Highly recommend Hyperdia to get times and prices.

  9. Can delta sell the slots they are leaving or will airlines have to go through some govt process to get them?

  10. @Vincent
    @henry LAX

    I just changed your statements little bit.

    London is huge and Stansted is much more convenient for certain areas of London

    Stansted Express is single seat ride 0:57 to Liverpool Street. Haneda is 0:35 to Victoria station by bus.

    While both your statements are true. It sounds so absurd. But I feel you, transportation in LA and LAX is so messed up that decent public transportation can’t even reach the airport. No, I think most don’t count going to Aviation Blvd as decent, nor can Metro easily get you around LA.

    To all others. Just stick to HND. It’s better for most people. And like LHR, most of you should not take the bus. You should take the monorail.

  11. I think I’ll stick with NH. Have these -200s been updated or is it still the old 2-4-2 “business” class?

  12. Since there is no Skyteam connection partner for Delta, the vast majority of Delta passengers are not transiting, so it makes sense for them to focus on Haneda.

  13. AVgeeks might want to fly into one Tokyo airport and depart from another just for the experience. Impossible if on Delta.

  14. What happens with all the slots that are being vacated? Will DOT rebid them or will they just become available if someone wants them?

  15. Excited to have this option out of LAX.

    HND is so much more convenient — hop into a taxi and in 25 minutes you’re in central Tokyo. NEX is serviceable, but I’m more than happy to skip the hassle altogether.

  16. The trend here is unmistakable. Slowly but surely, whenever they can, airlines are moving flights to HND. That’s happening with European carriers, too. I wonder where that will leave NRT in a few years?

  17. @Robert Schrader Probably none, since all of them would have the new Polaris Business seats when the routes are launched.

  18. Haneda is literally in Tokyo, Narita is not even in the same Prefecture as Tokyo. There is not a single area of Tokyo that is better served by Narita than Haneda. Also Narita has a nightly curfew so the flight arrival times are very restricted whereas Haneda is a 24 hour a day airport. NEX is great but very expensive and only serves limited stations and takes an hour to get to Tokyo. Haneda to Shinjuku or Shibuya is not anywhere near an hour by train.

  19. Not sure why a discussion about which airport in Tokyo is more convenient has comments about airports in London and LA…

  20. I don’t know if this is a one-off or permanent change, but United switched out my 777-300er in November, NRT-SFO, for a 777-200 recently. So that’s one thing they’re doing with their reconfigured 200’s. Side note: I usually go for 1A on the 300ER, but on the 200 it’s blocked out. Pilot rest area?

  21. @Aaron – I think they were trying to compare Tokyo and the discussion of which airport is more convenient to similar arguments over London and Los Angeles, and that airport choice isn’t as simple as “closer to the metro area centre automatically equals better.”

  22. Ben, are you sure the HND slot is in addition to the currently operating NRT flight from LAX? On UA’s most recent IG story they don’t have LAX as one of the NRT Routes that will remain. Completely possible they messed up, but just want to confirm as I live in LA and might fly to NRT next year on UA

  23. There goes my cheap, quickest option to Bangkok. The 803 to only left you a 90 minute layover at Narita before the 7922 left for Suvarnabhumi. This gave you a one stop trip each way, and two nice 777 flights for about 750 dollars. Half the fare United charges just for the first Tokyo leg alone. Haneda should just be for regional flights.

  24. What’s United’s Polaris Lounge plans now for Tokyo I wonder, with their operations so split? Seems the higher paying passengers will now maybe be skewed toward Haneda but there’s still significant business traffic going through NRT I’m sure. Has anyone heard more on this?

  25. @Shangster : Your statements are ultra misleading cuz (1) who the heck takes 2.5 hour bus when NEX is 1:20 single seat ride to Shinjuku and Skyliner is less than 40 mins to Ueno/Nippori, and (2) you pad that unnecessary 1 extra hour to the NRT calculation but forgot that there’s no single seat ride from Haneda to Shinjuku while there is for Narita.

    So praytell, after a 14 hour trans Pacific flight , do u wanna be juggling bags while switching trains at Hamamatsucho, or enjoy single seat ride to both Shibuya and Shinjuku ?

    HND is only infinitely amazing if you’re heading towards the southeast quadrant of the Yamanote Line. To Shinjuku, I wouldn’t mind NRT one bit.

  26. Ah Henry LAX.. not only does he prefer to fly United, he prefers to fly to Narita. Never change, man.

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