Details: United’s New Flights To Bangalore & Johannesburg

Filed Under: United

A couple of weeks ago United Airlines announced some new long haul flights, including to Africa, India, and Hawaii. Last weekend United put its new Hawaii flights on sale, and United has now put its two new ultra long haul flights on sale. Let’s take a look at the details, because up until this point we didn’t know the launch date or schedule.

United Airlines’ Newark to Johannesburg flight

As of March 27, 2021, United will launch daily flights between Newark and Johannesburg with the following schedule:

UA188 Newark to Johannesburg departing 8:45PM arriving 5:45PM (+1 day)
UA187 Johannesburg to Newark departing 8:00PM arriving 5:45AM (+1 day)

A few more details about United’s new Newark to Johannesburg flight:

  • The flight covers a distance of 7,976 miles in each direction, making it United’s fourth longest route
  • The flight is blocked at 15hr eastbound and 15hr45min westbound
  • This is United’s second route to South Africa, as the airline also flies seasonally from Newark to Cape Town

United Airlines’ San Francisco to Bangalore flight

As of May 6, 2021, United will launch daily flights between San Francisco and Bangalore with the following schedule:

UA152 San Francisco to Bangalore departing 6:55PM arriving 12:50AM (+2 days)
UA153 Bangalore to San Francisco departing 3:55AM arriving 8:30AM

A few more details about United’s new San Francisco to Bangalore flight:

  • The flight covers a distance of 8,756 miles in each direction, making it United’s longest route
  • The flight is blocked at 17hr25min westbound and 17hr5min eastbound
  • This is United’s third destination in India, after Delhi and Mumbai

United will use 787-9s with new Polaris seats for both routes

United Airlines will be using Boeing 787-9s for both the Newark to Johannesburg and San Francisco to Bangalore route. United Airlines is having to modify existing 787s in order to have them operate these routes, so United will initially have a dedicated sub-fleet for this.

The good news is that these flights will be guaranteed to have new Polaris seats (business class), as well as Premium Plus (premium economy).

United’s new 787 Polaris business class seats

United’s modified 787-9s feature 256 seats, including:

  • 48 Polaris business class seats
  • 21 Premium Plus premium economy seats
  • 39 Economy Plus extra legroom seats
  • 149 regular economy seats

United’s Premium Plus seats

What is award availability like?

For once United actually has a fair bit of business class award availability on a new flight. In particular, the Newark to Johannesburg route has many days with four business class award seats at the saver level, costing 75,000 MileagePlus miles one-way.

Award availability on the San Francisco to Bangalore flight is tougher to come by — I see just a handful of dates bookable at the saver level in business class, while most dates price out at 180,000 MileagePlus miles one-way.

Bottom line

United’s new ultra long haul flights from Newark to Johannesburg and San Francisco to Bangalore are now on sale. These are awesome additions to United’s route network, and both routes are guaranteed to feature reconfigured 787-9s, with new Polaris and Premium Plus seats.

There’s even a decent amount of award availability to be had, particularly on the Newark to Johannesburg route. Now we just have to hope that travel restrictions are eventually eased so that these routes actually launch… minor detail. 😉

Anyone plan on taking either of these United flights?

  1. Wow both flights are very long. I am sure the flight to Bangalore will do very well.

    Considering COVID and travel restrictions, I find it interesting United is starting with daily service to Johannesburg, rather than 3x weekly.

  2. wow, last night every day in July/August was available for I/IN and PZ. By morning, only a handful of days 🙁

  3. Nice to know details, BUT . . . . i personally doubt, UA will start JNB flights!
    As of just this weeks opening of South Africa and the list of countries NOT allowed to enter the country, the US is out of luck!
    Germany is free to go as of now and even UK, France and Netherlands who also provide a ton of flights there are on the RED list of South Africa.
    Don’t think, the situation in the US will change soon and therefore, i don’t think UNITED will start those flights as planned.

  4. I’ll definitely be giving that SFO-BLR a try as my company partnered with a processing plant in the outskirts of Bangalore last year. Our COO was quite happy about hearing this new route as it’ll give our team a one stop route to southern India. I’ll report back once I give it a try next year.

  5. Not gonna lie, United really have to step up their service on flights to India if they want to steal the market share from the ME3. My aunt recently flew from Delhi to Newark in United 77W in Premium Economy.
    On that 15 hour flight, she was only given a rock-hard bread and an ultra-small box with rice immediately after take-off at 1 AM lol, and literally after 15 hours, which is just an hour before landing in Newark, they provided her with the second meal which included a croissant and a packet of orange juice. Seriously United?

  6. @bruh I think it’s just reduced coronavirus service. I very very frequently fly UA48 on the 77W EWR-BOM and the return U49 BOM-EWR. In all 3 cabins, there’s 2 full meal services and a mid flight snack which is fairly substantial. Regardless of whether I’m in Polaris, premium plus, or economy plus, I’m always satisfied with meal portions (for the most part)

  7. Please keep us updated. I fly United frequently to SAfrica and am booked with miles at the end of Jan 2021. Ticketed Hou London Zurich JHB may well delay and re route.
    Thank you so much for all your timely and accurate information during this time.

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