California here we come! United Airlines returned to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on March 28, 2021, resuming service to both San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX). Back in 2015, United left JFK to consolidate service to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) but only a few years later Scott Kirby CEO of the airline said it was a mistake to give up their premium slots to competitors. Now, just over 5 years after the last United flight departed from JFK, the airline has returned to the New York City airport.
United held a special event for both the first arrival and the first departure at the gate. Flight UA514 from Los Angeles, flown by a 767-300 bearing registration N670UA, arrived at JFK’s Terminal 7 and as passengers deplaned they were greeted by a jubilant celebration. This included a ceremonial torch passing, symbolizing the resumed coast to coast service. The outbound flight was headed to San Francisco and was completely full.
United is currently flying one round-trip flight, five days a week to each West Coast airport. The airline plans to double the number of flights as demand grows following the COVID-19 downturn in air travel. United will fly its Boeing 767-300 with its Premium “high J” configuration which includes 46 Polaris Business class seats, 22 Premium Plus seats, 43 extra-legroom Economy Plus seats and 56 regular economy seats on the JFK flights.
“United’s return to JFK reflects not only our strong commitment to the New York City area, but also to increasing service to and from the places our customers want to fly,” said Ankit Gupta, Vice President of Domestic Network Planning and Scheduling. “With the addition of JFK, United now offers unmatched service, greater convenience, more choice and a best-in-class product for travelers throughout the New York City region as they return to the skies.”