United to start Newcastle to New York – good for Star Alliance redemptions

One story that slipped through the HFP net when it was announced in late October was the launch of a United Airlines service from Newcastle to New York Newark.

New York becomes the second long-haul destination to operate from Newcastle, which also has an Emirates service to Dubai.  This new flight will launch on May 23rd and operate five days a week (not Wednesday or Thursday outbound) until 7th September.

United 757-200

The flight will use a Boeing 757-200 (ie a single aisle plane) as pictured above.  It will have 108 economy seats, 16 ‘Economy Plus’ seats with an extra 6 inches of legroom and 16 ‘Business First’ seats.

SeatGuru says that these will be fully-flat business class seats, presumably these:

United BusinessFirst

….. which are outlined on the United website here.

The outbound will depart at 9.10am, arriving at Newark at noon. The return flight departs at 7.20pm, arriving in Newcastle at 7:30am the following day.

United has a track record of successfully operating New York flights from secondary airports in the UK.  Newcastle is the 7th United departure point after Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Belfast and Edinburgh.

The United MileagePlus redemption chart (PDF here) is poor value.  A ‘saver’ level business class from Newcastle to New York would cost 115,000 United miles return compared to 80,000 Avios for a BA flight.  If ‘saver’ is not available, a standard level redemption is a ludicrous 300,000 United miles.  United also has excessive change and cancellation fees when you use its own miles.

Saver seats visible on the United website should be available via any other Star Alliance airline partner, however, and there should not be any fuel surcharges.

The best of the economy flight sale deals from my inbox
Heading to Thailand? Consider the Dusit Wine & Dine programme
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Great to see my local airport get a new lh destination, but not much use for me and all my avios. Shame it wasn’t AA!

    • Don’t mention AA, they launched NCL-JFK a few years ago then scrapped it before the flight even started.

  2. This is a continuation of the trend of foreign airlines snapping up capacity at non-London airports to provide long-haul, point-to-point services.

    If the argument made on another HFP thread a couple of days ago is correct, BA will collapse when London property prices have a correction.

    • But surely there are not really any capacity issues at the regional airports. If ba decided to do point to point from up north I wouldn’t think they would have many issues getting the slots.? Plus as mentioned below, with direct points to points they would then need less of the regional-London flights and they could use those .

  3. Would be an OK use of UA miles EWR-NCL given the low extra charges, but not worth it departing the UK (unless unaccompanied minor once APD abolished??)

    • guesswho2000 says:

      BA also have landing slots at regional airports, they’re just UK domestic feeder flights to London – surely they’d merely switch these to LH service if need be?

  4. Jimmyjimmy says:

    I have been looking at the GLA – EWR united flight for a redemption, fees are looking about $180 (one way) which is ok.
    J

    • Yes, no fuel surcharge and far lower airport charges than you get at Heathrow. Only APD to pay. If you fly from Belfast the APD is waived as well so tax would be minimal.

  5. TOM DAWSON says:

    IT IS A PITY THAT UA DO NOT ACCEPT AMEX REWARDS. UNTIL THEY DO NEITHER I NOR MY COLLEAGUES WILL BE ABLE TO FLY WITH UA..