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United to move to 22 Heathrow flights to the USA per day

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United Airlines has announced a major ramping up of its Heathrow services as the restart of travel to the US gets nearer.

By Spring 2022, United will be offering 22 flights per day from Heathrow and will be the biggest airline between London and New York.

(This doesn’t mean much in itself, of course, since British Airways and American Airlines effectively operate as one on transatlantic routes, as do Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines. Between them, both groupings offer more flights and seats than United.)

United plans 22 daily Heathrow flights

The key announcement is confirmation of a brand new direct flight to Boston. Starting in March, it will be the first time in almost 20 years that United has flown the route from London.

This appears to be part of a concerted attack by the US legacy airlines to stifle JetBlue and its new low(er) cost services from London Heathrow and Gatwick to New York and – soon – Boston.

Today, the United schedule from Heathrow consists of:

  • two daily flights to Newark
  • two daily flights to Washington DC
  • one daily flight to San Francisco
  • one daily flight to Houston
  • one daily flight to Chicago

By late Spring, this will have expanded to:

  • one daily flight to Boston
  • two daily flights to Denver
  • seven daily flights to Newark
  • three daily flights to San Francisco
  • one daily flight to Los Angeles
  • three daily flights to Washington DC
  • three daily flights to Chicago
  • two daily flights to Houston

United Airlines is a Star Alliance member, so you can’t redeem Avios on these flights. It is an option if you have Lufthansa Miles & More or similar miles.

There is still no date for the re-opening of the excellent United Club lounge at Heathrow Terminal 2, in the 2B satellite. Given the ramping up of flights, it can’t be too long now.

We are hoping to do a review of United’s Polaris business class seat at some point soon.

Comments (61)

  • Matt says:

    I’m booked on a December EK Gatwick flights in Economy unfortunately, and one of the attractions was the 777 aircraft – I’d much rather be in a smaller aircraft and in one of the twin seats at the back, given the covid risk. Boarding and onboarding an A380 is never a pleasant experience in cattle class, even with priority boarding.

    • Lady London says:

      Air is better on an A380 though – for a start there’s a lot more of it over your head

    • Blair says:

      Sorry, what is this cattle class and sitting at the back? Surely HfPers only turn left

  • Jonathan says:

    I thought Avios could earned via AerClub (Aer Lingus loyalty program when flying with United Airlines ?

  • ChrisC says:

    I have a bit of a soft spot for UA as they were the first airline to ever upgrade me to Business Class almost 20 years ago.

    I’d arrived late from BOS and trudged almost the whole length of their IAD terminal to arrive breathless at the already boarding flight to LHR. All I wanted was a window seat.

    Anyway the agent must have taken pity on me, tapped away on her keyboard then gave me an upturned BP. I asked if it was for a window and she said “this is better”.

    I think there was some of her not wanting someone else to have the upgrade but I still thank her today!

    • Jonathan says:

      Things like that don’t happen anymore !

      • Michael AC says:

        I was fresh out of hospital in New York and was travelling BA back to London. I got upgraded at the gate, but I said I wouldn’t take it because I didn’t want to be far from my partner (who was travelling on another ticket). The gate agent upgraded my partner on the condition that she would get to play a joke and say we were being bumped off the flight. I needed the laugh, and it was really lovely of her to upgrade us both. That was only about 5 years ago now.

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      IAD is one of my favourite airports…. The Air and Space Museum where you go up into the control tower, listen to ATC chatter whilst watching aircraft depart, the funny little bus things that scamper around the apron, the “fast” lane along the highway into DC (until you get to Great Falls, I think), the never ending debacle of whether the Metro will ever get to the airport…. It makes the new Berlin airport look sprightly in comparison!

      • Andrew says:

        IAD is an interesting airport, the very retro syling in some parts makes it feels like you could be on the set of “The Americans”. The mobile lounges are quite an experience.

        It will be good when the Silver Line finally gets there. But the whining of Americans about the 300 metre distance they’ll have to waddle to reach it is just silly and in the meantime I’ll change at NYC, BOS or YYZ and fly into DCA.

        • ChrisC says:

          Silver line due to start public operations early next year.

          The DC metro are doing their trial running and acceptance testing now.

    • tony says:

      +1 to that. Also about 20 years back, but the number of times my wife and I got upgraded on UA across the pond was comical. Two successive overnights from Y to J, then we got the UA credit card so on the next trips bought more expensive Y tickets and upgraded with points into J. Got what we paid for on one journey but on the other we were upgraded at the gate both out and back into F. 777s with the cassette player in the armrest and a decent steak are my two lasting memories!

    • John says:

      They probably gave your seat to a standby passenger and were about to offload you.

      Happened to my family in the year 2000, same story, late arrival into SFO.

      Because my parents never listened to me, we walked the whole length of the terminal in the wrong direction and then had to run back, arriving breathless at the gate just as someone was closing the door.

      I guess they let us on because we had checked luggage and it was 9pm – but they had given away all but one of our economy seats to standby pax so the adults got into the front of the plane and I was stuck between two fat people in the back, but I was 10 years old so it wasn’t that bad

  • Alison Day says:

    I have had a really positive experience of United (transatlantic not US domestic) & Polaris. One of my favourite lounges is the Polaris lounge at ORD. Not flown with them since Jan 20 and my status has now expired. Interesting to see the direct Denver route as I have a work conference there in Sept 22 and I was looking at the direct BA route.

  • MinR says:

    Any thoughts on whether EK will reinstate the STN flight?

    I’m currently booked on EK F to LHR in January, but hoping to change to STN for the ‘game-changer’ suites.

  • Paul says:

    How can United “be the biggest airline between London and New York” when BA alone is (currently) offering more flights?

  • George K says:

    Any idea why United charges an obscene amount of money if you want to fly one-way to the States? Like £1.5k for an economy ticket one way, but £300 for a return to New York.

    • Rob says:

      They only sell one ways as fully flexible refundable tickets.

      • George K says:

        Thank you – what’s the logic behind that, I wonder?

        • Nick says:

          Obviously haven’t flown much on network airlines! Standard airline pricing model, it’s mainly because traditionally most people who buy one way tickets longhaul can and will pay it. LCCs started to chip away at the model (particularly Norwegian) but with their effective demise it’s back to the old ways.

  • Richie says:

    Out of all of those late spring daily flights, UA is only operating 4 of them with B789 aircraft, the rest are B752, 763, 772. They’ve got to be very cheap fares to find me on a dated plane.

    • Nick says:

      The 763s with Polaris are very highly regarded. Shiny and new doesn’t always equal best!

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