Back in June, United Airlines announced their plans to shift their p.s. (Premium Service) flights between San Francisco/Los Angeles to New York. They have been currently flying from SFO/LAX to JFK, however they have a hub at Newark and it looks like it simply didn’t make sense for them to fly to JFK when they could easily fly to EWR and have more people connect through their hub on further United flights and Star Alliance partner flights.
Here’s the press release from June on FlyerTalk by an insider:
Well, as of 25th October, the premium service flights have been switched to EWR. Just like with every transition, it didn’t go 100% smoothly, but it did go fairly well. United Airlines will fly Boeing 757s on these routes with international, lie-flat seats in the premium cabin. There are two configurations of the B757 on this route – one has 16 flat-beds and the other 28.
Today we are announcing the transition of our transcontinental p.s. premium service from JFK to EWR, for flights to SFO and LAX, beginning October 25. When we transition p.s. operations to EWR, we will cease operations at JFK.
The launch of p.s. at EWR will bring an upgraded airport product to p.s. customers, and coincides with investments already in progress at SFO and LAX. Customers flying out of EWR will have access to near-hourly transcontinental service, with the most flat-bed seats in the New York-SFO/LAX combined market. In addition to the p.s. aircraft we are moving from JFK to EWR, we will also reposition some of our flatbed-equipped 757s from trans-Atlantic routes to transcontinental routes in order to maintain or grow our existing EWR frequency levels. When we have completed this schedule adjustment, all of our flights from EWR to LAX and SFO will feature flat-bed seats.
Read more about the p.s. transition in our press release. If you are already booked on a p.s. flight departing after October 25, we will be rebooking you on one of our Newark-based p.s. flights. This change will happen the weekend of June 19. Once the change is processed, if the schedule or route doesn’t work for you, please contact us for other options.
I assume it will be easier for United to manage their aircraft now as some of their B757s can fly internationally and therefore they should have a better use of their aircraft now since they are flying to EWR, which is a hub.
Overall, I believe this will strengthen United’s operations at Newark and also ensure connecting passengers are on United or Star Alliance flights. More details and first reports on the FlyerTalk thread.