United's Flying an International 777 Between Newark and LAX
For five weeks in April and May, United's Newark-LAX Premium Service route is getting a huge upgrade. The carrier will be operating one of its three-cabin 777-200ERs between the two hubs, featuring United's international Global First product. Interestingly, Delta's also operating a wide-body between NYC and Los Angeles during the next few weeks, so if you don't want to fly Delta's 767 and don't mind switching between airlines (and alliances), you'll be able to book wide-body transcons from February through early May.
United's 777 is a big step up as far as capacity goes, though this particular configuration's BusinessFirst cabin leaves a bit to be desired. Still, if you can land a seat in the Global First cabin, you'll be in for a transcon treat. (Note that AA's A321T first class is arguably more comfortable, but award space is much more difficult to come by.)
As you can see above, there's currently award availability in all three cabins. Economy will set you back 12,500 miles each way, with business and first class going for 25,000 and 35,000 miles, respectively. If you find a flight operated by the three-cabin 777, you should be able to book any available first-class seat using miles.
If you're planning to pay cash, however, business class is a much better deal. Fortunately, "ON" upgrade availability is wide open as well, so if you book business (for $1,203 round-trip) you'll be able to instantly confirm an upgrade to first class. If you're upgrading from economy to business, however, you'll probably find United's seat on the 757-200 to be a bit more comfortable.
Thanks to TPG reader Keith R., who shared this news tip by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be sending out a $200 Visa gift card as a token of our appreciation.