United's Launching Daily Dreamliner Service From Denver to London
If you look at the list of upcoming Polaris Lounge openings, it might seem odd that one of United's largest US hubs is excluded — Denver (DEN) won't be getting a Polaris Lounge of its own. The reason? As of today, the only intercontinental United flight operating from DEN flies across the Pacific to Tokyo. But, come March 24, 2018, UA will have another DEN long-haul on its route map, when it resumes seasonal daily service to London-Heathrow (LHR), a route that United reportedly hasn't offered since 2010.
It's definitely been a big year for international Denver service announcements — Norwegian announced a London (LGW) flight of its own back in April, and recently shared plans to add a Paris flight as well. Additionally, Swiss subsidiary Edelweiss Air announced a new Zurich (ZRH) nonstop, and Lufthansa flies from Denver to both Frankfurt (FRA) and Munich (MUC). When this United flight returns in March, British Airways, Norwegian and UA will all offer London nonstops — that's a huge upgrade for DEN.
The new United flight will be seasonal — in 2018, it's now scheduled to end on October 26. Still, with 217 days of service and 219 seats on the 787-8 Dreamliner, UA's aircraft of choice, this new flight will add more than 95,000 round-trip seats between DEN and LHR in 2018 alone.
According to industry guru Edward Russell, United will be scaling back Newark (EWR)-LHR frequencies slightly to support this new flight:
Here's the schedule the airline shared today:
- UA27 Denver (DEN) 5:35pm Departure ⇒ London (LHR) 9:40am (+1) Arrival
- UA26 London (LHR) 11:40am Departure ⇒ Denver (DEN) 2:30pm Arrival
As I mentioned, the Dreamliner assigned to operate this flight, the smaller 787-8, offers 219 seats, with 36 lie-flat business-class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, 70 Economy Plus seats in 3-3-3 and 113 regular coach seats, also arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration.
I haven't found Saver award availability just yet, but once seats are loaded you'll be able to book economy for 30,000 MileagePlus miles and business for 57,500 miles each way, plus the steep Air Passenger Duty, if your return flight originates in the UK. After October 31, 2017, business-class awards will jump to 60,000 miles each way. Paid economy fares start around $850 round-trip, while business class is currently going for $4,000+.
To get an idea of what to expect, check out this review of business class on United's larger Dreamliner, the 787-9. Note that United now offers new and improved catering and amenities, which you'll find in this review. Unfortunately this particular aircraft, the 787-8, does not offer the new Polaris seats found on the 777-300ER — instead, you'll find seats arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration, though they still convert to a lie-flat bed and offer decent privacy.