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The most exciting new route enhancement of 2022 — and the ones we look forward to flying in 2023

Dec. 12, 2022
4 min read
United staff
The most exciting new route enhancement of 2022 — and the ones we look forward to flying in 2023
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How does a long weekend in Spain's Palma de Mallorca or Tenerife sound?

With United Airlines, getting to these popular summer destinations — and many more — from the U.S. is easier than ever. That's thanks to new nonstop service launched during the pandemic that's helped the Chicago-based carrier become the largest U.S. airline in the transatlantic market.

This year, the airline launched its largest-ever transatlantic expansion, which included five new destinations, along with five new routes to existing cities.

From capital-to-capital service to Jordan to Boeing 737 MAX flights to Portugal's Azores to a new flashy route to Mallorca, United's schedule was loaded with lots of exciting routes that complement traditional transatlantic markets, like Paris and Rome.

United's transatlantic expansion in 2022, along with what's poised to be a busy 2023 schedule, is so exciting that it won TPG's Editors' Choice award for the best new route(s) at this year's TPG Awards.

In fact, United's new flights in 2022 were so popular that all but one of them are returning for another season.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The only one that will be dropped is Bergen, Norway, which did not meet the airline's performance thresholds. Amman, Jordan; Azores, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Tenerife, Spain, are all coming back.

In addition to the returning service, United is adding flights to three new destinations next year: Malaga, Spain; Stockholm; and Dubai, the latter of which will be operated under the new tie-up with Emirates.

The airline will also add four new routes to existing destinations:

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  • San Francisco to Rome.
  • Chicago to Shannon, Ireland.
  • Chicago to Barcelona.
  • Washington to Berlin.

Finally, the airline will expand service to the two biggest European markets from the U.S.: London and Paris. The airline will add a second daily flight between Los Angeles and London on March 25, and a second daily flight between Washington and Paris on June 2.

While the exciting news is all the new United service, the carrier pulls out all the stops to make these new flights extra special.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Over the years, United has turned its big transatlantic schedule announcement into an annual tradition, with the airline teasing the new markets on its social media channels to drum up excitement for the flights. The airline's network planning team even stars in a promotional teaser video.

Leading up to the service launch, United promotes the new markets in airport signage and throughout its onboard entertainment system.

And of course, the airline knows how to party when launch day comes around.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

From commemorative Polaris pajamas to special amenity kits and meals, aviation enthusiasts should definitely try a United inaugural. Various executives typically join in on the fun, and the cabin crew is usually super excited about the new service.

You may even catch a cool post-flight party, as pictured below from the Mallorca inaugural this past June.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

With this massive transatlantic expansion, United is fulfilling its mission of becoming "the flag carrier of the United States," a statement that was first shared during the unveiling of the Emirates partnership in September and has since been repeated by executives during recent media calls.

Whether or not United is America's "flag carrier," one thing is for certain: The airline now serves many more transatlantic destinations than any of its U.S. competitors.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
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  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees