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United tweaks Hawaii network with added flights, different planes

Nov. 03, 2021
3 min read
United tweaks Hawaii network with added flights, different planes
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United continues to tweak its Hawaii network.

The airline loaded several notable schedule updates for service to the Aloha State this weekend, including an extension for one of its new flagship routes, as well as aircraft swaps on two of its longest flights to the islands. These updates were first seen in Cirium schedules and later confirmed by the airline.

In June, United launched a new long-haul route from Chicago O'Hare (ORD) to Kona (KOA) aboard the 243-seat Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. When the route was originally unveiled back in September 2020, United was planning to fly a four-times-weekly seasonal summer service from June 3 until Aug. 15.

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Shortly thereafter, United extended the flight schedule through the Labor Day holiday weekend, and since then, the airline has started selling seats on the route for peak winter holiday periods: from Dec. 16, 2021, to Jan. 3, 2022, along with other select dates in February, March and April.

Now, the airline is giving Chicago-based flyers even more time to enjoy the 4,213-mile nonstop. United will now fly the route between May 7 and Oct. 29 once a week, departing on Saturdays, making United the only airline serving the Big Island from east of the Rockies.

While it's good news to see the service returning for another season, there are many fewer flights scheduled on the route in 2022 than in 2021. Of course, it's possible that the airline will increase the frequency in the coming months depending on the booking patterns and trajectory of the pandemic.

Interestingly, along with the new Chicago-to-Kona route, United also launched new service from Newark to Maui earlier this year. That route has seemingly outperformed expectations.

Since the unveiling, United upgraded the flight with its swanky, premium-heavy "high-J" Boeing 767-300, featuring a massive, 46-seat Polaris biz section, along with 22 Premium Plus recliners and 99 standard coach seats. In addition to the upgauge, United added more frequencies on the route and is even bringing it back for another season with up to five weekly flights.

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(Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Along with the Chicago-to-Kona route extension, United also filed a notable aircraft swap for two of its routes to Honolulu this weekend.

Service from Newark (EWR) and Washington Dulles (IAD) will revert back to being exclusively operated by the Boeing 767-400ER starting with next year's summer season.

United's Boeing 767-400ER is the airline's most outdated wide-body fleet in terms of the onboard experience. None of these jets feature the new Polaris business-class pods, and there are no plans to retrofit the fleet with the latest seats.

Related: United just gave flyers a very exciting Polaris retrofit update

The 39 Collins Diamond business-class pods are arranged in a unique 2-1-2 configuration, while the 201 coach seats are outfitted in a 2-3-2 configuration. Though the onboard product isn't as cutting edge as the -300 variant of the Boeing 767, the upgauge represents a net addition of nine business-class seats, so hopefully scoring an upgrade with PlusPoints or finding saver availability could become a bit easier.

Featured image by (Photo 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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023