United Airlines Suspends Service to India Citing Airspace Concerns
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
United has confirmed to TPG that it suspended its Newark (EWR) – Mumbai (BOM) route effective this evening and until further notice after conducting a safety and security review of India service flying through Iranian airspace. When you check on the status of United flight 49 from EWR – BOM on United.com, airspace restrictions over Western Asia are cited as the reason for the cancellation.
This announcement follows United’s decision to suspend Newark (EWR)- New Delhi (DEL) service, which occurred in April of this year. Originally meant to last for just two weeks, United has since extended that suspension until July, citing Pakistan’s closed airspace and high seasonal winds as the causes.
The Boeing 777 that took United’s last passengers to Mumbai this week has been rescheduled home on a different routing according to FlightAware. The flight is due to operate flight as UA2823, Mumbai (BOM) – Honolulu (HNL) on June 22nd. United told TPG that those on UA9239 from Mumbai to Newark, “will be rebooked on alternative flights back to the U.S. Customers traveling on these flights will experience extended flight times due to a change in our normal flight path.”
At this point, no US airlines are operating routes to India, though Delta is due to resume flights to Mumbai in December. TPG has reached out to Delta to inquire if its future India operations plans have changed. It is still possible to fly to India via other airlines, including Air India’s own nonstop EWR-BOM flights, though TPG has heard mixed reviews on Air India.
Barring that, there are connecting options to fly to India from the United States using points and miles, with over 20 carriers across the big three alliances (as well as non-alliance) maintaining service to the country.
For those directly impacted by these recent cancelations, you may be eligible to file a claim for trip interruption/delay with your credit card. These claims may cover expenses that are ultimately not reimbursed by the airline, such as non-refundable hotel bookings for those stranded in the US or India as a result of these cancellations. Many premium rewards credit cards offer this built-in benefit, so be sure to check the credit card you booked with for your available options.
We are contacting our customers to provide this update and assist those who may need rebooking options. We continue to explore all our options and remain in close contact with relevant government authorities in order to provide our customers with the most efficient travel experience under these circumstances.
Story updated with United’s statement.
Featured photo courtesy of Robert Alexander/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees