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United Airlines Pulls Out of New York JFK Once Again

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

629 Published Articles 1 Edited Article

Countries Visited: 56U.S. States Visited: 17

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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It’s official: United and New York John F. Kennedy Airport’s turbulent relations are about to come to a close once again.

The Chicago-based carrier will no longer be seen at JFK from as soon as the end of October after only returning to the airport in February 2021.

Here’s what we know about this latest update to United’s route network.

United Airlines Cuts Ties With JFK

It was only a few weeks ago that we learned that United was contemplating stopping all flights in and out of JFK.

In the latest update delivered in a memo to its staff, United Airlines has confirmed that it will be stopping all of its services from JFK. 

The memo read as follows:

“Given our current, too-small-to-be-competitive schedule out of JFK — coupled with the start of the winter season where more airlines will operate their slots as they resume JFK flying — United has made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend service at JFK.”

As such, United flights will no longer operate from JFK from the start of the winter season, as soon as the end of October.

The final decision was made as the airline was not granted permanent slots to operate at JFK. The airport is one of the only remaining slot-constrained airports in the U.S., which means airlines need to apply to the FAA to start new services.

It remains to be seen whether the move will indeed be temporary as the memo suggests.

However, the relationship between United and JFK has been rocky since 2015 when United significantly reduced its number of flights from JFK to focus on operations at its hub airport of Newark (EWR).

Hot Tip: For everything you need to know about United, from the kind of seats on board and customer service to amenities, baggage fees, and more, look no further than our in-depth guide. 

How This Change Will Impact Passengers

Ultimately, this is big news for the airline, but as a U.S. flyer, the chances of you being negatively affected by this are minimal.

As it stands, United only operates 2 services from JFK: 1 to Los Angeles (LAX) and 1 to San Francisco (SFO).

If you’re a frequent United flyer in the New York area, the chances are that you only ever fly from Newark where the airline operates to destinations spanning the globe.

Uniteds route network from Newark EWR
A map of United’s expansive route network from its hub at Newark (EWR). Image Credit: FlightConnections

Final Thoughts

The FAA has denied United Airlines the opportunity to increase its presence at slot-constrained New York (JFK).

While the decision will certainly be frustrating for those at United HQ, the impact on passengers is minimal given the airline’s mere 2 routes from JFK.

Will this be goodbye from United at JFK be forever? Only time will tell.

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.


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