Details: United’s New Flights To Bangalore & Johannesburg

A couple of weeks ago United Airlines announced some new long haul flights, including to Africa, India, and Hawaii. Last weekend United put its new Hawaii flights on sale, and United has now put its two new ultra long haul flights on sale. Let’s take a look at the details, because up until this point we didn’t know the launch date or schedule.

United Airlines’ Newark to Johannesburg flight

As of March 27, 2021, United will launch daily flights between Newark and Johannesburg with the following schedule:

UA188 Newark to Johannesburg departing 8:45PM arriving 5:45PM (+1 day)
UA187 Johannesburg to Newark departing 8:00PM arriving 5:45AM (+1 day)


A few more details about United’s new Newark to Johannesburg flight:

  • The flight covers a distance of 7,976 miles in each direction, making it United’s fourth longest route
  • The flight is blocked at 15hr eastbound and 15hr45min westbound
  • This is United’s second route to South Africa, as the airline also flies seasonally from Newark to Cape Town

United Airlines’ San Francisco to Bangalore flight

As of May 6, 2021, United will launch daily flights between San Francisco and Bangalore with the following schedule:

UA152 San Francisco to Bangalore departing 6:55PM arriving 12:50AM (+2 days)
UA153 Bangalore to San Francisco departing 3:55AM arriving 8:30AM


A few more details about United’s new San Francisco to Bangalore flight:

  • The flight covers a distance of 8,756 miles in each direction, making it United’s longest route
  • The flight is blocked at 17hr25min westbound and 17hr5min eastbound
  • This is United’s third destination in India, after Delhi and Mumbai

United will use 787-9s with new Polaris seats for both routes

United Airlines will be using Boeing 787-9s for both the Newark to Johannesburg and San Francisco to Bangalore route. United Airlines is having to modify existing 787s in order to have them operate these routes, so United will initially have a dedicated sub-fleet for this.

The good news is that these flights will be guaranteed to have new Polaris seats (business class), as well as Premium Plus (premium economy).



United’s new 787 Polaris business class seats

United’s modified 787-9s feature 256 seats, including:

  • 48 Polaris business class seats
  • 21 Premium Plus premium economy seats
  • 39 Economy Plus extra legroom seats
  • 149 regular economy seats



United’s Premium Plus seats

What is award availability like?

For once United actually has a fair bit of business class award availability on a new flight. In particular, the Newark to Johannesburg route has many days with four business class award seats at the saver level, costing 75,000 MileagePlus miles one-way.



Award availability on the San Francisco to Bangalore flight is tougher to come by — I see just a handful of dates bookable at the saver level in business class, while most dates price out at 180,000 MileagePlus miles one-way.



Bottom line

United’s new ultra long haul flights from Newark to Johannesburg and San Francisco to Bangalore are now on sale. These are awesome additions to United’s route network, and both routes are guaranteed to feature reconfigured 787-9s, with new Polaris and Premium Plus seats.

There’s even a decent amount of award availability to be had, particularly on the Newark to Johannesburg route. Now we just have to hope that travel restrictions are eventually eased so that these routes actually launch… minor detail. 😉

Anyone plan on taking either of these United flights?