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United Airlines to launch flights between South African and New York.

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United Airlines Flights

United Airlines is an American airline operating both domestic and international flights. They are widely regarded as one of the largest airlines in the world and in 2019 posessed the largest airline fleet. They also served over 950 routes that year!

The airline has 8 hubs over the US, but their main hub is Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The airline is committed to connecting the US and S with direct flights. Prior to the coronavirus lockdowns they had operated direct flights between Cape Town and Newark. Now they want to operate daily direct flights between Johannesburg and Newark.


  • 8 March 2022: United Airlines has applied for regulatory approval to launch year-round flights between Cape Town and Washington. They plan to start with three flights per week hopefully from 17 November 2022. The airline asked for flexibility so that they can adjust the frequency according to demand. Flights will depart Washington on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and return from Cape Town on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. This service will run in addition to their direct Cape Town - Newark flights.

  • 11 May 2021: Despite restrictions still in place on South Africans travelling to the US, United Airlines announced they are going ahead with launching daily services between Johannesburg and Newark on 3 June 2021. Fully vaccinated US citizens can travel to South Africa, but with the current regulations South Africans aren't allowed to enter the US. The route will be serviced by United's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner which can seat 280 passengers. The first return flights from Johannesburg to Newark will take off on 5 June 2021.


  • OR Tambo - Newark
  • Over 230 domestic routes & 120 international routes


Hand Luggage

All tickets excluding Basic Economy will allow you a personal item, a carry-on bag and some selected other items like a jacket.

The carry-on bag should fit in the overhead storage bin and be no larger than 22 x 35 x 56cm.

The personal item should fit under the seat in front of you and be no larger than 22 x 25 x 43cm.

Hand luggage is limited to 7kg. Other exceptions or rules might apply to your routing, booking class or airplane. It is best to consult the rules conveyed on your ticket.

Checked Luggage

United Airlines does not offer checked luggage for free with all tickets and it has to be an additional purchase on most airfares, especially on domestic routes.

Economy flights between Johannesburg & Newark do enjoy 2 free checked bags weighing a maximum 23kg each.

Sports Equipment, Musical Instruments & Travelling With Other Items

  • Bikes - Must be packaged in a case and can count as a checked bag if it weighs less than 23kg and is less than 158 linear centimeters. Otherwise additional charges will apply.
  • Musical Instruments - Instruments are allowed as both carry-on or checked baggage, granted they meet the weight and size requirements. Additionals costs will apply if you exceed your free luggage allowance. It is also possible to purchase a seat for fragile or bulky instruments that can't be checked.
  • Sports Equipment - If the sports equipment can't be classed as one of the checked bags, then additional arrangements can be made.
  • Oxygen Tanks, Generators and Concentrators - No oxygen is allowed unless prior arrangement has been made.
  • Medicine - You can bring anything on board, but no sharp ojects are allowed. Snacks are sold on board.
  • Guns, Cross Bows, Swords & Knives - If packaged correctly and all safety criteria are met, firearms can be checked in by the passenger at the airport to transported in a secture section of the plane.


United Airlines operates a fleet of 834 aircraft and has ordered an additional 49 aircraft. This is a combination of Airbus and Boeing planes.

On their South African route they will operate a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner which will be retrofitted to include Premium Plus cabins and reduce the number of available seats from 280 to 257.

In-flight Food

  • Flights under 2 hours and 20 minutes are not served snacks.
  • Flights over 2 hours and 20 minutes will receive snacks.
  • International flights are served meals and selected flights are also served snacks.

Global Alliances

United Airlines is a proud member of the Star Alliance. This allows passengers to earn and use MileagePlus on any Star Alliance member airline. Other members includes Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Ethiopian Airlines and more.


The airline offers two booking classes on selected international flights: Economy Class & Business Class.

  • Economy Class: Passengers can also purchase Economy Plus tickets for additional leg room.
  • Business Class: Polaris Business Class is available on selected international flights.
  • United First & United Business: These premium classes are available on selected regional flights.


Reservations for United Airlines in South Africa

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