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History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:59 pm
by HP69
Obviously, UA does not serve JFK anymore, but I know they once had quite a sizable operation. What did it look like? I know LHR, NRT, and HKG were served at one point.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:16 pm
by psa188
They had transcons to SFO and LAX. I think they briefly did SJC around 1970, but I was 8 at the time.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:31 pm
by jfklganyc
Peak before pulldown

High frequency 767s to LA and SF
SEA
BOS
ORD and SJU on weekends
High frequency IAD
MIA on 767
NRT on 744
3 daily LHR on 767s
HKG on 744 for 2 months
Announced but never commenced CDG
3 South America cities: Sao Paulo Buenos Aires and Caracas I believe

Announced but never built new terminal where B6 is now

They were never as big as people make of them out to be. Nor would they as small as you think.

It was a large line station which was very common until 911

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:05 pm
by gunnerman
In the 1970s:
ABE
CLE
DEN
HNL
LAS
LAX
ORD
PDX
SEA
SLC

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:48 pm
by N649DL
jfklganyc wrote:
Peak before pulldown

High frequency 767s to LA and SF
SEA
BOS
ORD and SJU on weekends
High frequency IAD
MIA on 767
NRT on 744
3 daily LHR on 767s
HKG on 744 for 2 months
Announced but never commenced CDG
3 South America cities: Sao Paulo Buenos Aires and Caracas I believe

Announced but never built new terminal where B6 is now

They were never as big as people make of them out to be. Nor would they as small as you think.

It was a large line station which was very common until 911


Adding a few others: http://www.departedflights.com/JFK99intro.html
--BOS had 1x daily mainline
--UAEX flew briefly JFK-BWI/BOS/ROC

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:53 pm
by HP69
Thanks for all your replies!

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:14 pm
by 727LOVER

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:18 pm
by jplatts
HP69 wrote:
Obviously, UA does not serve JFK anymore, but I know they once had quite a sizable operation.


While UA doesn't currently serve JFK, there are others who have said in the Airliners.net forums that UA will re-enter JFK at some point.

There are actually some foreign Star Alliance carriers that serve JFK but not EWR such as NH, OZ, AV, LR, SN, CM, MS, BR, SA, and TR. However, UA already serves NH's NRT hub, AV's BOG hub, LR's SJO hub, SN's BRU hub, and CM's PTY hub nonstop from EWR.

UA would be able to offer connections onto MS's JFK-CAI, SA's JFK-JNB, and TR's JFK-IST nonstop flights from other UA hub airports if UA does re-enter JFK. However, MS, SA, and TR all already serve UA's IAD hub, and TR also already serves UA's LAX, SFO, IAH, and ORD hubs.

While ICN and TPE aren't currently served nonstop from EWR, UA does already offer 1-stop connecting service to these 2 East Asian destinations from EWR through other UA hubs.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:50 pm
by HP69
If UA were to re-enter JFK, where would they do it from? SFO?

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:51 pm
by SCFlyer
jfklganyc wrote:
Peak before pulldown

High frequency 767s to LA and SF
SEA
BOS
ORD and SJU on weekends
High frequency IAD
MIA on 767
NRT on 744
3 daily LHR on 767s
HKG on 744 for 2 months
Announced but never commenced CDG
3 South America cities: Sao Paulo Buenos Aires and Caracas I believe

Announced but never built new terminal where B6 is now

They were never as big as people make of them out to be. Nor would they as small as you think.

It was a large line station which was very common until 911


A few of the South American flights also went via the MIA 'gateway'/focus city in the 90s. As pointed out earlier it was on 767s.

JFK was considered a "International Gateway" for UA at some point (ie as said a 'large O&D station') It was technically never a "hub" for UA, let alone a focus city.

Even back pre-Terminal 7 era for UA. UA's half of the old Terminal 9 in the late 70s and 80s was considered "too big" for UA's operations. The other half (smaller pier) of the old T9 had a variety of tenants starting with DL, BN, NW and AA (before AA eventually took over the whole of the old Terminal 9 building).

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:15 am
by intotheair
HP69 wrote:
If UA were to re-enter JFK, where would they do it from? SFO?


Definitely SFO and LAX and probably nothing else. That was all that was left in the last few years, and those are probably the only markets that would matter for UA. Dropping JFK didn't mean too much for many of UA's NYC frequent flyers, but it was a big loss for a lot of UA's SFO and LAX-based customers. UA pulling out of JFK reportedly resulted in the loss of some big corporate contracts, including Disney.

Does anyone know when UA dropped DEN-JFK? It's there in those Departed Flights schedules from the 70s, but as someone born in the early 90s, all I've ever known is UA flying to LGA and EWR from DEN. For quite some time, only DL and B6 have flown DEN-JFK aside from a recent but brief attempt on AA.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:34 am
by mats
When I worked there in the late 90s, United had two beautiful check-in lobbies. There was one in Terminal 6 just for Los Angeles and San Francisco flights. The other lobby was in Terminal 7. For a while, United also had a combined check in with Varig at Terminal 7.

The gate areas weren't anything special, but it was still a classy operation. United was serving so many major business cities from JFK: London, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Tokyo/Narita. There were also some one-stops to Asia and Australia.

It was a smaller, quicker, and nicer operation compared with Newark or Dulles.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:57 am
by caljn
mats wrote:
When I worked there in the late 90s, United had two beautiful check-in lobbies. There was one in Terminal 6 just for Los Angeles and San Francisco flights. The other lobby was in Terminal 7. For a while, United also had a combined check in with Varig at Terminal 7.

The gate areas weren't anything special, but it was still a classy operation. United was serving so many major business cities from JFK: London, Buenos Aires, São Paulo, Tokyo/Narita. There were also some one-stops to Asia and Australia.

It was a smaller, quicker, and nicer operation compared with Newark or Dulles.



A different, simpler era, nostalgia is often viewed thru rose tinted glasses. And small operations have less activity, and feel "nicer". A few gates cannot compare to UA's operation at EWR.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:36 am
by Max Q
It will be bigger than ever after Jet Blue is acquired

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:42 am
by Sevoair
727LOVER wrote:




A nonstop to HNL in 1972? Anyone remember this? Did that last long?

I didn’t realize that market had a nonstop then.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:25 am
by Qantas59
JFK-HNL operated with a DC-8-62, from October 1969 until 1976.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:29 am
by Qantas59
JFK-HNL operated with a DC-8-62, from October 1969 until 1976.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:30 am
by September11
A 2003 photo on here described UA 763 JFK-LHR

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:12 pm
by Ionosphere
1974: ORD, CLE, DEN, HNL, LAS, LAX, OMA, SLC, SFO, SEA

1975: ABE, ORD, CLE, DEN, HNL, LAS, LAX, SLC, SFO, SEA

1979: ABE, ORD, CLE, DEN, LAS, LAX, PDX, SLC, SFO, SEA

1981: CUN, ORD, DEN, LAX, SLC, SFO, SEA

1983: ORD, DEN, LAX, SFO, SEA

1985: ORD, DEN, LAX, SFO, SEA

1989: ORD, LAX, SFO, SEA

1995 Domestic Only
Mainline: ORD, LAX, SFO, SEA
Express: IAD

1996 International Only
EZE, CCS, LHR, GRU

1999 Domestic Only
Mainline: BOS, ORD, LAX, SFO, SJU,SEA
Express: BWI, BOS, ROC, IAD

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:17 pm
by Ionosphere
JFK-LHR was dropped in 2006. United sold rights to DL who began flying JFK-LGW.

JFK-NRT was dropped in 2006 too. United transferred the flight to IAD.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:20 pm
by Cointrin330
Ionosphere wrote:
JFK-LHR was dropped in 2006. United sold rights to DL who began flying JFK-LGW.

JFK-NRT was dropped in 2006 too. United transferred the flight to IAD.


JFK-LHR was down from 3 x daily 763s to 1 x daily 772 by 2006 when it was dropped (sold rights to DL to operate to LGW since DL did not have access to LHR until 2008 when Bermuda II was scrapped.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:32 pm
by gunnerman
Was EWR-LHR dropped at the same time as JKF-LHR?

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:04 am
by evank516
intotheair wrote:
HP69 wrote:
If UA were to re-enter JFK, where would they do it from? SFO?


Definitely SFO and LAX and probably nothing else. That was all that was left in the last few years, and those are probably the only markets that would matter for UA. Dropping JFK didn't mean too much for many of UA's NYC frequent flyers, but it was a big loss for a lot of UA's SFO and LAX-based customers. UA pulling out of JFK reportedly resulted in the loss of some big corporate contracts, including Disney.

Does anyone know when UA dropped DEN-JFK? It's there in those Departed Flights schedules from the 70s, but as someone born in the early 90s, all I've ever known is UA flying to LGA and EWR from DEN. For quite some time, only DL and B6 have flown DEN-JFK aside from a recent but brief attempt on AA.


With the grandfathering in of DEN to LGA's perimeter rule, and with jets able to handle the shorter runways, they probably didn't see the need for it. DL flies JFK-DEN most likely to compete with B6, and B6 flies it from JFK because it's their focus city/hub/whatever you want to call it, but DL flies it from LGA too.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:31 am
by September11
Some good historical photos of UA at JFK....






Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:43 am
by Cointrin330
JFK-GRU and JFK-EZE were moved to IAD. I don't recall what year but I believe in was before 2006 as LHR was the sole long haul international flight that remained until 2006 when it ended.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:46 am
by Cointrin330
Also, UA operated LAX/SFO from the now demolished Terminal 6 for a time, using 767-200s on both routes. In 2003 or 2004, UA launched PS and transitioned to the 757 and the operation I think moved back to Terminal 7.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:51 am
by intotheair
evank516 wrote:
With the grandfathering in of DEN to LGA's perimeter rule, and with jets able to handle the shorter runways, they probably didn't see the need for it. DL flies JFK-DEN most likely to compete with B6, and B6 flies it from JFK because it's their focus city/hub/whatever you want to call it, but DL flies it from LGA too.


Oh, definitely. I'm aware of that. I just was not aware that UA did fly DEN-JFK at one time, and it looks like from the information above that it must have been dropped in the mid-80s. DL definitely has flown DEN-JFK longer than B6 has, though DEN-LGA on DL was a more recent addition after DL and US swapped slots.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:40 am
by jfklganyc
DL used to fly JFK DEN once a day on a 72S

Long before B6

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:15 am
by BoeingGuy
Qantas59 wrote:
JFK-HNL operated with a DC-8-62, from October 1969 until 1976.


Did UA fly BWI-HNL during that same time period, or a shorter period?

I knew about BWI and JFK, but someone said that UA also did DTW-HNL with a DC-8 at one point.

Interestingly, I remember that CO served JFK-IAH at one point despite their huge hub at EWR.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:21 pm
by timz
intotheair wrote:
I just was not aware that UA did fly DEN-JFK at one time

Started around 1954 when the DC-7 took over, replacing the DC-6 nonstop from LGA.

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:48 pm
by paperwastage
jplatts wrote:
HP69 wrote:
Obviously, UA does not serve JFK anymore, but I know they once had quite a sizable operation.




There are actually some foreign Star Alliance carriers that serve JFK but not EWR such as NH, OZ, AV, LR, SN, CM, MS, BR, SA, and TR. However, UA already serves NH's NRT hub, .

UA will start EWR-HND soon alongside existing EWR-NRT (they were allotted HND slots that start spring 2020)

NH will be bidding for slots from HND too, unsure what they want/will get

Re: History of UA at JFK

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:30 pm
by timz
BoeingGuy wrote:
Did UA fly BWI-HNL

...someone said that UA also did DTW-HNL


The 4/70 timetable says BAL-HNL and DTW-HNL were both to start 1 June. In 7/70 BAL was daily, DTW 4/week. DTW lasted for maybe a year, BAL a bit longer.

Re: History of UA at

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 11:02 pm
by strfyr51
HP69 wrote:
If UA were to re-enter JFK, where would they do it from? SFO?

they would re-establish JFK as a major base though I would seriously doubt as a hub.
When we flew from JFK EWR was a large station but not a hub. IAD wasn't yet a hub either. but once we got the pacific routes from Pan Am IAD became a hub, then all the BS Started. Richard Ferris who was then the CEO of United wanted to buy and spin off some United acquisitions into a separate company the same way Canteen Corp bankrupted TWA, Trouble was? The Fool held a meeting to announce it to the company. He announced it all right. And the following DAY? The ALPA Pilots announced they were going to buy the company and throw his ass out! And? That's EXACTLY what happened!! within a week they came up with an ESOP plan we all had to join (or quit) and that's what we did. Rich Ferris was shown the DOOR along with Jim Hartigan. we had a number of CEO's proposed that ALPA denied until Steve Wolfe, 9/11 Hit and the rest is history.