ACT QUICKLY: United’s Premium Newark-Los Angeles/San Francisco Flat Bed Awards Are Wide Open

United is ending service at New York JFK October 24 and increasing the number of flights they operate to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Newark.

They’ve loaded those additional flights into the schedule. All are operated by internationally-configured Boeing 757s with lie flat beds in business class.

And award space is wide open.

Now, here’s the color code key for the award calendar on United’s website.

I did a search to find eight award seats on the same flight and here’s what the calendar looks like for Newark – Los Angeles in November and December.

Dates on this calendar that are either blue or green should have flights with at least 8 premium cabin saver award seats available.

If you actually want eight seats on the same flight it’s probably going to be the last flight of the night.

Here’s what the calendar looks like in January and February… even better.

Things look good for Newark – San Francisco, also.

It’s a really excellent product for a domestic flight, too. United and American offer very similar seats on these routes (American also offers a first class on their flights, which United does not). I’ve flown American’s business class Los Angeles – New York (I also flew United’s older p.s. planes, but not the Continental version). Here’s what they look like:

How to redeem:

  • United charges 25,000 miles each way. You can transfer Chase points instantly to United.
  • Singapore charges 20,000 miles each way, and Singapore transfers in from Chase, American Express, Citibank, and Starwood. However Singapore miles don’t transfer instantly and I’m not confident this kind of availability will last.
  • Aeroplan charges 25,000 miles each way. You can transfer American Express points instantly to Aeroplan.

(HT: Dan’s Deals who also points out that you can use these flights in conjunction with a Hawaii award.. Newark – Los Angeles/San Francisco – Hawaii.. and if you book a roundtrip you can even have a stopover in California.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. @iechen,

    The short answer is no. The long answer is that while they aren’t fully refundable, depending on the miles you use, canceling can be reasonable. Singapore charges $30 to cancel and redeposit miles. Aeroplan charges $90. United, however, charges $200 if you have no status. These are all per passenger.

  2. Award tickets can generally be cancelled with payment of a redeposit fee (Aeroplan requires a long advance notice for this)

  3. Hey Gary,
    You might want to correct this typo, “Aeroplan charges 25,000 miles each way. You can transfer American Express points instantly to United.” I think you meant to say Amex points transfer instantly to Aeroplan.

  4. If those seats are indeed coded as “Business” instead of “First”, Miles and More only charges 17K one-way.

  5. Yes I’ve noticed this since they announced the change. Of course, when I need to book this route in March and April to connect to my SYD award is not available. Looks like it drops off after February considerably. Also no good when I need it in September because the change over isn’t until October. Better luck next time I hope.

  6. Im flying back to NJ for a wedding next May. I was able to book 3 award seats in business! Excited to finally use my points for a flat bed. Next up international flat bed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.