United Airlines’ promised double-daily service from Los Angeles to Tokyo will not materialize, with Los Angeles – Tokyo Narita flight removed from the schedule ahead of the launch of new service to Tokyo Haneda.
As United Airlines Adds New Los Angeles – Tokyo Haneda Route, Tokyo Narita Is Cut
In 2019, United Airlines announced it would add a new Los Angeles (LAX) – Tokyo Haneda (HND) service that would complement rather than replace its existing service from LAX to Tokyo Narita (NRT). Due to the pandemic and Japan’s long-term closure to foreign visitors, those plans were scrapped in 2020.
Last year, however, United again announced that it would offer service to both Narita and Haneda starting in 2023 from it Los Angeles hub (the Narita service continued through much of the pandemic).
But with the launch of the new Haneda service just over a month away, United has cut its Narita flight from the scheduled. Last week, passengers booked on UA32 or UA33 (I’ve reviewed both, you can find my UA32 review here and UA33 review here) beyond March 24, 2023 received a schedule change notification. They were re-routed via San Francisco (SFO), which offers service to both Tokyo Airports.
Passengers impacted by the schedule change have the option of rebooking at no charge on the Tokyo Haneda flight, operating as UA38/UA39 starting on March 25, 2023 (the first flight from Haneda to Los Angeles will be on March 26, 2023).
ANA will continue to operate a daily nonstop to Tokyo Narita. You can also ask United to be rebooked on this flight. However note that even though ANA and United are joint venture partners, such rebooking will be at the discretion of the reservation agent (so if you do not get the answer you want, don’t fight – just politely thank the agent, hang up, and call again).
Anecdotal evidence suggests tourism and foreign business travel has not rebounded to Japan nearly as much as originally anticipated.
Live and Let’s Fly reached out to United for confirmation of this route cut but did not receive a reply.
United will be suspending its long-time route from Los Angeles to Tokyo Narita when it launches Tokyo Haneda service late in March. If your itinerary is impacted, you have several rebooking options.
While United has not ruled out returning to Tokyo Narita, it appears current demand cannot sustain two flights per day from Los Angeles as well as two flights per day on ANA.