Best Domestic Widebody Routes
With domestic travel back to life this summer but international travel still lagging, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of domestic widebody routes being offered. Typically, it’s pretty rare to see widebody aircraft being used for domestic flights aside from special service or routinely scheduled flights from one hub to another so that an aircraft can operate a different long-haul route.
This summer (and beyond) however, there are a quite a few routes you can fly that are commonly being operated by widebody aircraft. I enjoy searching for these routes, although I’ve only flown a few over the years. The most recent was United’s new SFO-JFK service. The first I can remember was flying a very empty Boeing 777 from Denver to SFO that was pulled out during irrops. It was set up for long-haul, with pillows and everything.
After searching options during July and August, here are some domestic widebody routes to consider flying this summer if all your travel isn’t yet booked.
United Airlines New JFK Service, And Others
United Airlines returned to New York-JFK Airport back in March of this year after a multi-year hiatus. The new service is offered exclusively on business-dense Boeing 767 aircraft, which means that your chance of an upgrade might be better than usual, although I’m sure they sell a lot of tickets as well. I had a chance to fly United Business SFO-JFK the day after the inaugural.
There are a number of other United routes operated by widebody aircraft, including 777s and 787s. I really like the exclusivity of the JFK routes, though.
United domestic widebody routes:
- JFK to SFO – 2x daily operated by high-J 767
- JFK to LAX – 2x daily operated by high-J 767
- IAH to SFO – 1x daily 767 and 1x daily 777 (typically), occasional 787
- EWR to SFO – Typically 1x daily each: 767, 777, and 787 (in contrast to the typical p.s. 757s)
- IAD to SFO – 2x daily 787 and 1x daily 767
- ORD to SFO – 1x daily 777 and 1x daily 787
American Airlines Miami 777 Services + More
American is an interesting option, as they have a couple routes that are exclusively operated by widebody aircraft. No matter which fight you pick, you’re guaranteed to be on a triple 7. There are some other routes, especially hub-to-hub routes and especially out of Miami where you can find widebody aircraft. This isn’t a comprehensive list, just a list of several options to consider.
American Airlines domestic widebody routes:
- MIA to LAX- exclusively 777s
- MIA to JFK – exclusively 777s
- MIA to DFW – Typically, 3x daily 777 and 1x daily 787
- MIA to ORD – 1x daily 787
- ORD to LAX – 1x daily 787
- DFW to LAX – 2x daily 777 and 1x daily 787
- CLT to HNL – 1x daily 777
- DFW to HNL – 1x daily 777 and 1x daily 787
- Notably none from JFK to either LAX or SFO (service is all premium A321Ts)
Delta Air Lines Domestic Widebody Routes
Delta seems to be a bit more scattered with their routes and availability with domestic widebody service. Or I’m having more trouble finding them. Like United, Delta offers exclusively domestic widebody flights from JFK to both LAX and SFO. You can find a smattering of 767 and A330 service within the continental U.S. and on routes to Hawaii where you really may want lie-flat seats. What I’d hoped to find (but didn’t) was domestic service aboard Delta’s flagship A350.
Here are some Delta Air Lines domestic widebody routes:
- ATL to JFK – 1x daily A330
- ATL to SLC – Multiple daily, operated by A330 or 767
- ATL to SEA – 1-2x daily 767
- ATL to MCO – Typically 1x daily 767
- ATL to HNL – 1x daily A330
- ATL to LAX – Intermittent 1x daily 767
- JFK to LAX – Exclusively multiple daily 767s
- JFK to SFO – Exclusively 4x daily 767s
- JFK to SEA – 1x daily 767, occasional A330-900neo
- SLC to HNL – 1x daily A330
- SLC to OGG – 1x daily A330
- SEA to HNL – 1-2x daily 767 or A330-900neo
Flying domestic widebody routes is something that I have only enjoyed a handful of times. I remember specifically booking a trip with a segment on a United Airlines 787 from SFO to IAH, just for kicks. It was my first time on the Dreamliner and I really enjoyed it, even in economy. Upgrades on domestic widebody routes are extra nice, and the reason that many people choose to fly them, as it gives you a chance to enjoy a “real” business class seat, even if it’s just for a couple hours.
Do you search for domestic widebody routes when planning travel? Or do you just choose the quickest or cheapest?