While it’s tempting to save a few bucks on your next trip by booking a stopover flight, don’t overlook the time you’ll spend waiting around the airport eating an over-priced stale muffin instead of enjoying your final destination. Fortunately, there are a ton of new nonstop routes launching, so you can get to where to you actually want to be without wasting any of your precious vacation time. Here are the seven coolest new routes of the year that we’re most excited about.
1. Canada — Mexico
The relatively new Canadian budget airline Swoop announced service to three Mexican cities including Cancun, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta beginning January 8, 2019. “Mexico continues to flourish as one of the most popular vacation destinations for Canadians,” said Steven Greenway, President of Swoop, which in part has to do with the attractive exchange rates. With service out of Hamilton, Ontario, and Abbotsford, British Columbia — two cities just a stone’s throw away from the US border — families and budget travelers can now trade in their winter coats for swimsuits.
2. San Francisco — Tahiti
Starting October 30, United Airlines will be the only US carrier to offer direct service between a US city and the picturesque island of Papeete, Tahiti — the capital of French Polynesia. As one of the many overseas flights added to United Airlines’ routes, this particular eight-hour flight from San Francisco will operate three times a week through March 28 aboard a Boeing 787. Crystal-clear waters are in your near future.
3. Chicago — New Zealand
Starting November 30, the award-winning, high-tech carrier Air New Zealand will launch a new nonstop flight between Chicago and Auckland. The new route will operate three times weekly on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday with an approximate flight time of 15 hours going northbound.
4. Newark — Singapore
Get your neck pillow and eye mask ready for this one. At a whopping 18 hours and 45 minutes, Singapore Airlines reclaimed the title of the world’s longest commercial flight with its new flight from Newark to Singapore. The flight launched in October and is currently operating daily out of Newark with only 67 business class seats and 94 premium economy class seats. The route primarily caters to business and premium luxury travelers who no longer have to stop over to get to Singapore. The luxury carrier has also improved its in-cabin experience with the addition of LED lights that allow flight attendants to simulate sunrise and sunset, cabin air replaced every two minutes, and a more spacious interior with higher ceilings and larger windows. Singapore Airlines also announced a partnership with Canyon Ranch, a wellness brand, to offer new meals on select long-haul flights.
5. Los Angeles — Mammoth Lakes
Ski season is swiftly approaching, so United Airlines will begin flying nonstop daily to Mammoth from LAX (replacing the Alaska Airlines route) beginning December 1. The airline offers service to more ski destinations (12 to be exact) than any other airline and even added a few new seasonal routes including Denver to Mammoth Lakes; Los Angeles to Vail; and Sun Valley, Idaho, to Mammoth Lakes. If you are willing to pay a little extra to fly like a VIP, you can also fly on partner airline JetSuiteX, which will resume its seasonal service from Burbank or Orange County to Mammoth.
6. Southern California — New York City
Residents of the Inland Empire in Southern California can now book a direct flight to JFK, thanks to JetBlue. The airline will be the only airline to offer nonstop service between Ontario (the Californian city, not the Canadian province) and JFK. As the US airline with the most nonstop routes to New York from California, JetBlue’s Ontario flight will now be the 10th city served in California. Passengers can expect the same beloved in-flight amenities like the most legroom in economy, unlimited snacks, more than 100 SIRIUS XM channels, and 36 channels of free live DIRECTV programming.
7. Boston — Honolulu
Bostonians looking to escape the cold weather can now experience warm Hawaiian hospitality and island cuisine 36,000 feet in the air five days a week. The inaugural nonstop Hawaiian Airlines flight will take off on April 4, 2019, becoming the longest domestic route in history. First-class passengers can enjoy lie-flat leather seats that transform into 180-degree beds to enjoy the long haul aboard the all-new, appropriately named flight HA90 to commemorate 90 years of operation.