A couple of days ago, United Airlines posted a video with some fun facts about their holiday flights. Two of the fun facts involved lists of two different kinds of holiday flights flights crossing the International Date Line:
- Flights that will cause their passengers to miss the Christmas Day because they will depart on December 24, 2018, cross the IDL, and land on December 26, 2018.
- Flights that will give their passengers the chance to celebrate the New Year twice because they will depart on January 1, 2019, cross the IDL, and land on December 31, 2018.
Holiday flight fun facts: Did yule know…? ⬇️✈️⬇️☃️
— United Airlines (@united) December 13, 2018
Seeing that got me thinking what other flights will let their passengers celebrate the arrival of 2019 twice…
Celebrate the New Year Twice with These Two Flights
As you’ll see in the next section, there are quite a few scheduled flights that will take off in 2019 and land in 2018.
However, there only seem to be two scheduled flights that will give you enough time on your “first visit” of the year 2019 to truly celebrate it on the ground before flying back into 2018. If you know of any other such flights, please leave a comment below.
1. United Airlines Flight 200 (Guam – Honolulu)
The first of the two flights that will truly let you celebrate the New Year twice is one of the two United flights that are scheduled to depart in 2019 and land back in 2018.
Flight UA200 is scheduled to depart Guam airport at 7:50AM on January 1, 2019, and arrive at Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye airport at 6:55PM on December 31, 2018.
If you take the flight, you will be able to celebrate the New Year for the whole night in Guam before heading straight to the airport to catch the early morning flight. Don’t worry about lack of sleep, though, as the flight is long enough (scheduled at seven hours) to let you rest a fair amount before heading to your second New Year party in Honolulu.
There are still seats available on the flight with the flight being currently priced at $1,139 in economy class and $1,765 in business class (featuring United 777-200’s not so popular “2-4-2” configuration). These prices are for simple one-way tickets, and so you might be able to get a better price if you book a roundtrip. There are also award seats available in both classes.
2. Air Tahiti Nui Flight 102 (Auckland – Papeete)
If spending the New Year in Guam and Hawaii doesn’t sound exotic enough for you, then you should consider this flight between New Zealand and French Polynesia.
Flight TN102 is scheduled to depart Auckland airport at 4:55PM on January 1, 2019, and arrive at Papeete airport at 10:40PM on December 31, 2018.
Photo credit: Dave Leung
This flight will not only let you enjoy the New Year celebration in Auckland to the maximum, but also give you enough time to relax before “time traveling” as it doesn’t depart until afternoon. However, that also means it’s scheduled to arrive in Papeete late, meaning even a relatively short delay could mean arriving after midnight and so missing the second countdown.
If, in spite of that risk, you want to take this five-hour flight operated by Air Tahiti Nui’s new 787-9 aircraft, you can still get seats on it.
Currently, one-way economy class tickets are available for about $900, and business class tickets can be bought for about $1,000. Seat in premium economy are available as well, but they cost more (if booking a one-way ticket) than business class seats…
Enjoy the New Year Countdown Twice with These Flights
If you’re not necessarily interested in partying all night in two places, but rather just want to enjoy the New Year countdown twice or be able to tell your friends that you “briefly went back into 2018,” then you have several options.
Ideally, you would take one of the flights that are scheduled to leave Asia shortly after midnight and arrive on the west coast of the United States or Canada on the evening of December 31, 2018.
Here are the flights that I could find that meet that criteria:
- Cathay Pacific flight 872 departing Hong Kong at 12:55AM on January 1, 2019, and arriving in San Francisco at 8:55PM on December 31, 2018
- Cathay Pacific flight 880 departing Hong Kong at 12:15AM on January 1, 2019, and arriving in Los Angeles at 9:00PM on December 31, 2018
- Cathay Pacific flight 888 departing Hong Kong at 1:00AM on January 1, 2019, and arriving in Vancouver at 8:25PM on December 31, 2018
- United Airlines flight 890 departing Shanghai at 12:15AM on January 1, 2019, and arriving in San Francisco at 7:15PM on December 31, 2018
Alternatively, you can look for flights that aren’t necessarily scheduled to depart Asia after midnight, but between, let’s say, 11:45PM and 11:59PM, and hope for a slightly delayed departure.
Eastbound flights between (among other places) Asia and America, “land back in yesterday” all the time since they cross the International Date Line.
However, it is only once a year that they not only land “the day before they departed,” but also in the previous year – allowing their passengers to enjoy the New Year countdown twice in the same year.
While I will be spending the holidays in Slovakia as usual this year, sometime in the future, I’d like to take one of the flights that provides enough time to celebrate the New Year at both the origin and destination.
How about you? Where are you planning to spend the holidays? Would you like to take one of the flights mentioned above?