This new route is exceeding all of our forecasts. ~ Victor Alvarez, United Airlines International Sale Manager for Spain
Mallorca is a stunning destination for all types of travelers who crave an escape from urban living. It's known in the yachting community as the best place in the Mediterranean. This means that if you like seeing all types of boats and yachts, this is a place for you. If you are simply seeking sun, sand and sangria, this island has that too. Whatever you like to do, this is a place to do it.
The Balearic Islands are like countries unto themselves. Mallorca is the largest island followed by Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera, and Cabrera. Each island has a special character, dialect and customs. Although they identify as belonging to Spain, people from over 128 countries live here.
The official language is Catalán but, if you are most fortunate, you will meet locals who speak various dialects; most commonly, Mallorquin. Walk into most shops and restaurants and you’ll hear the staff speaking Spanish (Castellano), English and German. Mallorca has something for everyone, a village that satisfies most tastes whether you are in the center of the island, the mountains or on the coast.
Most people think flying to Mallorca from the US is difficult and expensive. It certainly can be unless you are routed through Istanbul. Don't laugh. Long transfers can make this trip fit a tight budget. However, here are a few tips on United's latest direct route to see the Mediterranean and not break the bank.
The Big Announcement #
Last year, United Airlines announced several new destinations in Europe and the Far East. Locals on the island could hardly believe we’d have a direct route to New York City. And part-time expats longing to visit after the pandemic were elated.
The flight is scheduled for three times a week from now through September between Newark, New Jersey (EWR) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI). This adds to their existing service to Madrid and Barcelona, the two gateway cities in Spain to Mallorca.
On June 3rd, the first flight touched down at Palma de Mallorca International Airport. The new travelers were given the best sea salt from the island harvested in Es Trenc by Flor de Sal in a bag made from the local textile made by Teixits Vicens, near Pollença. United Airlines has made a big splash in the media, with press releases sent out across the globe.
Type of Plane on PMI Route #
Service is operated by one of United’s standard Boeing 767-300ERs. The plane does not have First Class, but Business Class has the standard dimensions with fully-reclining seats and private dividers. The Economy Plus seating offers a traditional 2:3:2 seat combination with leg room that is good for long legged flyers. The cost for Economy Plus is an additional $266 for a package of seating and one bag checked.
United Airlines sells a dozen or more of fare classes for a standard seat. In case the pricing levels vary, just know the fare class may have booked up due to demand.
How to Book EWR-PMI #
If you are a United Airlines’ Frequent Flyer, you can book at www.united.com and use a combination of mileage and money. If not a frequent flyer or you live on the island, just do an online search for the best price and itinerary. The flights may combine with other carriers if you want to fly on alternative days from departures or arrivals. Remember, this is a three-day a week flight only. See the schedule below for more details.
AM Tip: If you book one leg of the flight on another airline, the packages for Economy Plus, baggage fees and Premier Access are only available on flights operated by United Airlines.
Prices for EWR-PMI Connection #
While early bookings sold for as little as $450 one-way, tickets now start at $679.00. And, they are selling out quickly. If this doesn’t meet your budget, remember that Palma has direct flights from 160 airports in 141 cities in 30 countries. In the summer season, you’ll find package deals from other cities, too.
You can combine routes and make this economical. PMI has good access from all European cities.
This flight is seasonal and runs from June 2nd through September 23rd, 2022, three-times a week. All flights from EWR depart at 8:05 p.m. ET, weather permitting. Flights from PMI depart at 12:55 p.m., weather and air traffic permitting.
The three weekly flights from EWR take place on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. PMI to EWR are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Remember that you can combine tickets and routes to meet your needs. If you do a Google search, the airlines will combine fares and itineraries to try to match your needs and price.
The length of the flight from EWR to PMI is 8 hours and 5 minutes with a return to EWR taking just under 8.5 hours, if winds are favourable.
So, if you want to visit Mallorca on or before September 23rd but want to stay through October to enjoy a quiet season when the waters are still warm, just input your dates and find an itinerary that works for you.
Covid and Travel to Mallorca #
Pre-pandemic, Palma Airport was the third-largest airport in Spain handling almost 30 million passengers every year, dispatching more than 12,000 passengers per hour during busy periods. During peak months this dual-runway airport handles as many movements as Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe.
The current number of tourists have returned to pre-pandemic levels with over a million travelers in March 2022. The mask mandates have been lifted in the airport but are in effect for local public transportation. You’ll see taxi drivers and bus drivers wearing masks.
The locals are clear - - they believe that the pandemic is definitely not over but know tourists do not want to mask. We recommend your reading our article >>> Sun, Sea, and Safety in Mallorca
Requirements to Enter Spain
You will need one of the following
- Proof of vaccinations. You must be fully-vaccinated, including boosters, for a total of 270 days, not to expire during your stay.
- Negative Covid test – within 48-hours of travel
- Proof of infection and recovery from licensed physician or hospital.
For everyone, filling out a Spanish health form is mandatory.
Requirement to Re-enter the US
- The US is lifting all testing requirements. Previously, a negative COVID test within 24 hours of travel. (Subject to change at a moments notice).
AM Tip: Wear a mask inside public venues and in outdoor crowds. Except for hanging out at the beach where the breezes will help prevent any virus from lingering in the air, nurses and doctors who are testing for the outbound flights are seeing a rise in COVID cases.
Catching COVID puts a real damper on any travel excitement. With few wearing masks and arriving in droves from points all across the globe, COVID variants are on the rise here. No one is being quarantined at special hotels here. You are instructed to go to the hospital only if your symptoms are uncomfortable.
As mentioned above, we recommend your reading our article >>> Sun, Sea, and Safety in Mallorca. Safety Wing offers remote travelers insurance. A link is in the article for the Ambassador link for Affordable Mallorca.
COVID Testing #
Mandatory testing to travel to the US from a foreign destination is subject to change on a moment’s notice since the travel industry is lobbying the US government to lift testing requirements. Here are the details for now...
- pre-book a test when you book your ticket, if you want to remain as safe as possible and support others' health
- No self-test kits are acceptable. You’ll need the ones that have you go online for the guided test that provide results directly to an app that is used as proof of testing
- find a local test by Google search
AM Tip: Ask the hotel concierge or locals for closest testing site. Most everyone knows a clinic offering testing. Cost is normally less than €30 per test and you’ll have results in 20 minutes.
Comments from Passengers #
I flew back to the US on the first return flight. Many of the people on the flight flew early with United. Here are a few of the comments:
One lady said, "Americans are used to instant movement. We had to wait 45 minutes for a taxi. An entire plane load full of people and there were no taxis. People were not happy at all."
Another couple told me how excited they were to taste the Mallorca wines and then showed me a full bag. Then, the husband said, "We talked seriously about coming back at Christmas and looking for a part-time home. But after the security questions before we checked in for our departure, my wife said she will definitely not want to live in a place like this." I explained that I, too, was surprised at the questions. In over 38 years of flying in and out of Palma, I've never encountered those questions.
Another man talked about the different pace on the island. He said, "I had to remind myself to slow down. I'm used to moving quickly and on a tight schedule in New York. After a few days, I finally settled into a peaceful rhythm."
When on Mallorca, we are on “traquillo” time. This is not like Jamaica or the Bahamas but we definitely don't need our watches. Life has a different rhythm. If you take things slower, you’ll enjoy the trip.
A direct connection to the US from Mallorca is a welcomed treat for Americans looking for easy access to the island. Newark's Airport (EWR) has good food offerings, is comfortable and easy to navigate. The flight time makes it easy to have a light bite then sleep for the remainder of the flight.
For anyone wanting to visit New York City from Mallorca, or Americans looking for fun abroad, this is the best time to take advantage of this route. While this route is limited for the summer (see Schedule above), we can hope that demand is so strong, United Airlines will make this a permanent summer route.
Just start the hashtag #unitedpmi
By Memphis Holland
6 June, 2022