Celebrate the New Year Twice with These Scheduled Flights

If you like flying and celebrating the New Year then taking a flight that crosses the International Date Line and allows you to celebrate the New Year twice might be something to put on your bucket list.

Continue reading to find out which flights will take off on January 1, 2024, and land on December 31, 2023.

Celebrate New Year Twice
Some commercial flights will depart on January 1, 2024, and land on December 31, 2023.

How to Celebrate the New Year Twice

While we can’t time travel (yet), it is possible to celebrate the New Year twice thanks to the way time zones work. Practically, there are two ways to do so:

  1. Travel westbound across one time zone in less than an hour (e.g. drive or walk across the border from Spain to Portugal or from Finland to Sweden anytime between 12:00AM and 12:59AM on January 1, 2024, to instantly get back to December 31, 2023)
  2. Travel eastbound across the International Date Line (the line intersects the Pacific Ocean and the date shifts by one day backward when you cross it in the eastbound direction)

Because of the location of the International Date Line, flying is the easiest way to take advantage of the second method (although you could theoretically also sail).

3 Scheduled Flights That Let You Celebrate the New Year Twice 

If you want to celebrate the New Year twice but do not have the budget to charter an aircraft to take you across the International Date Line, I have good news for you.

Multiple scheduled commercial flights cross the International Date Line and operate on January 1, 2024. The three below cross it with a schedule that will give you plenty of time to fully enjoy the New Year celebrations twice. If you know of any other such flights, please leave a comment below.

1. Flights Between Samo and American Samoa

Originally, Samoa and American Samoa were in the same time zone. At the end of 2011, however, Samoa changed its time zone, moving the International Date Line between itself and American Samoa.

Because of that, you can now fly on a short 30-minute flight from Faleolo International Airport in Samoa and Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa and cross the International Date Line. Because the flight is so short, it provides the best way to fully enjoy New Year celebrations twice.

Talofa Airways operates multiple daily flights between the two airports using its Rockwell 690B Turbo Commanders. There might also be flights by Samoa Airways although I am having trouble finding reliable information about those.

In either case, these flights arrive in Pago Pago 30 minutes after they depart Faleolo – but on the previous day!

So, for example, you could spend the whole night celebrating the New Year in Samoa, catch some sleep, head to the airport, and catch the 12:00PM flight on January 1, 2024. That would get you to American Samoa at 12:30PM on December 31, 2023, with enough time to spare for lunch and a nap before starting your second round of celebrations.

Talofa Airways
Talofa Airways’ “time machine.” (Credit: Sione Tielu / Talofa Airways, CC BY-SA 4.0)

2. United Airlines Flight 200 (Guam – Honolulu)

Flight UA200 is scheduled to depart Guam Airport at 7:35AM on January 1, 2024, and arrive at Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye Airport at 6:50PM on December 31, 2023.

United Airlines flight 200 lets you celebrate the New Year in Guam for the whole night before having to head to the airport in the morning to catch your “magical” flight. Arriving just before 7PM, you will have enough time to get wherever you need to before starting your second round of New Year celebrations.

Given that it takes about seven hours to fly from Guam to Honolulu, you will also have enough time to relax and catch some sleep on board.

While in the past United Airlines used its Boeing 777-200s on this flight, currently, it is operated using the airline’s 777-300ER. The aircraft is equipped with a total of 350 seats including 60 Polaris business class seats in a 1-2-1 layout, 24 premium economy class seats in a 2-4-2 layout, and 266 economy class seats (including 62 with extra legroom) in a 3-4-3 layout.

United Airlines 777-300ER
Flight UA200 will be operated by the 777-300ER this year.

3. Air New Zealand Flight 946 (Auckland – Rarotonga)

Another way to celebrate the New Year twice is to take Air New Zealand’s flight 946 from the country’s most populous city Auckland to Rarotonga, the largest city of the Cook Islands.

The flight is scheduled to depart Auckland Airport at 8:50AM on January 1, 2024, and arrive at Rarotonga Airport at 1:40PM on December 31, 2023. That will give you more than enough time to celebrate the New Year on both ends of the journey.

With a flight time of just under four hours, you will not have as much time onboard to recover as you would on United’s flight from Guam to Honolulu, but you will still be at least able to take a short nap.

Air New Zealand uses its 787-9s on this route. The aircraft are equipped with a total of 302 seats including 18 herringbone business class seats in a 1-1-1 layout, 21 premium economy class seats in a 2-3-2 layout, and 263 economy class seats in a 3-3-3 layout.

While Jetstar also operates on the route, it does not have a flight on January 1, 2024.

Air New Zealand 787-9
Air New Zealand’s flight from Auckland to Rarotonga will allow its passengers to celebrate the New Year twice.

More Flights Allow You to At Least Enjoy the Countdown Twice

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 2023,” then you have several options in addition to the flights above.

Essentially, you have to take a flight that leaves Asia shortly after midnight on January 1, 2024, and arrives in the United States or Canada on the evening of December 31, 2023.

Here are the flights that I could find that meet that criteria:

  • ANA flight 106 departing Tokyo Haneda at 12:50AM on January 1, 2024, and arriving in Los Angeles at 5:50PM on December 31, 2023
  • Cathay Pacific flight 872 departing Hong Kong at 12:55AM on January 1, 2024, and arriving in San Francisco at 9:00PM on December 31, 2023
  • Cathay Pacific flight 880 departing Hong Kong at 12:15AM on January 1, 2024, and arriving in Los Angeles at 8:55PM on December 31, 2023
  • Cathay Pacific flight 888 departing Hong Kong at 1:00AM on January 1, 2024, and arriving in Vancouver at 8:30PM on December 31, 2023

Alternatively, you can look for flights that aren’t necessarily scheduled to depart Asia after midnight, but between, let’s say, 11:40PM and 11:59PM, and hope for a slightly delayed departure/take off after midnight.

ANA R2D2
ANA is among the airlines that offer flights departing in 2024 and landing back in 2023.

Summary

Eastbound flights from Asia to America and between various islands in the Pacific, “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 this year, I will be spending the holidays in Japan with my family, at some point in the future I’d love to take one of the flights listed above and celebrate the New Year twice.

First published on 2018/12/16. Updated on 2023/12/29 with the latest flight information.

1 thought on “Celebrate the New Year Twice with These Scheduled Flights”

  1. Also EVA and China Airlines flight departing TPE bound for YVR/SFO/LAX/SEA will depart on Jan 1 around 0030 and arrive on Dec 31.

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