Delta's Los Angeles-Sydney flight returns, with social distancing

Delta Air Lines says it is committed to a capacity cap and blocking middle seats.

By David Flynn, June 18 2020
Delta's Los Angeles-Sydney flight returns, with social distancing

Delta Air Lines will restart flights between Sydney and Los Angeles in July, and there'll be a little extra elbow room on the 13-hour journey.

The SkyTeam member and Virgin Australia partner says it has "committed to capping cabin seating at 60 percent in Main Cabin (economy) ... and blocking middle seats through September 30, 2020.

Business class passengers will of course be able to cocoon themselves in one of 28 Delta One suites, which offer not only a fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every passenger, but a sliding privacy door to add to that feeling of isolation.

Delta's Delta One business class suite.
Delta's Delta One business class suite.

Review: Delta One business class, Sydney-Los Angeles

Delta suspended its daily LA-Sydney service on March 18 as the extent of the coronavirus pandemic became clear, but beginning July 1 it will return three times a week, departing Los Angeles on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday across July.

Delta's schedule shows an ambitious return to a daily frequency as of August 1, with a spokeswoman for the airline telling Executive Traveller "that is accurate as of now but as always could change" due to the evolving nature of COVID-19, customer demand, government travel regulations and health guidelines.

The trans-Pacific trek will be flown by a Boeing 777-200LR jet, although this will be replaced by the more modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A350-900 by year's end as the Boeing 777s are retired.

Delta's Delta One business class suite.
Delta's Delta One business class suite.

Delta will join United Airlines, which still maintains a daily Sydney-San Francisco service, in offering the only passenger flights between Australia and the USA.

Qantas overnight suspended all international flights, bar those to New Zealand, until October 24, while Virgin Australia is unlikely to resume its flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles when the airline flies out of administration under new ownership later this year.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 120

Great news! Can't wait for the A350

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 522

Knock Knock Qantas....anyone home?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 252

Why would QF put a plane that's a guaranteed loss-maker when the borders are closed on both ends to the general public?

It's common knowledge that QF doesn't have the financial reserves that 2 carriers of the US3 have.

30 Aug 2018

Total posts 9

Can Australians fly to the US under current restrictions?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 778

Australians cannot fly overseas currently without special approval from DFAT. In addition, the 14 day quarantine on return remains and it will be funded by the individual from July.

I assume DL have figured that they have sufficient cargo volumes to make this flight somewhat viable because passenger numbers are likely to stay very low for the rest of 2020.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 120

Only Queensland has started paid quarantine from July. 60% of travellers still coming via NSW who will still provide FOC except for citizens in other states. VIC will provide FOC for all.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/queensland-to-charge-travellers-up-to-200-a-night-for-quarantine-20200618-p553qy.html

THR
THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 68

That's only because they haven't announced it yet.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

14 Apr 2013

Total posts 333

I have purchased a DL ticket in Y SYD-ORF for December and the A/C is A350-900. Most of the D1 / PS cabin is showing sold out while Y is 50% full. TBH I am glad there are now options other than UA to the USA

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1050

No but Americans can and I suspect a few want to go home now that things have eased despite the high incidence level.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 252

Have read the other states are considering charging for those required to go into mandatory hotel quarantine. It wouldn't surprise me if they also followed Qld's lead.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 208

It's very confusing when you go to the IATA or any US government website, it doesn't make it clear whether foreigners are allowed to travel to the USA at the moment. The absence of a specific travel ban, other than the one made with respect to China and later Europe (not sure if that's since been lifted) seems to indicate that ESTA holders could enter the country, but it's all very vague.

Assuming you are travelling from another country, or you are granted permission to leave Australia, will the US let you enter, AND do they require 14 day quarantines?

KDS
KDS

15 Jun 2020

Total posts 10

Has anyone had any luck on applying for exemption under urgent personal business grounds? Especially if they are a dual citizen of a low risk country but normally resident in Australia?

04 Apr 2020

Total posts 5

I'm interested in knowing this as well. My partner lives in the US, and we've been separated since the beginning of the pandemic, I'd love a trip to visit.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1050

Mcdinchi you should be able to travel on compassionate grounds. You can apply online and provide supporting documents. Check the border force website. The same applies to business trips if they are urgent. As they say don't ask don't get. You will have 14 days hotel quarantine on return that you may have to pay for though.

Sas
Sas

18 Jun 2020

Total posts 5

I'm afraid compelling compassionate grounds do not include wanting to visit your partner, if only it did! There basically has to be some kind of health or other emergency, terminal illness with supporting documentation, proof of relationship etc. People with some pretty sad stories have had their applications rejected by the Govt when any reasonable person would consider there to be compassionate grounds. I am separated from my fiance by 16,000 kms, it is devastating not to be able to get to each other.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

14 Apr 2013

Total posts 333

There are grounds for an exception to be granted for fiancé with proof of relationship. 

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