United moves Sydney-Houston from year-round to seasonal flight
Despite a much-hyped return in October, the daily service is set for a temporary break until the Northern Winter.
Just three months on from its year-round Houston to Sydney reboot, United Airlines has now shifted the non-stop route to a seasonal service, revealing a temporary suspension for the Northern Summer with plans to resume in the Northern Winter.
What does that mean exactly? Well, from March 25 to October 26, the Star Alliance member will no longer be operating the daily UA100/101 service. Instead, travellers looking to reach the Texan hub will need to transit via either San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Given the non-stop option is already a lengthy experience at up to 17 ½ hours on the Houston-Sydney leg, and a more bearable 15 hours 45 minutes from Sydney to Houston, adding on transit time via San Francisco or LAX isn’t likely to win many fans.
United’s Sydney-Houston route currently goes head-to-head with Qantas’ Dallas/Fort Worth flights, giving Virgin Australia loyalists a fresh option – especially for booking seats with Velocity points and enjoying status perks along the way – through its recent partnership.
While the route is on hiatus, United passengers will still have the choice of daily flights from Sydney to San Francisco and Los Angeles, the daily Melbourne to San Francisco, and the three-times weekly Melbourne to Los Angeles and Brisbane to San Fran.
When Houston returns in the Northern Winter, travellers on United’s quiet, jet lag-diminishing Boeing 787 have a choice of 48 cocooning Polaris flatbed business class suites, in addition to 21 Premium Plus premium economy recliners.
Polaris business class passengers and eligible frequent flyers in United’s MileagePlus program will begin their journey from Sydney Airport with a choice between the lounges of Star Alliance siblings Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines (for Velocity Platinums and Golds, it’s only the SQ lounge, which we Weber ally rate as the better of two anyway).
Just ahead of the return leg from Houston, business class passengers can dine and relax at United’s Polaris lounge, while frequent flyers head to the United Club.
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Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
15 Jan 2013
Total posts 48
Yesterday morning there was a direct Houston to Canberra service (due to the smoke in the control tower in Sydney)
01 Sep 2017
Total posts 5
Or they could go via AKL on NZ and avoid a USA domestic connection
28 Jul 2013
Total posts 28
Before Covid. I did the SYD - Houston trip via Lax several times. The polite comment is "not good" . The only good part was being asked in LAX, "what is your business sir" "Oil " I replied.. "You go right ahead Sir",
Air New Zealand - Airpoints
06 Nov 2015
Total posts 13
Passengers for Houston could also opt to hop accross to Auckland with Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand and fly on to Houston from AKL.
19 Jan 2018
Total posts 28
United should fly to Houston via Honolulu….$12.000 return business class to HNL tells you QF knows it’s got the Hawaii market to itself.