United Airlines to launch Brisbane-Los Angeles flights

The Star Alliance member and Virgin Australia partner adds a new option for visitors to La La Land.

By David Flynn, April 19 2023
United Airlines to launch Brisbane-Los Angeles flights

United Airlines will begin flying between Brisbane and Los Angeles from December 2023, adding a new destination for the Virgin Australia partner while also sharpening their shared battle against incumbent Qantas.

United says it will run three flights per week starting December 1 on the Star Alliance member's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, equipped with lie-flat Polaris business class suites which Executive Traveller has reviewed as “easily among the best from a US carrier” for a winning triple-play of “comfort, privacy and service.”

There'll also be a boost for the popular Brisbane-San Francisco service which launched in October 2022, which moves to a daily schedule from October 29.

"Our enhanced network will make United the largest carrier between the US and Brisbane and provide unparalleled access and connectivity for travellers," said Patrick Quayle, United Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances.

United now flies to both its US west coast hubs of Los Angeles and San Francisco from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, making it the largest US carrier in Australian skies.

“From Australia to anywhere in North America, Los Angeles is the largest destination, the largest terminating point in the United States,” Quayle has previously told Executive Traveller. “In San Francisco, the local market is a lot smaller, but the size of the hub is a lot larger.”

Speaking of Sydney and Melbourne, they're also being ramped up.

Sydney-San Francisco will move to double-daily flights from October 28, while the same date sees Melbourne-San Francisco shift from a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to a larger Boeing 777-300ER – the biggest jet in United's fleet – bringing  almost 100 extra seats each day onto the market.

Of course, there's the added appeal of the Virgin Australia partnership for earning and burning Velocity points (as well as earning Velocity status credits) and enjoying some but not all reciprocal status perks.

For example, under the  terms of the Virgin-United alliance Velocity Gold and Platinum members have access only to United’s own lounges, not those of partners, and as United has no lounge of its own at Brisbane, those high flyers are currently left loungeless before joining the flight.

More to follow...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 355

Meanwhile Qantas continues to use a A330-200 on BNE-LAX, a far cry from the 747-400 it used to use.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 470

It will go back to a B787 when all the A380s are back in service. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 481

Will it? 

I get the feeling Qantas has given up on Brisbane. 

What are the One World alternatives to and from Brisbane and the US & Canada ?

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 393

Qantas, Qantas and Qantas.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 470

or JAL and CX via Asia.  And FJ via NAN - though not sure about the earning rates.

Well if we are not talking about direct BNE-USA or BNE-Canada routes then yeah, Cathay Pacific would be a gpod one. Solid business class and great lounges for your HKG stopover.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 138

Are you sure JAL flies into BNE?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 178

Already book seats for my family on the BNE to LAX service. I’m very pleased to have United flying to Brisbane. 

03 Oct 2021

Total posts 2

You can actually use the Singapore Airlines lounge in Brisbane being a velocity gold member as I did it in Syd with United on my way to Sao Paulo Brazil back on March 8 I just showed my gold velocity card when I entered with my and was allowed in 

with united premium economy having much better legroom than Qantas, and good wifi, this is easily a no brainer. 

How do you figure United having 'much better legroom' than Qantas in premium economy? On the UA 787s it's 34" pitch, UA 777 is 38", the Qantas 787s and A380s are both 38" pitch.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

06 Apr 2012

Total posts 121

Premium Plus seat pitch is 38" according to the 787-9 seat map information on the United web site.....   www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/inflight/aircraft/787-9.html

I was quoting SeatGuru but even if they have it wrong, UA's own quoted 38" is equal to Qantas and still not "much better legroom". Maybe the lUA premium economy legroom seems better with seats reclined, Qantas does have an issue there, but you'd have to have flown both in seats to really make that practical comparison.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 360

Competition is good and hopefully Qantas respond and get rid of the A330 for the B787 and also introduce flights to Chicago as per plans pre Covid.

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