United Airlines restarts Melbourne-LAX flights

The newly-minted Virgin Australia partner expects daily flights to LA and San Francisco by December.

By David Flynn, September 15 2022
United Airlines restarts Melbourne-LAX flights

United Airlines will resume flights between Los Angeles and Melbourne on October 28, adding competition to a route currently monopolised by Qantas.

The Virgin Australia partner says it the popular trans-Pacific corridor will restart with three flights per week, increasing to daily from 1 December.

The popular San Francisco-Melbourne route also steps up from thrice-weekly to daily from 28 October, making the most of Qantas pushing back San Fran flights until at least March 2023.

Significantly, those double-daily flights to the USA will be more than United offered prior to the pandemic.

“United’s extensive network and local partnership with Virgin Australia means that millions of people have one-stop access to Melbourne, and as Virgin Australia’s largest domestic hub, Melbourne has more connections to Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Tasmania than any other Australian city,” notes  Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus.

Both of the Star Alliance carrier's Melbourne flights will feature the modern Boeing 787 Dreamliner – the ticket to a quiet, comfortable and jetlag-diminishing ride across the Pacific – fitted with United’s latest Polaris business class seats.

United's Melbourne flights feature its modern Polaris business class.
United's Melbourne flights feature its modern Polaris business class.

Those seats adopt a 1-2-1 layout so every passenger enjoys direct access to the aisle, along with plenty of personal space and of course a fully flat bed for the overnight portion of the 14-15 hour journey.

United's Melbourne flights feature its modern Polaris business class.
United's Melbourne flights feature its modern Polaris business class.

Behind business class is United’s Premium Plus premium economy, set in its own cosy cabin of 21 seats (three rows of 2-3-2) with added legroom and seat recline plus upgraded meals, which all lift the experience a few notches above economy.

United's Melbourne flights also include premium economy.
United's Melbourne flights also include premium economy.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston – also returning from October, in the form of United’s Sydney-Houston service – will unlock the carrier’s ‘triple gateway’ for onwards flights offering one-stop service to other points on the United network, a factor which helped cement United Airlines as Virgin Australia’s new US partner.

United makes seats available to be booked using Virgin Australia Velocity points.
United makes seats available to be booked using Virgin Australia Velocity points.

“That all gives Virgin customers much more travel via one stop to virtually anywhere in North or South America because of United's vast network, they’re not having to double- connect or even triple-connect,” the airline’s senior vice president of international network and alliances, Patrick Quayle, tells Executive Traveller.

It’s a real win for Virgin.”

United Airlines not only allows Virgin’s frequent flyers to earn Velocity points and status credits on UA flights but also offer status-based perks such as access to United Club lounges plus priority check-in, security clearance and boarding, along with opening up Velocity point redemptions on its flights.

BSS
BSS

21 Aug 2022

Total posts 9

Good. QF has been treating the pacific market with contempt (last minute cancellations and downgrades, $20k+ fares in business class). Bring on the competition.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 595

Yes, well . . . . let's just wait and see how truly competitive the United airfares are (via the Virgin portal) compared to Qantas.  

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 1

Wow you're right.  I need to fly MEL LAS via SFO end of Jan (business class).  $15.5k on UA's site, $21k+ on VA.  Same dates and flights.  What gives?

15 Jun 2016

Total posts 1

About time.  Hopefully we'll see more competitive airfares once they're flying all five routes on a daily basis.  Would love to see them expand to a Chicago route as well - the Dreamliner should be capable of SYD or BNE-ORD.   We'll finally have a proper Star Alliance alternative.  

10 May 2019

Total posts 3

There is also United's flights from BNE to SFO which commence three times per week from late October, 2022.


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