Sydney-San Francisco remains one of the most popular Australian routes for United Airlines, and with Qantas pausing its flights until March 2023, the Star Alliance member and Virgin Australia partner is seeing every seat filled on its long-range Boeing 777s.
So United is adding three more flights per week to the Sydney-San Fran roster from December 14 2022 to February 8 2023, for a total of ten non-stop services a week connecting the two cities.
Every one of those flights features United’s flagship Polaris business class, which our review rates as “a cosy cocoon for relaxing, working and sleeping”.
And those additional flights will open up more seats for Virgin Australia loyalists to book using their Velocity points.
“With strong demand for the upcoming northern winter season, we’re proud to add even more travel options for our customers, both in the U.S. and in Australia” says Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances.
Ahead of the return leg, Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers can relax in San Francisco’s United Club lounge, or if they’re in business class, enjoy an à la carte meal and some fine Californian wine in the Polaris Lounge.
As previously reported, United’s Sydney-Houston, Brisbane-San Francisco and Melbourne-Los Angeles flights are primed for take off later this month, all featuring the modern Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with Polaris business class suites.
That ‘triple gateway’ approach of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Houston “gives Virgin customers much more travel via one stop to virtually anywhere in North or South America,” Quayle says. “Because of United’s vast network, they’re not having to double-connect or even triple-connect. It’s a real win for Virgin.”
Travellers now have access to a huge number of connections, including around 37 destinations from Los Angeles, 65 from San Francisco, and more than 100 from Houston – “and that’s just the domestic US,” Quayle continues.
“Then you add on all the Mexican cities, where we serve 24 different cities in Mexico – and you add on our services to Central America and South America – and you can see how it’s very, very broad,” at around 300 destinations in total.
Additional reporting by Chris Ashton