Virgin Australia to temporarily reduce LAX flights in mid-2020

Virgin Australia is trimming its trans-Pacific flights to Los Angeles across August-September 2020.

By David Flynn, December 4 2019
Virgin Australia to temporarily reduce LAX flights in mid-2020

Virgin Australia will reduce the number of flights on its flagship routes from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles due to scheduled heavy maintenance on its flagship Boeing 777 fleet.

The extensive and exhaustive checks will see trans-Pacific flights stepped down to the following schedule from late July to mid-September:

  • Sydney-Los Angeles-Sydney (VA1/VA2) will drop from a daily service to run five times a week
  • Brisbane-Los Angeles-Brisbane (VA7/VA8 and VA9/VA6) will be trimmed from six flights each week to five
  • Melbourne-Los Angeles-Melbourne (VA23/VA24) will drop from five flights each week to four

A Virgin Australia spokeswoman confirmed the changes to Executive Traveller, and it's suggested that another schedule shuffle could follow in late October.

The spokesman says that affected passengers will be contacted either by their travel agent, if travel was booked via an agency, or Virgin Australia, if the travel was booked directly with the airline, so that alternative arrangements can be made.

In US-related news, Velocity frequent flyer points can now be used to upgrade business class on selected flights by Virgin's partner Delta Air Lines, including Delta's daily Sydney-Los Angeles service, many domestic US routes – among them the trans-continental corridors from LAX to New York and Boston – plus some flights between the United States and Mexico.

However, there’s an important catch: upgrades can only be applied for if the Delta flight is booked under a Virgin Australia (VA) codeshare flight number, which in turn can only be done in connection with a journey to or from Australia on a ticket issued by Virgin Australia.

Read more: Virgin Australia rolls out Delta upgrades with Velocity points


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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 122

“Passengers booked to fly with Virgin Australia to or from Los Angeles across August-September should contact their travel agent or the airline to determine if their flight is among those affected and if they need to be rebooked onto a different day”

I Don't think so! The airline should be contacting the passenger, and asking if they would like to be booked on another airline on the same day... not another day its convenient for good ole virgin.... just another reason they shouldn't be flying International routes

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 78

If that's the case, you might want to let Qantas, NZ, and virtually every other airline know they'll need to cease international flights immediately. Next up to the courts where you'll need to rewrite contractual law.

When you book with a travel agent or online portal, your contract is with them, not the airline. You "knew" this when you purchased the ticket and claimed that, "I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of the ticket and fare rules."

If you wish to avoid such circumstances, take the advice that has been offered repeatedly here and elsewhere: book directly with the airline.

30 Nov 2016

Total posts 2

VA will contact customers and reroute them through other airports!!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 662

Is it just me, but I'd have thought Flynn's article was perfectly clear where he says:

The spokesman says that affected passengers will be contacted either by their travel agent, if travel was booked via an agency, or Virgin Australia, if the travel was booked directly with the airline

So ... if you booked online via Virgin's web site (which I use all the time) - expect a call (hopefully soon!). The main thing is that I hope Virgin retain the bar in business class. No bar = none of my patronage.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Jun 2019

Total posts 16

This is big news. It will definitely affect our planning for an upcoming trip. Thank you for publishing, as there did not seem to be any information pertaining to this on the VA website when we were searching flights yesterday.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2016

Total posts 23

It happens every year nothing just normally earlier in the year

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 102

This is typical Virgin no forward communications. Upsetting given they accepted bookings during this period , such an unpredictable airline with constant passenger disruptions that never seem to end with no care. Appreciate your advice ,pity Virgin don't do the same instead of leaving their customers disgruntled.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1201

Would you prefer they didn't maintain their planes? The reduction in services is 10 months in the future so I struggle to imagine a situation where the disruption is unrecoverable. Any affected passenger will be transferred onto another service and will have the choice of moving to a different date or departing from another port using a domestic connection as well as using DL for the reduced SYD services.

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 102

Reeves , I would prefer to be informed of flight cancellations directly from the airline not through third parties ! Further in the last month two flights have been cancelled also my Melbourne Hong Kong return so from MY perspective I would prefer to have confidence in my travel plans rather than be transferred to other dates or carriers as you suggest. Your advice is appreciated but I am speaking from MY perspective and MY inconvenience.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 78

VA is cutting 4 weekly return trips with 7-9 months' notice here. I'm not privy to VA's reservation system details but realistically, the bulk of seats on those flights will not yet have been booked.

Qantas just cut 5 weekly SYD - PEK flights entirely with 4 months' notice. Approach was exactly the same: call your travel agent or if you bought with us, take a refund or accept whatever alternative we propose.

NZ just dumped a large portion of their summer schedule with even less notice, including travel over the Christmas and January holiday periods.

Inconvenient? Yes. In any way, shape or form different from what VA's largest competitor does (or the entire industry for that matter)? Nonsense.

Correcting FlyingKangaroo - whether you buy the ticket through an agent or direct the traveller and/or TMC are bound by the ticket rules as stated by the airline NOT the agent. We then work with both the traveller and airline to solve the issue and this varies depending on the issue/airline.

The advantage of going via an agent is we are generally given waiver codes to action cancellations by the airlines in advance and are able to rebook on a new airline or new schedule that suits all. Yes this may require purchasing a new ticket with a full refund provided due to the inconvenience caused.

Airlines would not invest millions of $ in agency service teams, sales/account managers etc. if travel agents/TMC's were still not an important sales avenue to them... so please do not imply travellers are disadvantaged by purchasing via a agent/TMC as often it is quite the opposite. Qantas alone receives approx. 60% of their business via travel organisations 40% (in FF redemption) direct.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 78

You have not corrected anything in my comment; rather you have made a valid pitch for using travel agents, which is fine by me (and I happen to agree, which is why I often use them) that actually reinforces my point.

The original suggestion by another poster was that in situations such as this, the airline should contact the affected pax directly and that it is not customer-friendly to instead direct them to their travel agent if they purchased via one.

I clarified that when you book with a travel agent or online portal, your agreement / contract for purchase of that ticket is with them, not the airline. You are correct that the airline's terms and fare rules must still be passed down contractually to the actual traveller, but any change or modification of the ticket must generally go through the agent, per the additional Ts&Cs between the travel agent and traveller.

Your response reiterates the point: when something goes wrong, you must contact or be contacted by the source from which you bought your ticket. It may well be you have waiver codes that could benefit a traveller in such situations, but if the primary concern is that "the airline should contact me," then that person's best option would be to book direct.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2472

It's time to get the discussion here back on-track. This isn't a debate for booking direct versus using a travel agent (if you'd like to have that debate, it'd certainly be welcome in the site's Community area), but the topic here is specifically Virgin Australia's flight schedule changes to Los Angeles: everything else can instead be posted either under a relevant article, or in the Community. :)

08 Jul 2017

Total posts 31

So, really there's no planned ongoing reduction, just necessary maintenance.

With only 5 777, such disruption is generally hard to avoid.

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