With Qantas' new flights from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth (and back via Brisbane) well under way, Australian passengers are presented with new connection options for other US cities.
Dallas is, after all, the hub of Qantas' oneworld alliance partner American Airlines, which is why Qantas is flying there rather than San Francisco -- and why Qantas has added 28 US cities to its codeshare list.
(Codesharing means that an airline adds its own two-letter airline code (QF for Qantas, AA for American Airlines, and so on) to another airline's flights. So, American Airlines flight AA76 is also Qantas flight QF3085. Codesharing generally means that you earn more frequent flyer points too.)
To get to Dallas from Sydney, Qantas is using its Boeing 747-400ER planes, the ones with the extra fuel tank that only Qantas ever ordered from Boeing. They're older than the airline's A380s, though, which means that the seats aren't as comfortable and don't have the latest features.
Why is a fully-flat Skybed better than the lie-flat version? Check out our exposé: The Lie-Flat Lie.
So business travellers will have to make a decision based on connection times, seat comfort and features, and services on the ground.
After weighing everything up, here's what we recommend.
Go via LAX for...
New York is a special case where you should definitely go via LAX for New York's JFK airport.
You'll be able to continue on Qantas' Airbus A330 flights with angled-flat Skybeds or -- on AA flights -- recliner seats on Boeing 767s that are slightly more comfortable than the regular American domestic offering.
Unless you have a specific reason to fly to New York's La Guardia (LGA) or Newark (EWR) airports, JFK is the way to go for a more comfortable flight.
Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Phoenix
American flies to these cities nonstop from LAX, and simple geography means that it makes sense to connect via LAX rather than going east to DFW to then fly west again.
Flights from Melbourne
The A380 flies direct between Melbourne and Los Angeles, so rather than connecting in Sydney, take the more comfortable A380 from MEL before changing in LAX and another US airport to get where you're going.
Try to go via LAX for...
Calgary, Cancun, Detroit, Guadalajara, Kansas City, Mexico City, Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, Monterrey, Omaha, Puerto Vallarta, Vancouver
While connecting to these cities via LAX makes geographical sense, American doesn't fly non-stop from Los Angeles.
However, you may be able to get a connection on another airline, although you may not earn as many Qantas Frequent Flyer points for your flight.
Go via DFW for...
Atlanta, Austin, Hartford, Nashville, Boston, Baltimore, Cleveland, Charlotte, Columbus, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Grand Rapids, Houston (Intercontinental and Hobby), Washington DC (Dulles and National, aka Reagan), Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Lexington, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, New York (La Guardia and Newark), Orlando, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, San Antonio, Saint Louis, Tampa, Tulsa, Toronto
Flying via Dallas makes geographical sense for this (rather extensive) list of cities and airports, since you'll have a greater proportion of your flight time on Qantas.
We look at it this way: even though you can connect to, say, Washington Dulles from LAX, it's overall better to spend more time on Qantas' older 747s than any American Airlines plane that flies from LA to DC.
But some travellers -- especially in Business Class -- may still prefer to get a better night's sleep on the newer and more comfortable A380 before continuing on, even if that means an extra connection.
What will you pick? Share your strategies in the comments below, or tweet us: @AusBT.