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United Restarting Several Routes to Australia from LA & Houston

James Larounis's image
James Larounis
James Larounis's image

James Larounis

Senior Content Contributor

Countries Visited: 30U.S. States Visited: 35

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in...

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Australian travel is more popular than ever, and United, along with competitors Qantas, Virgin Australia, American Airlines, Delta, and Air New Zealand, are all restarting routes that will take you to Oceania.

Let’s learn more about the routes United is restarting to the Land Down Under after several years of paused service due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Angeles to Melbourne

On October 28, United will be restarting daily service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL). The flights will at first only be offered 3 times per week but will increase to a daily departure come December 1, at the beginning of what is Australia’s summer (and one of the most popular times to visit).

This flight will be operated by a Boeing 787 aircraft, with fully flat-beds in business class and a premium economy cabin.

San Francisco to Melbourne

As we’ve previously reported, San Francisco (SFO) to Melbourne (MEL), currently running 3 times per week, will be moving to a daily flight on October 28. Interestingly, competitor and flag carrier Qantas isn’t restarting flights to the tech capital until March 2023, so United will have quite a leg up by moving to daily service so soon.

Like the Los Angeles flight, this flight will also be operated by a Boeing 787 aircraft.

United Premium Plus Economy passengers
Each of the new flights to Australia will feature a premium economy product, great for budget-minded travelers who want to stay comfortable on such a long journey. Image Credit: United Airlines

Houston to Sydney

On October 28, United will begin its once popular daily service from Houston (IAH) to Sydney (SYD), one of the longest flights in the route network. Like the Los Angeles to Melbourne flights, this route will begin at 3 times per week and will move to a daily departure on December 15, capturing popular summer traffic.

This route will also be operated by a Boing 787 aircraft.

Hot Tip: Learn about the best ways to fly to Australia with points and miles in our detailed step-by-step guide!

Great for Connections

All 3 of these flight restarts are great for passengers who are connecting. As Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston are all major United connecting hubs, a passenger can easily travel from the East Coast or Midwest through one of these hubs and then down to Australia with only 1 stop. In addition, once passengers arrive in Australia they can connect to United’s relatively new partner Virgin Australia to take them to smaller or more rural Australian towns and cities. Still, even with this great partner, Qantas certainly has the monopoly on the frequency of flights and the number of destinations served.

Final Thoughts

The restart of flights to Australia is a great sign for both tourist and business traffic flowing between the 2 countries. Routes to Australia are among the longest in the world, and these flights being added back onto the schedule signify a huge recovery step following the COVID-19 pandemic.

James Larounis's image

About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.


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