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UNITED AIRLINES: Increased flights between USA, Australia and New Zealand.

UNITED AIRLINES: Increased flights between USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Increased flights between the USA and Australia on United are only two months away. Although announced back in April, the new routes and frequencies start in roughly two months’ time, on 30 October 2023.

These flights will become direct competition for Qantas, flying to similar destinations. United is also a partner of Virgin Australia, and that will add to the competition on the domestic front.

Given all the shenanigans of last week, this is another substantial body blow to the bottom line of Qantas

United Airlines Polaris cabin
United Airlines Polaris cabin [United]

United Pacific services

The increased flights between Australia and New Zealand will bring the total United flights to 66 per week. Compiling infromation from news releases by United, and information published by ET and Stuff, the push into the pacific includes the following city pairs:

  • Auckland – Los Angeles – adding four weekly flights
  • Brisbane – Los Angeles – new service – 3 x Boeing 787-9 flights/week, starting 1 December 2023 (Qantas runs old Airbus A330s on this route)
  • Brisbane– San Francisco – moves to daily from 30 October, Boeing 787-9, UA96/UA96 (this is a unique route – Qantas has not restarted its service post-pandemic)
  • Christchurch – San Francisco – new service, three times per week on a Boeing 787-8 from 1 December 2023
  • Melbourne – San Francisco – twice daily flight
  • Melbourne – Los Angeles – moving from three flights per week to daily from 30 October
  • Sydney – Houston, route return from 31 October for three per week. Moves to daily from 1 December on Boeing 787-9
  • Sydney – San Francisco – twice daily flight from 30 October, UA830/UA870 on a Boeing 777

With these increased flights between the USA and Australia, United becomes the largest US based carrier to service the Australian and New Zealand markets

two planes in the air
United has partnered with Virgin Australia [Virgin Australia]

The Cabins and Lounges

All fo the United services to Australia will feature the Polaris Business Class Suites, which many reviewers regard as amongst the best seats of any USA carrier. The cabins also feature ‘Premium Plus’ premium economy seats.

As for lounges, eligible passengers can access Star Alliance lounges in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. These include Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines lounges. In the USA, business class passengers can access the Polaris lounges in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

United Status Match

United will match your Qantas Frequent Flyer status via a status challenge if you hold are a Silver, Gold and Platinum tier member. You get 120 days of status in the Mileage Plus program, which you can extend for a full year by taking qualifying flights with United, and earning PQPs (Premier Qualifying Points).

Virgin Status Match

You still have time to match your Qantas premium status with Virgin Australia before 15 September, 2023. Again you can match to three months of Velocity Gold Status, and parlay that into 12 months by taking a flight and earning minimum 80 status credits. You can enter this match through the Velocity/ Luxury Escapes promotion.

a group of people sitting in chairs in a plane
United Polaris [United]

2PAXfly Takeout

All these increased flights between the USA and Australia on United, are going to add capacity. And we know that increased capacity or routes tends to put some downward pressure on airfares. Given that fares between Australia and the USA are still at record levels, that can only be a good thing.

The last time I travelled on United, I think was back in the 1990’s. Anyone with more recent experience who would like to provide their opinion on the United flying experience, especially if you have sat in a ‘Polaris’ seat would be greatly appreciated.


  1. HgA

    Title says flights between Australia and New Zealand. Nothing about that in article. All are flights from these two countries to the US.

    • 2paxfly

      Hi HgA, Thanks for picking this up. I realised the mistake soon after posting and amended the blog title to read ‘UNITED AIRLINES: Increased flights between USA, Australia and New Zealand’. Unfortunately, the way Boarding Area works, it’s much more difficult to amend the title there.


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