United Airlines and Virgin Australia Group announce a new partnership

United and Virgin Australia Group announced today a new partnership that will enhance the travel experience between Australia and the Americas. This partnership will add more benefits for both MileagePlus and Velocity Frequent Flyer members as well as access to more one-stop connections to cities across the United StatesAustraliaMexico, the Caribbean, and South America. The agreement, which is subject to government approval, is set to roll out starting in early 2022.

United currently offers daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney, while other services including flights from Houston and direct services to Melbourne are expected to resume later in 2022. Under this new partnership, United’s customers will now have access to top Australian destinations including BrisbanePerth and Adelaide.

In addition to the ability to redeem and earn points/miles, eligible premier MileagePlus and Velocity members will also receive the following benefits when flying on United and Virgin Australia worldwide:

  • Priority check-in
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage delivery and additional baggage check allowance
  • Priority security clearance
  • Lounge access

The partnership will also triple Virgin Australia’s reach into the U.S., with customers accessing United’s vast domestic and international network, connecting at United’s multiple Australian gateways.

The partnership is another significant customer enhancement for the relaunched Virgin Australia, that will also see the airline resume the sale of codeshare flights at virginaustralia.com, starting with United services in early 2022, followed by the airline’s other international partners. Virgin Australia first paused the sale of codeshare flights on its website at the height of the pandemic, and today’s announcement will open a new gateway for travel between Australia and the U.S. and beyond.