After a long dalliance with Delta Air Lines, a delta has occurred and Virgin Australia is re-united with United Airlines. Frequent flyers on both sides of the Pacific can look forward to new benefits when flying United and Virgin Australia.
Blast From The Past: United Airlines – Virgin Australia Partnership
Virgin Australia was born as Virgin Blue and offered a limited partnership with United for many years. In fact, Star Alliance aggressively courted Virgin Blue in part to give United and other Star Alliance carriers access to domestic flights within Australia.
Australia remains a two airline nation, with Virgin Australia and Qantas competing fiercely for domestic traffic (there are a few minor players as well).
Under the new partnership, set to commence in April 2022, eligible premier MileagePlus and Velocity members will receive the following benefits when flying on United and Virgin Australia worldwide:
- Priority check-in
- Priority boarding
- Lounge access
- Priority baggage delivery and additional baggage check allowance
- Priority security clearance
More importantly, members will be able to earn and redeem miles on the respective carriers, allowing Virgin Australia members to once again reach the United States and United members to reach many cities in Australia beyond Melbourne and Sydney.
With this move, Virgin Australia announced it would terminate its partnership with Delta Air Lines in early 2022. Delta has scaled back its Australia service during the pandemic and even post-pandemic will likely only offer service from Los Angeles. United plans to resume multiple flights from San Francisco and Los Angels as well as its Houston service.
Virgin Australia is also an Aeroplan partner. While Virgin Australia once had a robust transpacific flight schedule, it currently is focusing on domestic travel within Australia.
> Read More: Virgin Australia 777-300ER Business Class
United Airlines will once again partner with Virgin in Australia, now trading as Virgin Australia instead of Virgin Blue. The move will be a boon to MileagePlus and Velocity members, though it will mean more competition for transpacific award seats on United.
Will you take advantage of the new Virgin Australia – United Airlines partnership?