United Airlines new Virgin Australia / Velocity Partner

ozstamps

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JH is in a radio interview with Ben Fordham from SYD, with some quotes stating that 'only a matter' of time before masks become optional on flights to/from Australia. Plus repeating that that the new UA partnership should make 'travel a a whole lot easier' (at least for NSW/Victoria) .


Hope so - and fast.

Have put all very long haul on hold until this requirement vanishes.

Seems like intra Europe too it is largely gone.
 

kreuky

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Mar 16, 2012
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doubt there's gonna be business award seats anytime soon. I had been monitoring MEL-SFO and SYD-SFO a few days before the agreement, and UA had plenty of award saver availability in business on these routes (plenty being relative to the usual amount of 0 availability) which were bookable with star alliance partners. I made some bookings for November 2022 and there were many days with 2 seats MEL-SFO and some SYD-SFO throughout 2022. Interestingly, they had 0 availability from SFO-SYD/MEL, which leads me to believe that it was intentionally blocked one way since Americans have easy access to UA/Star alliance miles to book these with. I rechecked a few dates on the 24th of May, and it was all blocked out in business ex Australia. So it seems UA is now intentionally blocking business awards ex Australia because we can now book them easily with VA points.
 

Zanzara

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Apr 30, 2005
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255
Business reward flights still rare as a hens teeth but its there, 95.5k + taxes it is. Saw it on my end even as a Red member.

Ofc even harder to find one if a stopover in the US is required to get there (e.g. New York)
Virgin don’t differentiate the number of seats available to book based on Velocity status (unlike QF who certainly do). Disappointing J class availability. Shouldn’t be surprised though. IHope QR availability doesn’t turns out to be as bad.
 
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Matty F

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doubt there's gonna be business award seats anytime soon
There are a few floating around, e.g. SYD-SFO SFO-SYD J reward on July 4, 25 and 31.

Update: I mistakenly searched the reverse route, when I updated to SYD-SFO I see loads of J rewards, e.g. July 8, 12, and 20-31 (ex. 22, 26, 30)

Available to book on both websites:
- UA: 80k MP + taxes
- VA: 95.5k VFF + taxes

One thing I find strange in the VA search is the same flight appearing twice - once for each code (VA 8004 and UA 870). And only the second result for UA has the reward seats. Does this mean anything if you book a UA code instead of VA?

Interestingly, they had 0 availability from SFO-SYD/MEL
I noticed this too, even all the way out to mid-2023. May have to reach for the credit card and pay for a J seat to get back home, well played UA/VA 💸

Update: see above, I found a few ex. SFO J rewards in July. Maybe they only release inventory closer to departure?
 
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BRIS_VA_HAWK

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One thing I find strange in the VA search is the same flight appearing twice - once for each code (VA 8004 and UA 870). And only the second result for UA has the reward seats. Does this mean anything if you book a UA code instead of VA?
You'll find that the VA code (VA8004/VA8000) is the "cash" booking flight number - so any fares booked there will have the higher rate applied, whereas the UA flight number means that it's a Reward seat.
 

kreuky

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haha i was searching them all yesterday and nothing..guess they are releasing some closer to departure
 

Matty F

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Mar 31, 2018
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sorry i dont understand - united show seats using Miles but I want to use Velocity points? Are they transferrable to Miles?
Once you find a reward on United, go to the VA website to book the same flight using your VFF pts

Sometimes the stock won’t match exactly and there’s less availability for codeshare partners, but I’ve found so far VA has all the same rewards as United
 

angelaorourke

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May 6, 2022
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Once you find a reward on United, go to the VA website to book the same flight using your VFF pts

Sometimes the stock won’t match exactly and there’s less availability for codeshare partners, but I’ve found so far VA has all the same rewards as United
so eg: UA842 SYD to LAX 31/8/22 has Business Reward (200K miles +$81.47) BUT on Virgin same day same flight they are only showing Economy Reward no Business Reward.
 

wendlle

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I'm looking at booking but OMG the pricing is insane.
The flights are almost $2000 return for November.
 
Joined
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Since the advertised date of the commencement of the UA and Virgin has already arrived, I tried to book an award seat on a Virgin flight MEL to Queenstown NZ through the UA Milage Plus site, but no available flights were displayed whether I wanted to buy an award seat or pay for it with money. I called UA support center and they know nothing of the advertised partnership. Virgin is not listed on their list of partners. Trying to contact Virgin to speak to an operator without a flight within next 48 hrs is imssible. Has anyone tried to use this new offering, or understand how it works?
 

Matty F

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Mar 31, 2018
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so eg: UA842 SYD to LAX 31/8/22 has Business Reward (200K miles +$81.47) BUT on Virgin same day same flight they are only showing Economy Reward no Business Reward.
That’s not a reward seat if it’s 200k it’s converted to cash first (at a very poor rate). Look for the 80k seats. I’ll have a look too when I get home
 

Matty F

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if you find any in August/Sept to SFO please let me know. I am checking every day...
I couldn't find anything for Aug/Sep, searched for all combos (MEL or SYD) to (SFO or LAX).

From what I can see, they've only released rewards up to July 31st. You may need to wait a few more weeks before seeing J reward availability for August. But I'm pretty sure your best bet is to do the United search a couple of times per day and then once something pops up (80k MP pts), do the same search on VA and book it there (95.5 VFF pts)
 

BRIS_VA_HAWK

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I couldn't find anything for Aug/Sep, searched for all combos (MEL or SYD) to (SFO or LAX).

From what I can see, they've only released rewards up to July 31st. You may need to wait a few more weeks before seeing J reward availability for August. But I'm pretty sure your best bet is to do the United search a couple of times per day and then once something pops up (80k MP pts), do the same search on VA and book it there (95.5 VFF pts)
Considering that J availability wasn't online straight away it wouldn't surprise me if UA dripfeed the availability as they get closer to departure.
 

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