United Airlines new Virgin Australia / Velocity Partner

drakcir

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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
I've been checking daily for about 2 weeks and even today can see PLENTY of rewards (economy) between MEL/SYD - LAX/SFO on UA with miles, but almost none through VA on the same dates/routes. :(

We have existing rewards seats on DL, but would prefer UA to fly direct and with status. First world problems, but still, it's a shame we can't use the points for seats being offered on UA miles.
 

Mattg

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Yes, they are. Ranging from 100k - 200k miles + taxes, depending on the class of travel.
I can't see further info as I don't hold MileagePlus m'ship.

If they are 100-200k United miles + taxes on a route between Australia and the USA, they are not Saver awards.

For a United award to be available to book through Velocity, it needs to be in X class for economy or I class for business. If it's any other fare class, you won't be able to book it as a Velocity reward seat.
 

Revenge

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Mini trip report - first time using benefits of the UA/VA partnership

As you know the UA-VA partnership started this week.

I had my first experience flying on Virgin Australia yesterday (Thu, 26 May) as a United Premier Gold. The flight was from SYD to OOL. When I went to enter the VA lounge in the Sydney, the attendants at the front desk said I was the first person they have had trying to get in on a United status.

Even though I booked with my United MileagePlus number, it wasn’t noted anywhere on my boarding pass on my phone, so I had to give them my United MileagePlus Premier Gold card on my phone as well. It took them a few minutes to figure out how to put it in the system but all good.

Given that you can't earn United Premier Qualifying Points on VA flights, I decided that I wanted to earn on Velocity and get some Status Credits, so I went to the service desk in the lounge and asked them to change my frequent flyer number to Velocity, which they were happy to do.

I've mainly been flying Qantas lately to maintain and benefit from my Qantas Gold status, but in caparison to my usual underwhelming/average experience with Qantas, I found flying with VA really pleasant. The service was warm and friendly at every turn. I’ve not been in a Virgin lounge since before the pandemic and new VA ownership. I was impress with the refreshed brighter appearance and the quality fresh food on offer. I enjoyed an egg and salad wrap, Thai soup, and an Asian noodle salad for lunch. Much nicer than Qantas Club food. And it was so good actually having a service desk that was staffed!
 
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Ktan89

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When does UA normally release reward seats? how many days in advance?
I'm not liking this at the moment... DL always had a couple of reward J seats 325-330 days ahead.
 

Mattg

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United is 338 days, but Velocity won't let you book anything more than 331 days out.

I'm not liking this at the moment... DL always had a couple of reward J seats 325-330 days ahead.

Did they, though? I don't recall this being consistently the case, at least not on SYD-LAX in the years prior to covid.
 

jrfsp

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Very early days but at least theoretically by the number of seats getting rewards on UA should be easier. Later this year there should be up to 5 daily flight from AU to US vs just 1 on DL
 

HS-TQE

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Very early days but at least theoretically by the number of seats getting rewards on UA should be easier. Later this year there should be up to 5 daily flight from AU to US vs just 1 on DL
Per above post, minus the pre-COVID VA services.

In addition, Queensland missing out on the partnership with no intentions of any of the US3 taking up the Queensland Government's offers of taxpayer funded subsidies (in partnership with BNE Airport) to start their own services for the foreseeable future, as it's clear that Queensland demand wasn't high yielding (at the moment) enough to reinstate services.

However, as previously mentioned UA and AA has metal shortages of their own due to UA's 777 problems/groundings or AA's delivery delays.
 

kamchatsky

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Anyone has any opinions on going to USA via DL Y or UA Y? I am looking at VA awards but J is definitely not available for family of 4. I heard that UA is worse but I can get access to lounge in SYD as VA Gold. DL is better but I won't have access to lounge .......
 
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drakcir

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Anyone has any opinions on going to USA via DL Y or UA Y? I am looking at VA awards but J is definitely not available for family of 4. I heard that UA is worse but I can get access to lounge in SYD as VA Gold. DL is better but I won't have access to lounge .......
We're booked on DL next month for the first time (awards). Friends that have flown both DL and UA have unanimously rated DL as their preferred airline between the 2 in economy. Separately to lounge access though, what you will have with UA over DL is priority boarding, additional baggage allowance and status printed on your boarding pass.

When Virgin announced the partnership was ending I considered booking on UA, but at A$6600pp return (economy) the DL awards flights won. Prices are crazy right now! I have managed to book my husband on UA in J class from Toronto back to Melbourne for A$6900, when the flight from LAX was $9800 if booked separately. DL was charging $22k for the same route... so... I hope you manage to find a good deal for your family :) We flew QF earlier this year and it was over $4k each!
 

http_x92

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United has now integrated VA flights into their system when a stopover is required at Sydney or Melbourne to get on a UA flight. Also has Qantas/Jetstar flights. Sounds like the private deal with QF/UA will still continue.

1653910227377.png

Also VA reward seats using United MP miles now available:

1653910413039.png
 

HS-TQE

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United has now integrated VA flights into their system when a stopover is required at Sydney or Melbourne to get on a UA flight. Also has Qantas/Jetstar flights. Sounds like the private deal with QF/UA will still continue.
Not really 'private' per se.
Airlines commonly have interline agreements across alliances and so forth. Some may be available online on airline websites, or accessible only via travel agents. A number of examples are VA/FJ, QF/DL, AA/VA, etc etc.
 

kamchatsky

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We're booked on DL next month for the first time (awards). Friends that have flown both DL and UA have unanimously rated DL as their preferred airline between the 2 in economy. Separately to lounge access though, what you will have with UA over DL is priority boarding, additional baggage allowance and status printed on your boarding pass.

When Virgin announced the partnership was ending I considered booking on UA, but at A$6600pp return (economy) the DL awards flights won. Prices are crazy right now! I have managed to book my husband on UA in J class from Toronto back to Melbourne for A$6900, when the flight from LAX was $9800 if booked separately. DL was charging $22k for the same route... so... I hope you manage to find a good deal for your family :) We flew QF earlier this year and it was over $4k each!

Wow those fares are expensive! Awards always wins!

Well I ended up booking on DL Premium Select award. Somehow DL released some PE award seats just before Xmas so I booked it on VA points. UA did not offer any award above Y (still better than QF having no awards seats available at all) at Xmas period. I won't get lounge access on DL, comparing to getting SQ lounge access on UA Y, but I think I prefer the leg room and recline over lounge access in this case. Fingers crossed that DL PE is actually a decent offering.
 
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