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United to partner with Virgin Australia -- UA elite benefits starting 23 May 2022

United to partner with Virgin Australia -- UA elite benefits starting 23 May 2022

Old Apr 5, 22, 7:40 am
  #76  
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Originally Posted by flyerbjorn View Post
I've never done it myself, as I live in SYD, but some airlines (QF / JQ / VA?) have a bag drop for domestic connections right outside international arrivals. 2:20 seems fine to me. Domestic Australian operations are smooth and pretty chill. You can bring liquids through security as well. Similar to transfers in the US from international destinations, you must pick up bags at the connection point and take them through customs yourself.
It's extremely smooth and I've never understood the hysteria about I/D connections at SYD - probably just caused by the "oh no, it's a different airport (basically)". QF and VA (don't know about JQ) have recheck desks as you exit customs landside at SYD international and then they put you on a bus straight to the domestic terminal.

MCT is 2h00 to VA and 1h30 to QF (from UA) and I would be comfortable with that, doubly so if connecting to SYD-MEL in the morning which is more of a train service in terms of frequency

IIRC the last time I connected in SYD, I allowed 4h00 for a split-ticket connection and with everything on time it took me about 75 minutes to go from the arrival gate to the VA lounge in T3.

Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
My SFO-MEL flight on May 19 is cancelled. Got a full refund and booked SFO-SYD and connect onto Virgin Australia’s SYD-MEL flight.

I assume I will earn UA miles and access Virgin lounge at SYD (4-hour transit). If not, my SQ PPS will come in handy.
As mentioned, not much specific info on the partnership yet. I assume your SYD-MEL is in Y? Otherwise you would obviously have VA lounge access.
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Old Apr 5, 22, 8:09 am
  #77  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
It's extremely smooth and I've never understood the hysteria about I/D connections at SYD - probably just caused by the "oh no, it's a different airport (basically)". QF and VA (don't know about JQ) have recheck desks as you exit customs landside at SYD international and then they put you on a bus straight to the domestic terminal.

MCT is 2h00 to VA and 1h30 to QF (from UA) and I would be comfortable with that, doubly so if connecting to SYD-MEL in the morning which is more of a train service in terms of frequency

IIRC the last time I connected in SYD, I allowed 4h00 for a split-ticket connection and with everything on time it took me about 75 minutes to go from the arrival gate to the VA lounge in T3.



As mentioned, not much specific info on the partnership yet. I assume your SYD-MEL is in Y? Otherwise you would obviously have VA lounge access.
Correct! SYD-MEL is in Y. I do have SQ PPS status, so will have VA lounge access.

Thank you for sharing your transit experience. Hope the VA lounge is nice enough (and have a shower) to spend the long transit time.
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Old Apr 5, 22, 8:16 am
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by UA_Flyer View Post
Correct! SYD-MEL is in Y. I do have SQ PPS status, so will have VA lounge access.

Thank you for sharing your transit experience. Hope the VA lounge is nice enough (and have a shower) to spend the long transit time.
VA lounge in SYD is pretty much your typical Dom lounge setup. Nice enough for a hour or so but wouldn’t want to be there for a long stint.
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Old Apr 5, 22, 8:52 am
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
It's extremely smooth and I've never understood the hysteria about I/D connections at SYD - probably just caused by the "oh no, it's a different airport (basically)". QF and VA (don't know about JQ) have recheck desks as you exit customs landside at SYD international and then they put you on a bus straight to the domestic terminal.
Virgin Australia currently does NOT have a recheck desk or a bus. You have to catch the airport run "T-Bus" between terminals, which involved loading your luggage onto/off the bus yourself at either end. When I was there a few weeks ago it took around 40 minutes from arriving at the T-Bus stop to walking into the domestic terminal. There is also a train between terminals which is generally more convenient than the T-bus, but you have to pay to use it!

Qantas does have something running between terminals, but it's not their normal service but instead a land-side bus that runs every 15 minutes and takes 20 minutes to get between terminals (based on their website).

Jetstar has never had anything between terminals, so you also need to take the T-Bus. In most cases, this includes for domestic->international transfers as they don't check through luggage from domestic to most international flights.

The only good news here is that the T-bus is now free. Until a few years ago there was NO free transport between terminals unless you were eligible to use one of the airline bus transfer services.

Originally Posted by findark View Post
MCT is 2h00 to VA and 1h30 to QF (from UA) and I would be comfortable with that, doubly so if connecting to SYD-MEL in the morning which is more of a train service in terms of frequency
A few weeks ago it took me just under 2 hours from arrival (on UA) to being landside at the domestic terminal for a VA flight. That includes being at the front of the plane, having SmartGate access (not everyone does at the moment and the immigration line was long), having a priority-tagged bag to collect, and then catching the T-Bus. Without a bag it would have been faster (both on the international end but also in the domestic terminal where it took ~20 mins in line to drop the bag), but if I'd had a 2 hour connection I probably wouldn't have made it.
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Old Apr 5, 22, 9:45 am
  #80  
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Originally Posted by docbert View Post
Virgin Australia currently does NOT have a recheck desk or a bus. You have to catch the airport run "T-Bus" between terminals, which involved loading your luggage onto/off the bus yourself at either end.
That's good to know - I haven't been to SYD since pandemic times.

Originally Posted by docbert View Post
When I was there a few weeks ago it took around 40 minutes from arriving at the T-Bus stop to walking into the domestic terminal. There is also a train between terminals which is generally more convenient than the T-bus, but you have to pay to use it!
Yikes - that's pretty slow. With the airline bus (I believe VA was always landside using the same route) it was usually more like 20-30 minutes. And IIRC the train is not only not-free, but also ridiculously expensive (like $6-ish? I remember there was a $15-ish exempt-from-cap surcharge to take the train off-airport and I have walked off-airport to Wolli Creek instead).

But yeah, I do think the bottom line is always consider the consequence of a misconnect. Getting rebooked SYD-MEL isn't usually a big deal. If you were connecting to a 1x daily service or similar, I would definitely not cut it as close.
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Old Apr 5, 22, 10:40 am
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Thanks all for your feed back. a 2hr MCT and the UA flight I'm taking only has a 75% ontime performance with average 30min delay, and the next VA flight departing 5.5hrs later, I think I'll just suck it up and fly JQ. I'll prob book VA on the return so at least I'll be able to tryout the service and compare. maybe by then (end of Apr, early May) there will be some benefits. Plus it will give me a chance to check out some of the PP options in T2 as I didn't have PP the last time I visited SYD
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Old Apr 13, 22, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by TBD View Post
Codeshare agreements expected to be loaded around 18-20 April. That doesn't mean effective immediately, though, and no idea when they'd actually start.
https://www.virginaustralia.com/au/e...line-partners/ now says "Commencing late May 2022, operating flights between Melbourne or Sydney and Los Angeles or San Francisco connecting to cities across North America"
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Old May 1, 22, 11:28 pm
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Still not seeing any codeshares in either direction.

UA did sent a marketing email to Australian customers last week which mentioned the partnership and stated it was "Starting this autumn". Autumn ends at the end of May, so...
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Old May 2, 22, 11:03 pm
  #84  
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Actually, 21 June, but close enough. Time will tell!
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Old May 2, 22, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
Actually, 21 June, but close enough. Time will tell!
Sorry, no. Autumn in Australia ends May 31st. (Of course, whether United knows that is a different issue...)
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Old May 3, 22, 5:25 am
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I didn't know that the government definition differed from the scientific one.
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Old May 3, 22, 5:40 am
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
I didn't know that the government definition differed from the scientific one.
no, just northern hemisphere US-based definitions differ to Australian seasonal dates. 😉
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Old May 3, 22, 7:11 am
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
Actually, 21 June, but close enough. Time will tell!
Not according to the Australian calendars. Their seasons each run a full 3 months starting on the 1st of a month and ending on the last day of a month.
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Old May 3, 22, 7:18 am
  #89  
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Originally Posted by SPN Lifer View Post
I didn't know that the government definition differed from the scientific one.
Originally Posted by sol95 View Post
no, just northern hemisphere US-based definitions differ to Australian seasonal dates. 😉
If we were talking about northern hemispheric bias, the reference would have been "spring" rather than "autumn".

I was born in N.S.W.
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Old May 8, 22, 10:39 pm
  #90  
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MileagePlus members can earn award miles on eligible Virgin Australia flights. To receive mileage credit, present your MileagePlus number when you make reservations and make sure that it appears on your boarding pass at check-in. Also, MileagePlus members receive the following benefits on Virgin Australia-operated flights:

For flights flown on and after May 23, 2022
  • Premier Gold, Platinum and 1K®: members are eligible for priority check-in, boarding and security clearance where available
  • Premier Gold, Platinum and 1K®: members receive one additional complimentary checked bag 1
  • Premier Gold, Platinum and 1K®: members are eligible for access to Virgin Australia operated lounges
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...S%3AqVVqVu-SI0
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