Melbourne May Seem Far Away, But United's 787 Dreamliner is Willing to Make the Trip
Last week we got pretty excited about United's news to bring some 787 Dreamliners across the Equator for the long trip from Los Angeles to Melbourne, beginning in fall 2014. While this won't mark the first flight from SoCal to Australia's cultural capital, it is the first for the US airline; United used to first stop in Sydney, then hit the sky again to Melbourne.
If MileagePlus isn't your preferred loyalty program, there are plenty of other options to hop on the nearly 16-hour flight down under. In fact, there are two other airlines running here nonstop from the US, making that long way over the Pacific.
Firstly, Qantas is current star of this route since they put some super jumbo muscle on the market, utilizing an A380 on a daily basis. With Oneworld membership you can score the almost 8,000 miles trip for your AAdvantage account (depending on fare code).
The other non-stop option would be with Virgin Australia. The LA-Melbourne route is however not a daily; their birds fly on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and use a Boeing 777 to do the heavy lifting. Miles can be credited towards your Delta SkyMiles account thanks to a partnership with the airline.
If you'd rather break up that long flight with a layover, we'd recommend Delta for a stopover in Sydney or Air New Zealand in Auckland.
Irrespective of the way you head to Oz, we can only recommend to pack plenty of magazines, juice up your devices and prepare for cabin fever. Even though it's not considered the longest flight in the world, you're still in the air a serious long time.