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United flies from Los Angeles to Melbourne directly with its newest plane the 787-9 Dreamliner.

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15 hours 45 minutes

Award space on United’s Dreamliners in Business Class has been abysmal, but I wanted to check in and see if anything was different on this route.

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We want to get into these flat beds up front

The good news is that there is award space on the route in both directions for two people in Business Class.

  • What is the award space picture? 
  • How many miles does the flight to Australia cost?

Award Price

United charges:

  • 40,000 each way in economy between the United States and Australia
  • 70,000 each way in BusinessFirst Class on its own flights between the United States and Australia
  • United’s Dreamliners do not have Global First Class

Award Space

Here are the award calendars for the next 11 months for the Los Angeles to Melbourne direct flight for one passenger:

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yellow = economy space, blue = Business space, green = space in both cabins

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There’s pretty good economy space for most of the year except January. The only Business Class space is in the next two weeks. It looks like United is protecting its premium offering, but as is its custom, it is releasing some of the unsold seats as departure approaches.

I re-ran the search for two passengers, and I actually found very similar results, which means that most days with one award seat have two. For instance, all three days in the next two weeks with Business Class award space have award space for at least two passengers.

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Award space is similar coming back home. There is just a little Business Class space, all in the next two weeks, and good economy space throughout the year.

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Connecting to Los Angeles on United flights is easy, as it is a hub. Connecting to Los Angeles adds zero extra miles to the award’s price.

In Melbourne, the only Star Alliance connection within the region would be to connect to Air New Zealand flights, so this route is mostly convenient only if you want to actually go to Melbourne.

Bottom Line

Since United started flying the Dreamliner, it has released very little premium cabin award space. That trend continues with the 787-9.

Business Class award space is available between Los Angeles and Melbourne, but only within two weeks of departure. Most of the year offers good economy award space. You can always book the economy space, and then look to change to Business Class as the date approaches.CKANbanner_300x250_v6b

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