get down under, y'all

United Airlines and Virgin launch new deal making Houston to Down Under easier

United and Virgin launch new deal making Houston to Down Under easier

United Airlines jet clouds
It's now easier for Houstonians to head Down Under. Photo courtesy of United Airlines

Texans and Australians have always enjoyed a special kinship — what with the barbecue, outdoor life, and the charming accents. What better way to explore that bond than with a trip Down Under, made easier with a new partnership between United Airlines and Virgin Australia Group.

Houstonians will already be able to jet out of Bush Intercontinental (IAH) directly to Aussie cities such Sydney and Melbourne when those flights resume early next year. With this new agreement, Houstonians easily connect on Virgin Australia to numerous destinations throughout Australia, such as Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

“Similarly, customers traveling from down under can continue to fly with United to enjoy our expansive network from IAH,” David Gonzales, a representative for United, tells CultureMap.

The deal is pending government approval and is slated to launch in early 2022, per a press release.

Travelers can also look forward to more benefits for both United’s MileagePlus and Virgin’s Velocity Frequent Flyer members. Those perks include:

  • Priority check-in
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage delivery and additional baggage check allowance
  • Priority security clearance
  • Lounge access

Those who enjoy flying Virgin should note that this new United/Virgin partnership will triple Virgin Australia's reach into the U.S.; customers will be able to access United’s domestic and international network, connecting at United's multiple Australian gateways.

“Looking ahead, Virgin Australia is the perfect partner for United,” said United CEO Scott Kirby. “Our partnership provides considerable commercial value for both airlines and a shared commitment to offer the best travel experience for our customers.”