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Flights to New York from MEL with LA and San Francisco Stopovers $1007 ($807 after AmEx Credit) @ United Airlines


I was investigating booking a Melbourne to New York return flight on this deal: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/503209 when I saw there was also a United Airlines flight option around the same price for some of my test dates. Given that I had the United AmEx offer from this deal: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/483908 saved, that seemed better value. I then noticed that United offers free stopovers, so turned my New York-only trip into LA (a week), New York (two weeks) and San Francisco (just under a week), all for $806pp after the cashback. Seems great value for my first trip to the US. Note you can book for up to 6 people on the AmEx offer, and so long as each person's flight total cost is over $1000 you get the $200 cash back per person.

My dates are 1 May MEL-LAX, 8 May LAX-EWR, 24 May EWR-SFO and 30 May SFO-MEL. All flights are direct. There was only one flight per day to-from AU, but there were several options to choose from between LA-NY and NY-SF at the same total $1007 ticket price. Sorry I don't have time to check if this works from other cities or on different dates, but given that some of the Qantas options from the first linked deal were UA codeshare, those dates seem a good place to start - I haven't seen this United fare advertised anywhere as a special but there seemed to be quite a bit of availability on the dates I tried). Flights are full service (if not awesomely reviewed) with baggage allowance of 2 x 23kg per person.

Hoping this is of benefit to others, especially if you have the United Airlines AmEx offer saved.

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closed Comments

  • +1

    Great work OP. Very handy

  • +1

    How do I add a free stop over? I get different prices MEL-NYC return (07/06 - 24-06) costs $1007 while MEL-NYC,NYC-SFO,SFO-MELfor the same dates costs $1373

    • +1

      You click on 'Advanced search (Multi-city and upgrades)' and on the next screen pick 'Multi-city' for the trip type (instead of the usual 'Roundtrip' for a straight return ticket), then list each flight separately (ie. you'll end up with four separate flights in your multi-city itinerary - MEL-LAX, LAX-EWR, EWR-SFO and SFO-MEL - just pick your dates according to how long you want to stay in each place).

      • Would you get the same luggage allowance on all flights booked in that way?

        • Yes, my e-ticket and receipt specifically lists the baggage allowance and charges for each of the four flights, they're all the same at $0 each for the first bag and second bag charge, and first bag and second bag weight and dimensions each being 23kg and 157cm.

  • Good deal because US domestic airfares are quite expensive.

  • +1

    What’s the consensus on flying United these days?

    • +3

      prepare some armour for some possible heavy beating

    • Better than they used to be when flying the old 744's - much nicer on the dreamliners. Cabin crew -ehh depends who you get (like most airlines).

    • United economy is fantastic

    • -1

      If you're Asian, try to avoid complaining about being involuntarily bumped off an United flight if you don't want to be given a concussion and broken teeth:


      On the other hand, you won't face the same issues if you are an attractive young American woman who makes the same type of complaint, as they will offer you a $10,000 voucher for the inconvenience:


      • If you're Asian, try to avoid complaining about being involuntarily bumped off an United flight if you don't want to be given a concussion and broken teeth:

        Did you even read the story?

        The changes we have implemented since that incident better serve our customers

  • Edited - thought had it

  • I got one of these deals with united a few years back. Just be warned they are super old planes with less leg room than usual and no screens in the seats, just the communal ones. So bring a book.

    • +2

      They fly 787 dreamliners - 747's were retired few years ago.

      • Sweet. Disregard then. I just found it amazing that they hadn't upgraded their planes when everyone else had and 14+ hrs with no entertainment is rough. And as a 6'1" fatass it was a tighter fit then usual. lol

  • +5

    oooo eeee

    • +3

      Username checks out

  • united is now ok since the planes were updated a few years ago. crew are generally still old.

    • +2


      this is why i fly Asian airlines. even when they're old they still look young.

  • never flown with United Airlines, anyone with good/bad experiences?

  • United is rubbish even on the dreamliner. Sure the windows are cool. But the seats are uncomfortable. The food is rubbish. The staff are crap. It's not a great experience.

    • +2

      and you'll be lucky to get your bags at the end of it all

      • +2

        For $800 to visit New York, LA and San Fran from Melbourne return, I'm prepared to risk it ;)

  • +1

    at first, i thought rubbish to bad comments against UA.
    Flew with them recently. That was my first and last flying with UA.
    I hope you fly without any check-in suitcases, but handcarry.
    Otherwise, get a travel insurance.

    Tantrum on the flight, hopefully you wont end up like David Dao.
    Tantrum using emails, lead you to no where.

  • Damn.. I booked similar trip for $1400+ month ago. :(

  • i dont want to be dragged off the plane

  • is free stop over only with final destination to new york?

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