United is really the only way to get there on an American carrier (non-cargo). Not sure about the cargo guys like UPS or FedEx. If you have a JS agreement, you can try international carriers like Air NZ and Quantas - they operate the most from US-Sydney...
Flight UA 815 - United Airlines Aircraft 744
Depart Los Angeles, Los Angeles International Apt Dep. Time 10:30pm
Arrive Sydney, Sydney Kingsford Smith Apt Arr. Time 06:10am
Travel Time 14 hours 40 mins Total Stops None
Flight UA 863 - United Airlines Aircraft 744
Depart San Francisco, San Francisco International Apt Dep. Time 10:45pm
Arrive Sydney, Sydney Kingsford Smith Apt Arr. Time 06:15am
Travel Time 14 hours 30 mins Total Stops None
I went on United in February....they were so nice!! make sure you check with a travel agent for a visa, it's easy but you have to do it in advance...went out of LAX as well. Good luck, and do the Bridge climb if you stay in Sydney!!!
Ill second what everyone else has been saying, I had no prob going to Sydney on UAL. Make sure and buy an entry visa a few weeks in advance, I think it only cost me about $15 or so. I had a great time but **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** thats a long flight from SFO to SYD. 14.5 hours I think it was going down. There are some really good hotel deals at the tourist counter in the SYD airport right outside of where you clear customs, otherwise there are neat hostels in Kings Cross. On the way back make sure and arrive a few hours early to catch the crew as they check in at the UAL counter otherwise its a real pain to get ahold of them if they go through customs before you. Good luck
Oh, one thing, I would recommend you get an ID-90 or a cheap ticket somewhere as a backup. Also, the security people at LAX would not let me through security without a ticket. I tried to explain to them that jumpseaters get no ticket on United, until they go to the gate. And, the gate agent wouldn't let me have anything, I mean at the ticket counter. Soooo, i showed her my ID-90, at security, and they let me through. Of course, it was just a raw ticket, not a boarding pass....which makes no sense. Just as long as you have something on paper...otherwise it was no problem. Have fun, and don't forget the Bridge Climb. Look at Australia.com for some good deals. G'day!!
Just a question for you travellers who have been to sydney.
I have done that trip many a time with great difficulty, I have been bumped from the jumpseat often and even with the ID90, the flights have been going out full, yes full!
What was the seat availablity for your times of travel?
Any other jumpseaters?
I have had to occupy the jumpseat twice in the 747cockpit for 14hrs. (not as bad as you think)
If you are a US citizen you don't need a visa, but you will have to pay immigration taxes before you leave(20$) at the ticketing.
If any one has info on QANTAS jumpseat it would be appreciated, but I don't think they do it!
I make the trip about 5-6 times a year, been doin it for about 3 years. All four seasons, i don't travel on particular dates, all has been on UAL. (it's probably my bad luck that i'm getting bumped all the time...who knows)
Used to go on FEDEX,UPS till atta came along! It takes an extra 12hrs to get there, but it's almost a guaranted seat when you show at the a/c.
Things will change soon hopefully to make the jump easier.
When are you going over there?
Fridays and Saturdays are usually packed
Planning on 2nd week of August. I can pretty much pick any day during the week so I can go with the flow. I would prefer to skip the id90 but if I have to grab one I will do it. I will try for the jumpseat though. I assume its the same routine, show up at the gate and sign up for it.
Yep, same routine.
Go to ticketing first.
The gate agents got to know my face and they realized I wasn't paying taxes when I was jumpseating, so they sent me back to ticketing and I only just made the flight, plus get your OMC pass in order.
Just a reminder, when your coming back from SYD you HAVE to goto ticketing first, they will tell you you have to get permission from the Capt before they give you the GO to pass through customs. This means you have to approach the Capt outside of the terminal as he gets off the bus from the hotel. Stand ouside and wait for the 22 person crew, look for the UAL uniform.
They show always 1hr before departure.
It's a hassle, but it's free!
when you jumpseat internationally (at least to Australia in my experience) you need ( or I have anyway) an OMC pass to get through customs. Just go to the ticket counter and check in the with them a few hours before departure and they will print it out for you there. Take it through customs and give it (and license/id) to the gate agent. Normally they will charge departure taxes when you get that too (its only about $30 or so). In theory we are supposed to be paying those when we ride internationally, but they seem to miss it a lot of the time. Most of our ID90s are refundable but I imagine that will vary from airline to airline.
If you roll up to a UAL gate and ask for a jumpseat, they will think you are a flight attendent wanting a FA Jumpseat..
No biggy, they'll get it sooner or later.
Don't mention that you want to pay taxes, if the gate agent wants you to pay they will ask. Technically everyone has to pay the international taxes!