19 October 2022 | Customer

Virgin Australia and United Airlines spread wings for Pride Flight

  • Pride Flight seats are on sale now at virginaustralia.com/prideflight.
  • Virgin Australia will more than double Pride Flight services to Sydney next year, with the launch of maiden Pride Flight services from Adelaide and Perth, and the first international service from San Francisco operated in partnership with United Airlines.
  • All Pride Flight tickets sold include complimentary entry to the official Pride Flight Landing Party at iconic LGBTQIA+ venue, The Beresford, in Sydney.
  • $30 from the sale of each ticket on Virgin Australia-operated services will be donated to the Minus18 LGBTQIA+ youth charity.

Wednesday 19 October 2022 (International Pronouns Day): Clear the runway, kweens! The Virgin Australia Pride Flight is back – bigger, bolder and more fabulous than ever before, in time for the world’s largest gay and lesbian celebration in Sydney, in February 2023.

On sale from today, Virgin Australia Pride Flight services have been significantly expanded, with over 1,000 Pride Flight seats across five flights available to be booked now, OR the equivalent of more than double the number of services in comparison to 2022.

Maiden Pride Flight services operated by Virgin Australia will depart Adelaide and Perth for the first time, joining The OG cities, Melbourne and Brisbane. And United Airlines will fly the first ever Pride Flight from San Francisco to Sydney, in partnership with Virgin Australia (UA863/VA8005), departing on Wednesday 22 February 2023, with all services set to touch down in Sydney on Friday 24 February 2023.

Virgin Australia-operated Pride Flight services will be hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under stars, Coco Jumbo, Karen From Finance, Kween Kong and Maxi Shield, along with some of Australia’s leading drag talent, including Barbie Q, Penny Tration, Philmah Bocks, Sexy Galexy and Tora Hymen.

Flights from Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will include a pre-flight departure party with special entertainment by local LGBTQIA+ venues (Fluffy, Sircuit, Mary’s Poppin’ and Connections Nightclub), celebrity appearances, mid-air drag performances, bottomless beverages, including DJ entertainment, dancing, and all of the wonders you’d expect from a rainbow celebration at over 30,000 feet.

And if that wasn’t enough of a party, for the second year running, Sydney’s iconic The Beresford, will host the official Pride Flight Landing Party from 4.30pm - 8.30pm with Virgin Australia and United Airlines’ guests set to descend on the venue for complimentary drinks and entertainment - an inclusion in the Pride Flight ticket price.

In a token to mark history for the community, the Virgin Australia flight numbers for 2023 Pride Flight services will represent significant dates for the LGBTQIA+ community:

  • VA 2000 Brisbane > Sydney: The year 2000 marked the first World Pride event.
  • VA 1978 Melbourne > Sydney: In 1978 Sydney hosted its first Mardi Gras Parade.
  • VA 1975 Adelaide > Sydney: 1975 was the year South Australia became the first Australian state to decriminalise male homosexuality.
  • VA 2017 Perth > Sydney: 2017 marked the year same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia.

Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the Pride Flight expansion has been made possible by ongoing support from team members, partners and the broader LGBTQIA+ community. 

“At Virgin Australia we pride ourselves on creating a fun, authentic and inclusive workplace and it’s incredibly important that we use our voice to champion the LGBTQIA+ community in the places we live, work and fly.

“Each year since our maiden Pride Flight in 2021, we have doubled Pride Flight services to Sydney, and 2023 will be no different – we’re excited to once again be flying even more guests in ‘Pride style’ to Australia’s largest gay and lesbian celebration in February.

“We are also working with our incredible partners at United Airlines to offer a Pride Flight direct from San Francisco to Sydney. Together we are proud to join forces to expand the Pride Flight message across the Pacific.

“Like previous years, $30 from the sale of each domestic Pride Flight ticket sold will be donated to Minus18, an Australian charity improving the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth. They do such crucial work and it’s a privilege to support their mission,” said Ms Hrdlicka.

“As a proud ally of the LGBTQIA+ community and the nation’s leading carrier to Australia, United is thrilled to help people celebrate World Pride in Sydney,” said Lori Augustine, Vice President of San Francisco for United.

Pride Flight services will be operated entirely by LGBTQIA+ pilots, crew and allies.

For more information and to book a Pride Flight service, visit: www.virginaustralia.com/prideflight

@VirginAustralia @United #PrideFlight


About Pride Flight

Virgin Australia started Pride Flight in 2021 and it has quickly taken off to be a staple event on the annual Virgin Australia events calendar.

2023 will mark the first international Pride Flight from San Francisco to Sydney, operated by United Airlines, in partnership with Virgin Australia.

Pride Flight is proudly supported by:

  • Accolade Wines (Madam Sass, Yarra Burn Sparkling)
  • The Beresford
  • Archie Rose Distilling Co.
  • Carlton & United Breweries (Balter)
  • Connections Nightclub
  • Fluffy
  • Mary’s Poppin
  • QUAY Sunglasses
  • Sircuit

Virgin Australia Pride Flight schedule:

Melbourne > Sydney $229 one-way


Dep 12:30pm Arr 1:55pm

Brisbane > Sydney $229 one-way


Dep 11:35am Arr 2:10pm

Adelaide > Sydney $229 one-way


Dep 11:30am Arr 1:55pm

Perth > Sydney $379 one-way


Dep 7:00am Arr 2:15pm

San Francisco > Sydney

UA863 (codeshare flight VA8005)

Dep 10.45pm (22 February 2022) Arr 9.05am (24 February 2022)

Terms And Conditions

*Pride Flight fares on sale from Wednesday 19 October 2022. $229 price point based on one-way Economy fares booked on specially marketed Pride Flight services from either Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide to Sydney. $379 price point is based on a one-way Economy fare from Perth to Sydney. All domestic Pride Flight fares can be booked at virginaustralia.com.*$1012USD from price based on a one-way Economy fare booked on the specially marketed Pride Flight UA863 from San Francisco to Sydney booked at united.com. Payment surcharge may apply. Subject to availability. Travel periods may apply. Full T&Cs at virginaustralia.com/united.com.