Since their entry into service as a low cost, jovial airline in the early 2000’s, Virgin Australia has transitioned nicely into what I would call semi-full service airline. Somewhere between low cost and full service. The basics are provided, such as a hot meal and a glass of wine. if you want something extra, it comes at an additional cost.
We tested the ‘new’ Virgin on their longest domestic flight, Perth to Brisbane.
Seat and Amenities
Travelling on one of Virgin Australia's oldest 737-800's the cabin looked a little tired. Safety Cards and Menu's in the seat pocket were discoloured and had seen better days. The grey leather seats provided reasonable comfort and the leg room in the exit row was generous, as expected.
Seating Considerations - 9A and 9 F do not have windows. Row 12 and 13 do not recline. Maximum comfort levels are experienced in row 3 (first row of economy and 14 (second emergency exit row in the centre).
Virgin Australia practice the dual boarding technique, with customers seated beyond row 15 embarking the aircraft via the tarmac and stairs. Something to consider when choosing that all important seat.
Customer service on board
Four smiling cabin crew welcomed us on board but the 15 minute delay at the gate before baording without an update from Cabin or Flight Crew could have been managed more effectively.
18 minutes after take off the Cabin Crew entered the Cabin to commence the inflight service. Complimentary Luke Mangan meal choices in the main Cabin included a spicy beef curry (pictured) or a hot vegetarian option. The curry was well flavoured and was accompanied by a chocolate mousse. Rubbish clearance was prompt and ensured customers did not have unwanted items on their tray table for prolonged period.
On domestic East-West services (Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Perth and return) customers can enjoy complimentary beer, wine and soft drink throughout the flight . Basic spirits can be purchased at a cost of AUD 8.
Additional snack items, including sandwiches, noodles and chips can be purchased throughout the flight. Inflight snack menu items detailed below. Prices range from AUD 5 - AUD 15. Service inclusions vary depending on the route, flight duration and time of day.
Payment can be made in Australian dollars or by any major credit card.
Virgin Australia offers complimentary streaming entertainment to your personal device on most B737 services. Offering a wide selection of music, movies and documentaries. There's something for everyone.
The inflight magazine "Voyeur" proved to be an interesting read. Sharing many well written stories on top holiday destinations around the world. The magazine also featured a great article on "bucket list beaches". This piece explored some truely stunning beaches. Impressive!
Tip - Download the Virgin Australia Entertainment App before your flight and make sure your device is fully charged as there is no in-seat charging.
Virgin Australia has lifted its game since the days of Virgin Blue. Of that there is no doubt. Cutting edge entertainment systems across their fleet and complimentary hot meals on longer sectors are noticeable improvements.
Their Cabin Crew have well maintained that friendly and approachable, "smiles all round" service styl
If you're reading article as a low cost carrier enthusiast, but are keen for something more, Virgin Australia is your next step.