Virgin Australia is out of wine, diet coke and passengers are bringing their own refreshments on board as the airline’s management, under new owners Bain Capital, cut service levels to well below those of a budget airline.
In response to a barrage of criticism, some cabin crew are taking days off because they are sick of the abuse from passengers.
Documents sighted by Airline Ratings reveal the meagre offerings being presented to passengers and there are warnings that even those stocks are almost exhausted.
The Virgin Australia staff memo says, “there is limited snacks in the supply chain …..and stock will be exhausted in the coming weeks.”
It adds that wine will not be replenished.
The snacks are two-minute noodles – which costs just 80 cents – or a Granola bar for business class and the Granola bar for economy but only if they ask for it.
The one-way transcontinental business class fare is about $2500.
Defending the offering a Virgin Australia spokesperson said “the safety and wellbeing of our guests is always our top priority and we have a variety of safety measures throughout our customer journey to minimise risks associated with COVID-19, including a limited-service onboard.
This service includes a snack and drink for all guests across both cabins and is designed to minimise contact between guests and crew.
“As travel demand begins to increase we are exploring the possibilities for our onboard Business Class offering, whilst continuing to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew. We look forward to providing this limited Business Class offering to our guests soon.
“We are also re-imagining what our onboard catering offer will be longer-term, and are looking forward to developing a new experience to suit customer needs.”
Qantas returned to an almost full-service last month and will likely corner the business class market, especially on transcontinental flights to and from Perth.