Ryanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0 Posted (10 years 10 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2732 times:
This is about the only DJ flight of my trip, for the Singapore and Qantas ones check out their own seperate trip reports if you are interested.
Five agents awaited us, which with only one flight departing was loads infact I was the only one at any of the desks. The agent smiles as I walked up, apart from that she was a tad unfriendly. The Bus Ticket style boarding pass amused me.
Security was closed in the VB area so had to walk to QF. The facilities in VB's terminal section are pretty minimal with a cafe/news agents offering pretty expensive faire.
Having explored the QF section I walked straight up to gate for boarding and was met by a very friendly agent. Control of people walking around the tarmac seemed alarmingly minimal as we boarded via stairs.
One thing that surprised me was how over staffed VB was compared the European Budget Airlines. We had 6 crew on a little 737-700, admittedly one person was on their first day so maybe it was a normal crew +1, but even so the number of baggage handlers, gate agents, check in staff etc seemed extravigant to me.
Upon boarding the crew although doing nothing were utterly disinterested by us human cargo and did all possible to show it.
Our departure was on time and take off a minimum power affair.
Their inflight magazine "Voyeur" was sizable with 100 pages of articles and a small city guide section, again I was surprised to see such an expensive item on a budget airline, personally I'd rather doaway with the mag I don't read and have an even cheaper fare. Headsets to keep were available to buy for A$2.50 (fairly cheap) or you could use your own (which I'd checked in, doh!) to listern to one of the 7 channels.
Service was very very slow, despite there being two trollies with two staff each. I had a Pot Pasta, which was tasty but hard to eat with the little spoon I was given. It should have cost $2.50 but for whatever reason they didn't charge me I didn't see the crew again until after we'd landed.
I was sat with a VB staffer who started a conversation and pointed out various sights like the City and Bondi as we landed (didn't like to point out I grew up in Sydney!). That was very nice of him and it made the flight.
The interior was nice and clean, the blue leather seats with red insets where the headrest cover would be reminded me a lot of BA shorthaul.
Strong Westerlies made for a cross runway approach and bad turbulance. We landed at literally a 45 degree angle on one wheel and they must have slammed us straight pretty quickly.
The Express Terminal is a bad joke and belongs in the thrid world. The luggage was slow to arrive.
I was quite disappointed in Virgin Blue, the Virgin touch was completely absent and product pretty poor. The experience ranked with Ryanair, OK they're similar companies but VB hypes itself up to levels they just donot deliver on. Frankly, I've seen budget airlines do much better.
Ryanair From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 654 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (10 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2569 times:
I wouldn't say the service was bad, but the kind I'd expect at the Commonwealth Bank, basically it came across they didn't care and couldn't be bothered to fake it. Which is bad news because DJ push their staff as their selling point and of the maybe 20 I encountered only 2 (neither of which you'll be finding in FHM) lived up to that. I'd happily fly them again.
For me the interesting thing was comparing them to other similar airlines. To someone whose watch budget airlines grow in Europe quite closely I was appauled at their operation, the plane was on the ground for 45 minutes and not in early before my flight, 5 check in agents when one would have done, inflight magazines, off duty cabin crew taking up revenue seats, such a big cabin crew, things like that. My gut feeling was if they ever had any serious competition from the likes of Southwest or Ryanair they'd be out of business within the hour. Of course it's hard for me to make that judgement from just one experience.
Rojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2395 posts, RR: 10 Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2517 times:
I flew Virgin Blue last week, MEL-SYD on the only B737-300 they have painted white... I think that Virgin Blue worked very good for me... I just wanted to get to SYD quickly and safely... and with those gorgeous flight attendants. I know the express terminals of SYD and MEL are quite a nightmare... I hope they get the space they when the lease of the Ansett terminal is ready... Because in Brisbane, my DJ flight was everything I expected with good counters and actually Gate 38... not normal for DJ to board through a gate.