MHTripple7
Topic Author
Posts: 591
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:17 am

V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Wed Apr 20, 2011 5:59 pm

Introduction


Cool, hip, new, fun, and luxurious. These are the words often associated with anything possessing the Virgin name. The newest airline to the Virgin group, V Australia, is unsurprisingly attempting to mold itself perfectly to the above adjectives. V Australia definitely adds a new flavor to international Australian aviation, challenging traditional operations such as Qantas. Only time will tell if they succeed.

This Australian trip served two main purposes: To check out the country with my family and spend time with an Australian girl I once dated in the Gold Coast. V Australia was an easy choice, as it offered the best fares originating in TPA, with the domestic flights in the U.S. operated by DL.

Ticketing was done via Orbitz, which went flawlessly as usual. I would also like to note that their price of a combined DL & VA itinerary was cheaper than booking the tickets separately or from VA’s website where you can book U.S. connections. Anyways, I was able to log onto DL’s website with my confirmation number, and view my whole itinerary including the VA flights. I was only able to choose seats for the DL flights online. A quick call to Orbitz, however, and my friend and I had secured seats 46A & C for the V Australia flights.

V Australia’s website is extremely basic. You cannot do anything except book flights and view information about their product offerings. There is no online check-in, no seat selection, and no option to manage your booking. Quite sad considering how modern they try to seem.

Brisbane (BNE):


I was leaving Australia with mixed emotions; however, I was definitely excited to get home. The drive from Gold Coast went smoothly, and we were able to reach BNE in roughly 1:15.

Check-in had just opened upon our arrival to the terminal. The check-in agent was very pretty and slightly friendly, but seemed quite distant and removed from her job. We asked her about changing seats from our pre-assigned seats, but she just told us to be patient. Nonetheless, she was able to tag our bags through to TPA and print our connecting boarding passes on DL. Very nice!



While clearing immigration, I noticed that our seats were not the ones we had reserved. Nice. I then angrily went completed the departure formalities, and immediately tried to find a V Australia service desk to fix our seating issue. I found a desk that serviced several airlines, and asked the agent about moving seats. She told us that seat assignments can’t be changed at the airport, and there was nothing she could do. She said that you can’t actually reserve seats, but can only “request” them. She also said that people are often moved to make room for families. Not cool at all.





My friend and I accepted that would not score the seats we wanted, so we proceeded towards the gate. Our passports and boarding passes were checked before the entering the gate area, which was at the very end of the terminal.







Boarding was announced for premium passengers at about 9:40, 40 minutes before departure. We followed shortly after, and our boarding passes were torn despite there being a scanner at the gate.



Flight VA 7:


Date: 4 April 2011
Airline: V Australia
Flight: VA 7
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3ZG/ER
Aircraft Reg: VH-VPE
Departure City: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Departure Airport: Brisbane Airport (BNE / YBBN)
Arrival City: Los Angeles, California, USA
Arrival Airport: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX / KLAX)
Scheduled Departure Time: 10:20 AM
Actual Departure Time: 10:25 AM (5 min late)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 6:25 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 6:25 AM (on-time)
Class: Economy
Load Factor: 100% in all classes

As I stepped onto the 77W, my anger over the seating debacle quickly dissipated. I love 777s, and it’s truly a special feeling every time I enter the cabin. We were immediately welcomed onboard by cheery and attractive flight attendants, who pointed us in the direction of our seats.





Pop music was playing throughout the cabin, which created a very relaxed environment. The mood lighting was also activated a very low setting. We were seated in row 27, which was located just one row behind the emergency exit over the wing. In my seat there was a pillow, a blanket, headphones, an eye shield, and a pair of earplugs. Legroom was standard at about 32”, and the seats were firm, but still comfortable and quite wide. Unfortunately, this flight was to be 100% full.









Boarding took a while, but was still efficient enough. Just a few minutes after the scheduled departure time, we pushed began and began a long taxi to the runway. The safety video was then shown, which was well done with a cartoon version of Richard Branson.



Takeoff was powerful but quite long, although unsurprising considering our full load and flight duration. We were granted fantastic views of Brisbane as we climbed.







Our departure was relatively turbulent, but nothing too bad. The main screens throughout the cabin were huge, and displayed a moving map with information regarding our flight. Water bottles were handed out by the cabin crew during this time as well.

The captain made an announcement to welcome us onboard and give the standard information about our journey to LAX. He also extended a special welcome to some friends of his who were apparently onboard the aircraft.

An informational video about our flight was shown throughout the plane, which offered tips on how to stay healthy on a long-haul flight.

Not too long after reaching our cruise altitude, the meal service began. I opted for some sort of chicken. It was a pretty horrible airline meal in my opinion.



While consuming my meal, I took some sort of sleeping pill given to me by my parents. I began to feel almost drunk, and immediately felt extremely tired (I only slept for 3 hours the prior night as well). I put everything on the meal tray and passed out for a few hours.

I later awoke to find us almost over the middle of Pacific, with the sun setting.





I fell back sleep for quite some time, and later awoke in the middle of the night. I decided to get up, stretch out, use the lavatory, and re-fill my water bottle. VA’s 77Ws actually have water fountains throughout the plane, which is fantastic. They also have snack stands with chips and such for passengers to take. I would also like to add that pop music was played in the lavatories throughout the flight. Can’t say I’ve experienced that before.

Feeling fairly well-rested at the point, I chose to explore the IFE system, known as “Red”. It has a plentiful and fantastic selection of movies, TV shows, games, and music. “Red” offered more than enough for this trans-Pacific crossing. I watched “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”, “127 Hours”, and a few episodes of Modern Family.







Breakfast was eventually served, and I honestly have no clue what I ate. They didn’t say what it was, but I think some sort of potatoes may have been in there. Like dinner, it was not particularly tasty at all.



Eventually, our descent into LAX was announced! Despite my love for flying, I was ready to get off this plane. An arrival video specific to LAX was shown on the IFE system, which was nice. The cabin crew did the standard landing preparations as the sun began to rise.











Los Angeles (LAX):


Our 777-300ER touched down gracefully on runway 6R, bringing our long trans-pacific crossing to an end. Taxi to the gate was extremely short, and of course they were having trouble connecting the jetway to our aircraft. Thankfully, it didn’t take them too long to figure out how to operate it.







Clearing immigration / customs was a lengthy affair. It took about 30 minutes to get through the immigration line and another 10 to get through customs. Rush hour is no fun at LAX. After dropping our bags on the conveyor belt, we made our way to the Delta terminal for our flight to ATL, thus bringing our V Australia experience to an end.

Conclusion:


Overall, I had a nice flight with V Australia. They have top-notch amenities, a brand-new fleet, young and motivated employees, and definitely rock the cool Virgin image. However, their IT system is horrendous for an airline of this caliber. The fact the airline routinely changes people’s seat assignments for 15 hour flights is extremely disappointing, and a huge turn-off. The food was also of poor quality, which was a shame. All-in-all, however, I was pleased with my V Australia experience, and would definitely recommend them.

Thank you for reading, and feel free to view some of my prior Trip Reports:

Taag Angola 737-700 Windhoek-Luanda In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Sep 12 2010 in Trip Reports)
Taag Angola 777-200ER Lisbon-Luanda In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 29 2010 in Trip Reports)
Asiana Airlines 777-200ER ICN-LAX In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Apr 16 2010 in Trip Reports)
Thai Airways A340-500 CNX-BKK In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Bangkok Airways A319 BKK-REP In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 30 2010 in Trip Reports)
Asiana Airlines 747-400 LAX-ICN In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 28 2010 in Trip Reports)
Delta 737-700 ATL-SXM In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 5 2009 in Trip Reports)
Air India 777-200LR DEL-JFK In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jan 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
Drukair A319 PBH-DEL In Y W/TONS Of Pix/Vid (by MHTripple7 Jan 10 2009 in Trip Reports)
Air India 777-200LR JFK-DEL In C W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jan 5 2009 in Trip Reports)
South African 737-800 JNB-CPT In C W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Sep 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
South African BAe 146-200 LVI-JNB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 13 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 767-400ER JNB-ATL In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Aug 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air Botswana BAe 146-100 JNB-MUB In Y W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France 777-300ER CDG-JNB In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air France A330-200 DTW-CDG In J W/Pix (by MHTripple7 Jul 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Delta 737-800 JFK-TPA (Pix And Vid) (by MHTripple7 Apr 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777 DEL-JFK Mar 28 2008 Pix (by MHTripple7 Mar 29 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 9W707 W/Diversion (Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Jet Airways 777-300ER JFK-DEL ( Pix) (by MHTripple7 Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
 
initious
Posts: 937
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:54 am

RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:22 pm

Wonderful rendition of what VA has to offer for the transpacific crossing MHTripple7! They seems to have a very solid hard product but their soft product seemed to have disappointed you, especially in terms of the food.

I would love to try them one day (if I ever get to fly to US from OZ!) but definitely in Premium Economy as I need lots of legroom and J class is too expensive. I hope the food is not the case for all the flights with VA and it should just be a lapse in their service.

I wasn't very impressed by the way they let you "request" seats instead of letting you "reserve" it. How difficult can that be?
One way I will fly around the world!
 
Luftfahrer
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:37 pm

Excellent trip report with many great pictures as well. I enjoyed every bit of it.  
Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Pop music was playing throughout the cabin

Exactly what I expected from V Australia.  
Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, this flight was to be 100% full.

Well, it seems VA is pretty popular with passengers.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
The safety video was then shown, which was well done with a cartoon version of Richard Branson.

I like how he manages to present himself ever so unobtrusive.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
We were granted fantastic views of Brisbane as we climbed.

Indeed!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
It was a pretty horrible airline meal in my opinion.

It doesn't look unappetizing at all in my opinion, but of course, I cannot judge the taste...

[Edited 2011-04-20 11:38:58]
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
tonyban
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:55 am

RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:05 pm

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
While consuming my meal, I took some sort of sleeping pill given to me by my parents.

I wouldn't take a sleeping pill unless I was going to sleep in a bed. It must have made you feel groggy the entire flight
while seated.
 
kulatict
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 9:20 am

RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:36 pm

Hi, great trip report, my last flights on 777-300ER with SQ were very pleasant. Sure hope to try out V Aust one day, its been 20 years since i last visited Australia....

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
The fact the airline routinely changes people’s seat assignments for 15 hour flights is extremely disappointing, and a huge turn-off.

i share your frustration, they are not alone on doing that...i called SQ's USA and they promised me row 30ish, during check in, my seat for SIN-bound flight was 51, 20 rows away from what they promised...
 
RvXKaz
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:22 am

Hello MHTripple7,
I've always enjoyed your TRs and this one is no different.
I love your commentary accompanying your excellent pictures.Sorry you didn't get the seat that you requested. It didn't help that the flight was so full but hey, you did get a window seat and a good view of the wing for sure! On my flights, I've been assigned in between two other strangers on more than one occasion before! But yeah, I agree VA (and other airlines) should do something about their seat assignment systems.

The PTV looks amazing as well and I particularly love the onboard ambience, with mood lighting and all. Especially cool that pop music was played in the lavatories. Never heard that one before. I think its really great VA have water fountains onboard. Its really a thoughtful service for the passengers.

I agree with Laftfahrer, the meals look quite tasty but I guess we can't really judge from the photos. During meal service, do they have two meal options to choose from or just a single choice?

Just curious, why were you so eager to get off the plane?

Thanks very much for your report! It was a delight to read!

Cheers,
RvXKaz
They say that I'm a dreamer. But I'd only Dreamt Skyward.
 
767747
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:04 am

Good report! Nice to read about V Australia.

While the amenities, seats, mood lighting all look very nice, that's too bad to hear the food was rather disappointing.

Definitely a long trip it seems like; crazy to think when you sleep for such a long time that when you wake up you haven't moved very far on the moving map!  

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
CXB77L
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:55 am

Thanks for the trip report. I've always wanted to fly on VA, but I agree with you about your seat assignment debacle - that should never have happened, in my view. I don't understand why the airline doesn't offer reserved seating. As for the food - well, as far as I'm concerned, airline food, especially in Y, have always been hit and miss.
Boeing 777 fanboy
 
smi0006
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:18 am

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
I noticed that our seats were not the ones we had reserved. Nice. I then angrily went completed the departure formalities, and immediately tried to find a V Australia service desk to fix our seating issue. I found a desk that serviced several airlines, and asked the agent about moving seats. She told us that seat assignments can’t be changed at the airport, and there was nothing she could do. She said that you can’t actually reserve seats, but can only “request” them. She also said that people are often moved to make room for families. Not cool at all.
Quoting CXB77L (Reply 7):
I've always wanted to fly on VA, but I agree with you about your seat assignment debacle - that should never have happened, in my view.

This is standard procedure across most airlines, we try and give people their requested seats but it doesn't always work. The agent was quiet correct, at no point in your journey is your seat confirmed as yours, you have only made a preference or request up until check-in and even then you maybe moved (it is even written in most airline T&C's that your class of travel is not guaranteed). Priority if given to families too, have you ever played tetris? That what it is like organising seating for a flight, unfortunately there are only so many window and aisle seats and everyone wants them, on a full flight this is not possible.Trust me editing on a full flight where there are alot of large groups and families is tricky!

For those of you that are unaware they way alot of airlines organise their seating is they pre-edit the flight, 24hrs generally prior to departure ( It takes me an hour and a bit to manually edit a full flight on a 777, depending on how many groups there are and res request seats). We generally follow these steps;

1) Infants are their family members are seated in bassinet rows.
3) Special assist passengers are also seated.
4) Remaining bassinet seats are blocked (in-case of infants that show up later) along with Bulkhead and exit row seats (stops online check-in passengers taking them).
5) Frequent flayers are seated.
6) Reservation seat requests are actioned.
7) Those with group bookings are seated next to each other (depending on the size and make up of the group we may have to move reservations requested seats, but that is a last option).
8)Those with the same last name who may not have a group booking are seated next to each other.
9) Flight is opened for online check-in, remaing seats are left for online check-in and general check-in (again these can be moved if a family shows up and we have to move people about)

V-Australia complicates this as they they use a function of their check-in system (Theoretical seating) this automatically edits the flight based on the fare the passenger has paid, the the more you pay the better your seat theoretically, in some cases this will override seat requests. Unless its a family or group that has been split seated, then agents will not change seats at the airport as this will 're-shuffle' everyone down to the next best seat for their fare type, and if you keep doing this there might as well have been no editing.

In saying all of this there is no excuse for the initial check-in agent to not have told you that you weren't in your requested seat and apologised for that. But the reality is you pay for a seat, not a specific seat.

I am writing this not as a rant just as a heads up so that you understand there is a logic to the way we do things and as airline staff we simply don't disregard customer service, we do our best to accommodate passengers and their request but at the end of the day it comes down to the greater good I'm afraid. Ideally we would like to give everyone the seat they wanted, however everyone would be upgraded or the aircraft would only be made of bulkheads or exit rows only on the aisle or window lol.

Cheers
Smi
 
sultanils
Posts: 1929
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:41 am

G'day MHTripple7!

Nice report on V-Australia and their B773. Great pictures also! That mood lighting really stands out.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
She also said that people are often moved to make room for families

Well, although it is not pleasant to have your seats changed, it might be partly understandable...

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
welcomed onboard by cheery and attractive flight attendants

A good start of the journey for sure!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
The mood lighting was also activated a very low setting

The mood lighting look nice, haven't experienced that until now...

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
It was a pretty horrible airline meal in my opinion

What was wrong with it? It 'looks' good though?

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
pop music was played in the lavatories

Ha, so you can dance your booty around in that little cramped space   


Bye,
(Sulta)Nils
In thrust we trust.
 
sfflyer123
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:59 am

The chicken dish looked quite good; sorry to hear that it certainly didn't taste that way. How long is the flight from Brisbane to LAX?
 
nethkt
Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2001 10:27 am

RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:04 pm

Nice hardware products from V Australia.
I'm still sad they dropped Phuket, I was looking for Phuket-Aussie flight next year  

I agree that the food looks unpromising. The portion is tiny and it is lack of side items.
The Virgin airlines group is famous for their poor catering.

I'd fly them anytime, as long as they are full-serviced and provide cheap air-fare.

Many thanks for all the nice pics from your V Aussie experience.
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
MHTripple7
Topic Author
Posts: 591
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:02 am

Thank you all for your kind responses!

Regarding the meal, it only consisted of about three pieces of chicken, each being extremely chewy.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):

Wonderful rendition of what VA has to offer for the transpacific crossing MHTripple7! They seems to have a very solid hard product but their soft product seemed to have disappointed you, especially in terms of the food.

Thank you!

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I would love to try them one day (if I ever get to fly to US from OZ!) but definitely in Premium Economy as I need lots of legroom and J class is too expensive. I hope the food is not the case for all the flights with VA and it should just be a lapse in their service.

Yes, the premium economy looked excellent from what I saw. And I do think it was a one-off occasion with the food, as my flight on VA from LAX to SYD had much better food.

Quoting initious (Reply 1):
I wasn't very impressed by the way they let you "request" seats instead of letting you "reserve" it. How difficult can that be?

My thoughts exactly.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 2):

Excellent trip report with many great pictures as well. I enjoyed every bit of it.

Thanks, Luftfahrer.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 2):
Well, it seems VA is pretty popular with passengers.

While the full flight wasn't all that great from a passenger's perspective, it is nice to see VA having nice loads.

Quoting tonyban (Reply 3):
I wouldn't take a sleeping pill unless I was going to sleep in a bed. It must have made you feel groggy the entire flight while seated.

Yes, I felt pretty bad by the end of the flight. However, it does force you to sleep when you need to, thus allowing you to get on the timezone quicker.

Quoting kulatict (Reply 4):

Hi, great trip report, my last flights on 777-300ER with SQ were very pleasant. Sure hope to try out V Aust one day, its been 20 years since i last visited Australia....

Thanks, and yes the 777-300ER is a great aircraft.

Quoting kulatict (Reply 4):
i share your frustration, they are not alone on doing that...i called SQ's USA and they promised me row 30ish, during check in, my seat for SIN-bound flight was 51, 20 rows away from what they promised...

I don't understand why they even bother offering advanced seat assignments if they aren't going to honor them!

Quoting rvxkaz (Reply 5):
I've always enjoyed your TRs and this one is no different.
I love your commentary accompanying your excellent pictures.Sorry you didn't get the seat that you requested. It didn't help that the flight was so full but hey, you did get a window seat and a good view of the wing for sure! On my flights, I've been assigned in between two other strangers on more than one occasion before! But yeah, I agree VA (and other airlines) should do something about their seat assignment systems.

Yes, our seats turned out not being so bad despite my love for sitting behind the wing.

Quoting rvxkaz (Reply 5):
The PTV looks amazing as well and I particularly love the onboard ambience, with mood lighting and all. Especially cool that pop music was played in the lavatories. Never heard that one before. I think its really great VA have water fountains onboard. Its really a thoughtful service for the passengers.

I agree, their hard product is among the best in my opinion.

Quoting rvxkaz (Reply 5):
Just curious, why were you so eager to get off the plane?

A few reasons actually. My calves swell up significantly on long flights to the point where it actually hurts a bit, I felt the need to breath fresh air, the guy next to us had horrendous b.o., and I really just wanted to get home at that point.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 6):

Good report! Nice to read about V Australia.

Thank you 767747!

Quoting CXB77L (Reply 7):

Thanks for the trip report. I've always wanted to fly on VA, but I agree with you about your seat assignment debacle - that should never have happened, in my view. I don't understand why the airline doesn't offer reserved seating. As for the food - well, as far as I'm concerned, airline food, especially in Y, have always been hit and miss.

Yes I agree.

Quoting smi0006 (Reply 8):

Thank you for your insight. However, I think it would be nice (and I think some airlines do this) if a portion of the aircraft was available for advanced seat selection, and could not be modified by anyone except for extreme circumstances. Another section of the aircraft, including bulkheads and emergency exits, should be blocked off until check-in, so people who didn't reserve seats for whatever reasons can still sit together and such. I think it's bad business practice to offer advanced seat selection and then to move people's seats, even if it's for a legitimate reason.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 9):
Nice report on V-Australia and their B773. Great pictures also! That mood lighting really stands out.

Thank you!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 9):
Well, although it is not pleasant to have your seats changed, it might be partly understandable...

It's understandable, but still quite annoying!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 9):
Ha, so you can dance your booty around in that little cramped space

Haha, can't say I did that but it did make using the facilities much more enjoyable.

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 10):

The chicken dish looked quite good; sorry to hear that it certainly didn't taste that way. How long is the flight from Brisbane to LAX?

It was about 13 hrs I believe.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 11):

Nice hardware products from V Australia.
I'm still sad they dropped Phuket, I was looking for Phuket-Aussie flight next year  

I know, it's too bad.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 11):
I'd fly them anytime, as long as they are full-serviced and provide cheap air-fare.

Agreed. Overall, it was a good experience.
 
User avatar
BNE
Posts: 2921
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2000 9:37 pm

RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:30 am

Thanks for the interesting trip report, will have to try them some time, I am still addicted to my frequent flyer miles to have a look at flying V Australia.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):

While consuming my meal, I took some sort of sleeping pill given to me by my parents. I began to feel almost drunk, and immediately felt extremely tired (I only slept for 3 hours the prior night as well). I put everything on the meal tray and passed out for a few hours.

You should wait until you are ready to sleep before taking a sleeping pill as they work differently on people, seems like you weren't quiet ready for sleep and the tablet worked quickly for you.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Clearing immigration / customs was a lengthy affair. It took about 30 minutes to get through the immigration line and another 10 to get through customs. Rush hour is no fun at LAX.

30 minutes is quick try almost 2 hours last year for me.

Quoting smi0006 (Reply 8):

For those of you that are unaware they way alot of airlines organise their seating is they pre-edit the flight, 24hrs generally prior to departure ( It takes me an hour and a bit to manually edit a full flight on a 777, depending on how many groups there are and res request seats). We generally follow these steps;

Thanks for the interesting perspective, I guessed that airlines did this but you have laid out the steps.

Quoting sfflyer123 (Reply 10):
How long is the flight from Brisbane to LAX?

The scheduled flying time is just over 13 hours, I flew Brisbane to LAX last year and it was 12 hours + 25 minute flying time.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 11):
I'm still sad they dropped Phuket, I was looking for Phuket-Aussie flight next year

Have a look at www.flystrategic.com as they now fly the route direct from HKT-BNE on Tuesdays and Fridays, they are a low cost full service airline.
Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
The777Man
Posts: 5912
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:15 am

Hi MHTripple7!

Thanks a for a fantastic report with very nice pictures! You seem to have had a nice flight on VA although too bad that the food wasn't very good. I flew VA about a year ago LAX-SYD and had a great flight with very good food and the flight was only about 30 % full so I had three seats to myself and I had a really great flight with them.

I agree that 30mins to clear immigration at Bradley is not bad at all; took me 90mins to clear immigration and customs about six weeks ago arriving from MUC on LH in the eveing and that's with a US passport.......

Very much looking forward to your next report; they are always very interesting!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
MEA-707
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:42 am

I am sorry for the problems with the seat assignment but I noticed you and your travel mate reserved A+C. Airlines happen to disregard this sort of reservations when travel groups intendedly leave seats open in between them, as the single B seat in between is a hard and unattractive seat to assign, especially as most people come in groups. If you would have requested A+B they'd probably be fine because C would be attractive for a single passenger or someone with his travel group in the centre seat block.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
BNEFlyer
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:50 am

Hi MHTripple7!

Nice report, great pics. Glad you had a good flight, and hope you enjoyed your time on the Gold Coast & Brisbane!

The Y cabin on VA looks quite nice and the food doesn't look too bad but of course we can't taste it. I flew VA BNE-HKT-BNE last year in Premium Economy and had awesome flights with VA. Seats were great, food was great, service was really good.

I'm going to the US for the first time in October, flying BNE-LAX on VA in J. Seems to be a pretty cruisy flight which is good. I'm thinking it'll take about 2 hours to get through customs/immigration & get luggage?

It is a shame that VA don't have online check in but perhaps with the rebranding will come some web updates?
 
MHTripple7
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:57 am

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 13):
Thanks for the interesting trip report, will have to try them some time, I am still addicted to my frequent flyer miles to have a look at flying V Australia.

Yes, that's understandable. I thought I was supposed to get credit for my DL SkyMiles account for these flights, but that does not seem to have happened.

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 13):
You should wait until you are ready to sleep before taking a sleeping pill as they work differently on people, seems like you weren't quiet ready for sleep and the tablet worked quickly for you.

Sleeping pills are hit and miss for me. Sometimes they don't have an effect, and other times they make me fall asleep immediately.

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 13):
30 minutes is quick try almost 2 hours last year for me.

Wow, I suppose I should count myself lucky then.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Thanks a for a fantastic report with very nice pictures! You seem to have had a nice flight on VA although too bad that the food wasn't very good. I flew VA about a year ago LAX-SYD and had a great flight with very good food and the flight was only about 30 % full so I had three seats to myself and I had a really great flight with them.

Yes, we flew LAX-SYD on the way out and it was only 50% full. A much nicer experience. I wish I had done a TR on that flight, but the whole flight took place at

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
I agree that 30mins to clear immigration at Bradley is not bad at all; took me 90mins to clear immigration and customs about six weeks ago arriving from MUC on LH in the eveing and that's with a US passport.......

Is there any possibility of expanding the immigration area?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 14):
Very much looking forward to your next report; they are always very interesting!

Thank you, and same to you!

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 15):
I am sorry for the problems with the seat assignment but I noticed you and your travel mate reserved A+C. Airlines happen to disregard this sort of reservations when travel groups intendedly leave seats open in between them, as the single B seat in between is a hard and unattractive seat to assign, especially as most people come in groups. If you would have requested A+B they'd probably be fine because C would be attractive for a single passenger or someone with his travel group in the centre seat block.

That's interesting, but we were actually traveling on separate reservations. Nonetheless, booking A+C is a strategy of mine that I recommend others do. Usually, when airlines don't move our seat assignments, that middle seats is one of the last ones to be filled. And if it is filled, someone will always trade a center for an aisle seat. It's worked a good amount of times!

Quoting BNEFlyer (Reply 16):
Nice report, great pics. Glad you had a good flight, and hope you enjoyed your time on the Gold Coast & Brisbane!

Thank you, and yes I did. Gold Coast is a fun place!

Quoting BNEFlyer (Reply 16):
The Y cabin on VA looks quite nice and the food doesn't look too bad but of course we can't taste it. I flew VA BNE-HKT-BNE last year in Premium Economy and had awesome flights with VA. Seats were great, food was great, service was really good.

Nice, their premium economy product looked great.

Quoting BNEFlyer (Reply 16):
I'm going to the US for the first time in October, flying BNE-LAX on VA in J. Seems to be a pretty cruisy flight which is good. I'm thinking it'll take about 2 hours to get through customs/immigration & get luggage?

Yes you will have a nice flight, especially in J. I don't think it would take more than two hours to clear immigration / customs. We had 2 hrs 30 min to make our connection to DL (another terminal), and we arrived at the gate just as boarding was starting.

Quoting BNEFlyer (Reply 16):
It is a shame that VA don't have online check in but perhaps with the rebranding will come some web updates?

Hopefully, I would really like to see them update their IT system (same with DJ).
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:06 am

Great report with many nice pictures! After flying on Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue I'd really like to try V Australia. The hardware looks excellent, bad to hear about the lack of customer service at the beginning of your journey.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):

V Australia’s website is extremely basic. You cannot do anything except book flights and view information about their product offerings. There is no online check-in, no seat selection, and no option to manage your booking. Quite sad considering how modern they try to seem.

That's odd. Virgin Atlantic's website is quite nice.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
She told us that seat assignments can’t be changed at the airport, and there was nothing she could do. She said that you can’t actually reserve seats, but can only “request” them. She also said that people are often moved to make room for families. Not cool at all.

Ridiculous - never heard such an excuse on my trips.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
The main screens throughout the cabin were huge, and displayed a moving map with information regarding our flight.

Did they display the moving map there throughout the whole flight?

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
It was a pretty horrible airline meal in my opinion.

It doesn't look too bad. What exactly was horrible - the main course? What about the dessert?

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
I would also like to add that pop music was played in the lavatories throughout the flight. Can’t say I’ve experienced that before.

What about the blue mood lighting which you find on VS' A346s when you enter a lavatory?


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
abrelosojos
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Sun Apr 24, 2011 1:34 pm

As usual, a great report. I love how your report goes "behind the scene" to report on what a real traveler may go through. VA seems to have a decent product in Y - though, I don't get the seat assignment part at all. I recognize what one of VA's employees state, but it is poor business practice. In today's world, assigned seating (and the ability to chose the same) is very easy to do with the technology out there. I chose airlines which allows me to pre-select my seat, and do pay a premium for it. What is my incentive to fly an airline which might then put me in a middle seat? Thanks again for giving us an insight to their overall practice.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
MHTripple7
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:36 pm

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
Great report with many nice pictures! After flying on Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue I'd really like to try V Australia. The hardware looks excellent, bad to hear about the lack of customer service at the beginning of your journey.

Yes, I would definitely recommend trying V Australia. My VA flight from LAX to SYD went flawlessly, it was just this one that I had some issues on.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
That's odd. Virgin Atlantic's website is quite nice.

Aesthetically, I like the look of the V Australia website, but it's functionality is very limited.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
Ridiculous - never heard such an excuse on my trips.

I know, I've been on several "sub-par" airlines who honor seat assignments better than this.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
Did they display the moving map there throughout the whole flight?

Nope, just during the first hour and the last hour or so. The screen was actually turned off for most of the flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
It doesn't look too bad. What exactly was horrible - the main course? What about the dessert?

It was the main course. There were about three pieces of chicken, all being extremely chewy and flabby. It actually did not taste like any chicken I've had before. Other than that it was okay, but I usually judge the meal by its main course.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
What about the blue mood lighting which you find on VS' A346s when you enter a lavatory?

I don't recall any mood lighting being in the lavatories on VA.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
As usual, a great report. I love how your report goes "behind the scene" to report on what a real traveler may go through. VA seems to have a decent product in Y - though, I don't get the seat assignment part at all. I recognize what one of VA's employees state, but it is poor business practice. In today's world, assigned seating (and the ability to chose the same) is very easy to do with the technology out there. I chose airlines which allows me to pre-select my seat, and do pay a premium for it. What is my incentive to fly an airline which might then put me in a middle seat? Thanks again for giving us an insight to their overall practice.

Thanks, and I'm glad you agree with me about seat assignments. They are very important!
 
elevate
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:14 pm

A fantastic report and superb images - nothing quite like the 77W!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
V Australia’s website is extremely basic. You cannot do anything except book flights and view information about their product offerings. There is no online check-in, no seat selection, and no option to manage your booking

Wow that took me by surprise - thought it'd of being as modern as their inboard services.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
boarding passes on DL. Very nice!

Very classy!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Despite my love for flying, I was ready to get off this plane.

Whether I'm in business or economy a feeling I get on every flight!

Cheers,
Sam
 
MHTripple7
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Fri May 06, 2011 6:55 pm

Quoting elevate (Reply 21):
A fantastic report and superb images - nothing quite like the 77W!

Thank you, the 77W is the best aircraft in the world IMO.

Quoting elevate (Reply 21):
Wow that took me by surprise - thought it'd of being as modern as their inboard services.

I agree. The website itself definitely looks great, it just has poor functionality

Quoting elevate (Reply 21):
Very classy!

Yup, through check-in is great.

Quoting elevate (Reply 21):
Whether I'm in business or economy a feeling I get on every flight!

Definitely, I just feel the need for fresh air, sunlight, and privacy (it is after all a sleepover with hundreds of other strangers).
 
carbon787
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Tue May 10, 2011 10:21 pm

Very nice report!
We're flying on V Australia this November LAX-MEL---MEL-LAX but in C, so we're looking forward to it, our first with V!
 
Milesdependent
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Wed May 11, 2011 3:52 am

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 20):
As usual, a great report. I love how your report goes "behind the scene" to report on what a real traveler may go through. VA seems to have a decent product in Y - though, I don't get the seat assignment part at all. I recognize what one of VA's employees state, but it is poor business practice. In today's world, assigned seating (and the ability to chose the same) is very easy to do with the technology out there. I chose airlines which allows me to pre-select my seat, and do pay a premium for it. What is my incentive to fly an airline which might then put me in a middle seat? Thanks again for giving us an insight to their overall practice.

I agree. I also acknowledge the comments above from the person who works in this area.

However, in my view, if someone books late and the flight is heavily booked and they can’t sit next to each other … well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. First in, best dressed.

Having said that, under certain circumstances of course there must be a need to move passengers around. Some examples: if someone had a ‘carer’ travelling with them, to ensure at least 1 parent could sit next to a child under 15 years old, or if some passengers are travelling under bad circumstances such as to a funeral and that is why they booked late. But just generally moving things around, and not offering an apology is unacceptable.

If what happened on VA happened for such a reason, the check-in agent should have explained the situation and said that due to unforeseen circumstances we had to sit a family together, and unfortunately you have been moved from your requested seat. We have done our best to accommodate you in a similar seat – and we are very sorry for the inconvenience. Problem solved.
 
MHTripple7
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Sun May 15, 2011 4:09 pm

Quoting carbon787 (Reply 23):
Very nice report!
We're flying on V Australia this November LAX-MEL---MEL-LAX but in C, so we're looking forward to it, our first with V!

Thank you! I hope you have a nice flight with VA. Their J product looks great.

Quoting MilesDependent (Reply 24):

My opinion exactly.
 
n88kb
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:03 am

Great TR MHTripple7,
I read this just before we flew VA7/8 in May and gave me good insight for what to expect. The wife and I did Premium Economy and it was fantastic both ways. We had no problems with requested seats as you unfortunately did. Plenty of room and the seats were wide and comfortable. One problem I found was that the armrests are fixed and this made it difficult to get out if the seat infront was reclined (we were in 11A & C both ways). Comments in other forums about VA staff being overly friendly and unprofessional was unfounded with my experience.


On a side note I have also got to commend Delta. We flew from MCO to connect to VA8 back to BNE. The Delta flight was booked seperately. I asked the checkin agent whether it was possible to transfer our bags to VA and this was absolutely no problem. She also waived the baggage charge and gave us our boarding passes for the VA flight. Great service.

Cheers,

N88KB
 
akhmad
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:34 pm

Hi MHTripple7,

Very nice report about your experience with VA. After Lars (The777Man)’s experience, I was curious how VA would have satisfied you.

Pity to hear about your disappointing experience prior to your flight.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
There is no online check-in, no seat selection, and no option to manage your booking

Strange, while her sister companies offer the possibility to manage your booking.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
We followed shortly after, and our boarding passes were torn despite there being a scanner at the gate.

Did the gate agent hold the boarding passes on the reader?

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
our seats.

What an appealing interior. Nice to see VA has 3-3-3 arrangement.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
It was a pretty horrible airline meal in my opinion.

Like Marius and RvXKaz, it did not look bad either to me. But I agree that you cannot judge meal solely on its appearance.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
VA’s 77Ws actually have water fountains throughout the plane, which is fantastic. They also have snack stands with chips and such for passengers to take. I would also like to add that pop music was played in the lavatories throughout the flight. Can’t say I’ve experienced that before.

Me neither. I must say I love the idea!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
but I think some sort of potatoes may have been in there.

What was that on top of potatoes? Mushrooms?

I really enjoyed your insight review of VA. Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
ba319-131
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:39 am

Great report, sorry it took so long to get around to it.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
She told us that seat assignments can’t be changed at the airport

- That's rubbish, never heard such an excuse before.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
She said that you can’t actually reserve seats, but can only “request” them

- That is a fair point.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
I love 777s, and it’s truly a special feeling every time I enter the cabin

- I'm the opposite, have them, so noisy, give me an 330/340,767 or 380 over a 777.

Looks like the hard product is pretty decent, shame about the catering being poor, expected it to be a bit better, especually for such a long flight.

Cheers

Mark
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airbuseric
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:53 am

Hi MHtripple7

great report of yours! You fly a lot longhaul isn't it? Nice to read about VA, and the beautiful 77W  

I love the seating cloth design on your aircraft, really nice colour setting in this way.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
She also said that people are often moved to make room for families. Not cool at all.

Hmm, once reserved, it shouldn't be changed. At least, not for families to sit together. Families are still not disabled people, ultra-long legs, baby basinets etc... Can't find myself totally agreeing with that ground staff explanation. Maybe a senior couldn've done it, and maybe the girl you spoke with doesn't have the access/entries to change it.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Thread starter):
Not too long after reaching our cruise altitude, the meal service began. I opted for some sort of chicken. It was a pretty horrible airline meal in my opinion.

Can't comment on the taste of course, but quantity and looks are ok I think. It seems to be on level with other airlines' Y-class meals.

Hope to read more soon!
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
byronicle6
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RE: V Australia 777-300ER Brisbane-Los Angeles In Y

Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:58 am

Hi MHTripple7

Nice Trip Report! I am flying Virgin Australia in July on AKL-SYD-LAX-BNE-AKL In Y also, and am looking forward to it! so it is good to see what I can expect for my flights
Like you, I love 777's , especially the77W
I agree with the others the meals look fine but appearance and taste are two completely different things! I hope the carting will be better on my flights than what you experienced.
Aircraft looks modern and clean with a good hard product, and 'Red' IFE looks good too

Cheers
Byronicle6
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