Kanga75
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 am

VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:11 am

Virgin Australia Flight VA841
MEL dep 1207 TUE 22 JAN 13
arr SYD 1330 TUE 22 JAN 13
Seat 1A Business(J)


First report, so here goes.

Pick up ticket from premium check-in 30mins before scheduled departure, carry on only, another pleasant service experience from those Virgin folks.

Only one using Priority Security Screening Lane, quick and painless, security guards even nice.

Arrive Gate 7 (pleased real airbridge for this gate) for the usual pre-boarding wait, slight delay after boarding called due to unfamiliarity with Sabre system, but to be expected for change-over.

Very pleasant greeting from cabin crew, young lady even apologised for calling me by my first name - I didn't mind. Got assistance with bag, and had a Virgin mocktail in my hand soon there-after (its a nice thirst quencher).

Delayed at gate due to a couple of no-show pax who had bags in hold (grr!), requiring bags to be offloaded before push-back. That caused service to miss slot, so further delay ensued on taxi, before finally clearing runway.

Shortly after seatbelt sign extinguished, purser came round to offer Galaxy tablet to J pax. Good offering of recent release movies, I opted to watch Bernie. I used my own Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones, as impossible to hear audio on the supplied earbuds.

Cabin service began not long into flight. Menu explained and food/drink orders taken, serving 1DF then 1CA and so on (strangely same pattern on return flight, so obviously not an odd/even flight number thing).

I opted for the warm chicken dish, which was served with diced potatoes. Chicken was nice, diced potatoes less so. Warm bread roll and lemon merengue pie accompanied, both tasty. I had gin and tonic for drink - came not prepared but with gin miniature and tonic bottle and glass with ice. No water offered.

We made up lost time in air, arriving SYD on time and thankfully at airbridge equipped gate.

Good flight, and fairly good service.

Virgin Australia Flight VA842
SYD dep 1320 WED 23 JAN 13
arr MEL 1443 WED 23 JAN 13
Seat 1A Business(J)

Returning to MEL, made use of Premium Security/Lounge Entry at SYD ap to collect ticket and enter lounge. Definately a plus, wish MEL ap had one. Security friendly and efficient.

Works in lounge at present, limiting toliets and lounge space. Lounge therefore pretty packed. Had an LLB at bar before taking the l-o-n-g trek to Gate 39 (at least it was a real airbridge). Usual wait for actual boarding - wish Virgin would call Business separate from Velocity boarding, always a stampede.

Warm greeting by cabin crew on boarding, followed shortly by mocktail/water offering (mocktail of course).

Delays before push-back, which purser put to good use by giving more lengthy welcome individually to each J pax, followed by taking orders for lunch, including offered choice of still or sparking water. Finally off and away, with no-one in 1D a welcome plus for this flight.

No offer of Galaxy tab this flight (disappointingly given I would have liked to see a bit more of Bernie), but my warm pasta bake came before too long. Interesting dish, salami slices in cheesy pasta bake - little Curtis Stone influence I think lol. Warm bread roll, some sort of gelatinous chocolate type dessert (average) and premixed G&T plus my ordered still water. Offered another G&T when tray cleared, which I accepted.

Arrived 8 minutes late at MEL ap, glad to be back in Vic, and given warm farewell by cabin crew as I made another long journey to the short term car park.

[Edited 2013-01-23 20:16:58]
 
theobcman
Posts: 267
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:16 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:09 pm

It's a nice report - but as always there's nothing like seeing the places you go & planes you ride !!
 
Kanga75
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Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:41 pm

Agreed, will have to get camera out for next flight.
 
themit9
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:06 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:27 am

Nicely done, would like to do a J flight between Melbourne and Sydney but it's just too expensive compared to what you can get in Asia for your money (I'm thinking EK A380 First Class...).

As others have mentioned bring out the camera on your next flight as it's always great to see pictures, although yours was well written and described.

Regards,
themit9
 
rushed
Posts: 239
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 3:48 pm

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Great first Trip report - it's nice to fly up the pointy end, regardless of how short the flight is. I used to fly Mel-Sydney-Cbr in J a bit when the flexible connection fares weren't overpriced as they are now and they had half price point upgrades! Love "The Australian" mock tail - add gin makes it even better  

I did a review of the same service a while ago with some pics for those interested: http://www.carlousmoochous.com/2012/...ia-business-class-737-800-mel-syd/

Look forward to your future TR's   Great to see Aussie content before Australia Day tomorrow  
travel blogging enthusiast :)
 
Kanga75
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RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:32 pm

I took advantage of Virgin's jolly nice discount on J this early Jan, and booked a swag of travel. After flying Qantas for years, and seeing both the hard and soft product drop in quality, I'm a happy convert to VA - more consistent product, happier cabin crew, and competitive fare pricing and reward scheme (to the point my lifetime status in QFF scheme no longer an anchor in my flight choice - if you are flying J domestically, who needs FF status anyway).

To themit9: Definately do First on EK. I recommend the absolute bargain Auckland service - a perfect First sampler for just a couple of K (which with limo service, works out incredible value). I did MEL-AKL rtn last year and was spoilt rotten, redoing the experience on the A380 service in a couple of months. It's less than a J fare on Air New Zealand, just crazy! Service was outstanding, puts my prior QF F/J flights in the shade.
 
Kanga75
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:29 pm

For those interested, future TRs over next 6 months will be:
* a slew of VA J domestic services (inc a MEL-PER rtn);
* EK F A380 MEL-AKL rtn;
* SQ F A380 MEL-SIN rtn - can wait to take the SQ suite for a spin!
 
aflyingkiwi
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:52 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:08 pm

Thanks for the great first report. I've only flown VA once on the same route (SYD-MEL) but unfortunately that was in Y. One day I'd like to try out their J product, especially on their A330's.

I'm looking forward to your future reports!
 
themit9
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:06 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:20 am

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 5):
To themit9: Definately do First on EK. I recommend the absolute bargain Auckland service - a perfect First sampler for just a couple of K (which with limo service, works out incredible value). I did MEL-AKL rtn last year and was spoilt rotten, redoing the experience on the A380 service in a couple of months. It's less than a J fare on Air New Zealand, just crazy! Service was outstanding, puts my prior QF F/J flights in the shade.

Hi Kanga75,

I had the pleasure of doing EK A380 F for just under 1K from HKG-BKK-HKG so I know what you're talking about, would love to do the MEL-AKL-MEL service. It was just long enough to enjoy the onboard shower and there really is nothing like it for 1K. I'm going to shamelessly self-promote my report here: Poor Man’s First- EK A380 First HKG-BKK-HKG (2/3) (by themit9 Dec 10 2012 in Trip Reports)

Plus, in contrary to what I previously wrote, I ended up doing a QF J MEL-SYD flight last week- very last minute. Now really want to try the DJ service (was your flight a DJ flight number despite having VA in your title?). Report here: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J (by themit9 Feb 1 2013 in Trip Reports)
 
Kanga75
Topic Author
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:09 am

Hey themit9,

Yes, just left a thank-you post on your new report - an excellent standard which I must follow on my next TA.

When I booked my recent MEL-SYD trip, it was on DJ 841 & DJ 842 however, by the time it came to fly it, it had been rebadged to VA 841 & VA 842 thanks to the change-over to the Sabre system (which VA used to kill the old DJ IATA designator code, same with ICAO - VOZ to VAU). Interesting that we got VA, given you'd have thought Virgin Atlantic would have got it first, but as they opted for VS, VA was up for grabs.

[Edited 2013-02-02 16:23:07]
 
gardermoen
Posts: 1325
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 1999 9:52 pm

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:31 am

VA biz class is great! I just did a MEL-PER return using velocity points to upgrade from flexi economy to business class. The 9,900 points upgrade per sector is def worth it. And at around 4 hrs travel time, it is worth every single point! Hope you get the newer A330s with fully flat beds and large screens. The older ones sure have that somewhat dated feel to it, its like turning back the clock to an Emirates flights in 2002!
 
Kanga75
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:03 am

I hope so too gardermoen. And I reckon anything over two hours flight time worth upgrading, short hops in Y can easily be endured but extra space, cleaner bathrooms, and decent menu really come into their own in long haul.
 
Kanga75
Topic Author
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:51 am

Can now add another future TA to my list of travel over next six months:
QF W (Premium Economy) SYD-HGK rtn on A380 (yep, back on the Red Roo as Premium Economy product worth it)
 
Kanga75
Topic Author
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 am

RE: VA J MEL-SYD-MEL 22-23JAN13

Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:58 am

Almost a full blown crisis moment one day after booking my HGK trip! Some bright spark at Qantas, due to an earlier departure time on A380 service, offloaded me from Premium Economy and dumped me on Qantas' woeful A330 service direct from MEL in ECONOMY! [was on verge of cancelling whole trip] And without so much as a heads-up, by either phone or email.

Luckily, after seeing travesty tonight when checking seat allocations, I was lucky enough to speak to a switched on operator at Qantas' call centre who, after I gave the booking reference, must have realised the issue straight away as she put me on hold and when she came back she had rebooked me onto A380 service in paid class before I had even mentioned the problem.

Qantas can credit that lady from saving them from me putting Qantas on a permanent travel ban, as if that downgrade was left the way it was, I'd rather not fly at all. Talk about cock-ups (especially since I was travelling with only carry-on, and an hour is more than enough for that sort of connection).

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