Virgin Australia has a very small widebody fleet consisting of only six Airbus A330-200s and five Boeing 777-300ERs, with these aircraft used to mainly service their East Coast Australia to Los Angeles and Hong Kong routes. Though limited in number of aircraft their business class product “The Business” installed on both of these jet variants is excellent and one I got to enjoy again recently on-board my flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne.
Again, as with all my trip reports you can see the accompanying footage below:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lt7J_mAS9e0Check-In
For this flight I took advantage of the excellent free in-town check-in service on offer at both Hong Kong and Kowloon MRT stations. Being able to use this service 24 hours prior to your flight’s departure and up to 90 minutes prior to departure is fantastic. This means you can check-out of your hotel completely (not having to return to collect luggage later) and explore Hong Kong luggage free. Then head directly to your departure gate with your boarding pass ready for your flight. I didn’t see my suit case from the moment it was checked in at Hong Kong MRT station until I arrived at my final destination, after my domestic connection in Melbourne.Hong Kong Airport and Lounge:
Hong Kong airport is beautifully designed in both form and functionality. The terminal works like clock-work and it truly is such an easy airport to find your way around in. On this occasion I was glad that I had checked my luggage in as the line at Virgin Australia’s check-in counter was longer than I would normally expect. This was due to both the Sydney and Melbourne flight being open for check-in simultaneously.
At Hong Kong Virgin Australia has an arrangement with Hong Kong Airlines to use their lounge facilities located in the mid-field concourse. The Club Autus lounge is well appointed and one I have frequented before. The food and beverage selection is plentiful, with heaps of space seating for working, lounging or getting some rest.Boarding:
Boarding for this flight is done in stages and follows the usual methodology – business, frequent flyer top tier members & then economy in sections by row number. The gate in use for boarding has dual aerobridges meaning business class is boarded via a exclusive aerobridge limiting the number of people walking though the cabin.
The flight between Hong Kong and Melbourne is operated by an A330-200. The aircraft is made up of 20 business class mini suits, 247 standard economy seats and 8 economy x seats (extra legroom exit row seats). The business class product is excellent on this flight – the reverse herringbone layout provides privacy and a feeling of space all at the same time. The seat has the ability to lie completely flat, making getting into a comfortable sleeping position very easy. The cabin overall is aesthetically pleasing with a rich purple and black theme throughout, with accompanying purple mood lighting. Another thing that I love about this overnight flight is the FREE Virgin Australia PJS (Is business class even truly business class without PJs?)
. The virgin ones are so comfortable, and I have been able to get a little collection of these comfortable PJs over the years.Meal Service
There are two meal services on this flight. Unfortunately, Virgin do not have dine on demand and due to wanting to catch some Z’s, I slept through the main meal service. Prior to taking off the cabin crew circulate a menu which looked delicious and can be seen in the video footage. They also provided a breakfast card – where you are invited to select which breakfast items you would like prior to the morning arrival into Melbourne. I went with the classic scrambled eggs and bacon.Final Thoughts:
Virgin Australia is competing with some of the giants of aviation on this route – Cathay Pacific and QANTAS. They are the “little airline that could” and what they do is provide an excellent business class product coupled with excellent service. This is always one of my favourite flights to take and once again they lived up to my high expectations.