Sampling the new premium service in advance, I flew Virgin Australia Business Class to the Gold Coast. Having downloaded their Wi-Fi app before boarding meant I could access onboard movies in-flight on my own device or alternatively there was a Samsung Galaxy tablet available.
A full-service dining experience created by resident head chef Luke Mangan, (the quality was almost as if he was onboard), was a highlight with a choice of two gourmet meals on the menu, complemented with a list of premium Australian and New Zealand wines. Followed by coffee and tea, and as many repeat cups as you like. It’s like a gourmet restaurant in the sky. High quality food, plated and served by professional and polished flight crew. No service trolleys, nice and quiet down the isle. The roomy seats and extra wide lounge style seat arms means ample space for working on the laptop during the flight.
A refurbishing program to increase the number of Business Class seats in ten of Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737-800s is now complete. A coat check-in service (with complimentary coat bag) will be available and newspapers until noon. On flights over three hours duration complimentary amenity kits featuring Australian organic cosmetics by GROWN will put a smile on your face travelling between Auckland and Sydney.
The introduction of Virgin Australia’s Business Class across the Tasman and to Pacific Island destinations is an important step to extending the airline to its premium customers.
So it’s easy to see why this airline was voted as Best Domestic Business Airline
in Australia in 2014. Its premium service will appeal to travellers who prefer to travel in full comfort. The availability of premium seating on high-frequency
trans-Tasman routes from a consumer point of view shows real commitment to customer comfort.
Plane: Boeing 737-800.
Cabin: Business Class, configuration 2 + 2.
Seat: 1A, 96.5cm (38-inch) pitch.
Entertainment: Streamed 30-hours of movies, music and TV series.
Extras: Pillow and amenities kit.
Baggage allowance: Business Class 2x items of checked luggage (up to 32kg each) plus a carry on bag.
Service: Full service onboard dining.
Route: Auckland to Gold Coast (Coolangatta) direct.
Flight time: 3 hours 40 minutes.
Price: NZ$647 direct flight (return $1,337)
Airport lounge: Virgin Australia shares Air New Zealand’s Koru Lounge in Auckland. In Coolangatta there is a dedicated Virgin Australia lounge.
Highlight: The entire travel experience with Virgin Australia flowed seamlessly from premium check-in, priority boarding, enhanced on-board comfort and priority baggage service on arrival.
Lowlight: No USB power. My laptop was charged so wasn’t really an issue.
Tip: Row 2 has slightly more legroom than Row 1, which faces bulkheads but is not the least bit confined.