So the other day I travelled in business class across to Adelaide after my father kindly gave me an upgrade, here’s what went down
Flight details VA428, Sydney to Adelaide. The flight was operated by a Boeing 737-800, the only aircraft Virgin Australia operate on this route. We took off 27 minutes late and landed 1 minute late, pretty good considering we were up against a strong headwind. Flight time of 1hr 44min
Check-in: Virgin Australia Business Class guests receive priority bag drop at selected airports including Sydney. Bag drop was quick yet the staff member seemed quite rude like she didn’t want me there, strange for business class. After checking in the main terminal I headed over to Virgins premium entry was business class guests who have carry on or have already dropped their bags in the main terminal can go, in other words, it’s a glorified check-in and priority security lane that has direct access to the lounge. The staff didn’t improve if I’m honest and remained grumpy. The process was good yet the staff couldn’t execute
Lounge: When I first arrived, the lounge was quite busy (mainly due to delayed flights) however it was full of food and booze, perfect. My dad then told me about the secret upstairs area, it was quiet and I had a few ciders up while watching the planes taxi out for an hour or so. I then learnt of the private showers, I believe that was the best shower I’ve had in my life, wonderful. My only complaint is the lack of space, even in delays, there should be ample room yet there wasn’t. I hope Virgin can improve on that.
Boarding: After a while, I headed down to the gate at the very end of the terminal. Boarding was an unorganized mess, the highly advertised “priority boarding lane” was nowhere to be seen and it was only enforced about halfway through boarding. A mess, a complete mess
Comfort: I soon came to realise the seat was simply a glorified premium economy seat, which is fine by my standards. The seat was comfy, the moveable headrest was a welcome addition, the legroom was wonderful yet the table seemed like it would break any second. Overall all though, for a quick flight you couldn’t ask for anything more
Food and drinks: The true standout feature of my flight. The food which was good enough for the Queen was served on real plates and a purple placemat. It was a very large meal which included some sort of meat and a cookie. For drinks, the crew provide champagne before take-off while unlimited premium drinks were offered during the cruise, I had 3 Jack Daniels and Cokes, it was truly wonderful
Service: The onboard staff were wonderful. They had a perfect mix of professionalism and friendliness, exemplary
Entertainment: The entertainment is the same as economy, it’s BYO your own device for the wireless inflight entertainment app (Virgin stopped providing iPads a few years back). The flight was also equipped with onboard wifi which worked but took a solid 5 minutes to download a song from Apple Music. Other than that, you could read the airlines magazine or simply look out the window (I chose the latter while listening to music). Virgin’s entertainment could be stepped up, however, can you really complain if you can browse Facebook at 38,000ft?
Aircraft and the flight itself: The aircraft was in good condition and was extremely clean, turbulence was some of the worst I have ever experienced due to the heavy clouds above Sydney which stretched up to about 31,000ft, after that excitement it was a smooth flight with a buttery touch down into Adelaide
Final thoughts: This flight is normally priced at around $699 Australian Dollars which makes it a hefty investment for a flight that takes less than two hours. Is it worth that price? No, not at all. However, it does make sense if you’re upgrading on points but other then that it’s like flushing your money down the toilet. The food and the seat impressed me but let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t paying for it. 6/10