Hello from Brisbane! After 14 hours onboard Virgin Australia I am relaxed and ready for the day ahead.
Brisbane is merely a transit point on this trip–my end goal is Singapore–but I could not pass up the opportunity to finally give Virgin Australia a try, part of my “bucket list” for 2019. For details on how I booked and what I paid, click here.
In short, Virgin Australia offers great food, efficient and professional service, and an overall positive onboard product.
But let’s start with the seat. I expected to sleep well for the majority of the flight, as I usually do when traveling to Australia. Instead, I only managed about six hours of sleep, which is less than half of the flight. I do not want to blame the seat for my lack of my rest, but I did have trouble finding a comfortable position.
When it comes to reverse herringbone seats, there are two types. One is called the Super Diamond seat by Rockwell Collins (used by British Airways on its new A350, China Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Qatar Airways, and WestJet among others). The other is the Cirrus seat by Safran/Zodiac (used by Air France, American Airlines, Delta, Finnair, JAL among others). Virgin Australia uses the Super Diamond, which has a fold-down tray table below the entertainment screen.
The problem is that I find this tray table interferes with my legroom. I banged my knee against it and found the “cubby hole” tight…it did impact my rest. There’s also no individual air nozzles on Virgin Australia.
But that aside, there were so many things I liked about this flight:
- An excellent dinner after takeoff and breakfast before landing, complete with good cappuccino
- A cool bar area that is even more nicely done than on Virgin Atlantic
- Caring and attentive service
- Efficient service – the meal was service was distributed immediately after takeoff and done within 30 minutes. That is so impressive for those who wanted to eat while still maximizing sleep
- Moderately fast wi-fi that functioned the entire flight
I’ll have much more to say in my full trip report, but did enjoy the flight very much. “The Business” on Virgin Australia is a comfortable way to get to Australia from the U.S. West Coast.
Next up: a Virgin Australia 737-800 to Bali
Any business cabin that includes a “bar” area is a non-starter for me. The last thing I want is to try and sleep in a bar. Always a terrible idea.
The bar area is separated by a thick partition and remained empty throughout the flight.
Why would you “sleep in a bar”? You’ve got your own lie-flat bed, sleep in that. If the fear is noise and light pollution simply select a seat further away from the bar.
Travelled Brisbane – LA return last year in bussiness class on this 777. Arrived LA at 6:30 am feeling great after a good sleep and fantastic service. Highly recommended.
Having a seperate bar area gives you a chance to get out of your pod and enjoy virgins hospitality.
Matthew, did you find VA’s version of the Super Diamond seat was worse than other Super Diamond seats you’ve experienced? AFAIK all such seats have the tray table stowed under the IFE screen so wouldn’t your comfort be just as adversely affected if you’d been travelling on any other airline with the Super Diamond seat?
I don’t remember the cubby hole being as constrained, but it must have been — it’s the same seat. But I certainly noticed it here.
I too much prefer the other reverse herringbone seat with a fold-away IFE screen and table. Recently flew EVA 777, which have the other seat, and then QR A350, which has this seat, and the difference is huge when trying to sleep. That said, this seat looks much classier.
Love the salt and pepper shaker in shape of the Sydney Operahouse! Nice detail!
Yes, they may have found their way into my bag, at the urging of the crew! 😉
Just flew in on VA 7 from BNE today. Fly LAX-BNE pretty regularly. A real treat is VA 6, the day flight on Saturday from LA-BNE. Great time to stay awake and enjoy the bar 😉
The seats are a bit overrated in my opinion, but the crew on VA are always excellent.
Yes, I was eyeing that! Would have loved to have experienced that daytime flight and spent the night in BNE!