Review of Virgin Australia flight Melbourne Darwin in Business

Airline Virgin Australia
Flight VA1457
Class Business
Seat 2D
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 04:30
Take-off 09 May 14, 01:45
Arrival at 09 May 14, 05:45
VA   #75 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 62 reviews
airtraveladdict
Published on 25th July 2015
East Timor Trip (Timor Leste) Report Part 1

Hello readers and I hope you enjoy my reading trip report. Please comment and give me feedback, I would like to hear from you.

I took this trip 13 months ago and I thought I upload it here, because I haven't seeing any trip report on Flight-Report.com on Dili Timor Leste.

Warning, this is a heavy report with loads of pictures!
This is the first part flying Virgin Australia Melbourne to Darwin.

Introduction
The trip started at midnight, making my way to Melbourne Airport to catch the redeye flight operated by Virgin Australia (VA 1457). The flight departs at 01:45AM and arrives in Darwin 05:45AM.

Check-in was smooth and quick using the priority lane, and my bags were tagged priority. Soon I made my way to the landside lounge.

The Lounge
Virgin's expanded Melbourne lounge is huge and since its midnight, the entire 1,209 square meters lounge had … 5 passengers!

It was like a private club.

On either side of the lounge, there are espresso bars, and plenty of seating.

Since it was past midnight, they did not have a buffet food spread available, only cookies and apples.

However, the bar remains open and you can ask for anything you wanted to drink.



The Flight
Virgin Australia VA 1457
Boeing 737
Depart Melbourne 01:45AM - Arrive Darwin 05:45AM
Seat 2D

Boarding commenced around 01:30AM, but by the time I arrived at gate 4, almost everybody had boarded. Surprisingly the business class cabin was half full, with four out of eight seats taken.

I have flown this red eye flight many times and usually I am the only passenger in business. I was warmly welcomed by the cabin supervisor Vanessa and a water or orange juice was offered. I chose the water.

The amenity kit
The amenity kit consisted of a pack of tissues, toothbrush and toothpaste, ear buds, eye shades, socks and a pen, in a drawstring bag. There was also a pillow and blanket on the seat. The pillow is small and very soft. I think I would prefer a bigger pillow with more cushion. However the blanket was thick, so you don't feel cold.



The seat
Business class on Virgin Australia's 737 is a limited recliner seat with 38-inch pitch, which is similar to the Premium Economy seats you find on international airlines. I was seated in 1A, right up the front at the bulkhead. I didn't take photos of the seat unfortunately. So here are pictures from official marketing material.
photo virgin seat 1photo virgin seat 2

I find the seat comfortable for daytime and evening flights, but to sleep, it is difficult. Therefore on this red eye flight, I barely slept.

The cabin service
Since it is a red eye flight, service was minimal to allow passengers to sleep. Virgin Australia does not hand out menus for business class, instead the cabin supervisor, Vanessa, came around to tell each passenger that we would be served carrot soup and berry cake for dessert.

Vanessa asked if I wanted to be woken up for breakfast, and I said yes of course, because I have to take pictures for a trip report!

The catering
I started with beer and nuts and pretzels served in a dish.
photo IMG_5660a

It was followed by carrot soup, which was tasty and slightly spiced, with sautéed mushroom sprinkled on top. Vanessa came around with warm bread rolls and offered me a glass of Merlot.


I did not catch the name of the wine but I figured I needed to drink to induce me to sleep! So I had two glasses, unfortunately that trick did not work this time!

Approximately an hour before arriving in Darwin, Vanessa came around with breakfast. It is around 04:30AM, so the breakfast was very light, consisting a bowl of fruit salad, banana muffin, and white coffee.
photo va-meal-5
See more

Verdict

Virgin Australia

6.3/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering6.0

Virgin Blue The Lounge

6.4/10
Comfort6.5
Meal/catering6.5
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Services6.5

Melbourne - MEL

8.4/10
Efficiency10.0
Access7.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness10.0

Darwin - DRW

6.2/10
Efficiency10.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

Virgin Australia keeps the service minimal for the red eye flight to allow passengers to sleep. Vanessa was really attentive and consistently checked on the passengers to see if you wanted anything else. I asked for baileys on the rocks, and that was promptly served.
As I said, the seat is comfortable if you are not trying to sleep, because it is only 38 inch pitch. Having said that, I would take Australian business class over Euro business any day!

Thank you reading, my next post will feature Air North Darwin to Dili, Timor Leste.

Related

6 Comments

  • Comment 142529 by
    Travip 108 Comments

    Thanks for the report! The meal was so simple for such a medium haul flight. :D Waiting for your Dili flight report!

    • Comment 321667 by
      airtraveladdict AUTHOR 119 Comments

      Thank you Travip.
      yes for red eye flight, it was fine because you want to catch maximum rest. but hard to sleep on recliner chairs though.

      I am waiting for Flightreport to add the ailrine to their database :) i cant add the trip report because the airline is currently not in the database.

  • Comment 142557 by
    wop SILVER 241 Comments

    Nice report, thanks! The nuts look good served in a dish rather than a plastic bag as many airlines do.

  • Comment 142582 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5256 Comments

    Great report! Beautiful pictures. The lounge looks really good. Virgin brand airlines are really good at keeping with the hip modern branding. Catering looks good to and it's nice that you get an amenity kit on a domestic flight. Here in the U.S. you only get amenity kits on premium transcontinental routes like JFK-LAX. It's also interesting to see a westbound (or rather northwestbound) redeye--I think all redeye flights in the U.S. are Eastbound. Pretty rough leaving at almost 2AM and getting to Darwin at 5:45 AM. I would have had a hard time doing a report--I'd be dead asleep, lol. Looking forward to the next leg and the discovery of a new airline! It has been added to the database.Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 321741 by
      airtraveladdict AUTHOR 119 Comments

      Thank you Kevin. You are right, it is difficult to record a trip on a red eye flight lol because your body is tired and want to sleep.
      Virgin Australia keeps the service to minimum, so they don't disturb the passengers who want to sleep.
      The catering is also very light, so you don't have heavy stomach and can't sleep.
      And yes it is amazing for a domestic trip, you get amenity kit on this night flight. It is only a few simple items, but it was still good to get good quality eye mask and noise cancelling ear buds.
      If you want true business class with flat bed, you have to fly on Virgin Australia's East-West Coast flight, which is like LAX-JFK. The East-West Coast route is serviced by international standard business class seat with flat beds.
      I have posted my Airnorth report :) you are welcome !

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