Review of Virgin Australia flight Cairns Brisbane in Business

Airline Virgin Australia
Flight VA786
Class Business
Seat 2A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 04:10
Take-off 24 Aug 18, 14:20
Arrival at 24 Aug 18, 18:30
VA   #75 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 60 reviews
Rewardflying
By GOLD 762
Published on 23rd September 2018
photo va786 cover

Hello Flight-Report #Avgeeks. After a brief but enjoyable visit to Cairns it was time to make the slow and multi-stop trip back to the US, the wrong way of course. Originally this trip had almost a week in Australia, Cairns and Brisbane being the choice cities. My return home was on Singapore and ANA in first class using a no longer available 125K point redemption, which was a grand steal. When I booked it a year out there was rumor the new A380 would fly the SYD-SIN route. Singapore flies 2 A380s between these cities. BOTH were available when I booked it. But I picked the wrong one, and by the time I realized it, the new A380 was not available.

So for months that gnawed at me. Then SQ started publishing routes for their new B787-10. Reward Flying wanted to fly that plane. And I found Malaysia A350 too. And I found a waitlist on the new SQ A380. And I found space on Cathay's A350-1K. So I blew up the trip and ultimately had tickets on all these aircrafts.

Proud of my accomplishment I became tired just looking at the travel I was facing.

So I blew it up again. However all these aircraft are booked for travel in the next few months, as well as some others (hint: QR Qsuites, QR A350-1K, SQ URL) And the good news is CX swapped out the A350-1K on my flight and MH had an aircraft swap as well.

And in the end I lucked into QF's 787 plus an incredible dose of first class to return home.

KLM ORD-AMS B747-400 Business Class - click to view
KLM AMS-CDG B737 Business Class - no report
Qatar CDG-DOH B777-300 Business Class / Qatar CDC Lounge - click to view
Qatar DOH-SYD A380 First Class / DOH Al Safwa First Class lounge = click to view
Qantas SYD-CNS 737-800 Business Class - click to view

Virgin Australia CNS-BNE B737 Business Class - This Report


Qantas BNE-MEL B787-9 Business Class - to come
Qantas MEL-SYD A300-2 Business Class / MEL 2nd day open Business Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines SYD-SIN Suites Class / SYD Krisflyer First Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines SIN-PEK First Class / SIN Private Room - to come
Lufthansa PEK-MUC First Class - to come
Lufthansa MUC-FRA A321 Business Class / MUC First Class Lounge - to come
Singapore Airlines FRA-JFK Suites Class - to come
JetBlue JFK-ORD E190 Economy Class - no report

photo map of trip

Cains has a quant airport. Both Qantas and Virgin Australia board front and rear which allows for super fast boarding. You can see the rear jetway in the photo above.

I was anxious to compare Virgin Australia 737 service to Qantas. Previous I had compared their A330 long haul domestic service and Virgin blew the doors off Qantas. A comparison was not worth writing about as in the end it was pretty equal.

Business Class seat in 737-800 operated by Virgin Australia.

photo va786 cabin 4
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photo va786 cabin 3

VA only has 8 seats up front. Row one leg room seems pretty good.

photo va786 cabin 5

Row 2 leg room is fair, with the obvious extra room under the seat in front.

photo va786 cabin 1

Northern Cairns area on departure.

photo va786 away they go 1photo va786 away they go 2

Courtney was the upfront FA. She was extremely nice and had a bubbly personality. Shortly after take-off she presented this pork pie and salad.

photo va786 food 1

The quality and presentation of the dish are superior to the lunch served by Qantas.

photo va786 food 2
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photo va786 food 3

I passed on dessert. (and the wine)

It was a beautiful day to fly. This is the Great Barrier Reef area.

photo va786 scenic 1

And a cruise ship probably headed to Cairns.

photo va786 scenic 4

Virgin uses Samsung tablets for entertainment. I tracked the flight.

photo va786 ife 1photo va786 ife 2photo va786 ife 3
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photo va786 flightpath

Overall I would rate this flight a bit better than the Qantas domestic to Cairns. The differences were the quality of food and the IFE on VA.

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Verdict

Virgin Australia

7.1/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering7.5

Cairns - CNS

7.4/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.5

Brisbane - BNE

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Another example of how Australian domestic business class is so much better than US domestic. The food was creative, attractively presented and quite good. Flight attendants were extremely nice (not to imply all US FA's aren't) and a wide, comfortable seat. Nice flight.

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