For the subsequent portion of our around the world journey, my dad and I flew Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 enterprise class from Perth to Sydney. This was my first time flying with Virgin Australia in a number of years, because the airline went via voluntary administration.
I additionally lucked out, as a result of I flew on considered one of Virgin Australia’s plane with the brand new interiors, which might be put in on all Boeing 737s over time. So, how was our Virgin Australia enterprise class flight? I used to be fairly impressed for a home flight, preserving in thoughts that Virgin Australia has a hybrid enterprise mannequin. The 737 had snug seats, pleasant service, and fairly tasty meals, although elements of the expertise additionally felt a bit low price.
Let’s get into the evaluate…
How I booked our Virgin Australia enterprise class tickets
I booked our Virgin Australia enterprise class tickets utilizing United MileagePlus miles. The partnership between United and Virgin Australia is basically helpful for award journey. I booked the next for 28,800 United MileagePlus miles plus $12.10 in taxes and costs per individual:
5/24 VA562 Perth to Sydney departing 3:30PM arriving 9:50PM
For what it’s value, I booked these awards simply over per week earlier than departure. Notice that there’s a trick to snagging a number of Virgin Australia enterprise class awards, which I outlined on this submit.
Virgin Australia enterprise class lounge & boarding
Within the earlier installment I reviewed the Virgin Australia Lounge Perth, which was completely nice. Our flight was scheduled to depart from gate 44, only a brief stroll from the lounge.
On the gate I noticed the eight-year-old Boeing 737-800 with the license plate VH-IWQ, which might be working our flight. Curiously this can be a former SilkAir plane (SilkAir has now been merged into Singapore Airways), and the plane joined Virgin Australia’s fleet in 2021.
Boarding was scheduled to begin at 3:05PM, 25 minutes earlier than departure, with enterprise class passengers, in addition to Velocity Platinum and Gold members, being invited to board first. It’s good how Virgin Australia has the precedence lane in a separate space from the primary boarding lane. Certain sufficient, boarding began proper on schedule.
I simply need to touch upon how orderly boarding in Australia is, because it’s a breath of contemporary air. Not simply at our gate, however generally I observed how most individuals remained seated till boarding was referred to as, and even then, didn’t crowd the gate space.
Virgin Australia 737 enterprise class cabin & seats
On the ahead door we had been greeted by two pleasant flight attendants, and pointed towards our seats. Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737s have eight enterprise class seats, unfold throughout two rows in a 2-2 configuration. Whereas all 737s have a cabin of that measurement, not many but have the inside we flew on, although it would quickly grow to be the usual throughout the 737 fleet.
As you’ll be able to see under, there’s no partition or curtain between the enterprise and economic system cabin, although there are plans so as to add this sooner or later.
Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 enterprise class seats ought to look acquainted, as they’re fairly commonplace, and also you’ll discover them on fairly a number of airways. For instance, it’s similar to American’s home top notch seat.
Legroom was a bit higher than you’d discover in home top notch inside america. Some individuals might choose row one (the bulkhead row), since nobody will recline into your house, and it could be simpler to stand up from the window seat with out having to disturb your neigbor.
Personally I choose the second row, because it permits you to retailer baggage beneath the seat in entrance, which isn’t potential within the bulkhead. So my dad chosen the aisle and window seat on the left facet within the second row.
What’s fairly cool is that these seats have leg and foot rests, which you don’t sometimes discover in america. Admittedly it’s a bit tight whenever you put out the foot relaxation (particularly when you have huge ft), but it surely’s nonetheless useful for getting snug.
As you’ll be able to see under, legroom was fairly first rate, and the seatback had each a web for storing issues, plus a literature pocket, although stuff can simply fall out of that.
The middle armrest could possibly be raised, as that may act as a storage space. Moreover, that’s the place the ability outlet was positioned, which included AC and USB-A charging.
The seat controls had been positioned proper subsequent to that storage compartment, and there have been three buttons, controlling the recline, the leg relaxation, and the foot relaxation.
Additionally on the middle console was a tray, the place you can place drinks throughout the flight.
On the entrance of the middle console was a further uncovered storage compartment, although it doesn’t appear terribly sensible for storing most sorts of issues.
The tray desk prolonged from the far-side armrest, and could possibly be folded over in half.
If folded over in half, there was a stand the place you can place a private system, do you have to need to watch your individual leisure.
The overhead console was fairly trendy, and had each studying lights and particular person air nozzles.
I additionally shortly glanced into the economic system cabin (which isn’t onerous to do, given the shortage of separation). As you’ll be able to see under, there have been 5 rows of Financial system X seats, which is Virgin Australia’s additional legroom economic system seating (three rows within the entrance, plus two rows by the exits).
All-in-all, I believed the cabin was fairly snug, and according to what I used to be anticipating. It was a bit extra snug than home top notch in america. The one factor lacking was some type of partition between cabins, but it surely’s my understanding that might be launched sooner or later.
Virgin Australia 737 enterprise class leisure & Wi-Fi
Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737s don’t have seat again televisions, however do have streaming leisure, which you’ll be able to play by yourself system. Actually, the streaming choice wasn’t very spectacular — it included eight motion pictures and perhaps a few dozen TV exhibits.
Virgin Australia plans to put in Wi-Fi all through its Boeing 737 fleet ultimately, although the plane I used to be on didn’t but have Wi-Fi. So whereas streaming leisure is healthier than nothing, I’d nonetheless suggest bringing your individual leisure.
Virgin Australia 737 enterprise class facilities
Throughout boarding, the cabin supervisor, Sarah, launched herself to every enterprise class passenger, which was a pleasant contact. She additionally provided pre-departure drinks in correct glassware, with the selection of glowing wine or water.
Sadly that was the extent of the facilities. There have been no pillows, blankets, or different facilities. It certain could be good if there have been at the very least some primary blankets on a transcontinental flight like this, however then once more, we don’t get these on many flights in america both.
Virgin Australia 737 departure from Perth
Though our flight was full, boarding was environment friendly. At 3:25PM the primary cabin door closed. I used to be shocked that there was no announcement from the pilots in any respect throughout the flight relating to our flight time, route of flight, and many others. Is that commonplace on Virgin Australia, or was it simply this crew?
As soon as the door was closed, the protection demonstration was carried out. Whereas the demonstration was handbook, an audio journey was performed, which even had music (which you don’t typically discover for handbook security demos).
At 3:30PM we started our pushback, and 5 minutes after that we started our taxi to the runway.
Our taxi to the runway solely took a couple of minutes, however then we needed to wait round 10 minutes till we had been cleared for takeoff.
At 3:50PM, we had been cleared for takeoff on runway 3, beginning our 3hr30min flight throughout the nation.
I loved the views on our climb out, and the seatbelt signal was turned off about 5 minutes after takeoff.
I’d word that the solar began setting fairly shortly after takeoff, on condition that it was almost winter once we had been flying, and we had been heading east.
Virgin Australia enterprise class meals & drinks
About quarter-hour after takeoff, the cabin supervisor got here via the cabin to take drink orders. Virgin Australia doesn’t have printed menus, so it’s onerous to know what precisely is on supply. I requested what sort of white wine they’d, and Sarah defined there was both a pinot grigio or a chardonnay. I chosen the previous, and likewise requested for a nonetheless water. This was served inside 5 minutes.
After the primary spherical of drinks had been served, meal orders had been taken. The 2 decisions had been hen confit with inexperienced beans or vegetable rigatoni with a tomato sauce and pine nuts. The cabin was full, and by the point our meal orders had been taken, solely the pasta was left (with such a small cabin and never desirous to cater additional meals, perhaps Virgin Australia might work on introducing meal pre-orders?). Dinner was served about 45 minutes after takeoff.
Your complete meal was on one tray, and it included an appetizer with artichokes, zucchini, and sundried tomatoes, a field of cheese and crackers, the primary course, and a chocolate cherry brownie cake for dessert.
Whereas not probably the most elaborate meal ever, I believed the meals high quality was fairly good, except for the cheese and crackers. It simply appears sort of low cost to serve boxed cheese and crackers like this.
Sarah always handed via the cabin to see if anybody needed further drinks. After the meal, I made a decision to order a espresso. Finest I might inform, this was a powdered espresso, so I wouldn’t suggest it, particularly given the good espresso we’re in any other case spoiled with in Australia.
All-in-all, I believed the meal tasted fairly good. So far as drinks go, I loved the pinot grigio, however didn’t benefit from the espresso. I used to be shocked there was no different supply of snacks — sometimes airways will serve some type of snack with the primary drink service, and perhaps have a snack basket for anybody who desires something after the meal.
Whereas nothing was provided proactively, it was later identified to me that some packaged snacks can be found on request, in order that’s one thing you’ll be able to ask about. It could be good if these had been provided proactively, as a result of on most airways you’re both provided every thing that’s obtainable, or a menu outlines all of the choices.
Virgin Australia 737 enterprise class toilet
There was a rest room on the entrance of the Boeing 737 cabin, reserved for enterprise class passengers. It was very primary and no frills, and whereas the remainder of the cabin had been just lately refreshed, that didn’t appear to use to the bathroom.
Whereas the ahead toilet was restricted to these in enterprise class, passengers stored arising from economic system to attempt to use it, given the shortage of a partition between cabins (so I can perceive the confusion).
Virgin Australia 737 arrival in Sydney
At 8:55PM Sydney time, there was an announcement for the crew to organize for touchdown. At that time preliminary cabin preparations had been made for our arrival, and 10 minutes later, the seatbelt signal was turned on. We touched down at 9:20PM, and from there had a 5 minute taxi to our arrival gate, the place we pulled in at 9:25PM, 25 minutes forward of schedule.
Upon deplaning we headed to the Vacation Inn Specific Sydney Airport, the place we’d be spending the night time.
I’m blissful I had the possibility to fly with the “new” Virgin Australia, and particularly to be on a airplane that includes the service’s up to date cabins. Virgin Australia has a pleasant and enjoyable vibe, and this flight had a snug and trendy cabin, and a fairly tasty meal and wine.
I wouldn’t hesitate to fly Virgin Australia enterprise class once more, although I additionally most likely wouldn’t search it out. The expertise would have simply been a bit nicer if there have been Wi-Fi, pillows and blankets, higher espresso, and a partition between cabins.
What do you make of Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 enterprise class?