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Virgin Australia Domestic Business Class

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Virgin Australia Domestic Business Class

Old 7th Feb 2012, 10:14
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Virgin Australia Domestic Business Class

Has anyone tried or had any feedback about Virgin's domestic business class. It seems they have a very inconsistent fragmented product.

Their 737-800's have the 2 x 2 seat product. Their 737-700's - they have left the premium class seating on the aircraft and blocked the middle seat and the selected E190's sell the current premium economy as business and block the seat next to it (which the only observable difference to economy seats is the different coloured seat, oh and maybe 2 inches of extra leg room).

One wonders whether JB has his finger on the pulse with this project.

I can't imagine punters forking out money, especially on the golden triangle routes would be happy paying for and getting 3 very different products for the same price depending on the aircraft they fly.

Now I don't have a tertiary qualification in marketing but you wouldn't think its rocket science to know that if you want to entice punters from the competition to fly up the pointy end of the aircraft a good starting point would be providing a product that is consistent.
320subria is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2012, 10:22
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From what I've read on AusBT (granted, not always a terribly reliable source), J class on the -700 is no longer for sale, and will be reverted to all Y sales again in the near future (if not already). Rebates being offered to pax who flew in J class on the -700's, and other measures being taken for pax booked J on a -700 operated sector but not yet flown.

The E190 however I am not sure.
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Old 7th Feb 2012, 11:56
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All seemed very swell at the 'pointy end' on the two sectors I did today MEL-BNE-MEL
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Old 7th Feb 2012, 12:04
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Airbus320.

I do not believe anyone would have expected the fleet to have been converted overnight.
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Old 8th Feb 2012, 06:04
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All 46 737-800s are business class, with one (soon to depart) possible exception. That involves the seats, and an expensive refit of the fwd cabin area and galley, adding a fridge.

The 11 remaining (ish) -700s won't go business, at this stage. Although 4 are expected to remain in the fleet for sometime.

The seats are the same as J class on the A330 but less recline and pitch. The catering is very good for domestic ops and will make me fat soon.
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Old 8th Feb 2012, 10:57
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All I can see is hellva alot better than QF product! Certainly now have my account
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Old 9th Feb 2012, 02:22
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All 46 737-800s are business class, with one (soon to depart) possible exception.
It was VOB that was the rouge aircraft and has now left the fleet, Only four -700's will be around by years end VBU VBV VBY and VBZ.
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Old 9th Feb 2012, 04:37
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Yes, all that time in the sun made the red paint turn rouge.
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Old 9th Feb 2012, 05:05
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^ double like
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Old 9th Feb 2012, 08:07
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Yes, all that time in the sun made the red paint turn rouge.
There are plenty of them like that
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Old 9th Feb 2012, 08:27
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I've been meaning to post on this for a while - now seems appropriate as I'm sitting at Sydney waiting for my flight to Melbourne - just walked off the Perth flight.

Firstly - the A330 - wow! Didn't mind having to route through Sydney to have a go. Accepted that it was quick & rushed - so the IFE is pretty ordinary but the staff, leg room and especially the food is awesome.

Have done a few on the 737 as well - including Bris-Per late at night. Functionally its the same/slightly better than QF but again, the food was very very good. Disappointing that Brisbane/Melbourne - Perth doesn't get the same food/fleet choices but I guess more A330's will fix that (although they still charge the same AND all the advertising was that Melbourne would get A330s)

The things I haven't enjoyed was the transition from Premium Econ was appalling communicated. The fleet rollout was good and for a while there were J seats for Y prices but from a brand perspective, I was unable to tell when Y stopped and J started (except the prices went up). The website was advertising 'Business' as the class at premium prices and I was taking flights that were indistinguishable as NOT being J flights but came with that god-awful Luke Mangin rubbish from the Y menu.
As such - when it became proper J, prices up by $100's per sector - I hadn't twigged that some part of the product had changed. So on some levels that made me 'resent' the price increases - I was quite happy in the new seats at the old prices and still thought that for more money, I was at risk of getting crappy old seats.

Not that it's my money (well, sort of not) but still - I would have thought that a Virgin Gold or Platinum FF would have gotten a clear message on when the old stopped and when the new started. Of course, this is now the past so hopefully the good product they've got will continue.

So, whilst the company pays, I'll choose it over QF every day - especially where on my main routes I feel that there is a QF risk of getting a 737-400 for which $1300 Mel-Bris is just insulting.

What's curious is how empty it is. 7 PAX (and one appeared to be a freebie/known to crew) PER-SYD and I've never sat next to anyone on a 737 - I wonder how it's stacking up financially? Anyone know load factors?
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Old 10th Feb 2012, 04:51
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It wouldn't be too bad financially, I never loaded a 737 out of Canberra for full pax before business class came in for example, so I doubt they're losing seats they could be selling to bogans in singlets and thongs.
The business class meals are only loaded onto the acft as pax +1, so they're not wasting too much there either.
The new rollout was very rushed from the catering perspective, there are still big issues to be sorted out with it, even the smallest hiccup in the scheduling throws the big ports into chaos.
The gate staff bumping people into business class early on was interesting too, we only carried a scant few extra business meals in the trucks, so most people bumped up went without the meals.
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Old 10th Feb 2012, 11:13
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UnderneathTheRadar,

Can tell you that often J class is full. Makes for plenty of fun on the short MEL-SYD or SYD-BNE vice versa when it is a proper meal time.

There are some flights the service team needs to look at with time difference out of PER and what is being served due to the meal times that have been set.

In terms of the 738 services for HKT and DPS, very impressed with what is coming out of these ports. Very much on par and the offering in J on a 3.5 DPS-PER is actually better than a BNE-PER which is slightly confusing and disappointing but again hopefully it all evolves.

Can't wait for the 332 to start MEL-PER-MEL services in mid May... will be very beneficial.

I am envious of the mystery person that ended up in J class... I know a lot of the crew on the 332 and haven't even had a chance to go in J when I've been on the aircraft hahah.
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Old 10th Feb 2012, 22:56
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I did a MEL-PER yesterday with six at the pointy end at $1300 one way a pop =
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Old 11th Feb 2012, 00:58
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Bye Bye QF!
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